Saturday, November 11, 2017


Photo of Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow from The Posies' Facebook page.

2018 will mark the 30th anniversary for The Posies, and some celebrations are in the works. Founding members Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow plan to tour as a duo starting in January, and and at some point, as a full band. Upcoming dates include New York, Boston, Memphis, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and Nashville. They’ll hit City Winery Chicago on January 31. A post on the band’s Facebook page states: “We will be doing material from four different decades in these shows. Good Grief! Special guests . . . mayhem . . . harmonies . . .” The Posies will also release deluxe reissue of their albums from the 1990s.

CIMMfest (Chicago International Movies and Music Festival) is back for its annual run at various venues around Chicago. The four day event runs through tomorrow and will screen films featuring David Bowie, Sharon Jones, Penelope Spheeris, Paul Butterfield, Public Image Ltd., X, Blind Boys From Alabama, System Of A Down, Dixie Hummingbirds, Circle jerks, Pansy Division, and others. Live music performances include a Sharon Jones and Dap Kings Tribute, Tom Rush, Lee Ranaldo, and Nth Power.

They’re still in love with him. A number of local musicians will join together at Martyrs on Lincoln Avenue this Monday, November 13 for Love And Happiness: The Music of Al Green.  John Mead (who’ll serve as host), Bill Brickey, Steve Dawson, and Alton Smith are going to pay tribute to the iconic singer, with help from Chris Greene, Jack Cassidy, Gros Nolle Polossi, and Lenny Marsh. The show starts at 8:00 p.m.

Saturday Night Live: The Experience, a multimedia exhibit celebrating the long-running NBC show, is currently running at the Museum Of Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago. 

Phil Angotti will likely be showcasing songs from his latest album Such Stories when he performs at Montrose Saloon on Wednesday, November 15.

The Chicago Art Book Fair will run from Thursday, November 16 through Sunday, November 19 at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel on Michigan Avenue. The first annual showcase promises zine-makers from around the globe, book and comics artists, and self publishers. Admission is free.

Record Store Day Black Friday is a great opportunity to pick up one-of-a-kind vinyl treasures, either as holiday gifts or for yourself. You can also catch some live music throughout the day after Thanksgiving at Val’s Halla record store in Oak Park. The scheduled performers are Ellis Clark and Ary Jeebie; Greg Jackson Combo; Decoy Prayer Meeting; Scott Williams Family Band; Big Hair Trouble featuring Ellis Clark and Ary Jeebie; Phoenix; Tom Klein Experience 3:30; Ellis Clark and The Big Parade featuring Ary Jeebie; Phil Angotti; Black Friars Club; and Hamburglars.

WXRT Live From The Archives Volume 19 will be available on December 1 at Chicago area Target stores. A partial list of the artists involved has been posted on the station’s website and includes Phoenix, Cold War Kids, Sting, Portugal. The Man, Vance Joy, and Real Estate. All of these live performances were recorded in 2017.

Limited-edition 18 x 24 screen prints of artist Shepard Fairey’s dazzling portrait of Debbie Harry will become available for $75 each between 10:00 a.m. and noon on November 13 on his Obey Giant  website. The prints will be signed by Fairey and Blondie founding members Debbie Harry and Chris Stein.

The Empty Bottle is hosting Warm, Safe and Sound, A Coat/Sweater Drive for Homeless Chicagoans  on December 21. Donating a coat or sweater will get you in to see the blues rock band North By North, psychedelic rockers Secret Colours, indie rock band The Handcuffs, and the coed indie pop duo Star Tropics.

Tributosaurus, one of the Chicago area’s best known tribute bands, becomes Paul McCartney on December 6 at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue.

The Bill Graham Rock And Roll Revolution
 ends its run at the Illinois Holocaust Museum And Education Center in Skokie tomorrow. Graham is credited with helping the careers of Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Who, and Jimi Hendrix.

Congratulations to Rolling Stone on its 50th anniversary. The magazine is celebrating in various ways, including a recent two-part special on HBO and special printed editions. If you missed the TV special, it’s likely it will air again, and/or be released on DVD or Blu-ray.


Friday, November 3, 2017


The Bad Examples will be performing the energetic rock of “Not Dead Yet,” along with Squeeze-worthy gems like “Kill Amanda” and “Pictures Of A Masquerade” at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn tomorrow night. Billy Prine, younger brother of iconic folk singer John Prine, and his band are the opening act. Bad Examples lead vocalist/chief songwriter Ralph Covert will be back at the same venue on November 25 as Ralph Covert’s Acoustic Army.

Other highlights at FitzGerald’s this month include critically acclaimed singer-songwriter James McMurtry with Max Gomez next Saturday, and the Speed4Sarah Fall Fundraiser and Concert with Expo ’76 and Nasty Snacks on November 24.

IFP Chicago will celebrate 30 years of supporting independent filmmakers with a bash on tomorrow at Noisefloor on Erie Street. There will drinks, entertainment, and raffle prizes.

There’s a four-band showcase taking place at Silvie’s on Irving Park Road tomorrow night featuring Go Time!, Paul Coady And The Edsels, Letterbomb, and Too Much Saturn.

The 34th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival continues through this Sunday at Facets on Fullerton, The Music Box on Southport, and six partner venues around Chicago and the suburbs. The films—several are animated—are divided into the categories of Tots, Big Kids, Tweens, and Teens.

Punk’s Not Dead. The Regrettes, an L.A.-based band that blended vintage punk, the 1960s girl group sound, and a defiant spirit on its Feel Your Feelings Fool debut, has a gig coming up on November 30 at House Of Blues in Chicago. They’ll be supporting co-headliners The Interrupters and Swmrs. The Regrettes have visited Chicago at least twice already, for appearances at Riot Fest and Schubas.

The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles just might be ornate enough to pass for a ballroom when The Sweet performs there on at on March 31. Tickets are now on sale on the venue’s website.

Tickets went on sale earlier today for Los Lobos at SPACE in Evanston on December 9, Anne Heaton at SPACE on December 28, and Guided By Voices at Empty Bottle on December 30.

If it’s not too early to make holiday plans, The BoDeans will be at City Winery Chicago on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Saturday Night Live: The Experience is now running at the Museum Of Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago, and judging from the press it has been receiving, the exhibit, to quote Wayne and Garth, is “Excellent.” The suburban Aurora basement studio where Wayne’s World was filmed is just one of the sets that has been recreated for the exhibit. You can even pose on the couch in your ripped jeans and baseball cap while reciting your favorite catch phrases from the skit. The exhibit’s format of a typical SNL work week includes props and costumes, as well as a representation of the Wednesday table read, where everyone involved with the show would go over that week’s script.

The Safes, a Chicago-based band whose punk/garage rock Record Heat and Thanks To You albums were favorably reviewed here on BHT, have a record release party for their latest release Tasty Waves coming up at Beat Kitchen on November 22. The Differents (who were very impressive at Martyrs’ last Saturday), Little Boy, Jr., and The Hustle are are also on the bill that night.

The Social Act, one of the first bands I interviewed for the Illinois Entertainer back in the late 1980s,  have been working on a new album, and they’ll be performing at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue on December 15. Razorhouse will also be on the bill that night.

The Bill Graham Rock And Roll Revolution continues its run at the Illinois Holocaust Museum And Education Center at 9603 Woods Drive through Nov. 12.

Desiree Burcum and Tina Teske, longtime members of the Famous In The Future comedy group, will be performing at the Lady Laughs Comedy Festival in Madison. WI tomorrow night. Their Sketch-She (Improv & Sketch) show goes on at 7:00 p.m. at the Artemis Bow Stage. Burcum is a Marilyn Monroe fanatic, so I wonder if she knows about Milton H. Greene’s new book The Essential Marilyn Monroe: 50 Sessions. It has 154 photos that have been previously unseen by the public.

In the Garden of Atlantis, a fashion show benefit for Elements Ballet, will take place on November 18 at the Hairpin Arts Center in Logan Square. Models on the runway will be sporting Atlantis-inspired fashions from Rebirth Garments, MJ Ernst, and Amara Black. There will also be art, photography, dance performances, and a reading of a new novel by Miata Boayue.

There’s going to be a Skanksgiving 80s Ska Revival at The Beat Kitchen on November 25 featuring Heavy Manners, DJ Chuck Wren, and Max And The Invaders. Admission is $15, doors open at 8:00 p.m.

The Second Disc website recently reported on a new box set of seven-inch singles that were originally released only to members of the Official Beatles Fan Club from 1963 through 1969. The records are packaged in reproductions of the original sleeves.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Record Store Day Black Friday - For The Vinyl Junkies On Your Holiday Gift List

Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving is when bargain hunters swarm retail outlets, battling for the best prices on items for gifts or for themselves. In recent years, it’s also become a challenge for vinyl aficionados hoping to acquire limited-edition releases. Record Store Day Black Friday is the seasonal version of the original RSD that takes place every April. The timing has been ideal for nabbing one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts.

This year, some of the more interesting Black Friday releases are literally Christmas gifts. Cheap Trick’s Christmas Christmas is a 12-song album with original holiday tunes and cover versions of The Kinks, Wizzard, and The Ramones. Paul McCartney is releasing a new version of “Wonderful Christmastime” he recorded with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots on two separate seven-inch singles. The red vinyl one has Norah Jones singing “Peace” on the B-side and the green vinyl one has The Decembrists performing “Jesus Christ” on the B-side.

Also, The Minus Five, the Scott McCaughey-led band that excels at mixing quirky ideas with catchy indie rock arrangements, is releasing Dear December. It’s hard to figure how titles like “Musical Tribute To The Oscar Meyer Weiner Wagon” fit the holiday theme, but it is a white vinyl album with an Advent calendar inspired cover. I’m hoping to post more about Record Store Day Black Friday as it gets closer.

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