Friday, January 26, 2018


The Posies entered 2018 with big plans to celebrate their 30th anniversary, and that includes founding members Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow performing as an acoustic duo at City Winery Chicago next Wednesday, January 31. Fans can also find lots of cool things on The Posies’ PledgeMusic page, like deluxe versions of the Dear 23 and Frosting On The Beater albums.

Pearl Jam returns to Wrigley Field in Chicago for a pair of concerts on August 18 and 20. Hopefully, there won’t be a torrential downpour on either of those nights. The band’s Let’s Play Two documentary was filmed at the Cubs’ ballpark during the team’s historic championship seaon in 2016. Pearl Jam will be in Portugal for the multi-act NOS Alive 18 event in July.

Tickets are now on sale for indie rock trio Haim at The Aragon Ballroom on May 11, and for the Spanish band Hinds at Lincoln Hall on May 15. Hinds were in town this past weekend for the Tomorrow Never Knows Festival.

The Sixth Annual 2019 She Rocks Awards are being held tonight at The House Of Blues in Anaheim California. This year’s honorees include Pat Benatar; Melissa Etheridge; Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson from The B-52’s; Exene Cervenka from X; and 1970s hard rock quartet Fanny. WROQ DJ Kat Corbett and She Rocks founder and producer Laura B. Whitmore will co-host the event.

Earlier this week, I reviewed Chicago singer-guitarist Phil Angotti’s impressive Such Stories album. He’ll be performing some songs from it at Uncommon Ground’s Clark Street location tomorrow night as part of a WNUR Power Pop Shoppe Acoustic Show. Local power pop trio The Obleeks are also on the bill. The music starts at 8:00 p.m.

Steve Barton, a founding member of Translator, is releasing an ambitious three-disc album titled Tall Tales and Alibis on March 2. A number of musicians helped out with the recording, including Pete Thomas, who has worked with Elvis Costello; Derrick Anderson, who has performed with The Bangles and had a superb solo of his own in 2017; Nelson Bragg from Brian Wilson’s band; and Barton’s fellow Translator member Dave Scheff. The idea is that each of the three discs has its own identity.

The 11th Annual Chicago Restaurant Week kicked off today and will run through February 8 at several venues around the Chicago area. As noted by restaurant critic Phil Vettel in this past Wednesday’s Chicago Tribune, that actually makes Chicago Restaurant Week a two-week event.

Composer/producer Scott Freiman’s 2016 documentary Deconstructing The Beatles’ Rubber Soul will be screened on Tuesday, January 30 at the Music Box Theatre on Chicago’s north side.

The January 15 – 21 edition of Streetwise, a Chicago publication dedicated to helping homeless people rebuild their lives by finding employment, has a five-page interview with Bjork. Writer Bob Mann’s feature story was originally published in The Big Issue Australia magazine. If you’re in the downtown area, you can pick up a copy of Streetwise for $2 from one its vendors.

This is the last weekend to catch Lifeline Theatre’s 21st Annual Filet Of Solo festival. It wraps up its run at Lifeline Theatre and Heartland Studio. Tickets are $10 for each performance; festival passes are available for $50. See the Lifeline website for the full schedule.

The 2018 George Harrison Birthday Tribute Concert with host Ellis Clark takes place at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue on Saturday February. Vocalist Ary Jeebie from The Amazing Heeby Jeebies will be helping out, and as with last year’s tribute, a number of Chicago’s best bands will be taking part. The lineup features Clark’s band The Big Parade; Phil Angotti; The Handcuffs; Tomorrow The Moon; Constantine; Greg Jackson Combs; Phoenix; Frankie B; The Unswept; Aethereal; Gerald McClendan, and other guests to be announced.

Sons Of The Silent Age will bring their awe-inspiring David Bowie tribute to Martyrs’ on Saturday, March 24.

The third annual Define American Film Festival (DAFF) comes to Chicago this April, after being held in Des Moines, IA in 2016 and Charlotte, NC in 2017. According to a recent article by film critic Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune, DAFF is writer/filmmaker Joes Antonio Vargas, and is focused on immigration and racial issues. Most of the event’s screenings and discussion will take place at Venue Six10 on Michigan Avenue.

A 1927 silent film version of Hamlet, starring Denmark actress Asta Nielsen in the title role, will be screened at Rockafeller Chapel in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood on February 4 at 7:00 p.m. Organist Dennis James and harpsichordist Michael Tsalka will provide music accompaniment.

There was more praise for my nephew Joe Flamm on Top Chef last night. The eighth episode of this year’s season (the show’s 15th) found the surviving eight contestants divided into teams and tasked with staging a three-course meal in a restaurant. Joe’s role for the team was to manage the house and mingle with customers. He is now among the seven contestants left of Top Chef.


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