Friday, June 29, 2018


Montrose Saloon on Chicago’s north side will be the perfect place tomorrow night to enjoy high energy rock and wish some local musicians a happy birthday. Initially, the bash was planned for singer-guitarist Ellis Clark, but it’s been extended to include Ary Paloma Jeebie and Chloe F. Orwell. Clark currently leads the group Big Parade, and his storied past includes being part of Epicycle—one of Chicago’s first punk bands—founding Social Act, and being a member of The Handcuffs. Ary Paloma Jeebie is the front person for The Amazing Heebie Jeebies garage rock/rockabilly band; and Chloe F. Orwell is the lead vocalist-guitarist for indie rockers The Handcuffs. Facebook posts have hinted at a Ary-Chloe duet, and it’s likely guest musicians will be involved. The Frantastic Sound System will kick off the evening at 9:00 p.m. The Montrose Saloon is located at 2933 W. Montrose Avenue, admission is a mere $5.

Singer-guitarist Phil Angotti also recently had a birthday, but he and Casey McDonough will be performing a show at Reclaimed Bar tomorrow night.

Chicago’s long-running ska band Heavy Manners and DJ Chuck Wren will be the opening acts when The English Beat plays at Metro next Friday, July 6.

I was happy to see an email from Amazon today stating my copy of Graham Nash’s two-CD set of demos Over The Years has shipped and will land on my porch this coming Tuesday. It features demos of classic Nash solo and and CSNY material like “Immigration Man,” “Teach Your Children,” “Wind On The Water,” “I Used To Be A King,” and “Chicago/We Can Change The World.” The oldest demo is a version of “Marrakesh Express” The Hollies rejected when Nash pitched it to them in 1968.

YippieFest, the love child of the once-annual Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins Theatre Festival at Mary-Arrchie Theatre, will be back for a second round on the weekend of August 17 – 19 at Prop Thtr. Last year’s bash was organized by Famous In The Future comedy group founder Frank Carr, who picked up a few tips about how to run this sort of event while performing at every single Abbie Fest. He’s back at the helm this year. Any theatre groups, performance artists, or musicians interested in being part of Yippie Fest 2018 can contact the official website.

New albums came out today from Florence + The Machine (High As Hope) and Ray Davies (Our Country: Americana II).

Actress Karen Gillan has been having a splendid career since leaving Doctor Who, landing roles in Guardians Of The Galaxy, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, and Avengers: Infinity Wars, as well as directing the indie film Tupperware Party. She’s also among the women featured in the new Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and other lies): Amazing Women On What The F Word Means To Them book curated by Scarlet Curtis. It’s now available on Amazon UK.

The Bangles had original bassist Annette Zilinskas on board when they performed last Sunday at the Arroyo Seco festival in Pasadena. Other acts on the bill included Neil Young, Jack White, and The Pretenders. Next up for The Bangles is the Pershing Square Downtown Stage summer concert on July 14 in Los Angeles. I’d love to see them do an outdoor gig in the Chicago area.

The Go-Go’s are also keeping busy on the west coast. They’re performing tonight at Humphreys Concerts By The Bay in San Diego and on Monday, July 2 at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Head Over Heels, a play based on their music, is running on Broadway.

Fruits de Mer, the UK indie vinyl label, shared a post on Facebook promoting the very last gig by The Pretty Things. Although the band was never well known in the States, they been active in their native England for 55 years. The Final Bow takes place on December 13 in London at the O2 Arena, with special guests David Gilmour, Van Morrison, and Bill Nighy.

Let’s raise a toast to local artist Eddie Carr, who recently passed away. As noted in a Sun-Times article by Maureen O’Donnell, Carr was the genius behind the elaborate Christmas displays at Butch McGuire’s on Division Street for 30 years. He also enjoyed creating portraits of his favorite rock musicians, including Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley.

Monty Python’s Spamalot continues its run at Mercury Theater in Chicago through August 5.

Amplified: Chicago Blues, an exhibition honoring Chicago’s blues heritage, is up and running at the Chicago History Museum through August 10, 2019. The exhibition will focus on Howlin Wolf, Little Brother Montgomery, Little Walter, Magic Sam, Big Joe Williams, Willie Dixon, Koko Taylor, and Muddy Waters. at on Clark Street. The Chicago History Museum is located at 1601 N. Clark Street. Admission is $19 for adults.

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