Friday, May 17, 2019

Slumgullion

Four Chords and a Gun, actor John Ross Bowie’s drama about The Ramones recording their End Of The Century album under the guidance (influence?) of Phil Spector, opens tomorrow night at The Broadway Playhouse in Chicago. The official website stresses this is not a musical, which makes me think it might be like Aftermath, Ronan Marra’s terrific Rolling Stones play that was performed by Signal Ensemble back in 2010. Four Chords and a Gun, the website explains, is “A Play Followed By A Concert.” It runs through June 2.

Speaking of The Rolling Stones, they’ll kick off their rescheduled No Filter Tour with gigs at Soldier Field in Chicago on June 21 and June 25. A recent clip of Mick Jagger practicing his dance moves proves he’s still more agile than a lot of people on this planet.

The 7th Annual Chicago Critics Film Festival, which bills itself as “The only film festival created and curated by a film critics association,” opened today and runs through May 23 at the Music Box Theatre.

Tickets went on sale today for Waterboys at The Old Town School Of Folk Music on September 29. They’ll be doing two shows that day, one at 5:00 p.m. and one at 8:00 p.m.

Courtney Barnett will be among the headline acts at this year’s Taste of Chicago. She’s scheduled for July 10, with Sunflower Bean as the opening act. India.Arie and Meshell Ndegeocello share a double bill at The Taste on July 14.

The 10th Annual Chicago Zine Fest - A Self-Publishing Celebration has been staging events the past few days, and will wrap up with its Exhibition Day tomorrow at Plumbers Union Hall just west of downtown Chicago. More than 250 self publishers will be on hand.

Former Houndmouth vocalist Katie Toupin has a gig coming up at Schubas this Sunday to showcase her new solo effort, Magnetic Moves. The album is due out June 14.

L7 will most likely be playing songs from their recently released album Scatter The Rats when they rock the Metro this coming Tuesday. The four-woman band was originally part of the grunge scene and reformed in 2017.

Vintage Garage Chicago will hold a flea market this Sunday featuring clothing, jewelry, and assorted other items. Admission is $6.

Robbie Fulks will be performing Doc Watson songs at 2:00 p.m. at the Evanston History Center this Sunday as part of the Out Of Space series created by the suburb’s well-known music venue SPACE.

International Pop Overthrow - Liverpool continues its run at the Cavern Pub and Cavern Club through this Tuesday, May 21.

If you enjoy The Handcuffs’s show at the Belmont/Sheffield Street Fest next Saturday, May 25, you can catch them again two days later at Montrose Saloon. They’ll be sharing a double bill with The Convincers. It’s a record release party for The Convincers.

Chicago’s Irish Music Community suffered a major loss this week with the passing of Noah Rice, a long-time teacher at the Irish Academy Of Music and founding member of the Baal Tinne band. Rice was a familiar face at the annual Irish Fest at the Academy, as well as the Celtic Fest that used to held in Grant Park. His students and family will no doubt carry on his love of Irish music and culture.

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Saturday, May 11, 2019

Saturday Slumgullion

Photo from the Johnny Marr Facebook page.

Hi Hello, Johnny. Welcome back to Chicago. Johnny Marr’s USA Comet Tour 2019 arrives in Chicago this Monday, May 13 for a show at The Vic Theater. Call The Comet, his third straight solo masterpiece, came out in 2018.

Slumgullion didn’t appear in its usual Friday night spot due to my wife Pam and I attending the ArtReach Educational Theatre and Spotlite Theatrix production of Mamma Mia at Cutting Hall in Palatine. I’m not an avid ABBA fan, but I believe that this type of production—where kids are introduced to the performing arts with mentoring from adults—should be encouraged. All of the adult cast members sang well; most of the kids put their hearts into it; and the finale had a big, good-time feel.

Tickets are now on sale for Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club, Gal Gun, and the Mark Watson Band at GMan Tavern on May 31; Hot Stove Cool Music With Peter Gammons and More at Metro on June 7; Megan McDonough at SPACE on July 6; the Neo Reunion at Metro on July 20; New Duncan Imperials at FitzGerald’s on July 27; and Nots and Olivia Neutron-John at Subterranean on June 4.

International Pop Overthrow - Liverpool, which is the second hottest topic in the UK right now—next to the new royal baby—kicks off this Tuesday, May 14 and will run through May 21 at the Cavern Pub and Cavern Club. The event brings in acts from around the globe, including Yanks like The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Cub and The Jeremy Band. The IPO website has the full schedule.

This week’s edition of Redeye includes the Chicago free paper’s annual festival guide. Compiled by Aine Dougherty, it provides an amazingly diverse schedule of outdoor events coming up from May through September. I always keep this list as a resource to make sure I don’t miss any of my favorite events.

Former Houndmouth vocalist Katie Toupin has a gig coming up at Schubas next Sunday May 19. Toupin has been employing an effective social media blitz to promote her first solo effort, Magnetic Moves, which is due out June 14.

The Handcuffs plan to return to Chicago’s outdoor festival scene with a “big, long, rocking set” at the Belmont/Sheffield Street Fest on Saturday, May 25. I’m guessing a few new tunes may turn up at that gig since the band has been working on its next album for a while now.

Girls Rock! Chicago is having a fundraiser next Sunday, May 19 at Sleeping Village on Belmont Avenue.

There’s a triple bill of Go Time, The Spindles, and 45 Souls coming up on May 30 at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue. The first two acts have garnered praise here on Broken Hearted Toy for their recordings and live shows; 45 Souls is a roots rock, American duo that I’ve haven’t seen yet. Their latest CD, Free, came out early last month. Showtime is 8:00 p.m.

CAKE - The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo comes to the Center on Halsted for a two-day celebration and marketplace of independent comics on June 1 and 2. Special guests include Ezra Claytan Daniels, Nicholas Gurewitch, and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. Admission is free.

L7 recently released its latest album, Scatter The Rats, and will most likely be playing songs from it when they rock the Metro on May 21. The four-woman band was originally part of the grunge scene and reformed in 2017.

Vintage Garage Chicago has a flea market featuring clothing, jewelry, and assorted other items coming on May 19 in Evanston. Admission is $6.

Robbie Fulks will be performing Doc Watson songs at 2:00 p.m. at the Evanston History Center next Sunday, May 19. The show is part of the Out Of Space series created by the suburb’s well-known music venue SPACE.

The Young Authors organization is offering a Write To The City Summer Camp for educators and aspiring poets and activists (ages 12 – 25) at the University of Illinois on July 8 through July12.

Rolling Stone recently reported that Liz Phair’s memoir Horror Stories will be published by Random House in October.

The 7th Annual Chicago Critics Film Festival, which bills itself as “The only film festival created and curated by a film critics association,” starts next Friday, May 17 and runs through May 23 at the Music Box Theatre.

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Thursday, May 9, 2019

whitewolfsonicprincess - The Alternate Boot Vols. 1 and 2

Those of us who first encountered Carla Hayden and James Moeller performing with their Black Forest theatre group probably have an advantage navigating the mystical lyrics of its musical offshoot whitewolfsonicprincess. The band has definitely established its own identity, but it still retains theatrical elements. On The Alternate Boot Vols. 1 and 2, whitewolfsonicprincess once again weaves energetic guitars and percussion through otherwise slow-moving arrangements.

Like U2 on its recent releases, whitewolfsonicprincess seems obsessed with the darkness and bad will that engulfs the modern world but feels there’s a light that can save us. “So Clear” invokes visions of a holy trinity as Hayden sings, “In forgiveness they cut through despair./Their lips painting words on the air.” Hayden takes an ethereal approach to her vocals, while Moeller’s singing is more conversational. They frequently join together on the chorus.

Moeller’s sense of loss regarding global unrest is unmistakable on the gritty “Sadness In The World,” but he defiantly proclaims, “Let’s paint it in the colors of love.” Hayden’s voice underscores the magic of “Dance A Wave” as she declares, “The ocean was my love./The darkness knew my name.” “I Close My Eyes” has a bluesy feel that also echoes the Jimi Hendrix rendition of Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” and “Brown Eyes” offers an enticing mix of adventurous and intricate instrumentation.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Incoming

Marquee Moon will shine in Lincoln Park. Television, one of the first and most influential acts to don the punk label, have two shows coming up this Friday at the Old Town School of Folk Music. The first is at 7:00 p.m., the second at 10:00 p.m. The New York City band, led by vocalist-guitarist Tom Verlaine, released its critically acclaimed debut Marquee Moon in 1977. Chicago-based singer-songwriter Half Gringa is the opening act. She’ll be performing songs from her debut album Gruñona.

Johnny Marr’s USA Comet Tour 2019 arrives in Chicago for a show at The Vic Theater next Monday, May 13. Marr first attracted world-wide attention for his distinctive guitar playing for The Smiths in Manchester, UK back in the early 1980s. He went on to perform with Modest Mouse, The Pretenders, and The Cribs. He’s excelled as a solo artist too, releasing his third impressive effort, Call The Comet in 2018.

There will be five components to the 10th Annual Chicago Zine Fest - A Self-Publishing Celebration, starting with a Zine Archives Visit and Zines + Social Justice Panel at DePaul University next Thursday, May 16. On May 17, there will be a CZF Exhibitor Reading at Quimby’s Bookstore, plus Zine Jeopardy at Cards Against Humanity Theater. Exhibition Day on Saturday will feature more than 250 self-publishers to Plumbers Union Hall. See the Chicago Zine Fest website for all the details.

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Friday, May 3, 2019

Slumgullion

Barak Goodman’s new documentary Woodstock - Three Days That Defined A Generation will have its Chicago premiere at the Gene Siskel Film Center on May 31, and run through June 6.

Tickets went on sale today for Berlin at City Winery Chicago on September 10; EXPO ’76 with Kelly Hogan and Robert Cornelius, and Katie Belle and the Belle Rangers at Martyrs’ on May 31; Herbie Hancock and Kamasi Washington at Huntington Bank Pavilion on August 10; Over The Rhine at SPACE on August 16; Son Volt at SPACE on July 13; and Sunday Papers, a Joe Jackson Tribute, at SPACE on June 23.

Martyrs’ is inviting family and friends of David Daniel Horn, a staff member who recently passed away, to attend a gathering in his honor at the music venue this Sunday at 3:00 p.m. There will be a cash bar and food to purchase. Martyrs’ encourages contributions to cover the cost of Horn’s funeral.

New albums released today include Scatter The Rats by L7; These Times by The Dream Syndicate; and Father Of The Bride by Vampire Weekend. Next Friday will bring We Get By from Mavis Staples; and on May 24, we’ll see My Songs by Sting and California Sun by Morrisey.

JBTV will present the band Actors this Saturday night at Chop Shop on North Avenue in Chicago. Bootblacks, The Bellwether Syndicate, and DJ Greg Corner from the band Kill Hannah will also be on hand.

A new production of the ABBA jukebox musical Mamma Mia by Art Reach Educational Theatre and Spotlite Theatrix kicks off tonight at Cutting Hall in Palatine and will run this weekend and next Friday and Saturday.

From Netflix to The Old Vic. London Theatre Direct website writer Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels reports that Claire Foy and Matt Smith from the acclaimed series The Crown will be joining forces again for a production of the Duncan Macmillan play Lungs at the Old Vic Theatre in the UK. Daniels describes Lungs as a “darkly hilarious drama.” Of course, many of us know Smith, who referred to me as ‘mate’ while autographing his photo at the Ace Comic Con in Chicago, from his portrayal of The Doctor on Doctor Who.

Tickets are now on sale for the Chicago edition of Hot Stove Cool Music (there’s one in Boston as well) taking place on June 7 at Metro. The annual baseball/rock and roll mashup helps Chicago Cubs President of Operations Theo Epstein, his brother Paul, and award-winning sportswriter Peter Gammons raise funds for the Foundation To Be Named Later. See yesterday’s post for more details.

Power pop musician Lannie Flowers continues his string of monthly free downloads on the SpyderPop website with the catchy “What Did I Know.” Flowers plans to release a free song each month up to the release of his next album Home comes out, and none of those songs will be on the album.

Reggies Music Joint on State Street is offering A Day Of Psychedelia on Sunday, June 16 featuring two bands for a $5 cover. Ovadya, whose music has been described as “Pink Floyd Meets the MidEast,” will be performing songs from its Black Fire album, and whitewolfsonicprincess will be spotlighting music from its new album The Alternate Boot Vols 1 and 2, along with earlier releases. The show starts at 4:00 p.m.

Thrift Store Halo have a CD release bash for their latest effort Consolation Prize Fighter coming up at the Ballydoyle Irish Pub and Restaurant in Downers Grover on June 6. The Chicago-based power pop trio did extremely well on the indie rock charts with their 2017 full-length album Pop Rocket and has already seen its first single from Consolation, “Once,” grab the number one spot on Monie’s New Music Radio in England.

Chicago’s critically acclaimed alt rock veterans Smoking Popes have gigs coming up next Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11, at the Bottom Lounge. They’ll be performing with Flatfoot 56, The Sidekicks, and Sincere Engineer on Friday, and with Direct Hit!, Bad Cop/Bad Cop, and War On Women on Saturday. Bottom Lounge is located west of downtown at 1375 W. Lake.

Side Street Studio Arts in Elgin has an upcoming exhibit titled Sub Veintiuno (Sub 21). It’s a juried showcase of Latino artists under the age of 21 and runs from May 10 through May 26.

The Arts and Entertainment section of this past Thursday’s Chicago Tribune featured author David Kirby’s review of the new David Browne book Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young - The Wild, Definitive Saga of Rock’s Greatest Super Group. The piece, picked up from The Washington Post, makes Browne’s deep dive into the band’s history sound well worth buying. Reading the story again of how Stephen Stills and David Crosby saw Graham Nash performing with The Hollies at The Whiskey a Go Go in Los Angeles in 1968 and were so impressed they wanted to “steal him” for their new band makes me wonder if any footage exists of that show. It would not only show The Hollies at the height of Nash’s tenure with them but also capture the conception of one of the most important groups in rock history.

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Thursday, May 2, 2019

Rocking Out Near The Ball Park

Tickets are now on sale for the Chicago edition of Hot Stove Cool Music being presented by Google, True Value, KPMG, and Chicago Trading Company on June 7 at Metro. The annual baseball/rock and roll mashup helps Chicago Cubs President of Operations Theo Epstein, his brother Paul, and award-winning sportswriter Peter Gammons raise funds for the Foundation To Be Named Later. The Foundation is dedicated to “improving lives through education, leadership and the healthy development of youth and families.”

Theo Epstein and Chicago Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper will be rocking with the Chicago All-Stars, while Peter Gammons, Bernie Williams, Jake Peavy and Will Dailey perform as the Boston All-Stars.
The evening will also feature WXRT morning personality and long-time Cubs fan Lin Brehmer and former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster as emcees, and the Chicago Children’s Choir. And it should be a blast to see Band Of Their Own, which includes members of The Bangles, Belly, Letters To Cleo, The Flat Five, and Blake Babies, jamming on a number of hit songs. Metro is located just down the street from Wrigley Field.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Incoming

Tickets go on sale this Friday for the Neo Reunion: 4 Decades event taking place at Metro on Saturday, July 20. Metro announced it will host the event via a Facebook post yesterday afternoon, stating, “Having been a staple in the Chicago nightlife community for so long we can’t wait to see so many familiar faces under one roof again.” The DJs for that evening will be Jeff Moyer, Scary Lady Sarah, Bill Savely, Carrie Monster, Glenn Russell, and Suzanne Shelton.

As noted on the Facebook graphic, the Neo Reunion ticket sales will help “fund Darkest Before Dawn, a nonprofit organization providing mental and emotional health support resources for our industry workers.” Neo was one of the first venues in Chicago to spin punk/new wave records and retained its reputation as a trendy spot for several years. Metro, located just down the street from Wrigley Field, continues to be an essential destination for cutting edge music.

Dot Dash, the Washington, D.C. band that’s notched glowing Broken Hearted Toy reviews for each of its releases for a number of years now, will kick off an extensive tour later this month. They’ll be sharing a bill with iconic Irish rockers The Undertones in New York and Boston, and a have gig with False Tracks in Philadelphia. They’ll be with The Minus 5 in Washington, D.C. in July, and with The Vibrators in Washington, D.C. in September. More dates will be added in the near future. I’d love to see them come to Chicago, particularly on a double bill with The Undertones.

Velvet Crush will perform for the first time in 20 years on July 5 at the POP venue in Providence, Rhode Island. I’ve followed Velvet Crush founding member Ric Menck’s career from his The Happy Forest album with The Reverbs in 1984 through his current gig as the drummer for Matthew Sweet’s band.

The 17th annual CHIRP Record Fair and Other Delights takes place this Saturday at the Local 130 Plumbers Union Hall at 1340 W. Washington. An amazing selection of records, CDs, DVDs, posters, books, and other rock and roll related merchandise will on sale from vendors; and the entertainment includes live music and DJs. Admission from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. is $8, and early admission from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. costs $25.

Fans of The Smithereens and its beloved, late singer-guitarist Pat DiNizio are in for a treat this Friday night at Montrose Saloon. The Dry Look, Phil Angotti with The Idea, and Love Punch will be paying tribute to the band at the north side club. Proceeds will go to the Pat DiNizio Scholarship Fund. The music starts at 9:00 p.m.

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Friday, April 26, 2019

Slumgullion

The 17th annual CHIRP Record Fair and Other Delights takes place next Saturday, May 4 at the Local 130 Plumbers Union Hall at 1340 W. Washington. An amazing selection of records, CDs, DVDs, posters, books, and other rock and roll related merchandise will on sale from vendors; and the entertainment includes live music and DJs. Admission from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. is $8, and early admission from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. costs $25.

There will also be some serious vinyl shopping going on tomorrow at the B5G5: MusicDirect’s Warehouse LPs and 12-inch Singles Record Sale. It runs from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the MusicDirect location at 1811 W. Bryn Mawr in Chicago.

Bruce Springsteen recently announced he has a new solo album titled Western Stars coming out in mid June. It’s his first effort in five years and is said to have an orchestral, cinematic feel. The always informative website The Second Disc has already posted a preview.

As I mentioned in a post earlier this week, The Social Act will be performing a mix of its classic material and brand new songs at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue tonight. Soul Honey Records and Liz Toussaint will also be on the bill that night. Show time is 9:00 p.m.

The Soundtracks Of A Generation, a collective of Chicago area musicians who recreate classic albums on stage, will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the original Woodstock festival tonight at the 210 Live venue in Highwood.

Metric has filmed a video for its atmospheric synth and guitar driven new single “Risk.” The stark, black and white clip focuses on lead vocalist Emily Haines.

Broken Hearted Toy welcomes Neko Case back to Chicago. She has shows tonight and tomorrow night at The Vic Theatre

Cinema/Chicago will present the CINEYOUTH FESTIVAL featuring young filmmakers from around the world starting tonight and running through Sunday at Music Box Theatre on Southport.

A craft beer festival is taking place in Long Grove tomorrow. The Illinois town, once known for its craft and antique stores, is rebounding with a new mission to be more of a cafe and dining destination.

There’s going to be a tribute to rhythm and blues legend Andre Williams this Sunday night at The Hideout on Chicago’s north side. The Goldstars, his touring band for the past 10 years, will be performing, along with special guests Renaldo Domino, Gerald McClendon, Bailey Dee, Julio Davis, Sally Timms, Dag Juhlin, and Jake Austen. The music starts at 10:00 p.m.

If the Bob Dylan Electric exhibition at the American Writers Museum on Michigan Avenue has been on your to-do list, you’re running out of time. Its last day is April 30.

Katie Toupin has a gig coming up at Schubas on May 19. The former Houndmouth vocalist has been posting video previews of her new album Magnetic Moves on social media. It’s due out June 14.

The Dry Look, Phil Angotti, and Love Punch will paying tribute to The Smithereens next Friday, May 3 at Montrose Saloon on Chicago’s north side. Proceeds will go to the Pat DiNizio Scholarship Fund. DiNizio, the band’s late vocalist-guitarist, was a down-to-earth kind of guy who loved hanging out after shows and talking to fans. I got at least five autographs that way.

Drunk Shakespeare, a boozy and critically acclaimed interpretation of the Bard’s work hits Chicago next week at The Lion Theater in downtown Chicago. If you’re not familiar with that venue, the promo card I picked up at Reckless Records yesterday describes it as “a hidden speakeasy behind the Chicago Theatre.”

For a more traditional—and guaranteed riveting—production of Shakespeare, drop by the Goodman Theatre next Saturday for opening night of The Winter’s Tale. It’s directed by Robert Falls, who previously won critical acclaim for his work on King Lear and Measure For Measure.

Silvespun Pickups, the Los Angeles band that gave us the rollicking indie rock song “Panic Switch” back in 2009, will release Widow’s Weeds—their first album in four years—on June 7. The first single will be “It Doesn’t Matter Why.”

The 18th Annual Chicago Palestine Film Festival continues its run through next Thursday, May 2 at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

The Chicago Toy Show returns to the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles this Sunday. In addition to being able to browse current toys and some from decades ago, you might also find some rock and roll treasures.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Incoming

The Social Act had a successful run on the Chicago club scene in the late 1980s and recorded hard-hitting but melodic songs like “Reverend Joe,” “World War III,” and the irresistible synth number “Heaven Is Waiting.” The band resurfaced a while back and will be performing at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue this Friday night. Lead vocalist Ellis Clark, who’s also a former member of Epicycle and The Handcuffs, as well as a solo artist and producer, promised via a Facebook post that The Social Act will unveil some brand new songs at the gig. Soul Honey Records and Liz Toussaint will also be on the bill that night. Show time is 9:00 p.m.

The Soundtracks Of A Generation, a collective of Chicago area musicians who recreate classic albums on stage, will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival a few months early. Their ambitious show at the 210 Live venue in Highwood this Friday will follow the original chronological order, from Richie Havens to Jimi Hendrix. The band promises all the major Woodstock acts will be covered, which I assume includes Sly And The Family Stone; Crosby, Stills and Nash; Santana, Ten Years After; The Who; and Country Joe and The Fish. The tie-dyed fun kicks off at 6:00 p.m.

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Saturday, April 20, 2019

IPO - Chicago 2019 - The Finale

I got you, babe. Photo from The Sonnets Facebook page.

I wasn’t able to post a Slumgullion last night because I was out making merry at the International Pop Overthrow - Chicago showcase at LiveWire. It was great to see a full house at the Milwaukee Avenue venue and be able to stay a bit later since I didn’t have to be up at quarter to five the next morning for work. I still wasn’t able to stay late enough to catch the sets by Thrift Store Halo and BingBong. Waiflike, The Unswept, Collectors, and The Spindles all performed well and I enjoyed having a chance to talk with the musicians before and after their sets. IPO Chicago wraps up with two separate showcases today, with at least 11 acts—depending on a TBA—scheduled to perform.

Larry O’Dean, Jimmy De Lauriea, Mike Ebersohl, AKA The Injured Parties, kick off the afternoon showcase at 2:00 p.m. with their clever and catchy power pop tunes. Singer-songwriter Celia Rose works in a folk rock vein, and aims to add a bit of Haitian flavor to her songs. Freetoed has performed at a number of IPO - Chicago shows in the past, with an alt rock sound that’s influenced by Wilco, Pearl Jam, and Bon Iver. The IPO website has a TBA in the middle of this afternoon’s showcase, followed by singer-songwriter Tom Schraeder, who describes his genre as GUSH because he likes the freedom explore any type of music that interests him. Kenosha, WI trio Rainy Day Crush wraps up the first showcase with music thats “too catchy to be indie, too honest to be pop.”

Later today, the very last IPO - Chicago showcase of 2019 opens with an intriguing mix of glam, mod, power pop, garage, surf, and blues from The Sonnets. Guitarist-vocalist Vee Sonnets and bassist-vocalist Ellie Maybe are the nucleus of this trio, along with a core of drummers they can choose from as needed. The acoustic folk duo Douglas and Tucker is up next, followed by Andrew Fraker and Sons, an alt rock band not really made up of a Dad and his kids. These guys draw influences from The Rolling Stones, Counting Crows, and U2. The Band Calderisi is led by singer guitarist Anthony Calderisi, who enjoys mixing hard-hitting guitar playing with harmony vocals. The trio The Mixture likely takes its name from its mission to blend equal parts of psychedelic rock and soul, and Young Distractions, the final act for this year’s IPO Chicago will be the garage-punk-power pop trio.

Check out the official International Pop Overthrow website for links to all of the above listed bands.

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

IPO - Friday On My Mind

International Pop Overthrow – Chicago wraps up its 2019 visit this weekend at LiveWire on Milwaukee Avenue, with 18 bands scheduled over one showcase on Friday night and two on Saturday. It’s the first year IPO has been staged at LiveWire, and the venue has proved to be a good fit. I’ve enjoyed early sets by Magnaphonic, Van Go, and Michael Steven Cohen (knowing I have to be up at 5:00 a.m. for work keeps me from staying late), and there are still a number of good acts  to check out.

Tomorrow night’s event kicks off at 8:00 p.m with Waiflike, a Chicago garage rock band led by Richard Neal. Those delightful British imports The Unswept will be showcasing catchy songs from their brand new album Minor Blemishes, as well as previous releases. IPO veterans Collectors will be playing “expertly crafted Brit influenced indie rock” led by vocalist-guitarist Michael Mazza. The Spindles, another act with plenty of IPO experience, have several first-rate songs they could perform from their 2018 album Past and Present, including a ringing cover of The Hollies’ “Look Through Any Window.” Thrift Store Halo has been racking up airtime on indie radio with songs from their 2017 Pop-Rocket album, and they have the five-song EP Consolation Prize Fighter coming out soon. Friday night’s showcase ends with a set by Madison, WI quartet BingBong, who be playing “rock that’s poppin’” according to their Facebook page.

Check the International Pop Overthrow website for links to most of the above mentioned acts, as well as for both of Saturday showcases.

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Incoming:

Photo from Mike Vanderbilt’s Facebook page.

First Fling, the latest installment of CHIRP Radio’s The First Time Stories and Songs series takes place this Wednesday night at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue. Host Jenn Sodini will be joined by six participants from Chicago’s entertainment scene who are willing to reminisce about their first secret crush or romantic encounter. The storytellers this time out are writer-comedian and host of the Vocalo urban alternative radio program Jill Hopkins; actress-writer and founder of the Tellin’ Tales Theatre company Tekki Lomnicki; singer-songwriter Danielle Sines from the Impulsive Hearts band; Ellen Mayer, co-author of the Girl, I Guess: Progressive Voter Guide For Chicago; comedian Tyler Snodgrass; and CHIRP DJ Roberto Luzuriaga. The critically acclaimed power pop band Frisbie will perform a song to augment each participant’s tale. Admission is $10, the flinging starts at 8:00 p.m.

I’ve already posted the lineups for tonight and tomorrow night’s International Pop Overthrow showcases at the LiveWire venue on Milwaukee Avenue, and there are a lot good bands to enjoy. Wednesday night opens with Youngstown, Ohio singer-songwriter Johnny Stanec at 8:00 p.m., followed by singer Andrew Robert Palmer, who describes himself on Bandcamp as “a regular guy doing a very small thing.” The other acts Wednesday night are the power pop band Phil Yates and The Affiliates; “intergalactic experimental performance artist” Leisure McCorkle; and the veteran IPO power pop band Rollo Time.

Thursday night’s International Pop Overthrow opens with indie rocker Aaron Williams; and also features Go Time lead vocalist Scott Niekelski, whose band just released another solid album. Chicago power pop band Treeshakers (who list The Hollies and Pezband among their influences) will be on hand; as well as the always fun and energetic The Artist Formally Known As Vince band; and IPO veteran/musician/comedy writer Mike Vanderbilt and The Suburban Garage Sound. See the official International Pop Overthrow website for links to all of the above artists, as well as the full schedule through April 20. 

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Sunday, April 14, 2019

Sunday Papers

Today’s Chicago Tribune offers two takes on the new film Industrial Accident: The Story Of Wax Trax! Records. Jessi Roti’s account centers on the relationship store and indie label owners Dannie Flesher and Jim Nash forged with the city’s gay community via music, while Greg Kot covers the duo’s ability to recognize raw talent and break punk, industrial and new wave artists. The movie was screened last night in Chicago as part of Record Store Day and will be shown in Brooklyn, Toronto, Austin, San Francisco, and Los Angeles in the next two weeks. I still have fond memories of dropping by the Wax Trax! store on Lincoln Avenue on a weekly basis when I lived in the Clark and Fullerton area.

Today’s edition of the Chicago Sun-Times has a report by staff writer Miriam Di Nunzio on this year’s Chicago Blues Festival. The event runs June 7 – June 9 in Millennium Park and will include performances by Charlie Musselwhite with Billy Boy Arnold; Bobby Rush; Mojo Morganfield and Then Mannish Boyz; The Kinsey Report; Bettye LeVette; and Jesse “Guitar” Robinson.

Here’s hoping everyone who ventured out for Record Store Day came home with at least a few of the items on their wish lists. I bought everything I wanted at the Reckless Records location on Madison downtown, and as always, the staff was highly efficient and friendly. So, here’s what I brought home: So Fine - The Warner Bros. Rarities double album by Badfinger; Poppies - Assorted Finery From the First Psychedelic Age, a collection of various artists from the late 1960s; Where The Action Is! - Los Angeles Nuggets, also from the ’60s but featuring better-known acts like Buffalo Springfield, The Doors, The Association, The Electric Prunes, and The Monkees; the “Bohemian Rhapsody”/“I’m In Love With My Car” seven-inch single by Queen on colored vinyl: the 10-inch live recording of “She’s A Rainbow” by The Rolling Stones on colored vinyl; and the double seven-inch single of “Message In A Bottle” by The Police. I also picked up a non-RSD blue vinyl release of Blue Music by local heroes Sunshine Boys while I was watching their performance at Bric A Brac Records.

I bought a copy of the latest issue of Streetwise after checking out Laurie’s Planet Of Sound with some friends on Lincoln Avenue yesterday. It’s a special concert guide edition listing several upcoming shows in the Chicago area. Be sure to pick up a copy from your local Streetwise vendor.

Here’s a toast to all the people going to International Pop Oversnow at LiveWire tonight. Don’t let five inches of snow keep you from seeing some worthy bands. I gave a brief preview of the showcase in my Friday blog. Monday night’s International Pop Overthrow showcase starts with Van Go, a long-time Chicago band whose latest album Everyone Loves You When You’re Gone offers its trademark hard-edged power pop and acerbic lyrics. The world-traveling and always impressive Dave Rave will be joined by Toronto-based multi-genre vocalist Hailee Rose. She loves cats, so undoubtedly she’s cool. Eccentric Chicago rockers The Red Wigglers; the quirky Atlanta-based coed duo Pelicans and Their Allies; and the Greenbrier, TN punk duo I Am Spartacus are also scheduled to perform.

Michael Steven Cohen, a veteran of The Abbeys, Pop Dollys, and Everly Hillbillies, will get International Pop Overthrow going with a solo spot on Tuesday; followed by self-proclaimed, “power pop/rock’n’roll wonder boy” Troy Anderson and his band. Other acts on the bill are the politically-charged and always catchy Rob Schultz Band; The Webstirs, one of Chicago’s best and most adventurous power pop acts; and indie rock/power pop band Drew Neely and The Heroes. Check out the official IPO website for links to all of the above acts, and the full schedule through May 20 at LiveWire.

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Friday, April 12, 2019

Slumgullion

See these guys perform some of the best songs of 2018 at RSD tomorrow.
Photo from the Sunshine Boys Facebook page

Tomorrow is Record Store Day around the world. Best of luck to everyone who’s getting up early to hunt down those one-day-only vinyl releases. Be sure to hang out at your favorite store and celebrate.

Here’s another option to go with yesterday’s post about RSD in-store entertainment in the Chicago area. Bric-A-Brac Records on Diversey will have a 3:00 p.m. live performance by Sunshine Boys, whose Blue Music album was one of 2018’s best releases. Ethers; The Weekend Run Club; Roy Kinsey; Usurfruct; and Surly will also be performing; and the Lost Lake DJs—Sonoroma Chicago, Tim Kinsella, Jenny Pulse, and Jessie Oleson—will be spinning records.

Laurie’s Planet Of Sound has been been my favorite RSD celebrating spots for years, and even though I’m disappointed they’re not having live bands tomorrow, I have faith that the DJs picked by management will be rocking the place. Those DJs are: the single-named employee and WNUR air personality Lou; Melissa “DJ Tainted Love” from BLVD Records/Logan Arcade; rocker and ex-employee Alex White; store owner John Laurie; and employee and Late Bar resident Samorama.

WXRT will be playing albums sides on vinyl tomorrow in honor of Record Store Day. The spins kick off immediately after Saturday Morning Flashback. Longtime XRT listeners will no doubt remember the days when pretty much all the music on the progressive rock station flowed from turntables (and sometimes skipped or got stuck.)

International Pop Overthrow kicks off tonight at 8:00 p.m. at the LiveWire venue on Milwaukee Avenue. Catherine Tecktiel from Magatha Trysty; Magnaphonic; Too Much Saturn; King Mixer (AKA Eric Howell); Gal Gun; and Reaction are scheduled to perform.

The Saturday afternoon showcase features psychedelic guitar slinger Jeremy Morris; Blameless Lake; The Pickpockets; The Francos; Canadian alt rockers Rosa Cora Perry and The Truth Untold; and Kontrolled Kaos. Saturday night’s showcase offers The Jay Goeppner Band; The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club; Enuff Z’nuff; Steve Ramone and The Pensioners; Beyond; and Athanor.

The IPO showcase on Sunday starts at 8:00 p.m. with the acoustic pop/alt rock duo Almond and Olive. The other acts performing that night are indie rock singer-guitarist Christopher Elam; indie pop/rock quartet Arwin; power pop vocalist-guitarist Mark Watson; and the alt rock/grunge trio The Red Moons

Check the International Pop Overthrow website links to most of the above mentioned acts, as well as the entire schedule through Saturday, April 20.

The power pop band Go Time are IPO veterans but they won’t be at LiveWire tomorrow night. They have record release show for their latest effort Midway at Silvie’s on Irving Park Road. Midway finds these guys in top form with hard-hitting, guitar-powered arrangements and Scott Niekelski’s distinctive vocal delivery.

Boston-based alt rock band Guster will be playing “Satellite” and other hits at the Riviera Theatre tomorrow night as part of its Look Alive World Tour Of Most Of America And Parts Of Southern Canada itinerary. It’s a WXRT show.

Chicago area supergroup and amazing vocalists The Flat Five have sold out their show tonight at Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights, their show tomorrow night at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn, and even an October 9 show in Wisconsin.

The Chicago Filmmakers Spring Screenings series continues on April 27 with CFA Out Of The Vault: How We Work, an assortment of short films from the 1970s and ‘80s selected by Abigail Child, Loretta Smith, and JoAnn Elam. The focus will be on women in the workforce. Loretta Smith is expected to attend. On May 4, Michael Glover Smith’s acclaimed film Rendezvous In Chicago will be screened.

Upcoming concerts in April include Dave Davies of The Kinks at SPACE in Evanston in a sold out show on April 20 and at City Winery Chicago on April 21; Graham Parker at City Winery Chicago on April 18; and Todd Rundgren at the Athenaeum Theatre on April 23.

Lifeline Theatre’s current staging of Frances Limoncelli’s adaptation of author Jon Scleszka and artist Lane Smith’s book The Time Warp Trio continues its run through April 20. Shows are at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

RSD AND IPO - In The Know

The 12th Annual Record Store Day takes place around the world this Saturday, and various stores in the Chicago area will be offering a party atmosphere along with stacks of exclusive vinyl. International Pop Overthrow returns to Chicago on Friday night for the first of 12 showcases scheduled through May 20. On Saturday, local music fans might have some tough decisions to make regarding RSD festivities and an afternoon IPO showcase.

International Pop Overthrow festivals are staged in cities in America, Canada, and Europe on an annual basis. For the most part, CFO/Founder David Bash books local acts in each city but out-of-town guests are not unusual. This year, the Chicago festival is being held at the LiveWire venue at Milwaukee Avenue. Catherine Tecktiel from Magatha Trysty kicks things off Friday at 8:00 p.m. Magnaphonic, led by vocalist Marianne Galassini and bassist-vocalist Mike Galassini, has been MIA on the local scene for a few years, so it will be great to see them back on stage playing their irresistible power pop. Too Much Saturn and King Mixer (AKA Eric Howell) are well-regarded IPO veterans, and the other local bands scheduled for Friday night are Gal Gun and Reaction.

The Saturday afternoon showcase is the one that competes with the Record Store Day events. It climaxes with psychedelic guitar slinger Jeremy Morris performing songs from his numerous albums. Prior to his 5:45 set, there will shows by Blameless Lake; The Pickpockets; The Francos; Canadian alt rockers Rosa Cora Perry and The Truth Untold; and Kontrolled Kaos.

Saturday night’s showcase closes with three top notch acts—The Jay Goeppner Band; The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club; and Enuff Z’nuff. Prior to them, there are three bands I’m not familiar with—Steve Ramone and The Pensioners; Beyond; and Athanor.

Check the official International Pop Overthrow website for links to most of the above mentioned acts, as well as the entire schedule through Saturday. April 20.

Val’s Halla in Oak Park once again has a full schedule of live bands for Record Store Day. The acts are vocalist Frankie B.; The Country Doctors; Steve Z; John Connors; Casey McDonough from NRBQ and The Flat Five; Laughing Boys; rhythm and blues singer Gerald McClendon; and the Ellis Clark and Ary Paloma fronted Big Hair Trouble.

Alt rock band whitewolfsonicprincess will be performing outside Vintage Vinyl in Evanston at 10:45, 15 minutes before the store opens. Later, wwsp will be at Squeezbox Books and Records (also in Evanston) at 3:00 p.m.

John San Juan and Tommi Zender, two veterans of tribute shows on the Chicago club scene, will be covering iconic British folksinger Donovan at Squeezebox at 1:30 p.m.

Reckless Records has entertainment scheduled for its new Belmont location—Arthur at 2:00 p.m. and DJ Clent at 3:00 p.m., as well as at its Wicker Park location—Fire-Toolz at 2:00 p.m. and Negative Scanner at 3:00 p.m. Note: The Reckless Records location formerly on Broadway has moved to Belmont.

The April issue of the Illinois Entertainer
and this week’s edition of The Reader have features on Record Store Day. Copies of these free publications can be found in record stores and venues in the downtown and north side areas.

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Friday, April 5, 2019

Slumgullion

The 3rd Annual Alchemy Audio Gear Swap is being held at Fort Knox Studios tomorrow and Sunday. In addition to several vendors offering musical instruments, there will be live music and food trucks. Fort Knox Studios is located at 4256 N. Knox in Chicago.

Power pop singer-songwriter Marshall Crenshaw and roots rock/pop band The Bottle Rockets have a show together at 5:00 p.m. and another at 8:00 p.m. tomorrow at The Old Town School of Folk Music.

Best wishes for a quick recovery to Mick Jagger, who recently underwent successful surgery to replace a heart valve. The Rolling Stones have postponed their upcoming tour until Jagger is well enough to prowl the stadium stages of the world again. Their upcoming compilation Honk (out April 19) features “36 fan favorites and rarities” and there’s a bonus version that offers 10 live songs.

Happy Birthday to Allan Clarke, who served as the lead vocalist for The Hollies from 1962 until his retirement in 2000. (There were a few times in the 1970s when he went AWOL to pursue a solo career.) His distinctive voice can be heard on several Top 40 Hits, including “Look Through Any Window,” “I Can’t Let Go,” “Long Cool Woman,” “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” and “The Air The I Breathe.”

I knew I would miss some major players on my annual April, Rock She Will post. I should have mentioned Dave Davies of The Kinks at SPACE in Evanston in a sold out show on April 20 and at City Winery Chicago on April 21. Graham Parker will be at City Winery Chicago on April 18; and Todd Rundgren will be at the Athenaeum Theatre on April 23.

I’m not sure how the subject came up, but Little Steven Van Zandt recently tweeted his admiration for the original British Invasion band Herman’s Hermits and lead vocalist Peter Noone in particular. You can judge for yourself when Noone brings the latest version of the Hermits to The Arcada in St. Charles on June 9.

Other interesting shows coming up at The Arcada include the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young tribute band Marrakesh Express on June 7; Micky Dolenz from The Monkees on September 22; and Adrian Belew on October 2.

The BBC News Instagram site recently reported that numerous citizens filled the streets in Budapest, Hungary to take part in a Silly Walk Day. The event was inspired by a vintage skit from the Monty Python’s Flying Circus TV show. It’s a safe bet none of them were as funny as Python member John Cleese was in the original bit.

Boston-based alt rock band Guster will be playing “Satellite” and other hits at the Riviera Theatre on Saturday, April 13 as part of its Look Alive World Tour Of Most Of America And Parts Of Southern Canada itinerary. It’s a WXRT show.

International Pop Overthrow - Chicago starts next Friday, April 12 and runs through Saturday, April 20 at LiveWire Lounge on Milwaukee Avenue. This year’s schedule of multiple band showcases is packed with local acts and visitors from around the country. See the website for the full schedule and links to most of the participating artists.

As noted in the Illinois Entertainer, new albums due out this month include King’s Mouth by The Flaming Lips on April 12; Social Cues by Cage The Elephant and Jade Bird by Jade Bird on April 19; and Warp and Woof by Guided By Voices, Stay Around by J.J. Cale, and In The End by The Cranberries on April 26. This month’s issue also the publication’s annual lowdown on all the Record Store Day releases.

Fans of rock stars and legendary baseball players can combine those interests in a single trip to Cooperstown, NY. The Fennimore Art Museum’s Herb Ritt: The Rock Portraits exhibit runs through Labor Day, and Cooperstown is also the home of The Baseball Hall Of Fame.

Lifeline Theatre’s current staging of Frances Limoncelli’s adaptation of author Jon Scleszka and artist Lane Smith’s book The Time Warp Trio continues its run through April 20. Shows are at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Reckless Records store at 3126 N. Broadway is moving after having been at that location for 30 years. Its new home will be at 929 W. Belmont near the Red Line stop. Reckless Records also has stores at 1379 N. Milwaukee Avenue and downtown at 26 E. Madison. All three are recommended for you Record Store Day shopping on April 13.

I’ll bet the whale is a basso profundo. The Chicago Opera Theater is staging Moby Dick at the Harris Theater on Thursday, April 25 and Sunday, April 28. Based on Herman Melville’s novel, it features music by Jake Heggie and libretto by Gene Scheer. Moby Dick will be conducted by Lydia Yankovskaya and directed by Kristine McIntire.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Incoming

The new documentary The Center Of Nowhere,  about the rich but undiscovered music scene in Springfield, Missouri, will be screened tomorrow night at the Music Box Theatre on Chicago’s north side. The film, which was written and directed by veteran journalist Dave Hoekstra and co-produced with Jamie Ceaser, focuses on roots rock. The Skeletons, Brenda Lee, Dave Alvin, Robbie Fulks, Syd Straw, Merle haggard, and Jonathan Richman are among the acts featured.

Fee Waybill will lead The Tubes into St. Charles tomorrow night for a performance of the band’s The Completion Backward Principle album at The Arcada Theatre. Chicago-based power pop masters Off Broadway are the opening act.

The latest edition of JBTV’s Electric Feel Indie Rock Dance Party comes to Beauty Bar Chicago this Friday, August 5. JBTV on-air personality Greg Corner will serves as host. Beauty Bar Chicago is located at 1444 W. Chicago.

Lily Hiatt, daughter of John, and an engaging performer in her own right, will be at FitzGerald’s this coming Friday, April 5. I had the honor of meeting Lily Hiatt at Durty Nellie’s in Palatine when she was the opening act for Old 97’s.

Boston-based alt rock band Guster will be playing “Satellite” and other hits at the Riviera Theatre this Saturday, April 13 as part of its Look Alive World Tour Of Most Of America And Parts Of Southern Canada itinerary. It’s a WXRT show.

A recent blurb in the Chicago Tribune noted that We Will Rock You, a new musical hoping to cash in on the success of the film Bohemian Rhapsody, will kick off a tour on September 3 Winnipeg, Manitoba. From there, it moves on to New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

WISHYOUAWISH - The Hollies’ Compositions By Others, 1965-1968

Unlike the previous various artists releases Sing Hollies In Reverse on Eggbert Records and Re-Evolution: - FdM Sings The Hollies on the Fruits de Mer label, WISHYOUAWISH is not a Hollies tribute album. At least not in the sense of current acts contributing brand new cover versions. (Sing and Re-Evolution are both great, mind you.) For WISHYOUAWISH, the indie label Teensville Records collected already recorded efforts from the mid-1960s. You won’t find hits like “Look Through Any Window,” “I Can’t Let Go,” or “Bus Stop” because the focus here is on material composed by The Hollies writing team of Graham Nash, Allan Clarke, and Tony Hicks.

That still leaves a lot of brilliant songs. The international collection of artists on WISHYOUAWISH range from well known to obscure; with the stars coming through as expected and several unknowns offering pleasant surprises. This might seem like blasphemy coming from an avid Hollies fan, but I’ve always felt The Searchers’ take on “Have You Ever Loved Somebody?” has more zip than the original LP version. The Everly Brothers’ 1966 album Two Yanks In England featured them covering Hollies originals with the band’s members supporting them in the studio. Their renditions of “Like Every Time Before” and “Signs That Will Never Change” on WISHYOUAWISH shine with those patented Everly Brothers’ harmonies.

A few of the covers haven’t held up well over the decades and might have been too schmaltzy even in their day. Nicky James’s “Would You Believe” pales in comparison to the orchestrated version on the Hollies’ Butterfly album as well as the more rock-oriented version Allan Clarke recorded on a solo effort. The Wildlife sugarcoats the hard-edged blue collar tale of survival “Hard Hard Year,” and The Sidekicks can’t do much with the silly “Fifi The Flea.”

On the plus side, Chicago’s own The Buckinghams rock out on “I’ve Been Wrong,” The Electric Prunes take “I’ve Got A Way Of My Own” into the garage, and Dana Gillespie turns in a sultry rendition of “Pay You Back With Interest.” Keith of “98.6” fame also had a modest hit with the exotic “Tell Me To My Face” and The Strangers recreate the catchy and flirtatious “Step Inside.” Other highlights include Mary McCarthy’s “You Know He Did,” The Berries’ “Baby, That’s All,” and “Put Yourself In My Place” from Episode Six.

“Go Away,” a song The Hollies wrote but never recorded sounds like 1950s do-wop in the hands of The Mirage, and there’s even more fun when the Brazilian duo Deny e Dino perform a rollicking version of “Stop Stop Stop,” translated to “Pare Pare Pare” in their native tongue. “Coming From The Ground” is another composition The Hollies let someone else record, but in this case, Graham Nash and Allan Clarke (and possibly other Hollies) joined in on the recording session. This psychedelic gem was released by the Swedish band The Lee Kings, and would have fit in perfectly on Butterfly.

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Monday, April 1, 2019

April, Rock She Will

April is always an adventurous month in the Chicago area, and that holds true for 2019 even with C2E2 and the CHIRP Record Fair moving to March and May respectively. Here’s a quick look at what to expect. I’m sure I’ve missed some worthy events, but I’ll keep watching social media and the local press and posting April updates.

Any month that kicks off with Mott The Hoople’s first Chicago concert in 45 years has to be considered outstanding. Ian Hunter, Morgan Fisher, and Ariel Bender—the heart of the U.K. band’s 1974 lineup—will be at the Chicago Theatre this Wednesday, April 3.

A recently restored print of the 1968 BBC special The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus will be shown in select theaters today through Wednesday. The Beatles and The Who are among the other top notch English bands featured in the show. See the website for a theatre near you.

If you think you’re in love with eccentric British rocker Robyn Hitchcock, this has been an exciting few months for you. He’s back for another gig in the Chicago area, this time on April 3 at SPACE in Evanston.

Fee Waybill will lead The Tubes into St. Charles this Thursday night for a performance of the band’s The Completion Backward Principle album. Chicago-based power pop masters Off Broadway are the opening act.

Lily Hiatt, daughter of John, and an engaging performer in her own right, will be at FitzGerald’s this coming Friday, April 5.

Power pop master/singer-songwriter Marshall Crenshaw and roots rock/pop band The Bottle Rockets have two shows in one day at The Old Town School of Folk Music this coming Saturday, April 6.

Record Store Day returns April 13, offering limited-edition vinyl releases in every known genre of music. Major acts coming out with must-have treasures include The Rolling Stones; Queen; James Cotton; Badfinger; David Bowie; Herbie Hancock; Cheap Trick; Fleetwood Mac; Aretha Franklin; Eric Clapton; Al Green; L7; Emmylou Harris; Jethro Tull; and Elton John. Watch for in-store performances at Reckless Records, Laurie’s Planet Of Sound; Val’s Halla, and other record stores throughout the area.

International Pop Overthrow - Chicago starts Friday, April 12 and runs through Saturday, April 20 at its brand new location, the LiveWire Lounge on Milwaukee Avenue. This year’s schedule of multiple band showcases is packed with favorites like Three Hour Tour; Van Go; The Jeremy Band; The Spindles; Enuff Z-nuff; The Injured Parties; The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club; Dave Rave; Scott Niekelski from Go Time; Mike Vanderbilt; The Webstirs; Michael Steven Cohen; The Unswept; The Artist Formally Known As Vince; Collectors; Thrift Store Halo; Catherine Tecktiel; Magnaphonic; King Mixer; Rose Cora Perry and The Truth Untold; and The Rob Schultz Band.

Chicago area supergroup and amazing vocalists Flat Five will be at FitzGerald’s on April 13.

Singer-songwriter and New Pornographers member Neko Case is playing at The Vic Theatre on April 26 and 27.

The Social Act will be performing at Martyrs’ on Friday, April 26. Soul Honey Records and Liz Toussaint will also be on the bill that night.

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Friday, March 29, 2019

Slumgullion

Congratulations to Roxy Music; Def Leppard; The Zombies; Janet Jackson; The Cure; Radiohead; and Stevie Nicks on being this year’s inductees to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The ceremony is being held tonight in Brooklyn. One highlight will surely be when The Zombies are presented by Bangles vocalist-guitarist and lifelong British Invasion fan Susanna Hoffs. HBO will have an official broadcast on April 27.

Roxy Music’s eternally suave lead vocalist Bryan Ferry will bring his 2019 tour to our area for a show at the Chicago Theatre on August 1.

Tickets went on sale today for Andrew Bird with Madison Cunningham at the Chicago Theatre on July 16; and the Fleetwood Mac tribute act Tusk at City Winery Chicago on April 7.

Congratulations to my nephew Joe Flamm on his new modestly titled website Joe Flamm is just a chef from Chicago. The site covers how he won Top Chef Season 15 on the Bravo Channel; his current gig as the Executive Chef at Spiaggia; previous restaurants he’s worked at; his world travels; family; and friends.

Jenny Lewis will be showcasing songs from her new On The Line album at the Riviera Theatre tomorrow night. Peter Himmelman will be performing at The Old Town School Of Folk Music tomorrow night. His “Susan I Owe You An Apology” is one of the most poignant songs ever recorded about appreciating what you have in life. Other gigs coming up next week at that venue include Adrian Belew with special guest Saul Zonana on Thursday; and Marshall Crenshaw and The Bottle Rockets on Saturday.

A recently restored print of the 1968 BBC special The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus will be shown in select theaters next Monday through Wednesday. Chicago area theaters screening the event include the CMX Old Orchard Cinebistro in Skokie; Marcus Gurney Mills Cinema in Gurnee; and the Regal City North 14 in Chicago.

Mott The Hoople, with Ian Hunter, Morgan Fisher, and Ariel Bender onboard, will bring their ’74 Concert Tour to the Chicago Theatre next Wednesday, April 3. According to Joshua Miller’s full-page article in today’s Chicago Sun-Times, it’s the band’s first show here in 45 years, and one of the only eight cities it will play on its current American tour. The Chicago Tribune’s Gerg Kot also posted an interesting article about Mott The Hoople today.

Also on April 3, Robyn Hitchcock will be rocking tunes like “So You Think You’re In Love,” “Balloon Man,” and “Adventure Rocket Ship” at his sold out show at SPACE in Evanston. Later next week, Lily Hiatt, daughter of John, will be at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn on Friday.

Chris Jones reports in today’s Chicago Tribune that Four Chords and a Gun, a play about The Ramones working in the recording studio with Phil Spector, is coming to the Broadway Playhouse in Chicago on May 18.

Lifeline Theatre’s current staging of Frances Limoncelli’s adaptation of author Jon Scleszka and artist Lane Smith’s book The Time Warp Trio is running through April 20. Shows are at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. In between shows, kids can enjoy a production of Lifeline Theatre’s Stories Come Alive! series.

The next Rock ’N Roll Ala Mode karaoke event at Christie’s Dairy Delights in Palatine takes place next Wednesday night. There is a suggested donation of $10.

I had a fun time last Saturday at the C2E2 convention in McCormick Place and was able to hand a Broken Hearted Toy button to David Tennant of Doctor Who, Jenny Jones, and Broadchurch fame as we talked during an autograph session. He was extremely friendly and outgoing with all the fans. I mentioned how much I enjoyed his podcast with current Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker.

Fee Waybill will lead The Tubes into The Arcada in St. Charles next Friday night for a performance of the band’s The Completion Backward Principle album. Chicago-based power pop masters Off Broadway are the opening act that night.

I was sad to hear that The English Beat’s “Ranking Roger” Charlery has passed away. He and fellow vocalist Dave Wakeling provided powerful vocals to go with the band’s irresistible ska rhythms. I still remember the excitement of listening to The English Beat’s first album.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Incoming

The Social Act, one of the first local bands I interviewed as a cub reporter for the Illinois Entertainer, will be performing at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue on Friday, April 26. Soul Honey Records and Liz Toussaint will also be on the bill that night. Show time is 8:00 p.m. The Social Act founding member Ellis Clark was part of one of Chicago’s first punk bands, Epicycle, as well as the indie rock group The Handcuffs. He’s also a solo recording artist.

Great Moments In Vinyl, a rotating collective of local musicians who pay tribute to iconic albums, will be covering Paul Simon’s Graceland tomorrow night, March 28 at Martyrs’.

Lifeline Theatre’s current staging of Frances Limoncelli’s adaptation of author Jon Scleszka and artist Lane Smith’s book The Time Warp Trio is running through April 20. Shows are at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. In between shows, kids can enjoy a production of Lifeline Theatre’s Stories Come Alive! Series.

Acclaimed photographer Ethan Russell has a 244 page book titled Photographs: A Monograph available on KickStarter that’s already exceeded its $98,144 goal. His accomplishments include being the only photographer to have his work used on album covers by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. He’s also snapped iconic shots of The Who, Linda Ronstadt, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison. The Kickstarter perks range from a signed Thank You card and envelope including a grouped photograph of John Lennon, The Who, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for a $20 pledge, to the deluxe book (signed) and Clamshell; 30 x 40 platinum print of Keith Richards and other items for pledging $8,500.

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Slumgullion

Photo from the C2E2 Facebook page.

C2E2 has returned to the Chicago area for a weekend run at McCormick Place on the lakefront. This year’s celebrity guests include Paul Rudd, Ming-Na Wen, David Tennant, Dave Mustaine, Alicia Silverman, Colin Donnell, John Barrowman, Summer Glau, and Svengoolie, as well as several popular artists and writers. It’s like a huge Halloween party where fans dress up as their favorite heroes and villains, and you can buy action figures, posters, t-shirts, comic books graphic novels and all sorts of imaginative collector’s items.

Tickets went on sale today for Squeeze at Chicago Theatre on August 31; Roseanne Cash and Ry Cooder at Chicago Theatre on June 18; Flat Five at Hideout on June 2; Ben Harper and Innocent Criminals at Huntington Bank Pavilion on August 17; L7 at Metro on May 31; and NRBQ at Hideout on June 21 and 22.

Avant-garde alt rock band whitewolfsonicprincess will share a bill with post-punk/groovy jazz band Ex Maquina! at the Chimera Loft LLC in Evanston tomorrow night. Showtime is 7:00 p.m.

Penn and Teller will be bringing their astounding tricks and acerbic humor to The Chicago Theatre on November 8.

The Imperial Sound will be performing some new material tomorrow night at Montrose Saloon, along with those classy soul, jazz, and rock tunes from its stellar debut effort The New AM. And on a somehow related note, veteran rockers The New Duncan Imperials have a new EP titled Hunny Bunny coming out on April 6.

Stray Cats 40, the first album from The Stray Cats in 26 years, comes out May 24, and they’ll be starting an American tour that will not take them to Chicago, in August.

The Center Of Nowhere, a new documentary about the fertile but undiscovered music scene in Springfield, Missouri, will be screened on Thursday, April 4 at the Music Box Theatre on Chicago’s north side. The film, which was written and directed by veteran journalist Dave Hoekstra and co-produced with Jamie Ceaser, focuses on roots rock. The Skeletons, Brenda Lee, Dave Alvin, Robbie Fulks, Syd Straw, Merle haggard, and Jonathan Richman are among the acts featured.

Fastball, of “The Way” fame, recently played its first UK gig in 20 years, in London. The colorful gig poster depicts the wandering couple walking away from their broken-down car. I'd like a copy.

Durty Nellie’s has made a quick comeback after a fire severely damaged the Palatine music venue a few months ago. It wasn’t open in time for its annual St. Patrick’s Day bash, but upcoming events are already being scheduled, including Local H on June 14.

The Corky Siegel Chamber Blues with Lynne Jovdah takes place next Sunday, March 31 at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

The Chicago Philharmonic, led by composer and conductor Tom Nazziola, will provide a live soundtrack for a trio of vintage silent films at 4:00 p.m. this Sunday at the North Shore Center in Skokie. The Silent Sherlock event will present Buston Keaton’s Sherlock, Jr. as the main feature, along with Fadeaway with Koko the Clown and Sure-locked Holmes with Felix the Cat. Tickets range from $25 to $75.

Jenny Lewis will be performing songs from her latest album On The Line next Saturday night, March 30 at the Riviera Theatre on Chicago’s north side.

Great Moments In Vinyl, a rotating collective of local musicians who pay tribute to iconic albums, will be covering Paul Simon’s Graceland next Thursday, March 28 at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue.

Singer-guitarist Christopher David is an author as well as a member of the Chicago band Magatha Trysty and a prolific solo artist. His new, “hard R-rated” novel The Hook Slips is now available on Amazon.

Theatre Nebula’s production of the Duncan Sheik/Steven Sater musical Spring Awakening continues its run at Cutting Hall in Palatine through this weekend. Kevin Wiczer directs a cast of 13, with choreography by Kristine Burdi.

More exclusive vinyl releases have been added to this year’s Record Store Day list, including efforts by Peter Gabriel, Generation X, John Hiatt and his daughter Lily Hiatt, L7, and Queen. If you haven’t checked the official website in a while, it’s worth another look.

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Incoming

Sharon Van Etten will be at Lollapalooza. Photo from her Facebook page.

Tickets went on sale for Lollapalooza 2019 this past Tuesday and the official line-up was announced yesterday. Doing things in that order might sound backwards, but not in Lolla land. The annual summer festival always draws enough of the hottest names in popular music to make buying tickets blindly in advance worth the risk. This year, the acts include The Strokes, Sharon Van Etten, Tame Impala, Jade Bird, Janelle Monae, Kacey Musgraves, Fitz and The Tantrums, and Gary Clark Jr. The festival returns to Chicago an August 1 – 4 run in Grant Park.

Longtime Chicago area musicians Mike Cohen and Phil Angotti will be joining forces tomorrow night (3-22) at Wishbone North at 3300 N. Lincoln Avenue. Cohen promised on Facebook that “We’ll be singing some Everly-centric material,” which makes sense since he’s a member of the Everly Hillbillies tribute band. Angotti stated they’ll also be covering Buddy Holly and The Beatles. The show starts at 7:00 p.m.

The Zombies will be among the special guests at this year’s Fest For Beatles Fans - New York. It would be great if the newly inducted Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame band is also at Fest For Beatles Fans – Chicago, but I’m not counting on it. The Big Apple version sometimes gets cool things that the Midwest doesn’t, like a recreation of the Cavern Club a few years back.

The Imperial Sound will bring its classy blend of soul, jazz, and rock to Montrose Saloon this Saturday night. The band’s debut effort The New AM ranked as one of the best releases of 2018.

Here comes the son. Dhani Harrison, the only child of George and Olivia Harrison and a successful musician in his own right, has been named as the opening act of Jeff Lynne’s ELO Tour. Lynne was a member of The Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. His ELO tour comes to Chicago at the United Center on July 27.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Doctor Doctor—Almost

Somewhere in the Brokenhearted Toy archives there’s another Doctor Who-related post named Doctor Doctor. It explores how David Tennant, then the current actor playing the lead role in the long-running British sci-fi series, was being called the best Doctor since the legendary Tom Baker. When Tennant later announced he was leaving the show, it was hard to see how anyone could follow him.

Luckily, his successor Matt Smith would bring his own distinctive style, and become a social media sensation, along with The Ponds, played by Karen Gillan and Arthur Darville. Smith’s take on The Doctor was as different from Tennant’s as Tennant’s was from Baker’s, and yet it was easy to believe that all three were the same character. Smith and Tennant generated great chemistry when they joined forces on the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who Special Day Of The Doctor.

Both actors have gone on to successful roles in films and television. Tennant has appeared in the Jessica Jones series and starred in British and American versions of the mystery drama Broadchurch. More recently, he portrayed religious fanatic John Knox in the Mary Queen Of Scots movie. He now has a podcast where he’s chatted with the current Doctor Jodie Whittaker and his former companion on the show, Catherine Tate, as well as celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg. Matt Smith has portrayed Prince Philip in The Crown, and also played avant garde photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the indie film Mapplethorpe.

If all had gone as scheduled, fans attending C2E2 at McCormick Place in Chicago this weekend would have been in for a treat because Smith and Tennant were among the celebrity guests. Unfortunately, I just discovered tonight that Smith has cancelled, so their joint photo op session and panel discussion will have to wait for another time and place.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Nash Pays Homage To ‘The Other Kids’ While Doing Fine Without Them

Photo of Shane Fontayne (left) and Graham Nash from Nash’s Facebook page.

Before Graham Nash was even half way through his performance this past Sunday night at the Athenaeum Theatre, some guy yelled a request for “Chicago.”

“Do you think I’d come to this city and not play that song?” Nash asked. “Patience, my dear.”

While it was obvious he would save “Chicago” for almost last, the rest of the concert was not as predictable. Nash was once again joined by Shane Fontayne, a versatile guitarist-vocalist who’s also toured with Sting and Bruce Springsteen, but unlike his other recent shows in our area, there was a third party on stage. Keyboards player-vocalist Todd Caldwell is also a familiar companion for Nash, having toured with Crosby, Stills and Nash in the past.

Caldwell and Fontayne enabled Nash to recreate the three part harmonies he perfected with his supergroup mates, whom he described at one point during the show as, “the other kids.” “Marrakesh Express,” “Pre-road Downs,” “Wasted On The Way,” and the rarely performed “Carried Away” were delivered with impeccable singing. They also pulled off a spirited version of Stills’ “Love The One You’re With” as well as his breathtaking “Find The Cost Of Freedom.” That was followed immediately by Neil Young’s “Ohio,” which was driven by Fontayne’s ferocious strumming and climaxed with Nash leading the crowd in a chant of, “Four dead in Ohio.”

Fontayne also added extra power to “Wind On The Water,” “Cathedral,” and “I Used To Be A King.” The quieter moments came on “Golden Days” from Nash’s 2016 solo effort This Path Tonight, “Simple Man,” and “Sleep Song.” Nash mentioned the recent Joni 75 all-star birthday concert (and upcoming film) for Joni Mitchell while introducing his exquisite love song to her, “Our House.” There was only one Hollies song this time out, a well-crafted take on “Bus Stop.” I’d still love to see Nash come to terms with the Hollies portion of his career, perhaps devoting an entire concert or album to reworked versions of his best material with them.

As for “Chicago,” it served as a rousing first encore, bringing the crowd to its feet to sing along on, “We can change the world.” After a gorgeous rendition of Buddy Holly’s “Everyday,” Nash had everyone joining in again on “Teach Your Children,” which he dedicated to the high school activists campaigning to end gun violence.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Incoming

All three original members of The Stray Cats will kick off a 40th Anniversary Tour on June 21 and will continue through August 31. Brian Setzer, Slim Jim Phantom, and Lee Rocker don’t land on American soil until an August 3 date in Atlantic City NJ, and they’ll follow that with stops in New York City; Vienna, VA; Huber Heights, OH; Grand Rapids, MI; Welch, MN; Salt Lake City, UT, and San Diego and Los Angeles in CA. Hard to imagine why Chicago isn’t included. At least we’ll be able to buy the new album The Stray Cats have recorded—their first in 26 years. Stray Cats 40 comes out May 24.

Phil Angotti, one of Chicago’s best tribute acts, will be joining fellow musician (and presumably fellow Beatles fan) John Bowes for some ‘70s McCartney tunes tomorrow night (March 19) at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue. The rock show starts at eight, so don’t be late. In previous shows, Angotti has honored The Beatles, Elvis Costello, The Zombies, The Kinks, and other acts.

Lollapalooza 2019 tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. and there’s a good chance they’ll sell out almost immediately again without any of the performing acts being named. We do know there will be over 170 acts performing on eight different stages. This year’s event runs August 1 through August 4.

Tickets go on sale this Friday morning for The Squeeze Songbook 2019 show at the Chicago Theatre on August 31. Other cities on the U.S. tour include New York, Dallas, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. It looks like it’s being billed as The Difford And Tilbrook Songbook for the European dates later in the fall. By either name, it’s bound to be a great time.

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Friday, March 15, 2019

Slumgullion

First, a hearty welcome to Graham Nash, who’s in town for a concert this Sunday night at The Athenaeum Theatre on Chicago’s north side. It’s a benefit for the Old Town School Of Folk Music’s music education programs. He’ll be performing songs from his entire career, with help from guitarist-vocalist Shane Fontayne and keyboards player-vocalist Todd Caldwell.

St. Patricks’s Day is this Sunday but the entire weekend will be filled with celebrations around town. The Irish American Heritage center on Chicago’s northwest side will be rocking Saturday with live music, dance, food and drinks, children’s activities, an art gallery and more from 1:00 p.m. to midnight.

Singer-songwriter William Steffey has a release party tonight for his latest solo effort Reality Jockey at the Esquina venue at 4602 N. Western in Chicago. The album is available on CD, vinyl, and digital.

How soon will Morrissey be performing at the Ravinia Festival? Pretty close to now. He’s one of the recently announced artists scheduled for the summer-long series of outdoor concerts in Highland Park, IL. Ringo Starr and his AllStar Band will share a double bill with The Beach Boys, and other shows include Sting; Ramsey Lewis; Sarah McLachlan; John Prine; Buddy Guy with Blues Traveler and Shemekia Copeland; Tony Bennett; and Lyle Lovett and his Large Band.

Speaking of Morrissey, he also has a run on Broadway coming up at the beginning of May, and a new album called California Son that features him covering songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Season EIGHT of Asian Pop-Up Cinema is underway, and will feature contemporary Asian films with English subtitles at AMC River East 21 and a few other locations through April 24.

The 22nd Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival runs through April 4 at the Gene Siskel Film Center. The Jewish Film Festival runs through this Sunday March 17, with screenings at various venues, including Arclight Cinema, Cinemark, and Music Box Theatre.

Girl with the guitar says all right for British Invasion band. The Zombies have announced on social media Susanna Hoffs will present them when they’re inducted into the The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame on March 29. Hoffs is a perfect choice considering the major influence bands like The Zombies, The Beatles, and The Hollies have had on The Bangles. By the way, my opening sentence to this bit is a reference to Michael Quercio’s “Girl With The Guitar” with The Three O’Clock. It’s said to be a tribute to Hoffs.

The Juliana Hatfield Three has a spring tour coming up in support of her new album Weird that kicks off with four dates in the U.K. before moving on to America. The stateside gigs include a double bill with Liz Phair at the Out Of Space 2019 event presented by SPACE and Temperance Beer Company in Evanston, IL on June 22. The Juliana Hatfield Three will also be in Evanston on June 20 for a solo show at Out Of Space 2019.

According to a Brad Elvis Facebook post, The Handcuffs have just a few more recording sessions to go before they’ll be ready to mix their next album. Looking forward to it.

Theatre Nebula’s production of the Duncan Sheik/Steven Sater musical Spring Awakening hcontinues its run at Cutting Hall in Palatine through March 24.

The Chicago Philharmonic, led by composer and conductor Tom Nazziola, will provide a live soundtrack for a trio of vintage silent films at 4:00 p.m. on March 24 at the North Shore Center in Skokie. The Silent Sherlock event will present Buston Keaton’s Sherlock, Jr. as the main feature, along with Fadeaway with Koko the Clown and Sure-locked Holmes with Felix the Cat.

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy has gig coming up next Friday at The Vic on Chicago’s north side.

Cinema/Chicago will present the CINEYOUTH FESTIVAL featuring young filmmakers from around the world from April 26 through 28 at Music Box Theatre on Southport

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

He Comes To Chicago As He Pleases

Graham Nash has been a regular visitor to the Chicago area over the past few years. He’s performed at The Arcada in St. Charles, City Winery Chicago, and The Old Town School of Folk Music, as well as a gig in Skokie that was the only one of his recent tours I missed. His show coming up this Sunday at the Athenaeum Theatre on Chicago’s north side is a benefit for the Old Town School Of Folk Music’s music education programs. According to an article in the Asbury Park Press by Alex Biese (and linked to Nash’s official Facebook page), his current touring band consists of guitarist-vocalist Shane Fontayne and keyboards player-vocalist Todd Caldwell.

Nash has already formed a musical bond with Fontayne, a veteran of tours with Sting and Bruce Springsteen. He and Fontayne crafted gorgeous harmonies together on the concerts mentioned above, and they also write songs together. Caldwell’s resume includes working with Crosby, Stills and Nash. It seems likely the addition of a third player will improve the already impressive team of Nash and Fontayne. This Sunday’s show will be a couple hours long, with an intermission dividing two separate sets. Nash has been including a few Hollies songs in his shows during the past few years, and it would be great to hear him delve even deeper into the earliest days of his stellar career.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Incoming

Singer-songwriter William Steffey’s 12th solo album Reality Jockey is now available on CD, vinyl, and digital. He has a release party coming up this Friday at the Esquina venue at 4602 N. Western in Chicago. Admission is free and there will be food, drinks, and a raffle. In my review of a previous Steffey effort, Love And Armageddon, I praised the well-crafted pop of “This Show Must Go On” and noted that “Had To Pay” brings to mind Chris Stamey and Crowded House.

New York alt rock veteran Karen Haglof has just released her third solo effort, a 14 track album titled Tobiano. Mitch Easter of Let’s Active fame and Peter Holsapple from The dB’s are among the guest musicians, and Easter mixed the album. Bassist-backing vocalist Steve Almaas played throughout Tobiano and served as producer; CP Roth played drums and piano. As on her 2016 effort Perseverance and Grace, Haglof takes an off-kilter but inviting approach to melodic roots rock songs. I’m hoping to do a more extensive review in the future.

Chicago-based indie Preserve Records is presenting a label showcase at Montrose Saloon next Monday night starting at 8:00 p.m. Friends Of The Bog, the folk-oriented band that played a huge role in creating Preserve Records a little over a year ago, will be performing. Nire Nah, Hal Baum, Pontac, Vender and The Cobras, and To Do List are also scheduled to play at this free event.

As reported by Chris Jones in a recent edition of the Chicago Tribune, a Cubs musical titled Miracle - A Musical 108 Years In The Making is coming soon to the Royal George Theatre at 1641 N. Halsted Avenue. According to lead producer William Marovitz, Miracle celebrates the relief and exuberance long-time fans felt when the Cubs won the World Series in 2016. Judging from the drunken Cubs fans I’ve seen stumbling onto the Metra Northwest line at the Irving Park stop on summer nights, A Musical 108 Beers In The Making might be a more apt subtitle. Seriously, this does sound like a fun show, especially since the Cubs have agreed to allow Marovitz to use official footage from the team’s championship year.

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