Thursday, January 31, 2019

Incoming

I’ve already purchased a ticket to the George Harrison Birthday Tribute Concert coming up on February 23 at Martyrs’ to make sure I don’t miss this annual event. Local musicians often warn fans to buy tickets to a show because it might sell out, but in this case, it’s not hype. Ellis Clark, a founding member of Epicycle and Social Act, will once again serve as host, along with Ary Jeebie, lead vocalist from the garage/rockabilly band Amazing Heeby Jeebies.

Other scheduled performers include Ken Mottet; Clar Monaco/Sandalwood Sitar; Constantine; Greg Jackson Combs; Phoenix; Frankie B; The Unswept; Gerald McClendan; Robin and Jenny Bieneman; The Handcuffs, The Unswept; Gunner Cleemann; Tom Linsk; Southside Exiles; The Fluffers; The Beyond; and Scott Williams. In previous years, the performances have been first rate, and there’s a genuine atmosphere of peace and harmony that George himself would (does?) love. Martyrs’ is located at 3855 N. Lincoln Avenue.

The Our Music Institute (OMI) is having an opening reception tomorrow night from 6:30 to 8:30 at 400 Central Avenue in Northfield. The new school and live music agency was formed by Michael Poupko, a director and teacher at the North Shore Music Institute, and will serve Winnetka, Northfield, Glenview, Kenilworth, Willamette, Glencoe, and Highland Park. OMI’s motto is “Our Community, Our Music, Our Education.”

Rendezvous In Chicago, director Michael Glover Smith’s third feature film, kicks off a four-day run at the Gene Siskel Film Center next Friday. Smith will be on hand for an audience discussion at that screening, as well as the ones on Saturday afternoon, Monday evening, and Wednesday evening. Rendezvous In Chicago, which features Clare Cooney, Matthew Sherbach, Nina Ganet, and Rashaad Hall, was the Audience Choice Winner at the Adirondack Film Festival, and was the Best Comedy Winner at the Strasburg Film Festival.

The Wire venue in Berwyn will bring together five strangely named bands with different approaches to off-kilter rock tomorrow night with Deepspacepilots; Discoveries of the American Scientific; Umbra and The Vulcan Siege; Dead Freddie; and The Thin Cherries. The doors to this adventure open at 9:00 p.m.

Ken Stringfellow has a solo show coming up in Chicago next Thursday, February 7 at Gunhed Studios. He’ll be performing songs and spinning tales about being a founding member of The Posies, performing with R.E.M. and Big Star, and other elements of his extensive musical career. Gunhed Studios is located at 2941 W. Belmont; tickets range from $25 to $100.

Read more...

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

And Everywhere There Was Song And Celebration

Joni Mitchell has been making a steady recovery since suffering an aneurysm in 2015. Certainly, the music she created—from gorgeous folk to adventurous jazz—remains as vital and influential as ever. On February 7, her fans can watch an all-star tribute concert that was filmed last November at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration will play for that one night only in movie theaters throughout Canada and the United States.

Mitchell was sitting in the front row at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion as Graham Nash; James Taylor; Norah Jones; Kris Kristofferson; Diana Krall; Chaka Khan; Cesar Castro and Xochi Flores; Glen Hansard; Emmylou Harris; Seal; Rufus Wainwright; Brandi Carlile; and Los Lobos with Marisoul joined together to celebrate her 75th birthday. The film will be screened at Music Box Theatre and AMC River East 21 in Chicago, as well as at theaters in Lincolnshire, Vernon Hills, South Barrington, Addison, Rosemont, Crystal Lake, and other Chicago suburbs.

In related news, a collection of Joni Mitchell photographs taken over several years by Rowland Scherman, Patrick Harbron, Jay Blakesberg, Norman Seeff, Joel Bernstein, Graham Nash, Guido Harari, Henry Diltz, David Gahr, and Ken Regan will be featured in an exhibit at LeeAnn Brook Fine Art in Nevada City, CA, in collaboration with the Morrison Hotel Gallery. The opening reception this Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. will include Diltz and Bernstein as special guests. The exhibit runs through February 28.

Norman Seeff’s hardcover book Joni: The Joni Mitchell Sessions came out in December, 2018. His photos graced the covers of Mitchell’s Hejira and Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter albums, and he’s also known for his iconic photographs of Ray Charles, Patti Smith, and Carly Simon.

Read more...

Friday, January 25, 2019

Slumgullion

All the way from hiatus. Tickets went on sale today for the Mott The Hoople ’74 concert featuring Ian Hunter, Morgan Fisher, and Ariel Bender at Chicago Theatre on April 3. The tour will mark the 45th anniversary of band’s The Hoople and Live albums, and will start in England.

The Imperial Sound, a Chicago-based sextet that mixed jazz, blues, rock, and a dash of vintage supper club ambience on its very fun debut effort The New AM, has a gig tomorrow night at Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights on January 26. A perfect choice for northwest suburbanites hesitant to drive into Chicago on such a cold wintry night. Plus, we should encourage this new venue to bring more Chicago-area acts out our way.

The Bangles will be part of the 80s Weekend #7 event taking place tomorrow night at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. OMD, The Flirts, Jody Watley, and Banarama are also among the acts who’ll be performing.

Chicago Filmmakers will present Telesonic 9000 with live music by Dominick Gray tomorrow night. Gray will be performing on synchronized drums as found footage is shown on the screen. Chicago Filmmakers is located at 5720 N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago.

Congratulations to UK indie vinyl-only label Fruits de Mer on its 10th anniversary of bringing authentic garage, psychedelic and prog rock to the universe. I’ve reviewed a number of their releases over the past few years, based on the promo CDs they send out to rock critics and publications.

The 22nd Annual Fillet Of Solo continues this weekend at the Lifeline Theatre at 6912 N. Glenwood in Chicago. The event will offer performances by Laura Biagi, Anne Purky, GeNarrations OUTSpoken!, Sweat Girls, and Tellin’ Tales Theatre featuring Tekki Lomnicki.

Music Box Theatre on Southport will present Deconstructing The Beatles: The Birth Of The Beatles on Tuesday, January 29 at 7:00 p.m. Composer/producer and Beatles historian Scott Freiman will discuss the iconic band’s earliest days and their experiences in Hamburg.

Vocalist Colin Blunstone of The Zombies’ kicks off an East Coast tour of the U.S. in Pawling, NY next Thursday, January 31. Other stops on the tour include Philadelphia; Portland, MN; Boston; Washington, D.C.; and New York.

The Our Music Institute (OMI) is having an opening reception on February 1 at 400 Central Avenue in Northfield. The new school and live music agency was formed by Michael Poupko, a director and teacher at the North Shore Music Institute, and will serve Winnetka, Northfield, Glenview, Kenilworth, Willamette, Glencoe, and Highland Park. OMI’s motto is “Our Community, Our Music, Our Education.”

Pegasus Theatre’s 32nd Young Playwrights Festival wraps up its run this weekends.

If you missed Robyn Hitchcock’s recent gig at the Prairie Center For The Arts in Schaumburg, you’ll have another opportunity to catch the eccentric British rocker on April 3 at SPACE in Evanston.

Other tickets that went on sale today include Alice Merton at Bottom Lounge on April 26; Santana and The Doobie Brothers at Hollywood Casino on August 4; and Jeff Tweedy at The Vic on March 22. This Sunday night at 10:00 p.m., WXRT will air a Jeff Tweedy concert it recorded while back, along with an interview withTweedy conducted by the station’s air personality Marty Lennartz.

Graham Nash will pick up a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s UK Americana Awards ceremony when it takes place next Thursday at Hackney Empire in London.

Read more...

Monday, January 21, 2019

The Stan Laurels - Maybe

Nobody could accuse John Lathrop of writing standard boy-meets-girl scenarios for his power pop songs. The vocalist/multi-instrumentalist performs under the name The Stan Laurels, but the humor that drifts through Maybe (available at Kool Kat Musik) is more cryptic and satirical than old-time slapstick. It’s the soundtrack for the indie film Maybe Shower, and Lathrop crafts an ironic ambience by matching off-kilter lyrics with gorgeous melodies and layered vocals.

A casual listener might take “Sanity” for a romantic power ballad but Lathrop is serving up couplets like, “I bet you can tell by looking at my face/I have no more tolerance for this stupid place.” On the guitar-driven “Life, Lemons and an Alien,” he offers a clever take on the “when life gives you lemons” adage by suggesting that life sometimes gives you someone who seems to be from another planet. The title track, a catchy mix of guitars and synthesizer, suggests we’re better off just going with the flow.

Lathrop’s use of slow-moving arrangements feels a bit repetitive, no matter how well they’re crafted. At least “Poly Sigh,” a song about adjusting to a menage-a-trois, picks up energy as it moves along. “Door #1” brings Maybe to an energetic close, even though Lathrop is no closer to telling us what it all means.

Read more...

Friday, January 18, 2019

Slumgullion

He’ll be playing “Oh Yeah” at the Chicago Theatre. Ultra suave solo artist and founding member of Roxy Music Bryan Ferry comes to town for a gig on August 1. Tickets are now on sale.

Tickets are also available for The Who at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater on May 21; Judy Collins at Old Town School of Folk Music on February 15; Lily Hiatt at FitzGerald’s on April 5; Flat Five at FitzGerald’s on April 13; and Ex Hex at Thalia Hall on April 10.

Robyn Hitchcock will bring his eccentric and impossibly melodic tunes to the Prairie Center For The Arts in Schaumburg tomorrow night. He has an extensive catalog of songs to choose from, dating back to his days with Soft Boys in the mid-1970s. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

The Zombies will pay tribute to the late Jim Rodford, who played bass guitar for them, Argent, and The Kinks, with a concert this Sunday at The Alban Arena in St. Albans in the U.K.

The Zombies’ lead vocalist Colin Blunstone kicks off his East Coast tour on January 31 with a gig in Pawling, NY. Other stops include Philadelphia; Portland, MN; Boston; Washington, D.C.; and New York.

The 22nd Annual Fillet Of Solo kicked off today at the Lifeline Theatre at 6912 N. Glenwood in Chicago. The event will offer performances by Laura Biagi, Anne Purky, GeNarrations OUTSpoken!, Sweat Girls, and Tellin’ Tales Theatre featuring Tekki Lomnicki.

Great Moments In Vinyl, a group of local musicians who frequently stage tribute concerts to specific album around the Chicago area, will present The Beatles With Strings at City Winery Chicago this Sunday night.

They combined forces in The Day Of The Doctor 50th Anniversary episode and now they’ll be bringing their sonic screwdrivers to the South Building at McCormick Place in Chicago. Matt Smith and David Tennant of Doctor Who will be guests at this year’s C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo) when it runs March 22–24. John Barrowman, from Doctor Who, Torchwood, and Green Arrow, will among the stars scheduled to appear.

Matt Smith fans will get a chance to see him as they never have before when Mapplethorpe opens its first Chicago run at the Gene Siskel Film Center from March 1 through 7. Smith plays the title role in this fictionalized biography of the photographer.

Tributosaurus continues its Signature Series at the Copernicus Center on Chicago’s northwest side this Sunday with a One Hit Wonders of The 80s concert.

It’s a jumpin’ little record I want my jockey to play. The people at Record Store Day recently unveiled their RSD3 mini-turntable at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It will available as part of this year’s Record Store Day (April 13), along with a selection of three-inch records. RSD promises more details in the coming months.

Big Brother’s Vinyl, an local guitar-driven band that cover classic rock hits as well some unexpected deep cuts and rarities, will perform at Mac’s On Slade in Palatine on Sunday, January 20. The show starts at 5:00 p.m.

The Pegasus Theatre’s 32nd Young Playwrights Festival continues its run at Chicago Dramatists at 773 N. Aberdeen on weekends through January 27.

Montrose Saloon on Chicago’s north side has announced it will host a Smithereens Night on May 3, with The Dry Look, Phil Angotti, and Love Punch paying tribute to the New Jersey power pop champions.

Ken Stringfellow has a solo show coming up in Chicago on February 7 at Gunhed Studios. He’ll be performing songs and spinning tales about being a founding member of The Posies, performing with R.E.M. and Big Star, and other elements of his extensive musical career. Gunhed Studios is located at 2941 W. Belmont; tickets range from $25 to $100. In related news, The Posies are set to begin work on a new album soon.

Read more...

Friday, January 11, 2019

Slumgullion

Minds will be blown in downtown Chicago tonight as the psychedelic quartet Secret Colours rock the 25th floor of the Virgin Hotel at 203 N. Wabash. Two other psych-minded local acts—the trio Faintlife and singer-guitarist Jude Shuma will also be on the bill, along with DJ Cadien James. This is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping for when I heard a while back that the Virgin Hotel would be booking live music.

The Beauty Bar at 1444 W. Chicago Avenue is the place tonight for Electric Feel: An Indie Rock Dance Party being sponsored by JBTV Music Television. You can expect to hear records by MGMT, Franz Ferdinand, LCD Soundsystem, Phoenix, Matt and Kim, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and several acts starting at 9:00 p.m. There’s no cover up to 10:00 p.m.

The always impressive and entertaining David Bowie tribute act Sons Of The Silent Age will be joined by special guest, acclaimed actor Michael Shannon when it performs Bowie’s Scary Monsters (and Supercreeps) tomorrow night at Metro. A portion of the proceeds will benefit cancer patients at NorthShore University HealthSystems’s Integrative Medicine Program.

The Reader is asking for donations to help keep the long-running Chicago free weekly running. The amount can be as little as $1, but anyone who chips in $48 (to match the number of years The Reader has been around) will become a Founding Member with perks to be named later. All donors, regardless of the amount, will have their names listed in an upcoming issue. I’ve picked up a copy of The Reader every week for most of those 48 years and would be sad to see it go. So, I’ve just made a $48 donation.

This Sunday, January 13, is when rockabilly/garage rock band The Amazing Heeby Jeebies kick off a year-long residency at Montrose Saloon. They’ll be performing every second Sunday, and according to the band’s Facebook page, there will be special guests and lots of surprises.

The eccentric and beloved British musician Robyn Hitchcock is coming to the Prairie Center For The Arts in Schaumburg on January 19. Hitchcock has an extensive catalog of songs to choose from, dating back to his days with Soft Boys in the mid-1970s. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

The Zombies have a special concert coming up on January 20 at The Alban Arena in St. Albans to honor the late Jim Rodford, who played bass guitar for them, Argent, and The Kinks. Founding members Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent will celebrate the band’s induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame with an acoustic show at Canary Wharf in London. In other Zombies news, Blunstone, Argent, Chris White and Hugh Grundy will drop by the Waterstones store in St. Albans to sign copies of the book The Odessey: The Zombies in Words And Images. Congratulations to Graham Nash on being named as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s UK Americana Awards. The ceremony takes place at Hackney Empire in London on January 31. Tickets are available if you live in England or fancy flying over there.

The success of former Doctor Who cast members continues as David Tennant, Billie Piper, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, Karen Gillan, Jenna Coleman, and John Barrowman continue to land roles in movies and on TV. Gillan, who wrote, directed, and starred in the new indie film The Party’s Just Beginning, has been added to the cast of the upcoming movie Gunpowder Milkshake, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It’s said to feature an all-woman cast in a tale about assassins. By the way, Tennant is quite unnerving as John Knox in Mary, Queen Of Scots.

Great Moments In Vinyl, a group of local musicians who frequently stage tribute concerts to specific album around the Chicago area, will present The Beatles With Strings at City Winery Chicago on January 20.

Tributosaurus continues its Signature Series at the Copernicus Center on Chicago’s northwest side on January 20 with One Hit Wonders of The 80s.

The Pegasus Theatre’s 32nd Young Playwrights Festival continues its run at Chicago Dramatists at 773 N. Aberdeen on weekends through January 27.

Read more...

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Have Some Fun Tonight

Great Moments In Vinyl, a collective of Chicago area musicians that pays tribute to iconic albums, are performing Joni Mitchell’s Court And Spark tonight at Martyrs. Chicago radio personality Lindsey Cochran will host, and singer-songwriter Kara Cavanaugh will be the featured vocalist. Packy Lundholm, John Bowes, Debbie Kaczynski, and Aaron Weistrop will also be performing. The show starts at 8:00 p.m., Martyrs’ is located at 3855 N. Lincoln Avenue.

Four speakers from the restaurant/entertainment scene will be discussing rock albums at 7:00 p.m. tonight as Shannon Nico Shreibak, the Director of Publicity at the Metro venue, hosts Liner Notes - A Musical Storytelling at the GMan Tavern. Restaurant manager Christine Cikowski will talk about Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago; WXRT overnight DJ Emma Mac will offer her take on The Beatles’ Abbey Road; musician Nick Abel will discuss I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning by Bright Eyes; and restaurant executive/performer Andreas Tsironis will have some thoughts on Meteora by Linkin Park. Admission is free, and the event will also be available as a Liner Notes podcast. GMan Tavern is located at 3740 N. Clark Street.

Read more...

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Paul McCartney - Egypt Station

Egypt Station, Paul McCartney’s first album since New came out in 2013, once again finds the iconic musician eager to embark on more adventures. It has 16 tracks, and would have been stronger without a few of them. Still, even if some of the slower tunes are nondescript, there’s a lot to admire about the work Sir Paul keeps sending our way.

The piano arrangements and vocal phrasing on “Hand In Hand” and “Do It Now” call to mind the vintage material of Kisses On The Bottom, but these two newer efforts fall short of being standards. “I Don’t Know” and “Happy With You” also find McCartney in a pensive mood, but their arrangements are more inventive and engaging. On the other end of the spectrum, he sounds like he’s having a blast amidst the offbeat sound effects and middle eastern rhythms of “Caesar Rock.”

“Come On To Me” figured prominently in that viral Carpool Karaoke clip McCartney did with James Corden, and it also has a lineage to his Beatles songs and some of his better solo hits. The anti-bullying rallying cry of “Who Cares” grooves to a funky beat that should connect with the kids who most need to hear its empowering message. “Back In The Brazil” sets a romantic tale to some infectious jazz; coming across as South American take on “Oh Bla Di Oh Bla Da.” McCartney throws some political punches on “Despite Repeated Warnings” and the clever format and heartfelt lyrics of “People Want Peace” would make John Lennon proud.

Read more...

Monday, January 7, 2019

Incoming

Tributosaurus continues its Signature Series at the Copernicus Center on Chicago’s northwest side on January 20 with One Hit Wonders of The 80s. The commercial for this event on WXRT features the song “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell, which is a good indication that this will be a fun show. Tributosaurus is one of Chicago’s best known tribute acts, and has been known to recruit several musicians in its quest to recreate the music of the act(s) their honoring.

What We Do In The Dark, the hilarious film that brought vampires and werewolves into the realm of mundane reality television, is coming to TV as a half-hour show on FX. Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi are adapting their film, but according to a roundup TV shows in the Chicago Tribune, they are not performing in the small screen version.

The original lineup of Chicago power pop band Off Broadway will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of its still vital debut album On at Reggie’s Rock Club on February 23. Singer-guitarist Phil Angotti, another veteran of Chicago’s power pop elite and founding member of The Idea, will perform with his current band. The Evictions are also on the bill. Reggie’s Rock Club is located on State Street just south of downtown.

Congratulations to Alexis Gaw, Anonda Tyler, and Luna MacWilliams on having their plays chosen as winners of Pegasus Theatre’s 32nd Young Playwrights Festival. As noted by Web Behrens in the Chicago Tribune, Pegasus will give each winning entry a professional production that will be staged at Chicago Dramatists at 773 N. Aberdeen. The plays will run on weekends through January 27.

Big Brother’s Vinyl, a local guitar-driven band that covers classic rock hits as well some unexpected deep cuts and rarities, will perform at Mac’s On Slade in Palatine on Sunday, January 20. The show starts at 5:00 p.m.

Read more...

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Eric Haydock Tribute

The Hollies back in the 1960s, with Eric Haydock crouching in front.

I’m sad to hear that bassist Eric Haydock, an original member of The Hollies, has passed away. Earlier today, the band posted the news on its official Facebook page and website. Haydock's rhythm section mate back in the 1960s and still current Hollies drummer Bobby Elliott composed a heartfelt tribute that praised Haydock’s expertise as a musician.

“In the early 1960s Eric was one of the finest bass players on the planet,” Elliott stated. “Although Eric left the Hollies in 1966, I occasionally listen enthralled by our BBC and Abbey Road recording sessions and dear Eric masterfully playing his six string bass.”

Haydock was playing that bass when the band first caught my attention with the effervescent hits “I Can’t Let Go” and “Bus Stop,” as well as on the Hear Here album I received as a Christmas present back in 1966. I’ve been an avid Hollies fan ever since. Haydock was sometimes described in fan magazines as the quiet or enigmatic member. He was replaced by Bernie Calvert in 1966.

I saw The Hollies perform live on three occasions, but not the lineup with Haydock. It would have been an essential part of their history to experience. When The Hollies were inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2010, Haydock was invited to attend the ceremony, and joined Graham Nash, Allan Clarke, Terry Sylvester, and Bernie Calvert onstage to receive their awards. (Bobby Elliott and Tony Hicks were performing with the current version of The Hollies in London.) So, a toast to Eric Haydock and the role he played in making The Hollies an international success.

Here’s a clip of Haydock playing bass with The Hollies on one of their earliest hits “I’m Alive.”

Read more...

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Kooks - Let’s Go Sunshine

Let’s Go Sunshine is the first release from The Kooks since they tried a radically different approach with Listen in 2014. The English band had swapped the working class aesthetic and catchy arrangements of its first three albums for a more funk oriented sound that was hit and miss at best. Their latest effort once again takes The Kooks a long way from their humble roots, but this time out, the transformation is much more successful.

Lead singer-rhythm guitarist Luke Pritchard’s vocals soar above the U2 style atmospheric instrumentation and inspirational message of the opening numbers, “All The Time” and “Believe.” Let’s Go Sunshine isn’t as impressive on the final two tracks but there’s plenty of good stuff along the way. Acoustic and electric guitars playfully mix with percussion on the quirky love song “Honey Bee,” and acoustic guitar is also expertly woven in the massive sound of “Fractured And Dazed.”

“Pamela” is a rush of guitar-driven rock with intriguing lyrics like, “You touched the ground and I fell in love with you” and “Oh what an enigmatic woman.” The breezy pop of “Initials For Gainsbourg” has striking imagery like, “Did you see that shooting star and it’s still only daylight?” as well references to Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin and Bonnie and Clyde. The catchy “Four Leaf Clover” harks back to the earliest days of The Kooks, proving these guys can experiment and still not lose their identity.

Read more...

Friday, January 4, 2019

Slumgullion

The eccentric and beloved British musician Robyn Hitchcock is coming to the Prairie Center For The Arts in Schaumburg on January 19. Hitchcock has an extensive catalog of songs to choose from, dating back to his days with Soft Boys in the mid-1970s. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

The very impressive David Bowie tribute act Sons Of The Silent Age will be joined by special guest, acclaimed actor Michael Shannon when it performs Bowie’s Scary Monsters (and Supercreeps) next Saturday, January 12 at Metro. A portion of the proceeds will benefit cancer patients at NorthShore University HealthSystems’s Integrative Medicine Program.

The city of Chicago has designated 2019 as a year to celebrate the history, talent, and diversity its theatre community. An official press release promises a “first-of-its-kind in the U.S.” series of events created through the joint effort of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Department Of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), and League Of Chicago Theatres. Festivities are planned at locations like Millennium Park, the Cultural Center, and neighborhood parks, as well as via pop-ups at trade shows.  

The Zombies have a special concert coming up to honor the late Jim Rodford, who played bass guitar for them, Argent, and The Kinks. The event will be held on January 20 at The Alban Arena in St. Albans in the U.K.

Chicago alt rock band whitewolfsonicprincess has a record release party coming up at Jarvis Square Pottery on February 9 at 7:30 p.m. for its third album The Alternate Boot. The store is located at 1443 W. Jarvis on Chicago’s north side.

Next Sunday, January 13, is when rockabilly/garage rock band The Amazing Heeby Jeebies kicks off a year-long residency at Montrose Saloon. They’ll be performing every second Sunday, and according to the band’s Facebook page, there will be special guests and lots of surprises.

The longtime power pop oriented show Secret Weapon on Woody Radio has posted its Top Albums of 2018 list. Blue Music, the debut from Sunshine Boys, came in at number one, followed by Justine and The Unclean, Van Go, Yipes! and Palmyra Delran and The Doppel Gang. Other acts among the 30 honorees include Lannie Flowers, Kurt Baker Combo, The Pandoras, Willie Nile, and The Grip Weeds.

I was sad to see that Pegi Young, singer-songwriter and former wife of Neil Young, has passed away. She co-founded the Bridge School, a private school for children with physical disabilities. She and Neil organized annual charity concerts to help fund the school.

Great Moments In Vinyl, a group of local musicians who frequently stage tribute concerts to specific album around the Chicago area, will present The Beatles With Strings at City Winery Chicago on January 20.

The Imperial Sound has a gig coming up at Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights on January 26.

Matt Smith, of Doctor Who and The Crown fame, will be one of the guests when this year’s C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo) runs March 22–24 at the South Building at McCormick Place.

Legendary vocalist Roger Daltry is offering some drinking-related collectibles to benefit the Teen Cancer America campaign on the Eminent Life website. A bottle of Charles Orban Cuvee champagne designed to look like the cover of The Who’s Tommy album is available.

My wife Pam and I thoroughly enjoyed our bus tour of Ireland last fall but would have preferred having more time to spend in Dublin. Even better, I would have loved to have been on the street corner where Bono and The Edge were busking recently. According to Rolling Stone and the WXRT website, the U2 boys were part of annual charity event to help homeless people in the city. Glen Hansard, Damien Rice, and Imelda May were also involved.

Read more...

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Various Artists - 3X4

The 3X4 album does a great job of bringing listeners back to the collaborative spirit and catchy songs of the Paisley Underground in the early 1980s. One of this past Black Friday Record Store Day’s limited editions but slated for an official release at some point in 2019, 3X4 brings together four major players from that Los Angeles scene and features them recording each other’s vintage songs. The Bangles are the best known of the acts involved, but don’t expect anything resembling “Eternal Flame.”

This is The Bangles as their true fans know them; a band that created original 1960s style pop and garage rock that they performed in clubs with The Three O’Clock, The Dream Syndicate, and Rain Parade. All four of these groups are in top form and sound like they’re having a blast on 3X4, as well they should. This is music they’ve known and loved for decades.

The Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn states in the extensive liner notes that he wanted his band’s new version of The Salvation Army (a precursor of The Three O’Clock) song “She Turns To Flowers” to reignite the original’s “beautiful chaos.” The Bangles’ exotic take on Rain Parade’s “Talking In My Sleep” features tabla playing from guest musician Meena Makhijani, and The Three O’Clock captures the lilting arrangement of The Dream Syndicate’s psychedelic “What She’s Done To Your Mind.”

Rain Parade slows the tempo a bit on The Bangles’ romantic “The Real World,” giving it a delicate beauty as well as ringing guitars. But the best example of how well 3X4 works comes on The Dream Syndicate’s guitar-fueled take on The Bangles’ first hit “Hero Takes A Fall” featuring Linda Pitmon and Bangle Vicki Peterson supporting Steve Wynn on backing vocals. Here’s hoping we’ll hear more collaborations from these four bands and even a tour.

Read more...

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Van Go - Everyone Loves You When You’re Gone

Everyone Loves You When You’re Gone (available at Kool Kat Musik) is the sixth album from Van Go but the first since the Chicago based band released The Long Lost Last Call in 2010. Throughout this latest effort, you get the feeling these guys have been champing at the bit every minute of that eight-year span. Van Go has always explored the harder edges of power pop with the twin guitars of Steve Brown and Jeff Shapuras, and lead vocalist-songwriter Dave Sippel creates melodies and throw punches with equal expertise.

“I used to be just like you but less attractive,” Sippel observes of a twenty-something guy in the energetic song “Grim Life,” and sets accusations like, “You kick me when I’m down, then you kick me on the way back up” to the hard rock stomp of “Black Luck.” “Tell Us How You Really Feel” bristles with social satire but sports a more playful arrangement. Bassist Lou Galassini and drummer Bryan Lee Thomas anchor “Dead Already,” which opens with the line, “The forensics team found lipstick on the collar of his shirt.”

Things are more optimistic on “Live Through This,” which sounds like it could be a hit single. Sippel sounds more versatile as a vocalist throughout Everyone, and there’s a hint of Material Issue’s Jim Ellison in the way he sings the irresistibly catchy “Nightwalker” and “Schrodinger’s Cat.” Van Go did a bang-up job of covering Elvis Costello’s “Girls Talk” on The Long Lost Last Call, and their version of Paul Collins’ “Walking Out On Love” here is equally impressive.

Read more...
Related Posts with Thumbnails