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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