Monday, September 30, 2019

Celluloid Heroes - Everybody’s In Movies


My weekly after-work trek to downtown Chicago last Thursday included the usual stops at Reckless Records and Graham Cracker Comics, as well as dropping by the Gene Siskel Film Center for free papers, brochures, and postcards for upcoming entertainment events. This time, there was a cinematic theme to the stuff I picked up.

The 55th Annual Chicago International Film Festival will run from October 16 to October 27 at AMC River East 21. The official 56-page program has the complete schedule arranged by genre, with a brief description of each film. New City magazine’s October issue is dedicated to its annual Film 50 list, which spotlights filmmakers, directors, artistic directors, casting directors, journalists, and other major players in Chicago’s vibrant film scene.

The Bensenville Arts Council and Bensenville Community Foundation are sponsoring the very first Bensenville Short Film Festival on November 13 at the Bensenville Theatre. The deadline for submissions is October 13 and there is a $10 admission fee. Films should be no longer than 15 minutes.

BWiFF, the Blue Whiskey Film Festival, will present the 1919 Cinema Centennial – Celebrating 100 Years Of Cinema at the Music Box Theatre on October 23 at 7:00 p.m.

The Music Box will be screening The Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight on Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26; and at 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 30 and Halloween. Audience members are encouraged to participate. The Chicago Philharmonic will provide a live soundtrack when Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is screened at the Auditorium Theatre in downtown Chicago on Halloween and the next night, November 1.

Jeff Kelley of the Sunday Morning Coffee With Jeff internet show and graphic designer/artist Dave Metzger are currently working on two short films they’ll be screening at Elgin’s Nightmare On Chicago Street Halloween festival on October 19. They’ve been creating horror movies for the annual event since it started and I’ve acted in a number of them. This past weekend, I spent a few hours on Saturday, and most of Sunday in Elgin because I have a role in each of the new movies. I can’t wait to see the finished work, because Jeff and Dave always do such an awesome job.

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Friday, September 27, 2019

Slumgullion

Having recorded a worthy follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut album Feel Your Feelings Fool, The Regrettes will likely be performing songs from the recently released How Do You Love? on their upcoming European tour. The band will be making stops in London, Dublin, Manchester, Amsterdam, Paris, Hamburg, and other cities.

Bruce Cockburn is performing at The Old Town School Of Folk Music in Chicago tonight and tomorrow night.

The 9th Annual West Town Art Walk takes place today and tomorrow on Chicago Avenue between Milwaukee Avenue and Western Avenue and Ashland Avenue between Chicago Avenue and Division Street. The post card I picked up promises live art making; live performances; shopping specials; food and drink specials, and raffle prizes.

City Lit Theater Company’s stage production of one of the most popular Sherlock Holmes novels—The Hound Of The Baskervilles—opened tonight and runs through November 10. City Lit Theater is located at 1020 W. Bryn Mawr in Chicago.

Go Time will likely be playing hard-hitting power pop tunes when it performs at Silvie’s on Irving Park Road next Saturday, October 5. They’ll be part of a triple bill with The Spindles, whose recent album has catchy originals like and covers of The Hollies’ “Look Through Any Window” and The Elvis Brothers’ “Santa Fe,” and Crowm Vic Royal.

The Simon and Garfunkel Show comes to the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place November 19 and will run through December 1. A live band will perform hits like “Mrs. Robinson,” Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and “Sounds Of Silence” while photos and film footage of the iconic folk-rock duo are projected on a large screen.

Metric will be releasing a limited edition 10 year anniversary edition of its Fantasies album on gold vinyl. It’s available to order from the Metric online store, along with “Help I’m Alive” t-shirts based on one the album’s best tracks. 

Van Go will has a Rock, Roll, Repeat gig at the Gallery Cabaret next Saturday, October 5, an d will likely be showcasing hard-edged but catchy songs like “Live Through This” and “Grim Life” from its most recent effort Everyone Loves You When You’re Gone.

Songs In The Key Of Stevie, the latest musical from Black Ensemble Theatre honoring an iconic rhythm and blues performer (in this case, Stevie Woner), will open on October 5. 

Quad Con, a celebration of toys, comic books, art, and games, has six events coming up in the Midwest starting this Saturday in Dubuque, Iowa. It will then move to Peoria, Illinois on October 19; Davenport, Iowa on October 26; Burlington, STATE on November 9; Rockford, Illinois on November 17; and Grand Rapids on January 25.

Professor Moptop, whose ongoing reports on Beatles recordings are one of the many highlights on Terri Hemmert’s Breakfast With The Beatles show each Sunday morning, is coming to my humble village. He’ll be presenting The Beatles’ Abbey Road 50th Anniversary at the Palatine Library on Wednesday, October 2.

The Museum Of Broadcast Communication on State Street in downtown Chicago will present another exhibition that originated at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame when Stay Tuned: Rock On TV opens on October 18.

The annual Nightmare On Chicago Street will take place in the downtown area of Elgin, Illinois on Saturday, October 19 from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. I’ve been to Nightmare in the past, and Elgin really goes all out to make this festival scary and fun. There will also be a full schedule of rock bands.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Incoming

I’d call it a bargain. Great Moments In Vinyl, a collective of musicians that performs entire classic albums at venues around the Chicago area, will bring the The Who’s Live At Leeds and Who’s Next records to life at Martyrs’ this Friday night. Scott Tipping, Kevin Campbell, Alton Smith, and William Lindsey Cochran are the performers for this gig, with others likely to join in the fun. Admission is $15; the music starts at 9:00 p.m.

This Friday is Big Blast Records night at the Blue Island Beer Company at 13357 Olde Western Avenue in Blue Island. Phil Angotti, The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club, and the Mark Watson Band will be rocking out. The music starts at 8:00 p.m.

The 9th Annual West Town Art Walk takes place this Friday and Saturday on Chicago Avenue between Milwaukee Avenue and Western Avenue; and Ashland Avenue between Chicago Avenue and Division Street. The postcard I picked up promises live art making; live performances; shopping specials; food and drink specials, and raffle prizes.

City Lit Theater Company’s stage production of one of the most popular Sherlock Holmes novels—The Hound Of The Baskervilles—opens this Friday night, September 27 and runs through November 10. City Lit Theater is located at 1020 W. Bryn Mawr in Chicago.

And I’ll bet he still wishes he had a rocket launcher. Bruce Cockburn will be at The Old Town School Of Folk Music this Friday and Saturday.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Beatles (Tributes) For Sale

The 50th Anniversary edition of Abbey Road comes out this Friday as a double CD, and for those willing to spend a little more money, a Super Deluxe edition that includes three CDs, a Blu-ray disc, and 100-page hardbound book. It’s also available in a vinyl picture disc. The new Abbey Road releases might be the inspiration behind an interesting pair of Beatles-related performances coming up at Martyrs's on Lincoln Avenue in the next few weeks. But then, these particular Chicago area musicians are always up for a Fab Four-related bash.

This Saturday night, Ary Paloma Jeebie from the Amazing Heeby Jeebies and Ellis Clark (Epicycle, Social Act, and solo artist) will celebrate John Lennon’s birthday at Martyrs’. They joined forces for a tribute to George Harrison at Fest For Beatles Fans – Chicago this past August, and the duo has hosted a fabulous George birthday bash at Martyrs’ for the past few years. This Saturday, Paloma Jeebie and Clark will be joined by the Plastic Orwell Band (featuring Chloe F. Orwell and Brad Elvis of The Handcuffs); Jay Goeppner from Backdated; vocalist Phoenix, rhythm and blues singer Gerald McClendon, and others. Ken Mottet will serve as MC. The show starts at 8:00 p.m.

A few weeks later—on October 9—Phil Angotti will be hosting a John Lennon birthday party at Martyrs’ that will include special guests as well as readings from some of Lennon’s books. Angotti also performed at Fest For Beatles Fans - Chicago this past August, and has done tribute shows around the Chicago area for The Zombies, The Monkees, The Bee Gees, and other acts. He’s a veteran of Chicago’s power pop scene, having started with The Idea several years back, and currently performs with Material Reissue.

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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Thursday Slumgullion

Neil Young and Phil Baker will be signing copies of their new book To Feel The Music at City Lit Books this Sunday afternoon from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. The store recommends that anyone interested in getting a signed copy order it in advance, and there will be a one-book-per-customer limit. City Lit Books is located at 2523 N. Kedzie Blvd in Chicago.

The Sleeping Village venue on Belmont will be rocking tonight with power pop and other energetic music being spun by DJ Dixie Cup, AKA graphic designer Hailey Grimes. Admission is free for this 21 and over event and the music starts at 9:00 p.m.

Former Hollies lead vocalist Allan Clarke’s first solo effort in years will become available for online purchase tomorrow. One of the tracks on Resurgence, “Long Cool Woman’s Back In Town,” is an update on one of the band’s biggest—and most rocking—hit singles.

The Shelters also have a new album coming out tomorrow. It’s titled Jupiter Sidecar. The Los Angeles band has a gig coming up at The Echo in its home town on October 2.

Christopher Eccleston, the actor who was great putting Doctor Who back on the telly again in 2005, has a book titled I Love The Bones Of You, and it was released today.

Minstrel Palooza returns to Durty Nellie’s in Palatine this Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The annual event celebrates the Minstrels music instruments store in Niles and the loyal customers who happen to be members of local bands. Van Go will likely be showcasing hard-edged but catchy songs like “Live Through This” and “Grim Life” from its most recent effort Everyone Loves You When You’re Gone. Other acts scheduled to perform are guitar slingers Larry Mitchell, Dave Ulrich and Johnny Gragg; Todd Money’s Train Wreck; Ghost Of Aragon; Cracked Actor Band; John Koziol; and Sync 92. The show is free and will wrap up with a Woodstock tribute.

Best wishes to Luke Pritchard from The Kooks for a full recovery from a perforated disc in his back. A video on the band’s Facebook and Instagram pages announced that its U.S.A. and Mexico tours have been canceled while Pritchard undergoes “intense physiotherapy.”

Tickets go on sale tomorrow for 999 (the U.K. band that gave us “Homicide”), The Clap, and Bad Sons at Reggies’ Music Joint on November 11; Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening at Rialto Square Theatre on November 18; Cage The Elephant and Angels And Airwaves at Aragon Ballroom on December 11; Colin Hay from Men At Work and Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band at Thalia Hall on March 28; Keanne at Cadillac Palace Theatre on March 20; Betty LeVette at The Old Town School Of Folk Music on December 6; the Chris Ligon CD Release and Variety Show with Flat Five, Sharon Rutledge and more at FitzGerald’s on November 8; O’Jays and Peabo Bryson at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino on October 5; Real Estate at Lincoln Hall on October 22; Sloan at Bottom Lounge on November 20; and Wilco at Chicago Theatre for four days in December.

The above listings were taken from the Early Warnings page in this week’s edition of The Reader. Also according to The Reader, Gordon Lightfoot’s September 27 concert at Copernicus Center has been cancelled. A new date will set in 2020, and current tickets will be valid for that one.

Chicago-based playwright Loy A. Webb’s latest play His Shadow continues its world premiere run through October 12 at the 16th Street Theater in Berwyn. It’s the story of a college football player trying to follow the legacy of his older brother while overcoming setbacks. In addition to her plays, Webb writes for TV show NOS4A2.

Monty Python is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year in a number of silly ways. The Monty Python Explodes Exhibition runs at the Mezzanine Gallery at BFI Southbank in the U.K. through October 13 featuring, “costumes, sketchbooks, and never-before-seen material from the BFI National Archive and the Monty Python Archive.” And the official Monty Python website is selling How To Dress Like Gumby Kits as part of the admission price for those interested in participating in the largest Gumby gathering at The Roundhouse in London on October 5 at in England.

There will be an Indigenous Peoples Concert on October 16 at The Old Town School Of Folk Music. Admission is free but seating must be reserved in advance.

After finishing their set or at the KAABOO entertainment and arts experience in San Diego last weekend, The Bangles joined Sheryl Crow and her band for a rousing rendition of “Soak Up The Sun.”

Mercury Theater’s production of Spamalot continues its run through November 3. The production is being directed by L. Walter Stearns; Eugene Dizon is the Musical Director. Performances will be at 8:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday each week, with an additional show at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, and a 3:00 p.m. show on Sunday.

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Slumgullion

Who’s on first album in 13 years. As seen on social media and reported on The Second Disc website, The Who have a new album titled WHO coming on November 22. A regular CD with 11 tracks will be released, along with an extended version with three extra cuts. The Second Disc also mentions a vinyl edition that will spread those WHO tracks across a pair of 45 rpm records and a 10-inch EP. That version will only be available on the band’s webstore.

Welcome to all the musicians and music fans who’ve come to Chicago for Riot Fest and the World Music Festival.

Riot Fest opened today with a lineup that included Caroline Rose, who looks like she’s ironing hot dogs on her promo photo and performs catchy guitar and synth indie rock songs. The better-known Violent Femmes, The Flaming Lips, and Descendants also played. Saturday and Sunday will bring ska pioneers The Selector; Patti Smith; reunited riot grrrls Bikini Kill; The Raconteurs, glam rockers The Struts, Nick Lowe With Los Straitjackets; Guided By Voices; Bob Mould; and B-52’s.

This week’s edition of the Chicago free paper The Reader includes the full schedule of the World Music Festival, which kicked off today and runs (except for Mondays and Tuesdays) through September 29 at various venues across the Chicago area. You can pick up a copy in boxes around downtown and at records stores and other venues.

Morrissey and Interpol are performing at Ravinia tomorrow night.

Ronnie Wood has sold out his November 21 gig at 02 Shepherds Bush Empire in London. That bodes well for Wood’s upcoming new album Mad Lad - Live Tribute To Chuck Berry. It comes out November 15.

Over 150 artists will be showcasing their work at the Lakeview East Festival at Belmont and Broadway tomorrow and Sunday. Music acts include The Bama Lamas; Radio Free Honduras; and Naomi Ashley.

Avant grade indie rockers whitewolfsonicprincess have a show tomorrow night at Moe’s Tavern on Milwaukee Avenue. Leah Shoshanah is also on the bill.

Tickets went on sale today for the In Person Bob Dylan And His Band concert coming October 30 to Credit Union 1 Arena at the University Of Illinois at Chicago. Richard Thompson has solo gigs coming up at SPACE December 29 through 31; the Last Waltz Tour with Warren Hyanes Jamey Johnson and others comes to the Chicago Theatre on November 21; Albert Lee will be at SPACE on January 4; Shemekia Copeland and Kevin Burt are coming City Winery Chicago on December 26 and 27; and Fort Frances will be at Schubas on December 5.

There’s going to be an all ages Bluegrass Brunch starting at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at the Hey Nonny resturant/venue in Arlington Heights. Recording artists Cox’s Army will be mixing traditional tunes with their own originals featuring guitar, banjo, mandolin, and bass; along with harmony vocals.

The Monty Python Explodes Exhibition opened today at the Mezzanine Gallery at BFI Southbank in the U.K. It runs through October 13 featuring, “costumes, sketchbooks, and never-before-seen material from the BFI National Archive and the Monty Python Archive.” Here’s hoping this exhibit travels and makes a stop in Chicago as Monty Python’s Flying Circus celebrates its 50th year.

The Bangles, Squeeze, Little Steven and The Disciples Of Soul, Silverspun Pickups, The Cult, Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes, and Toots and The Maytals are among the acts who’ll be performing at the KAABOO entertainment and arts experience (the organizers prefer that term to festival) at the Del Mar Racetrack in San Diego this weekend.

The Pickwick Theatre in Park Ridge will open the seventh season of its Classic Film Series on Wednesday, September 18 with 2001: A Space Odyssey. Actor Keir Dullea, who portrayed the astronaut David Bowman in the film will be there in person for the screening, along with film historian Raymond Benson. Admission for the 7:30 p.m. event (a 1:00 p.m. screening will not have special guests) is $12.

Supergrass, the English trio an editor at the Illinois Entertainer once called, “a Terry Flamm band if I’ve ever heard one” back when I wrote for that monthly publication, has reunited. They’re planning on releasing a 25th anniversary edition of their superb debut I Should Coco.

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Friday, September 6, 2019

Slumgullion

So . . . Welcome to September. A particularly hectic holiday and work schedule kept me from posting anything earlier this week.

Depending on what time you read this, there might still be time to check out Big Guitar Night at Montrose Saloon tonight. It’s the latest triple bill live performance presented by Kirk Fox, the host of WNUR’s Power Pop Shoppe radio program. This time, the bands are The Peeves, The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club, and Extra Arms. The music starts at 8:00 p.m.

The Stereogum website is reporting that R.E.M. will be releasing a deluxe reissue box set of Monster to mark the 25 Anniversary of the critically acclaimed and highly successful album.

Tickets went on sale today for Andrew Bird at Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago on December 9 through 12; Cherie Currie from The Runaways and Brie Darling from Fanny at City Winery Chicago on November 25; Empty Pockets at SPACE on December 6; Anne Heaton at SPACE on December 22; the John Prine tribute band Illegal Smiles at SPACE on December 26; and Over The Rhine at the Old Town School Of Folk Music on December 7. The above listings were taken from the Early Warnings page of this week’s Reader. You can pick up a copy at various locations around downtown Chicago and the north side.

Artist/art critic Robin Dluzen will celebrate her birthday tomorrow with a one-day exhibition titled Something Olden and Golden at ORBIT. In her Artist Statement, Dluzen notes that for several years she’s been inspired by the labor history of women in her family. Several pieces are based on drawings her mother did when Robin was growing up. Something Olden and Golden will be open from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. ORBIT is located at 1350 W. Erie.

You were great. Who are you? K.T. Tunstall was a surprise addition (at least to my knowledge) to last Saturday’s Squeeze concert at the Chicago Theatre. Taking the stage unannounced and without introducing herself, Tunstall nevertheless easily won over the crowd with her friendly demeanor, distinctive vocals, and energetic guitar strumming. She did mention coming from Scotland at the outset, which was a major clue, but I must confess I wasn’t absolutely positive until Tunstall launched into her major hit “Big Black Horse And The Cherry Tree.” Much of the crowd was on its feet by the time she finished her short set, which also included the rousing “Suddenly I See.”

Squeeze was magnificent, delivering what Tunstall had said they would: a master class in songwriting. That applied to new material from its 2018 album The Knowledge as well as the early classics like “Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)” and “Up The Junction.” Founding members Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford stood front and center playing their guitars, and frequently joining together on vocals. Tilbrook provided most of the guitar firepower as Squeeze unleashed high-powered versions of  “In Quintessence,” “Third Rail,” and “Hourglass.” The more soulful “Tempted” and “Black Coffee In Bed” were also among the highlights. 

The idea of Chrissie Hynde sneaking up on you is a bit scary, but in this case, she’s doing it with a new album. As noted in the September issue of the Illinois Entertainer, Hynde’s second solo effort, Valve Bone Woe, came out today. We also got Lost Girls from Bat For Lashes; Rubberband from Mile Davis; and Free from Iggy Pop. September 13 brings Beneath The Eyrie from The Pixies; September 20 brings All The Feels from Fitz And The Tantrums and Why Me? Why Not. from Liam Gallagher; and Hey, I’m Just Like You from Tegan and Sara drops on September 27.

Chely Wright and Alice Peacock will share a double bill Wednesday, September 11 at City Winery Chicago.

A week from tonight, Great Moments In Vinyl, a Chicago band with a rotating lineup of musicians, with join forces with the Mosaic Soul vocal ensemble to perform the Paul Simon album Graceland at the Beverly Arts Center on the city’s south side.

Fly me to KAABOO and let me play among the stars. The Bangles, Squeeze, Little Steven and The Disciples Of Soul, Silverspun Pickups, The Cult, Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes, and Toots and The Maytals are among the acts scheduled to perform at the KAABOO entertainment and arts experience (the organizers prefer that term to festival) at the Del Mar Racetrack in San Diego next weekend.

Mercury Theater’s production of Spamalot continues its run through November 3. The production is being directed by L. Walter Stearns; Eugene Dizon is the Musical Director. Performances will be at 8:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday each week, with an additional show at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, and a 3:00 p.m. show on Sunday.

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