Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Incoming

I haven’t made it to Stay Tuned: Rock On TV at the Museum Of Broadcast Communications yet, but I definitely will. The exhibition originated at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, so the memorabilia is impressive. I’ve been informed by a friend that Stay Tuned includes a drumhead that once belonged to Bobby Elliott of The Hollies. He gave it to Shindig after The Hollies performed on the TV show in 1965. I corresponded with Mr. Elliott via email back in 2010 for a piece I was doing for the Illinois Entertainer about The Hollies being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. He still performs with the band, and was extremely gracious.

The first date on Juliana Hatfield’s 2020 tour will be at SPACE in Evanston on January 16. Other cities she’ll be visiting include Nashville, Indianapolis, Austin, Los Angeles, and Portland.

Indie rock band The Rut (which includes avid Hatfield fan singer-guitarist Frank Carr) will be performing tomorrow night at Phyllis’ Musical Inn as part of the venue’s American Troubadour Night. The band has its roots in the Famous In The Future comedy group, which performed every year at the Mary-Arrchie Theatre’s annual Abbie Fest, and are now runs the annual YippieFest held in August.

The Social Act, the Ellis Clark-fronted band that got off to an impressive start back in the late 1980s with atmospheric rock songs like “World War Three” and “Reverend Joe,” has returned to the recording studio and local club scene. Their Not Too Late album is now available, and they’ll be at Montrose Saloon this Friday night. Icebox and Steve Karras are also on the bill. Show time is 9:00 p.m.

Go Time! and The Spindles, two Chicago area power pop bands that have earned praise here on Broken Hearted Toy for their albums and live performances, will share a triple bill with 45 Souls on the following night at Montrose Saloon.

And finally, as a reminder, there are still a few Halloween treats left in the bowl for some more scary fun.

Late Bar, at 3534 W. Belmont on Chicago’s north side, is having a Halloween Music Video Monster Mash Up featuring DJs Sonic Marchesa and Samorama this Thursday night. Late Bar promises lots of candy and a My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult ticket giveaway.

The Pickwick Theatre in Park Ridge will offer a twin bill of the 1931 horror films Frankenstein and Dracula tomorrow night, as part of its Classic Film Series. Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi are the stars, respectively. Admission is $12.

The Music Box will be screening The Rocky Horror Picture Show at 10:00 p.m. tomorrow night and Halloween. Audience members are encouraged to participate.

There will be a Waking The Witch benefit for the Clinic Vest Project at The Empty Bottle tomorrow night, featuring DJ Claire Lyerla and DJ Ruby Des Jardins.

The Chicago Philharmonic will provide a live soundtrack when Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is screened at the Auditorium Theatre on Halloween and November 1.

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Saturday, October 26, 2019

Saturday Slumgullion

Last-minute Halloween entertainment suggestion: The bewitching Rasputina, which bills itself as “The longest-running, unique, historically based women's cello rock-band that includes men” has a 7:00 p.m. performance tonight at Subterranean on North Avenue in Chicago. The Brooklyn-based duo Charming Disaster will be opening.

David Byrne’s new musical American Utopia opened at the Hudson Theatre in New York last Sunday, and according to Chicago Tribune theatre critic Chris Jones, it’s “sleek, crisp [and] strikingly optimistic.” The former Talking Heads lead vocalist is joined by singers and dancers for the production.

The November issue of New City is the 27th edition of the local free publication’s annual Best Of Chicago honors.

Be aware of the Ides Of March. The Idea of March have a gig tonight at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, with special guests Mark Farner from Grand Funk Railroad; American Idol finalist Bo Rice; and Cathy Richardson, who’s performed with Jefferson Starship, portrayed Janis Joplin, and leads her own band. Writer Jeff Ebel had a full-length article in yesterday’s Chicago Sun-Times about The Ides Of March marking their 55th anniversary with their new Play On album, and this month’s New City Best Of Chicago issue names them the Best Chicago-Area band That Has Been Around For Fifty-Five Years. On as side note, Ides Of March frontman Jim Peterik was the first rock musician I ever interviewed. That was back when I was a child rock critic for the University Of Illinois - Chicago newspaper The Illini.

As noted on a Rhino Records Instagram post, the iconic hard rock album Led Zeppelin II was released 50 years ago yesterday.

Local indie rock band whitewolfsonicprincess is hosting Invocations Of The Spirit - An Evening Of Fairy Tales, Shaman Magic, Drumming and Music tonight at Jarvis Pottery on Chicago’s far north side. Other performers include author Liam Heneghan, shamanic practitioner Joan Levergood, and guitarist Victor Sanders. Door open at 7:00 p.m.; the suggested donation is $10.

When Monster25, the 25th Anniversary edition of the R.E.M. album Monster comes out next Friday, one of the previously unreleased tracks will be a catchy instrumental titled “Uptempo Mo Distortion.” The song can be streamed on R.E.M.’s official website

The Imperial Sound has a gig coming up this Monday at Martyrs on Lincoln Avenue. The band’s members are veterans of Chicago’s music scene, and frequently invites guest vocalists to help out at its shows. Rob Newhouse from The Elvis Brothers and singer-guitarist Rachel Drew are also on the bill.

The 50th Anniversary edition of The Kinks’ groundbreaking rock opera Arthur Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empires came out yesterday in a seven-inch singles box set and a two CD set.

The Product Placement. By Andy Warhol. exhibition is now open at the Art Institute of Chicago, and will run through January 26.

Cracking good news! I’ve been following the Aardman Animations page on Instagram for a while now, and there was a recent post announcing that the studio’s brilliant and probably still most popular creation Wallace and Gromit now has an Official Instagram page all to its own. Aardman is currently celebrating Wallace and Gromit’s 30 anniversary.

Tommi Zender, a familiar face on Chicago’s northside club scene, will host The Autumn Beatles Social at the Old Town School of Folk Music on November 8. Participants will be able to perform Beatles songs in a friendly environment; advance sign-up is recommended. Zender recently released a new album of original material titled More Songs About Time.

Snap!, the greatest hits album released by The Jam in 1983, has been remastered for a new double vinyl release that will come with a bonus limited edition four-track seven-inch EP. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon.

The Rut will be performing next Wednesday, October 30 as part of the American Troubadour Night at Phyllis’ Musical Inn. Just as the previously mentioned indie rock band whitewolfsonicprincess came the Black Forest Theatre company, The Rut has its roots in the Famous In The Future comedy group. Both acts were regulars at Mary-Arrchie Theatre’s annual Abbie Fest, and both are now major forces behind the annual YippieFest held in August.

Peter Asher, formerly half of Peter and Gordon, as well as a highly successful record producer, is coming to City Winery Chicago on January 3. Autographed copies of his new book, The Beatles From A to Zed are available on The Fest For Beatles Fans website. If you anticipate having Beatles fans on your holiday gift list this year, The Fest For Beatles Fans official site has a lot of great ideas.

The Spindles, Go Time! and 45 Souls will make for a potent triple bill next Saturday night at Montrose Saloon.

Australian singer-guitarist Courtney Barnett has recorded a version of the Loose Tooth song “Keep On” for the Milk On Milk compilation album coming out on her own independent Milk! Label. All of the tracks will feature indie rock bands performing songs originally recorded by other indie rock bands.

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Friday, October 25, 2019

Cauldron

This is pretty much a rehash of events I’ve previously mentioned, but now all in one convenient and terrifying guide.

Montrose Saloon is the place for this year’s Halloweekend, a fun tradition where local bands perform as famous rock stars and often dress up like them. Tonight’s lineup is Los Gallos Band as Los Lobos; Roxy Morons as Roxy Music; The Webstirs as The Doobie Brothers; Androgynous Mustache as Hall and Oates; and Fiction Romantics as The Buzzcocks. Tomorrow night, Phil Angotti promises to go wandering as Bob Dylan; and he’ll be followed by Planet Claire as Neil Diamond; Statutes Of Liberty as Velvet Underground; Rachel Drew as Siouxsie and The Banshees; and The Stone Montroses as the Stone Roses.

The Old Town School Of Folk Music is having a family-oriented Spooky Singalong tomorrow morning at Maurer Hall and Sunday morning at Armitage Hall. Both shows start at 10:00 a.m.

The Duke Street Kings featuring Michael McDermott will perform Bruce Springsteen songs at the Halloweensteen bash at Park West tomorrow night.

The 7th Annual Halloween ComicFest takes place tomorrow, with participating comic stores offering candy and free comics. Patrons are encouraged to wear costumes. Check with your favorite comic store to see if it plans on being part of the fun.

Durty Nellie’s in Palatine has an event titled The Ghosts Of Rock Icons Past featuring Modern Day Romeos tomorrow night. Attendees are encouraged to dress up as famous rock stars who are no longer among the living and compete in a costume contest with over $500 in prizes.

The Pickwick Theatre in Park Ridge will offer a twin bill of the 1931 horror films Frankenstein and Dracula on October 30, as part of its Classic Film Series. Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi are the stars, respectively. Admission is $12.

City Lit Theater Company is currently staging a production based on the most frightening of all the Sherlock Holmes novels—The Hound Of The Baskervilles. It runs through November 10. City Lit Theater is located at 1020 W. Bryn Mawr in Chicago.

The Music Box will be screening The Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight tonight and tomorrow; and at 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 30 and Halloween. Audience members are encouraged to participate.

There will be a Waking The Witch benefit for the Clinic Vest Project at The Empty Bottle on October 30, featuring DJ Claire Lyerla and DJ Ruby Des Jardins.

The Chicago Philharmonic will provide a live soundtrack when Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is screened at the Auditorium Theatre on Halloween and November 1.

Metro will present the Nocturna: All Hallow’s Eve Ball with DJ Scary Lady Sarah, and Sincy Vicious on November 1.

DJ Derrick Carter most likely get spooky at his Derrick Does Halloween gig at Smart Bar on October 31.

The town of Long Grove, once a popular destination for antiques, crafts, and gifts items, is showing signs of successfully reinventing itself after go through some tough times. Restaurants and coffee places are now leading the way. Long Grove has transformed itself into Halloween Town that will last through October 27.

For those who like getting their frights through professional drama, a Chris Jones review in the Chicago Tribune points to A Red Orchid Theatre’s current production of Grey House. Written by Chicago playwright Levi Holloway, Grey House shows what happens when a couple takes refuge in an isolated cabin inhabited by mysterious young girls and their equally unsettling mother. A Red Orchid Theatre is located at 1531 N. Wells Street; Grey House runs through December 1.

If scary and comedic short flicks are your thing, director-writer David Metzger’s This Zombie For Hire and director-writer Jeff Kelley’s Song Of The Dead can now be watched on YouTube. The films were screened last Saturday night as part of Elgin’s annual Nightmare On Chicago Street Halloween festival. Full disclosure: I acted in both of these films.

Finally, if you’re up for a flight to Liverpool in England, the Cavern Club is presenting Queen tribute band Classic Queen on Halloween night to commemorate the 49th anniversary of the actual, Freddie Mercury-led Queen’s first appearance at the venue.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Incoming

Sons Of The Silent Age, the David Bowie tribute band made up of Chicago club scene veterans, has a gig coming up on January 11 at Metro. Local Bowie fanatics might remember this group performing in Daley Plaza to help kick off the David Bowie Is exhibition at the Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago, or opening for Billy Idol at Taste Of Chicago. For their Metro gig in January, Sons Of The Silent Age are performing a Ziggy Meets The Duke show in which they’ll perform the entire Ziggy Stardust and Station To Station albums. The Ready Freddies, a seven-person (six women and John San Juan from Hushdrops) Queen tribute band will be the opening act. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit cancer patients at the NorthShore University HealthSystem’s Integrative Medicine Program.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for that Kurt Cobain or Janis Joplin fan on your holiday list, Julien’s Auctions is holding an Icons and Idols: Rock and Roll auction at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York this Friday and Saturday. Self-described as “The experts in contemporary and pop culture,” Julien’s Auctions will be taking bids on Cobain’s custom-made left-handed Fender Mustang guitar; a charcoal and ink self-portrait by David Bowie; Mick Jagger’s handwritten setlist for a 1965 Rolling Stones concert; and “a rare archive of Big Brother and The Holding Company that has not been opened in over fifty years.” Other artist memorabilia on sale includes Elvis Presley; Sid Vicious; Eric Clapton; The Beatles; and Queen.

Chicago-based indie rock band The Handcuffs are looking to release their latest album in vinyl and digital formats in early 2020. There may also be a limited release on CD. It will be their fourth effort, and don’t be surprised if some of the songs wind up being used on TV shows. The Handcuffs have a good track record of doing that kind of thing. They’re be part of a potent double bill with Sunshine Boys at Reggie’s on State Street on December 14. Both bands will likely be offering a preview of their new albums.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

More Halloween Fun

A few more items to go with last week’s post highlighting Halloween events in the Chicago area.

For those who like getting their frights through professional drama, a Chris Jones review in today’s Chicago Tribune points to A Red Orchid Theatre’s current production of Grey House. Written by Chicago playwright Levi Holloway, Grey House shows what happens when a couple takes refuge in an isolated cabin inhabited by mysterious young girls and their equally unsettling mother. A Red Orchid Theatre is located at 1531 N. Wells Street; Grey House runs through December 1.

Music fans who come to the Chop Shop on Thursday, October 24, can participate in a costume party along with checking out four live bands: Pelafina, Bad Candy, The Locals, and the Cincinnati-based Here Come Here. The Locals will be showcasing songs from their emotionally charged new album Minutes, Seconds, Degrees. The music starts at 8:00 p.m. Chop Shop is located at 2033 W. North Avenue in Chicago.

The Duke Street Kings featuring Michael McDermott will perform Bruce Springsteen songs at the Halloweensteen bash at Park West this Saturday, October 26.

The Old Town School Of Folk Music is having a family-oriented Spooky Singalong on Saturday morning, October 26 at Maurer Hall and Sunday morning, October 27 at Armitage Hall. Both shows start at 10:00 a.m.

Durty Nellie’s in Palatine has an event titled The Ghosts Of Rock Icons Past featuring Modern Day Romeos coming up this Saturday. Attendees are encouraged to dress up as a famous rock star who’s no longer among the living, and there’s a costume contest with over $500 in prizes.

If scary and comedic short flicks are your thing, director-writer David Metzger’s This Zombie For Hire and director-writer Jeff Kelley’s Song Of The Dead can now be watched on YouTube. The films were screened this past Saturday night as part of Elgin’s annual Nightmare On Chicago Street Halloween festival. Full disclosure: I acted in both of these films.

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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Saturday Slumgullion

This week’s serving of Slumgullion is late due to my going to see The Bad Examples at Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights last night. As the venue marked its first birthday, the band rocked through an impressive set that reached back to its earliest albums and continued up to the most recent. Between songs, lead vocalist Ralph Covert reminisced about former band members, auditions, songwriting, and record deals. His funny (and occasionally heartbreaking) tales gave insight into The Bad Examples, and the songs themselves were consistently catchy and engaging.

The Chicago Architecture Center’s Open House Chicago takes place today and Sunday, granting free of charge access to 350 sites around the city that aren’t usually open to the general public. A 35-page guide is included in this week’s edition of the Redeye free newspaper, with sections for various neighborhood. Information is also available at the Open House Chicago website.

Stay Tuned: Rock On TV, an exhibition that originated at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, opened yesterday at the Museum Of Broadcast Communications on State Street in downtown Chicago.

The October issue of Uncut magazine (with Patti Smith on the cover) includes a behind-the-scenes look at how The Hollies recorded their first international hit single “Bus Stop.” Band members Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, Bobby Elliott, and Graham Nash, as well as and songwriter Graham Gouldman were consulted, and their comments are fascinating. It’s also funny to the read the different versions of how Gouldman offered “Bus Stop” to The Hollies and how old he was at the time. One thing they all agree on is that it’s a great song.

Tickets are now on sale for Cracker and Camper van Beethoven at Lincoln Hall on January 12; Chris and Heather’s Country Calendar Show at FitzGerald’s on December 7; Bob Dylan at Credit Union 1 Arena at UIC on October 30; EXPO ’76 with the Total Pro Horns and Robert Cornelius at FitzGerald’s on New Year’s Eve; The Music Of Cream with Kofi Baker, Malcolm Bruce, and Will Johns at Park West on April 26; My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and Chris Connelly, and Conformco at Wire on November 9;

In a related note to the Chris and Heather’s Country Calendar Show mentioned above, Squeezebox Books and Music in Evanston is now carrying greeting cards featuring the country and rock and roll musician portraits artist Heather McAdams created for her calendars.

Tributosaurus will become The Cars on Wednesday, November 6 at Martyrs. On the following night, there’s a Tori Amos Tribute to benefit RAINN.

The 55th Annual Chicago International Film Festival continues through October 27 at AMC River East 21

Dance Center Columbia College Chicago; Stony Island Arts Bank; Museum Of Contemporary Art; Poetry Foundation; and The Art Institute Of Chicago will be taking part in Between Gestures, a city-wide program devoted to connecting Chicago to other countries through performance and dance. There will also be panels, masterclasses, and screenings. The festival runs from October 24 through November 2.

The Henry Diltz Photography Morrison Hotel Gallery Tour will be coming to Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Diltz took the photo for The Doors’ Morrison Hotel album cover as well as the one used for the Crosby, Stills and Nash debut. It would great to see the Morrison Hotel Gallery Tour make a stop in Chicago.

The third edition of the Chicago Art Book Fair, a networking event for local artists, will be held November 15 – 17 at the Chicago Athletic Association at 12 S. Michigan Avenue.

The Haymarket Opera Company will perform John Frederick Lampe’s 1737 work The Dragon of Wantley at the Studebaker Theater on Michigan Avenue on October 27 at 5:30 p.m. and October 29 at 7:30 p.m. Haymarket promises, “beguiling music, cleverly ridiculous poetry, thrilling spectacle,” with ticket prices starting at $30.

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

Food for farce. According to Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones, chef Rick Bayless of Frontera and fame is working on comedic play inspired by his highly successful career. Jones noted the work will be performed by the Windy City Players at some point in the 2020-21 season. Which reminded of when Mary-Arrchie Theatre Artistic Director Rich Cotovsky penned a satire based on his work as a pharmacist. As for famous chefs doubling as playwrights, I’m willing to help my nephew Joe Flamm any time he feels the urge.

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Something Rocking This Way Comes

It’s that time of year when spooky-themed entertainment drifts across Chicago like a fog on the Scottish moor. And whether you’re already in the Halloween spirit or prefer to wait until we’re closer to October 31, there are numerous events coming your way. The choices include live rock, classical music, films, masquerade, and outdoor revelry. Here are some suggestions:

City Lit Theater Company is currently staging a production based on the most frightening of all the Sherlock Holmes novels—The Hound Of The Baskervilles. It runs through November 10. City Lit Theater is located at 1020 W. Bryn Mawr in Chicago.

Durty Nellie’s in Palatine is hosting Wizardfest – A Harry Potter Themed Pop-Up Party presented by Popular Party Tours tomorrow night from 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. Activities include dancing, a costume contest, trivia, photo booth, Halloween egg hunt for cash prizes, and a chance to win a Sweepstakes Grand Prize trip to London for two. It’s a 21 and over event, with prices ranging from $15 to for general admission to $50 for table for four.

Elgin’s downtown area will once again become a safe zone to escape zombies when the annual Nightmare On Chicago Street returns this Saturday, October 19. That might seem a bit early for a Halloween festival, but it’s always good to get a head start on the living dead. In addition to live music and food vendors, there will be other fun activities, including the world premiere of two independent horror films. This Zombie For Hire was written and directed by David Metzger and Song Of The Dead was written and directed by Jeff Kelley. I had a blast being in the cast for each flick. No one under the age of 17 will be allowed into Nightmare On Chicago Street unless accompanied by an adult.

Music fans who come to the Chop Shop on Thursday, October 24, can participate in a costume party along with checking out four live bands. Pelafina, Bad Candy, The Locals, and the Cincinnati-based Here Come Here. The Locals will be showcasing songs from their emotionally charged new album Minutes, Seconds, Degrees. The music starts at 8:00 p.m. Chop Shop is located at 2033 W. North Avenue in Chicago.

Montrose Saloon is the place to be for this year’s Halloweekend, a fun tradition where local bands perform as famous rock stars and often dress up like them. On Friday, October 25, the lineup is Los Gallos Band as Los Lobos; Roxy Morons as Roxy Muisc; The Webstirs as The Doobie Brothers; Androgynous Mustache as Hall and Oates; and Fiction Romantics as The Buzzcocks. On Saturday, October 26, Phil Angotti promises to go wandering as Bob Dylan; and he’ll be followed by Planet Claire as Neil Diamond; Statutes Of Liberty as Velvet Underground; Rachel Drew as Siouxsie and The Banshees; and The Stone Montroses as the Stone Roses. Obviously, some of these band names are pseudonyms for performers who play the Chicago club scene under their regular names. So in a way, you don’t know who’ll find at Montrose Saloon on Halloweekend.

The town of Long Grove, once a popular destination for antiques, crafts, and gifts items, is showing signs of successfully reinventing itself after going through some tough times. Restaurants and coffee places are now leading the way. Long Grove will transform itself into a Halloween Town from October 23 through October 27.

The 7th Annual Halloween ComicFest takes place on October 26, with participating comic stores offering candy and free comics. Patrons are encouraged to wear costumes. Check with your favorite comic store to see if it plans on being part of the fun.

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.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Incoming

The Bad Examples will be at Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights this Friday.

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has revealed its list of 16 nominees to be inducted in 2020, sparking the usual debate over who’s worthy, who’s unworthy, and who’s so much better than any of them but never gets nominated. Some rock music fans have long since opted out of even caring about Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. I’ve taken a more positive view since The Hollies were inducted in 2010, but it’s easy to understand people’s frustration. So, five of these following nominees will be chosen to join the RRHF club next year. Notorious B.I.G.; Rufus featuring Chaka Khan; Depeche Mode; Thin Lizzy; Judas Priest; Todd Rundgren; MC5; Soundgarden; Pat Benatar; Dave Matthews Band; Whitney Houston; Kraftwerk; The Doobie Brothers; T. Rex; Motorhead; and Nine Inch Nails. A case could be made that each of them was influential in its chosen genre. My votes would go for Todd Rundgren; MC5; Depeche Mode; T. Rex; and Thin Lizzy.

The Bad Examples, who would easily be inducted if there was a Chicago rock band hall of fame, are coming to Hey Nonny this Friday. It’s another sign the Arlington Heights restaurant-music venue is interested in booking acts from Chicago’s vibrant club scene. The Bad Examples can rock out with songs like the funny and hard-hitting “Not Dead Yet” and also create smooth Squeeze-style pop like “Pictures Of A Masquerade” and “Jayne Left Behind.”

Fans of irresistible English rock and roll can also check out Nick Lowe - Montrose Saloon Tribute Social Night, Number 5 tomorrow, October 17. The venue’s Facebook post describes this event as “conceived and delivered by Mason Payne,” and the performers include Tony Nuncio, Charlie Crane, Dan Morr, Gil Orndorf, and Tim Peters. Cover charge is $5, the pure pop for now people starts at 8:00 p.m. Montrose Saloon is located at 2933 W. Montrose in Chicago.

Durty Nellie’s in Palatine is hosting Wizardfest – A Harry Potter Themed Pop-Up Party presented by Popular Party Tours this Friday night from 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. Activities include dancing, a costume contest, trivia, photo booth, Halloween egg hunt for cash prizes, and a chance to win a Sweepstakes Grand Prize trip to London for two. It’s a 21 and over event, with prices ranging from $15 to for general admission to $50 for table for four.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Lin’s Been Our Best Friend For 35 Years

This past August marked the 10th anniversary of Broken Hearted Toy. One of the first posts I did in August 2009 was about a WXRT event celebrating the birthday of its morning DJ Lin Brehmer. Back then, I noted that Brehmer, who’s always assured his listeners he’s their best friend in the whole world, offered a refreshing alternative to the obnoxious humor served up by typical rock ‘n’ roll morning drive-time types. Whether he’s lamenting a frustrating Cubs game; relating how he mispronounced Bono’s name in an early interview with the U2 frontman; or recalling the time he brought the Australian garage rock band The Hoodoo Gurus home at 3:00 a.m. (much to his wife’s dismay), Brehmer exudes a one-of-the-guys persona

Ten years later, he probably has more best friends than ever. WXRT and Sprint are throwing a Brehmer bash tomorrow night, but this time it’s to celebrate his 35th anniversary of working at the station. Los Lobos are scheduled to perform, and it seems likely a number of Brehmer’s peers, along with special guests, will take the stage to share their favorite tales about him. I met Brehmer for the first time at that birthday party in 2009, and we’ve talked at enough WXRT events since then that when he saw me at City Winery Chicago earlier this year, he grinned and exclaimed, “Flamm!” That might have something to do with my nephew Joe Flamm winning Top Chef on Bravo—Brehmer’s definitely a foodie—but it sure seemed like something a best friend would do. Congratulations, Lin.

NOTE: As far as I know, the only available tickets for this event were given away at Sprint stores a while back.

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Slumgullion

Major contender for my RSD wish list.

The official Record Store Day website has revealed the list of limited-edition vinyl releases for this year’s Black Friday RSD, and it looks like a better than average selection. Once again, the artists involved stretch across all genres of music, including Alex Chilton; Miles Davis; Devo; Chuck Berry; Liam Gallagher; Hank Williams; James Brown; Jeff Buckley; John Lee Hooker; Eric Clapton; The Marshall Tucker Band; Alice Cooper; Aretha Franklin; Bruce Springsteen; Paul McCartney; and Willie Nelson. My own shopping list has Cheap Trick; U2; Peter Holsapple Combo; The Kinks; Nick Lowe and Wilco; The Pretenders; and The Regrettes.

America sends its Regrettes. Having released How Do You Love? as a worthy follow-up to their  debut album Feel Your Feelings Fool, The Regrettes are touring the globe. They’re in Chicago tonight for a concert at Metro, and they have upcoming dates in Ireland, England, France, Germany and Japan. The Los Angeles-based band expertly mixes authentic punk with the 1960s girl group sound even though none of its members are old enough to have experienced either of those eras.

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is scheduled to announce the nominees to be inducted in 2020 this coming Tuesday. Expect the usual outrage over which nominees are completely unworthy and which rock acts have been neglected for far too long. Not that there isn’t some merit to those comments. A couple of recommendations for induction off the top of my head would be Squeeze and The Bangles.

Tickets went on sale today for Cowboy Junkies at City Winery Chicago on March 5 and 6; Steve Forbet at SPACE on January 10; Sinead O’Connor at City Winery Chicago March 14 through 16; and Willy Porter at SPACE February 13.

The Bad Examples have a show coming up next Friday, October 18 at Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights. Once again, it’s encouraging to see this new venue tapping into some of the Chicago area’s best rock and roll acts for its bookings.

Congratulations to the Graham Crackers Comics location at 77 E. Madison on 20 years of doing business in downtown Chicago. The store has a sale running through this weekend.

Chris Hillman from The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers will be performing with noted studio Herb Pedersen at The Old Town School Of Folk Music this Sunday night.

Morning Glory On The Vine, a book featuring Joni Mitchell’s art, poetry, and lyrics, is now available for pre-order on Amazon. It’s based on a book Mitchell personally created for a number of friends back in 1971. In other Mitchell news, a double LP version of Jonie 75: A Birthday Celebration, which features various famous musicians in concert paying tribute to the iconic singer-songwriter, will be among this year’s Black Friday Record Store Day treasures.

The Haymarket Opera Company will perform John Frederick Lampe’s 1737 work The Dragon of Wantley at the Studebaker Theater on Michigan Avenue on October 27 at 5:30 p.m. and October 29 at 7:30 p.m. Haymarket promises, “beguiling music, cleverly ridiculous poetry, thrilling spectacle,” with ticket prices starting at $30.

It was nice to see a photo Ray and Dave Davies together at a London bash marking the 50th Anniversary of The Kinks’ groundbreaking rock opera Arthur - Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire. Arthur will be available on October 25 in various CD and vinyl formats.

The 2019 Chicago TARDIS Doctor Who convention will field an impressive roster of celebrity guests when it takes place November 29 – December 1 at the Westin Chicago Lombard. Paul McGann; Sylvester McCoy; Arthur Darville; Tosin Cole; Katy Manning; and Louise Jameson are among those who will be there.

If the critically acclaimed Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice documentary is on your wish list, you can catch it at the Gene Siskel Film Center November 1 through 7.

Professor Moptop presented his The Beatles’ Abbey Road 50th Anniversary lecture at the Palatine Library last week and it proved to be as interesting and entertaining as his regular contributions to Terri Hemmert’s Sunday morning Breakfast With The Beatles program on WXRT. He had copies of his Textbook Beatles Volume One and the very recently released Volume Two for sale after the presentation. Both books are filled with well-researched Beatles history, trivia, and a lots of fun photographs.

The 55th Annual Chicago International Film Festival gets under way next Wednesday, October 16 and will run through October 27 at AMC River East 21. The official 56-page program, with the complete schedule arranged by genre and featuring a brief description of each film, is available at the Gene Siskel Film Center and other place around Chicago.

BWiFF, the Blue Whiskey Independent 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 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.

Elgin’s downtown area will once again be overrun with zombies as part of the annual Nightmare On Chicago Street Halloween Festival . In addition to the roaming flesh-eaters, there will lots of entertainment; including Me-TV’s Svengoolie; DJs; live bands; and a costume contest. If you can claw your way through the mayhem, you might find a storefront theater where Jeff Kelley and Dave Metzger will each be screening an original horror film. I have an acting role in each of them.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

A Birthday For Three Cool Cats And One Real One

John Lennon was born on this day in 1940. Not only is his music still very much with us, his multi-faceted personality—wit, angst, compassion, and commitment to worthy causes—shines on as bright as ever. Depending on what time you read this, there might still be time to catch some of the Phil Angotti and Friends Lennon Tribute tonight at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue.

John Entwistle, “The Ox” bass player from The Who, was born four years after Lennon, on the same day. Like Lennon, he emerged during the first British Invasion, and played an essential role in making The Who the one of rock’s most powerful and enduring bands.

Jackson Browne is celebrating his birthday today. A major star of the the singer-songwriter boom of the 1970s, he collaborated with The Eagles and became good friends with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. “Doctor My Eyes” and “Take It Easy” are just two of his songs that remain classic rock radio staples.

Happy Birthday, gentlemen.

October 9, 1996 is the birthday of Penny, the first cat my wife and I picked out together, and a wonderful pet who made us laugh and seemed to read our every mood and need. She shows up in two of the novels I’m currently trying to get published, and it’s likely she’ll be in at least a few more. Maybe she’s sharing a drink with John Lennon somewhere right now. I think they’d enjoy each other’s sense of humor.

David Bowie’s birthday isn’t for a while, but Late Bar on Belmont Avenue is having an Oh, You Pretty Things: David Bowie and Friends Video Night this Friday. DJs Sonic Marchesa and Carrie MonStar will spin records from his entire career and there will a lot of music videos. Admission is $5 after 10 p.m.; Happy Hour is 8:00 to 10:00 p.m.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Rock In Paradise, Kim

Power pop lost one of its most vibrant and popular stars when Kim Shattuck passed away from ALS complications last week. Posts from fans, as well as musicians, expressing shock spread across social media, and there were numerous tributes. Shattuck was a founding member of The Muffs, but also performed with The Breeders and The Pandoras, and recorded songs with NOFX and Bowling For Soup. She helped out on Derrick Anderson’s A World Of My Own solo album, once again showing how much she enjoyed cutting loose with her peers on their projects.

More recently, Shattuck was a member of the trio The Coolies with Palmyra Delran of The Friggs and fellow Muffs member Melanie Vammen. Their EP Uh Oh! It's The Coolies was championed by Little Steven Van Zandt on his Underground Garage radio program, and offered a fun mix of garage rock, power pop, and a bit of country and western. She reunited with The Muffs for No Holiday, their first album in five years, and it’s due out October 18. As with all of the music Kim Shattuck gave us, it’s sure to be filled with high energy, irresistibly catchy songs.

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Monday, October 7, 2019

Incoming

Lead guitarist-vocalist Mike Skill from The Romantics has a new catchy power pop single titled “Carrie Got Married” that’s available to download on CD Baby. The song is a sequel to The Romantics’ early hit “Tell It To Carrie” and was written by singer-guitarist Chloe F. Orwell from the Chicago band The Handcuffs. Orwell sings back-up vocals on the recording, and drummer Brad Elvis, who’s a member of The Romantics and The Handcuffs, backs Skill’s vocals and ringing guitar with some rocket-fueled drumming.

If you enjoyed the recent John Lennon Birthday Celebration /Abbey Road 50th Anniversary event organized by Ary Paloma Jeebie and Ellis Clark at Martyrs’—and that would be the only sensible reaction—check out the Phil Angotti and Friends Lennon Birthday Bash coming up at that same venue this Wednesday night. Like Ary and Ellis, Phil has a passion for Beatles music, as well as the expertise to bring the band’s song to life. He’s become a regular on the Apple Jam Stage at Fest For Beatles Fans - Chicago, and does tribute shows around town. This Wednesday, he’ll be joined by musicians Tom Ryan, Joe Camarillo, John San Juan, Tony Richards, and Steve Dawson.

Tickets are now on sale for Off Broadway at FitzGerald’s on November 29; and for Al Stewart and Empty Pockets at SPACE on May 1.

Kim Gordon’s first solo album, No Home Record, comes out this Friday. October 25 will bring Colorado by Neil Young and Crazy Horse; and Daylight by Grace Pottter.

This past Sunday’s edition of the Chicago Tribune had a feature story by freelancer Donald Liebenson about Aaron Cohen’s new book Move On Up – Chicago Soul and Black Cultural Power. Cohen’s book covers the city’s urban contemporary music scene from the 1950s through the 1980s, and is available through the University Of Chicago Press. He’ll be discussing his book with Duane Powell at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore on October, and will also be at Constellation on October 11.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

More Beatles: Martyrs’ And Moptop

I spent much of this past weekend in Elgin, acting in scenes for the two horror movies Jeff Kelly and Dave Metzger are filming for Elgin’s Nightmare On Chicago Street Halloween festival coming up on October 19. But I did manage to squeeze in a few hours to catch the John Lennon Birthday/Abby Road 50th Anniversary Bash at Martyrs’ on Saturday night. Ary Paloma Jeebie and Ellis Clark organized the event with the same expertise they’ve shown at their annual George Harrison birthday bashes the past few years. A number of acts performed Saturday night, with each one choosing a song from Abbey Road, along with a few of their favorite Lennon compositions. I wasn’t able to stay long, due to my need to be on the set early Sunday morning, but it was a great time. And I bought a very cool original John Lennon t-shirt designed by Ary Paloma Jeebie.

In other Beatles related news, Professor Moptop is coming to my humble village to present his The Beatles’ Abbey Road 50th Anniversary lecture at the Palatine Library tomorrow night, October 2. Admission is free but seating is limited, so anyone interested should register with the Palatine Library in advance. The Professor is a regular contributor on Terri Hemmert’s Sunday morning Breakfast With The Beatles program on WXRT. He not only has an amazing knowledge of The Beatles, but also provides background information and fun trivia that brings us closer to understanding the atmosphere of the band’s recording sessions. I found that same entertaining mix in Professor Moptop’s Beatles Textbook Volume One. His Volume Two is also out, and I’m hoping to buy a copy at the Palatine Library tomorrow.

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