Saturday, November 9, 2019

Slumgullion

Tickets are now on sale for The Pretenders and Journey at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater on July 3; Jon Langford and Sally Timms at The Hideout on January 19; Silver Suns and Tommi Zender at Martyrs’ on November 14; and Social Act and Nicholas Barron at Martyrs’ on December 13.

The above gig information comes from this week’s edition of The Chicago Reader. For the full list, pick up a copy from local venues or a Reader box in the downtown area.

This week’s Chicago Reader is its Best Of Chicago issue. The honors are divided into several categories across entertainment, sports, politics, restaurants, businesses, stores, and events. Reckless Records was named best record store, with Laurie’s Planet Of Sound coming in second; Women and Children First was the best independent bookstore, with Book Cellar coming in second; WBEZ was best radio station, with WXRT coming in second; and Terri Hemmert was voted as best DJ, with Lin Brehmer coming in second.

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

The Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts is holding its annual Fall Clearance sale today, with a massive selection of art and sculptures available at reduced prices. Palette and Chisel is located at 1012 N. Dearborn, just north of downtown.

The world premiere of The First Deep Breath by Lee Edward Colston II opens next Friday at the Victory Gardens Theatre on Lincoln Avenue. Steve H. Broadnax III directs the intense family drama, which runs through December 22.

Tickets have sold out for Velvet Underground founding member John Cale’s concert at the Art Institute of Chicago on January 26. The performance ties in with the museum’s current exhibition Andy Warhol – From A to B and Back Again.

The Grand Rapids Comic-Con takes place this weekend at The DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The event will include celebrity guests, artists, and authors.

The 22nd Annual Jeff Buckley Tribute event will take place at Uncommon Ground’s Edgewater location at 1401 W. Devon Avenue in Chicago on November 17 and 18.

The Chicago TARDIS convention is being held November 29 – December 1 in Lombard have been announced. The special guests include Paul McGann, who played The Doctor in an American TV movie version of the U.K. sci-fi series, and had a pivotal cameo the 50th Anniversary short clips. Tosin Cole, Greg Austin, Vivian Oparah, and Sophie Hopkins will also be there.

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Stop In The Name Of Rock

Nine east coast bands that feature women musicians have joined together and will hit the road in early 2020 as The WhistleStop Tour. The press release describes the lineup of Justine And The Unclean, The Chelsea Curve, Cold Expectations, Field Day, Heather Rose In Clover, Kid Gulliver, The Knock Ups, Powerslut, and Tiger Bomb as “New England Power*Pop*Punk Queens.” The first date is at the Askew Prov in Providence, RI on January 11, and it will be followed by gigs in Somerville, MA, Salem, MA and Portland, ME.

The Somerville show will be a record release party for PowerSlut. So far, the tour appears to be locked in on the east coast, with other regional dates to be announced. Special guests will join in the fun at each location; Lockette and The Shang-Hi-Los have already signed on. It would be nice to see a Midwest version of this tour, and of course, WhistleStop is welcome to visit the Chicago area anytime.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Incoming

We lost Ric Ocasek a while back but his presence will surely be felt tomorrow night at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue. That’s when Tributosaurus, one of the city’s best known tribute bands, will become The Cars. It’s hard to imagine new wave catching on as well as it did back in the 1970s without the nocturnal ambience of Cars songs such as “Just What I Needed,” “Bye Bye Love,” and “Moving In Stereo.” The band was justifiably inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame last year.

Americana singer-guitarist Margo Price has been added to the musicians performing on The Last Waltz Tour, a tribute to The Band’s 1976 farewell concert at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. The Last Waltz Tour, with headliners Warren Haynes, Jamey Johnson, Lukas Nelson, John Medeski, and Don Was, comes to the Chicago Theatre on November 21.

A feature-length documentary about Ronnie Wood titled Somebody Up There Likes Me is set to open in theaters around Ireland and the U.K. on November 26. It will include vintage footage of his days with The Jeff Beck Group, The Faces, and The Rolling Stones. Hopefully, it will open in the States some time in the near future.

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Friday, November 1, 2019

Slumgullion

The Got It Covered - BBC Children In Need charity album, which features cover versions of popular songs performed by Helena Bonham Carter, Jim Broadbent, Olivia Colman, Himesh Patel, David Tennant, Jodie Whittaker, and other noted British actors, is now available on Amazon and other sites.

Today is release day for From Out Of Nowhere by Jeff Lynne’s ELO. Two weeks from now, we’ll see Juliana Hatfield Sings The Police from Juliana Hatfield; and November 22 brings Hyperspace from Beck, Losst and Founnd by Harry Nilsson; Thanks For The Dance from Leonard Cohen, and Who by The Who.

A big welcome to Jerry Seinfeld, who’ll be performing stand-up comedy tonight at the Chicago Theatre. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Countless television viewers can recite catch phrases (and probably entire scenes) from Seinfeld’s eponymous sitcom. But he was already a legendary stand-up comedian for his clever and imaginative takes on everyday things like doing laundry or the way a dog reacts when its human returns from even the shortest time away. His current TV project Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee offers fascinating and funny insight on how comedians create and regard their work. By the way, I wore a puffy shirt the other day, but it wasn’t because I wanted to look like a pirate. It was part of my vampire costume for our company’s Halloween party.

Social Act will be showcasing “Time” and other songs from their new album, Innocence In Time tonight at Montrose Saloon tonight. Icebox and Steve Karras are also on the bill. The music starts at 9:00 p.m. Tomorrow night at Montrose Saloon, it’s Go Time, The Spindles and 45 Souls.

Tickets went on sale today for Peter Asher at City Winery Chicago on January 3; Chicago at the Rialto Square Theatre on April 7; Juliana Hatfield at SPACE on January 16; NRBQ at Chop Shop on November 27; and Sons Of The Silent Age and Ready Freddies at Metro on January 11.

Next Saturday, November 9, QUAD CON will arrive in Burlington, IA the fourth destination on its quest to bring toys, comic books, art, and games to cities in the Midwest. Admission is free. QUAD CON will hit Rockford, IL on November 17.

Chicago-based power pop band The Collectors are changing their name to The Walkdown and have officially added vocalist Erica Loftus to their lineup. Loftus has made guest appearances with the Mike Mazza led group (as well as with Van Go) in the past and also sings lead for The Right Tidys. All of the above-mentioned acts are well-known to regular attendees of International Pop Overthrow - Chicago.

We lost Ric Ocasek a while back but we’ll never forget his contributions to cutting-edge music. You can appreciate the nocturnal allure he crafted with his songs when Tributosaurus becomes The Cars next Wednesday, November 6 at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue.

Progressive rock fans should flock to The Raue Center For The Arts in Crystal Lake on Saturday, November 23. The six-member band Prognosis will be performing Six Of The Best, a tribute to Peter Gabriel; Genesis; Jethro Tull; Emerson, Lake, and Palmer; King Crimson; and Yes.

The Grand Rapids Comic-Con takes place November 8 – 10 at The DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The event will include celebrity guests, artists, and authors.

The Music On Stage theater group will present Annie The Musical from November 16 through December 1 at Cutting Hall in Palatine. In 2020, Music On Stage will be presenting The Sound Of Music and The Wizard Of Oz.

Jackson Galaxy, host of Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell TV show, is coming to the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, IL on January 17. Don’t look for me to make any jokes about my cats being from hell. They’re both perfect angels.

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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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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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Friday, August 30, 2019

Slumgullion

Taste Of Polonia returns to Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood today and will run through Monday. Over 35 music acts will perform on four stages; including Tributosaurus tonight as Led Zeppelin; The Neverly Brothers; School Of Rock; and the Beatles tribute band Kaleidoscope Eyes. See the official website for the full schedule.

Tickets went on sale today for the 15th Annual Alex Chilton Birthday Bash at Empty Bottle on December 28; Moody Blues member John Lodge at City Winery Chicago on November 12; Julia Nunes and Elizabeth and The Catapult at Subterranean on November 23; and Screaming Females and Dusk at Schubas on October 23.

EXPO ’76 will be cracking wise and reaching into its bottomless bag of cover versions tonight at the classy Arlington Heights venue Hey Nonny.

Welcome to everyone’s who’s come to Chicago for our acclaimed Jazz Festival. The event began yesterday with shows at Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center; and runs today through Sunday at Millennium Park. Performers include The Art Ensemble Of Chicago; the Metropolitan Jazz Octet with Dee Alexander; Eddie Palmieri Sextet; and Ben Sidran. Chicago Tribune music critic Howard Reich offered a critical guide in yesterday’s issue, and the Chicago Sun-Times has the full schedule. This week’s edition of The Reader has a special section on the Jazz Festival.

The Reader was one of the many publications I picked up on my weekly after-work trip downtown yesterday. Chicago Innerview has released its annual guide to Riot Fest (coming to Douglas Park September 13 – 15), and you can pick up a free copy at the Reckless Records on Madison Street. Just down the street, I dropped by Graham Cracker Comics to buy the September Previews - The Comic Shop's Catalogue. The September issue of New City has the magazine’s Art 50 list of Chicago’s most influential members of the art community, and it’s being bundled with the EXPO Chicago (coming to Navy Pier September 19 – 22) program. The entire latest issue of Streetwise is a Fall Festival Guide that actually runs through the rest of the year. You can buy one from one of the many vendors around downtown and help the homeless while getting some helpful entertainment information.

Squeeze, led by founding members Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, performs at the elegant Chicago Theater tomorrow night in what has to be considered a perfect match of venue and band. In addition to older classics like “Tempted,” “Hourglass,” and “Black Coffee In Bed,” hopefully Squeeze will perform songs from its masterful 2018 effort The Knowledge.

Marvel Comics will mark its 80 birthday tomorrow, and several local comic book stores will participate in the celebration. Customers at the participating stores will have the opportunity to see the new Marvel Comics #1000 and copies of the Marvel Universe Magazine will be available for free. 

Country rock band Heartsfield has a gig tomorrow night at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn.

There’s an Irish Days festival in Long Grove tomorrow through Monday that will offer live music, dance troupes, and competitions for dogs and men in kilts. Long Grove, which was once a major destination for antiques and crafts lovers, is currently in a rebuilding mode. The emphasis is mainly on restaurants, but since some of these new venues are doing well, maybe new shops will follow. As for this weekend’s event, people who’ve been to Irish Fest on Chicago’s northwest side should enjoy this event in Long Grove. Academy Of Irish Music, carrying on the legacy of instructor Noel Rice, performs at 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, and is highly recommended. The McNulty School Of Dance and the Irish Trinity Dancers will performing; as are Shannon Rovers, the rowdy but surprisingly talented Larkin/Moran Brothers, and Dooley Brothers and Jimmy Moore.

Mercury Theater’s production of Spamalot opens tonight and will 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.

In last Friday’s Slumgullion, I mentioned Professor Moptop’s Wednesday, October 2 50 Years of Abbey Road lecture at the Palatine Library but left readers hanging as to his other Abbey Road library appearances. Here they are: September 18 at the Bridgeview Public Library, September 23 at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, and October 10 at the Evergreen Park Library. Professor Moptop is a regular contributor to Terri Hemmert’s Breakfast With The Beatles show each Sunday on WXRT, and will be releasing his Textbook Beatles Volume 2 Beatlemania 1963 – 1964 in the near future. If it’s anything like Textbook Beatles Volume 1, it will be packed with all kinds of recording information and interesting and sometimes little-known stories about the band.

Karen Gillan and I have something in common in addition to having both conversed with Matt Smith. The Doctor Who, Guardians Of The Galaxy, and Jumanji actress still fancies making her own films, and recently posted on Instagram that she’s finishing up a short horror flick. My wife Pam and I created several two-minute episodes of a comedy series titled Manchester Gallery that was shown on Jeff Kelley’s Sunday Morning Coffee With Jeff internet show. Kelley and graphic design artist Dave Metzger also create zombie films for Elgin’s annual Nightmare on Chicago Street Halloween festival, and I’ve acted in a number of those. I recently took a meeting with them to appear in two new films. This year’s Nightmare On Chicago Street festival takes place on Saturday, October 19.

Billie Piper is another former Doctor Who cast member going the indie film route. Rare Beasts, which Piper directed, wrote, and acted in, will be screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October. It’s a drama/comedy about relationships that also stars David Thewlis, Kerry Fox, and Bill Leo. It would be nice to see the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago hold a Karen Gillan/Billie Piper indie film festival.

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Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Champagne Of Pop Music

When Squeeze performs at the elegant Chicago Theater this Saturday night, it will be perfect match of venue and band. Founded by Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook back in the mid-1970s, Squeeze has continually exuded sophistication while combining clever wordplay and irresistible melodies. Almost from the start, Difford and Tilbrook’s songwriting skills drew comparisons to John Lennon and Paul McCartney, particularly on gems like “Tempted,” “Pulling Mussels (From The Shell),” “Is That Love?” and “Goodbye Girl.” Other highlights over the years included “Black Coffee In Bed,” “Messed Around,” and “Hourglass.”

When Squeeze released The Knowledge in 2018, it was one of the best albums of the year. Here’s a sample of my Broken Hearted Toy review: “Like wisdom, The Knowledge seems to have come with age, as Tilbrook and Difford reflect on the later stages of life; for themselves and the people they encounter. Their observations can be poignant, as on the energetic “Innocence In Paradise” and the acoustic “Departure Lounge,” or laced with wry humor, like on the viagra-themed “Please Be Upstanding” and “Albatross,” a short and funny portrait of a vinyl junkie.”

The Knowledge is definitely worth picking up if there are any for sale on the merch table at the Chicago Theater concert. Watch for special demo CDs as well. I bought one when Squeeze performed on Northerly Island a few years ago. The band’s lineup has changed over the years—Jools Holland and Paul Carrack are long gone—but Difford and Tilbrook remain comfortably at the helm with the current members.

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