Thursday, November 21, 2019

When Black Friday Comes

You don’t have to be nestled all snug in your bed to have visions of limited-edition Black Friday Record Store Day releases. The colder weather and an already established tradition of consumers stampeding toward department stores usually makes Black Friday RSD less popular than the April version, but it’s still advisable to get out there early. For most stores, you won’t have any way of knowing how much these records cost ahead of time, so be prepared for a bit of sticker shock.

The list of high-caliber artists involved this year once again sweeps across all genres, including records by Louis Armstrong; Bad Company; Chuck Berry; Beck; James Brown; Jeff Buckley; Jackson Browne; Cheap Trick; Alex Chilton; Eric Clapton; Patsy Cline; Alice Cooper; Devo; Miles Davis; Thomas Dolby; The Doors; Aretha Franklin; Jimi Hendrix; The Kinks; Madonna; The Marshall Tucker Band; Paul McCartney; The Monkees; Willie Nelson; Katy Perry; The Pretenders; Elvis Presley; Lou Reed; The Regrettes; Rodrigo Y Gabriela; The Runaways; Todd Rundgren; Buffy Saint Marie; Joe Satriani; Frank Sinatra; Steppenwolf; Benmont Tench; They Might Be Giants; U2; and a number of various artists compilations. See the full list on the official RSD site.

Number one on my wish list is Three by U2. This 12-inch record is a reincarnation of the three-song EP the Irish band released back in 1979, with “Out Of Control,” “Stories For Boys,” and “Boy-Girl.” Aside from that, all my other choices involve seven-inch vinyl. Such as the U.K. Singles 1979 – 1981 boxed set from The Pretenders. It includes “Stop Your Sobbing,” “Kid,” “Brass In Pocket,” and five other seven-inch records. Next up is Cheap Trick’s cover of the John Lennon song “Gimme Some Truth,” with a B-Side live version of Wizzard’s “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” featuring one of Cheap Trick’s all-time heroes Roy Wood. Also in the holiday vein is The Peter Holsapple Combo’s “Christmas Must Be Tonight”and The Regrettes’ "Holiday-ish.” Rounding out my list are The Kinks’ “Arthur” single; and Nick Lowe with Wilco performing “Cruel To Be Kind.” My selections are likely to expand by the time I walk up to the counter at the Reckless Records downtown location.

Best of luck in nabbing the exclusive releases on your wish list. Afterwards, you can celebrate your successful hunt over a hot beverage (in my case, a chai tea latte) at a nearby Starbucks, Argo, or Dunkin Donuts.

Read more...

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Incoming

Chicago area fans will have an opportunity to catch one of punk’s first and most influential acts when Elvis Costello and The Imposters bring their Just Trust tour to the Chicago Theatre this Friday night.

Sounding just like “Buddy Holly.” Three local bands have a 25th anniversary celebration planned for a pair of beloved power pop albums coming up this Friday night at Montrose Saloon. The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club, who have released some impressive albums themselves, along with grunge/riot grrl quartet LovePunch and the coed power pop quintet Dirty Blond, will be performing songs from Twice Removed by Sloan and Blue by Weezer. The music starts at 8:30 and it will probably a perfect night for wearing a sweater. Montrose Saloon is located at 2933 W. Montrose Avenue.

Congratulations to Sir Paul McCartney on being chosen as the headline act at the 50th Annual Glastonbury Festival coming up in England on June 27, 2020. Diana Ross has also signed on to perform, and several other acts will be announced soon. Loyal fans of the festival can now purchase the Glastonbury 50 book by Micael Eavis and Emily Eavis via Rough Trade, Waterstones, WHSmith, and Book Depository.

It’ll be Automatic Baby all over again. The Chicago-based U2 tribute band Without U2 joins forces with New York’s Dead Letter Office R.E.M. tribute band this Saturday at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue. That’s a lot of awesome music for one evening. The show starts at 9:00 p.m.

The Hey Nonny venue in Arlington Heights has booked another first rate act from the Chicago music scene. Steve Dawson and Diane Christiansen of Dolly Varden are scheduled for a gig on January 17. Singer-guitarist Chris Rawlins Cialdella will be their special guest.

Last Thursday at the Reckless Records on Madison, I bought a copy of a booklet titled Fireside Fury On Fullerton Stories - Chicago’s D.I.Y. Punk Venue - A Retrospective. It features contributions from members of the bands The Methadones, Boris The Sprinkler, The Bollweevils, No Empathy, and Oblivion. Their memories of performing at Fireside Bowl in the 1990s are fascinating, and the booklet is only $3.00.

Read more...

Monday, November 18, 2019

It Ain’t Heavy, And It Will Fit In Your Library

According to a post on the official website for The Hollies, drummer Bobby Elliott has penned an autobiography titled It Ain’t Heavy, It’s My Story – My Life And The Hollies’ that will be released by Omnibus Press on April 2, 2020. Elliott wasn’t with the band from the very start, but his arrival came close enough that we can call him a founding member. He still tours extensively and records the occasional album with the group, along with fellow original member, guitarist Tony Hicks.

Like The Hollies themselves, Elliott tends to not get the credit he deserves from the general public. But his innovative style (which incorporates elements of jazz) has drawn praise from fellow musicians and he’s usually included when music magazines compile a list of the best rock and roll drummers. Back in 2010, The Hollies received a long overdue induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

It Ain’t Heavy won’t be the first time Elliott has reflected on his life with The Hollies. Back in 2010, he put together an amazing tour book titled The Hollies Through The Ages that featured loads of photos of the band in its early days. A limited number of copies were available on the official website. It’s not likely Elliott will come to the States on a book tour—none of the current Hollies have been here since 2002—but hopefully there will be autographed copies available through their website.

Read more...

Friday, November 15, 2019

Slumgullion

Welcome to everyone who’s come to Chicago this weekend for the grand opening of the Starbucks Reserve Chicago Roastery; AKA the world’s largest Starbucks. You’ll find it at 646 N. Michigan Avenue in the building that once housed a Crate And Barrel store. While you’re in town, be sure to take in some of our local entertainment.

If you’re intrigued by the recently released Arthur50 box set from The Kinks, but weren’t aware of the album when it was originally released, a recent article by Geoff Edgers in The Washington Post (picked up by the Chicago Tribune) offers some helpful information. Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire) is often cited as the first rock concept album, but in the article, Ray Davies tells Edgers it’s more like “a documentary album.” Davies notes that Arthur still has relevance to today’s world. Edgers also interviewed Dave Davies and Mick Avory, as well as John Dalton, who replaced original bassist Peter Quaife. A limited-edition seven-inch single of “Arthur” will be available as part of this year’s Black Friday Record Store Day releases.

The Simon & Garfunkel Story opens next Tuesday, November 19 and will run through December 8 at the Broadway Playhouse. The show combines film and photos with a live band to present the folk rock duo’s rise to becoming one of America’s most popular acts. Broadway Playhouse is located at 175 E. Chestnut Street, at Water Tower Place.

Over 125 artists and several small independent presses—some from other countries— will showcase their work at the third edition of the Chicago Art Book Fair this weekend at the Chicago Athletic Association at 12 S. Michigan Avenue. The networking event is open to the public free of charge.

Robert Freeman, the photographer who gave the world (and history) the riveting black and white cover shot for the 1963 With The Beatles album (Meet The Beatles in the U.S.), passed away earlier this week. An obituary by Washington Post writer Matt Schudel explained the surprisingly simple lighting and background approach Freeman used in capturing John, Paul. George, and Ringo for generations to come. He also took the psychedelic cover shot for The Beatles’ Rubber Soul album. Rock In Paradise, Mr. Freeman.

Both nights are now sold out for the 22nd Annual Jeff Buckley Tribute event taking place this Saturday and Sunday at Uncommon Ground’s Lakeview location.

Bridge, a literary publication that enjoyed a short run around the turn of this century, is making a comeback as a hardcover journal, thanks to a small group of creative individuals. A relaunch event is taking place at 7:00 p.m. this Sunday night at SITE/less at 1250 W. Augusta Blvd. in Chicago. Following the official relaunch, there will be a Bridge After Party at Montrose Saloon featuring The Thomas Comerford Band, Danny Black, and Eric Chial from The Bon Mots, and Decoy Prayer Meeting. It kicks off at 8:00 p.m. Montrose Saloon is located at 2933 W. Montrose.

The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s holiday concert scheduled for the Chicago Theatre tomorrow night has been canceled, due to lead vocalist-guitarist Brian Setzer having tinnitus.

Heritage Rockfest, a four-act concert event, takes place tomorrow night at the Irish American Heritage Center on Chicago’s north side. The lineup includes the AC/DC tribute band TNT-Chicago, punk/heavy metal outfit Pipe, the high-energy rock of Vicious Circle, and the blues/hard rock band Midnight Road. Admission for the 17 and older show is $10; the music starts at 7:00 p.m.

Chicago-based power pop band The Collectors have changed their name to The Walkdown and have 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. The Walkdown’s new Facebook page has racked up 100 likes so far.

Sonic Youth founder Thurston Moore’s new group has a pair of gigs coming up at The Empty Bottle on December 12 and 13.

The world premiere of The First Deep Breath by Lee Edward Colston II opened tonight at the Victory Gardens Theatre on Lincoln Avenue. Steve H. Broadnax III directs the intense family drama, which runs through December 22. The November issue of Chicago Social magazine has an interview by writer Jaclyn Jermyn with Colston.

According to a recent article by Nina Metz in the Chicago Tribune, there will a documentary about Chicago-based improve pioneers Del Close and Charna Halpern. Former Second City member and now successful director/screenwriter Kay Cannon is the creative force behind the film.

Amy Gore’s new garage rock band The Rosalyns are one of the American acts scheduled to join the international lineup at the Purple Weekend on December 4 in Leon, Spain. Australia’s awesome power pop band The Hoodoo Gurus are the headliners. The Rosalyns have a record release party coming up on November 29 at Casbah San Diego.

Tickets are have sold out for Velvet Underground 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.

We are definitely amused. The Royal Mint has added Wallace and Gromit to the collection of cartoon characters it has chosen to be honored. The human/canine duo, created by the clever and very British artists at Aardman Studios, are featured on a coin that’s available to order for from the Royal Mint’s website. Also new this year, is a trio of coins depicting the characters from The Snowman, the Academy Award nominated short animation. Prices range from £10.00 for an uncirculated coin to £980.00 for a limited edition gold proof coin.

The Court Theatre’s production of Oedipus Rex continues its run through December 8. Oedipus Rex is the first installment of the Sophocles trilogy, which Court Theatre will continue with a production of The Gospel at Colonus next May and a production of Antigone next Fall. Court Theatre is located at 5535 S. Ellis Avenue in Hyde Park.

Read more...

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Incoming

The tall guy in the middle is celebrating his birthday.

Chicago-based singer-guitarist Dag Juhlin is celebrating his birthday a day early by performing tonight with EXPO ’76—one of the several hundred bands he’s a member of—at Simon’s Tavern on Clark Street. EXPO ’76 features Juhlin and other veterans of the Chicago music scene playing an amazingly eclectic and always fun selection of cover versions. Admission for tonight’s show is free. Happy Birthday, Dag.

Over 125 artists, along with several small independent presses, will be showcasing their work when the third edition of the Chicago Art Book Fair takes place this weekend at the Chicago Athletic Association at 12 S. Michigan Avenue. The networking event is open to the public free of charge.

The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s annual holiday tour has been canceled due to lead vocalist-guitarist Setzer having tinnitus. That wipes out the gig scheduled for this Saturday night at the Chicago Theatre, but at least fans can listen the Orchestra’s Christmas albums, which offer original and standard holiday tunes souped-up with catchy, old-time rock and roll arrangements.

Over the years, my wife Pam and I have seen a lot of talented Irish acts perform at the Irish American Heritage Center on Chicago’s north side. The live entertainment takes a different turn this Saturday night at the Center with the Heritage Rockfest. The lineup includes the AC/DC tribute band TNT Chicago, punk/heavy metal outfit Pipe, the high-energy rock of Vicious Circle, and the blues/hard rock band Midnight Road. Admission is $10; the music starts at 7:00 p.m.

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.

Read more...

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Reading And Writing And Rock And Roll

Insight Comics is releasing a 160-page hardcover graphic novel titled Bowie - Stardust, Rayguns and Moonage Daydreams that’s now available for preorder on Amazon. Steve Horton and Michael Allred are the writers, Laura Allred is the illustrator, and the foreword is written by Neil Gaiman. Laura Allred employs a colorful, realistic style that brings Bowie’s career, personality, and fellow musicians to life in a consistently appealing fashion. The book is due out January 7.

Chicago Tribune writer Debbie Carlson reviewed another hardcover David Bowie book in last Sunday’s Life+Travel section. It’s titled Bowie: An Illustrated Life and combines Maria Hesse’s art with copy by Fran Ruiz. Carlson described the book as being told from Bowie’s point of view and added that readers “meet many of the famous musicians he interacted with, including Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, Freddie Mercury and others.” Hesse takes a whimsical and fun approach to rendering Bowie’s story. It’s available on Amazon.

And if acquiring both of the above-mentioned Bowie books puts you in the mood to see some of his music performed live, Sons Of The Silent Age have a Ziggy Meets The Duke show coming up on January 11 at Metro. The critically acclaimed Bowie tribute band will be performing Ziggy Stardust and Station To Station in their entirety. The Queen tribute band The Ready Freddies will be the opening act.

Freelance writer Allison Stewart had an intriguing feature story about comedian/author Jenny Slate in last Friday’s Chicago Tribune. Slate was in town for a show at The Vic Theatre, and her new book Little Weirds has been picking up critical acclaim. Stewart describes it as “an abstract memoir-like collection of short pieces.” Slate currently has a standup show titled Stage Fright on Netflix,

Bridge, a literary publication that enjoyed a short run around the turn of this century, is making a comeback as a hardcover journal via a small group of creative individuals. Its mix of art, poetry, fiction, and essays draws inspiration from vintage periodicals like Tristan Tzara’s literature magazines and Wyndham Lewis’ Blast. The relaunched Bridge will have a freewheeling publishing cycle, based on when its creators feel they have the right amount of material to go to press. There will be a relaunch event for Bridge this Sunday, November 17 at 7:00 p.m. SITE/less at 1250 W. Augusta Blvd. in Chicago. Following the official relaunch, there will be a Bridge After Party at Montrose Saloon featuring The Thomas Comerford Band, Danny Black, and Eric Chial from The Bon Mots, and Decoy Prayer Meeting. It kicks off at 8:00 p.m. Montrose Saloon is located at 2933 W. Montrose.

On a personal note, I recently finished writing my fourth novel. It’s a Young Adult/rock and roll/romance/paranormal—hopefully funny—effort inspired by musicians like Alex Chilton and Steve Winwood who were already accomplished vocalists in their teenage years. My previous efforts (none published yet) are a suspense/satire novel based on Chicago’s punk rock scene in the mid-1980s, a Middle Grade fantasy/holiday novel, and a sequel to the Middle Grade fantasy. Three literary agents at a writers convention I attended last June liked my pitch and gave me the green light to submit my latest novel to them.

One of the requests literary agents often make is that writers provide examples of published (and successful) novels that are similar to the submission. It was during that quest that I discovered Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious, a thoroughly enjoyable Young Adult/Paranormal/Mystery with a hint of romance and lots of clever humor. For its main character, Truly Devious gives us Stevie, a teenage girl who’s unique, funny, inquisitive, and at times, overwhelmed and frightened, the way any teenager would be at a new far-from-home school with a history of unsolved murders. I can’t wait for the second book of this trilogy to come out next month.

Finally, aspiring writers looking to connect with an agent or publisher should consider Chris Roerden’s Don’t Murder Your Mystery. An acquaintance highly recommended this writing guide so I recently bought a copy. Roerden has a decades-long career as an editor and offers essential tips from an insider’s point of view on how avoid common mistakes while submitting your manuscript. I’ve just started reading it can already tell it’s going to be extremely helpful.

Read more...

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.

Read more...
Related Posts with Thumbnails