Friday, July 12, 2019

Slumgullion

The Pretenders With Friends, a concert Chrissie Hynde and her band performed at the Decades Rock Arena in Atlantic City, NJ with special guests Iggy Pop, Shirley Manson, Kings Of Leon, and Incubus, is out today as a Blu Ray + DVD + CD set.

There are a number of festivals taking place this weekend, including Taste Of Chicago, Irish Fest, and Roscoe Village Burger Fest. See my Wednesday post for more details on each of these.

Former Hollies lead vocalist Allan Clarke released the single “Journey Of Regret” today. The song reflects Clarke’s long-held admiration for Bruce Springsteen and is the first taste of a new album titled Resurgence coming out on September 20. It will be Clarke’s eighth solo effort, but the first in almost 30 years.

Tickets went on sale today for the Marcia Ball Band at SPACE on November 8; BoDeans at City Winery Chicago on November 30 and December 1; Ralph Covert’s Acoustic Army at FitzGerald’s on July 20; Robbie Fulks at The Hideout on August 9; Delbert McClinton and Gerald Dowd at Old Town School Of Folk Music on September 21; Lucy Wainwright Roche at SPACE on September 11; and Sarah Shook and The Disarmers, with Senora May at Sleeping Village on October 11. For a full list of upcoming concerts in the Chicago area, check the Early Warnings page of this week’s Chicago Reader.

The next season of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee starts July 19 on Netflix.

The Long Grove Arts and Music Council will stage the first of the four free concerts it has lined for this summer when Corky Siegel and Will Tilson perform this Sunday afternoon on Towner Green. 

Pete Townshend was among the famous musicians on social media mourning the passing of Alan Rogan, a highly respected guitar roadie. Rogan had worked with The Who, The Rolling Stones, Graham Nash, and Joe Walsh. Rock In Paradise, Mr. Rogan.

Neo, the iconic new wave club that reigned on Clark Street for so many years, is having a reunion at Metro on Saturday, July 20.

Congratulations to Johnny Marr on selling out all the dates on his current UK tour.

Musicians from the city’s Greek, Mexican, Argentinian, and Bulgarian communities will take part in the world premiere of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s Chicago Immigrant Stories II on July 22 at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Emmy Award-winning trumpeter-composer Orbert Davis will lead the performance, which will feature Athanasios Zervas, Sones de Mexico, Leandro Lopez Varady, Zara Zaharieva, and Petros Dragoumis. The concert begins at 6:30 p.m.

With a lineup of former Friggs, Muffs, and Pandoras members Kim Shattuck, Melanie Varmmen, and Palmyra Delran, it’s a safe bet the new trio The Coolies will be a blast. Their debut effort, the six-song EP Uh Oh! It’s . . . The Coolies will be available in digital format next Friday and the 10-inch clear emerald vinyl version is available for preorder on the band’s Bandcamp page.

Can I have one? While making my weekly trip to the Reckless Records downtown location, I noticed the store’s record bins are decorated with colorful Official Lollapalooza After Show mini-posters, including ones for Sharon Van Etton and Jade Bird at Schubas and Lincoln Hall.

Green City Market’s annual Chef BBQ will take place at the south end of Lincoln Park (approximately 1817 N. Clark) on July 18 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. Over 100 Chicago area restaurants and breweries will be involved, including Antique Taco, Bad Hunter, Commons Club at Virgin Hotels Chicago, Eataly, Floriole, Goose Island Brewhouse, Maddon’s Post; Revolution Brewing, Spiaggia, The Gage, and Upstairs at The Gwen. There’s a wide range of ticket prices, which can be found at the Green City Market website.

The Bob Dylan: Electric exhibit has been extended at the American Writers Museum in downtown Chicago.

The Black Harvest Film Festival continues its 2019 run at the Gene Siskel Film Center through July 22.

The Louder Than Words – Rock Politics Power exhibit, which originated at The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, continues its run at the Museum of Broadcast Communications here in Chicago through the end of August.

Kokandy Productions’s production of Head Over Heels, the Broadway musical based on songs by The Go-Go’s, continues through August 25 at Theatre Wit on Belmont Avenue.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Festivals Straight Ahead

Taste Of Chicago opened today and you might even be rocking out to Courtney Barnett or Sunflower Bean as I’m posting this. The Taste runs through Sunday, with national acts scheduled for each evening. Those shows will get some stiff competition because we’re heading into one of Chicago’s busiest weekends for entertainment. If you’re a tourist who’s scheduled a vacation based around Taste Of Chicago, you might want to consider these other options as well.

The annual Irish Fest takes place at the Irish American Heritage Center on Chicago’s north side. It’s three days of traditional and more rock-oriented live Irish music, dance, a bit of theater, food vendors, and even a traditional tea if you prefer that to Harp and Guinness. Acts scheduled to perform include Tupelo (be ready for some audience participation), the wild and funny Larkin and Moran Brothers, Rory Makem, and The Bagpipes and Drums of the Emerald Society Chicago Police Department.

If you’re cool with a trip to Arlington Heights, Soundtracks Of A Generation will present A 50th Anniversary Tribute To The Woodstock Era on Friday night at the Metropolis Performing Arts Center. The show will cover songs by Santana, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Jefferson Airplane.

The Roscoe Village Burger Fest takes place Saturday and Sunday at Belmont and Damen. Local bands performing include The Handcuffs, School Of Rock, JC Brooks, The Empty Pockets, Michael McDermott, and Cat Fight.

Son Volt, Camper Van Beethoven, and Cracker are the headline acts at this year’s Square Roots Festival being held in Lincoln Square this Saturday and Sunday. Local indie label Bloodshot Records will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary on Saturday with a Tribute To Andre Williams featuring The Mekons, Vandoliers, and Murder By Death. Other acts scheduled include Southern Culture On The Skids, Tommi Zender, Steve Dawson’s Funeral Bonsai Wedding and as the finale, a tribute to Stevie Nicks and Stevie Wonder. Be sure to visit the Laurie’s Planet Of Sound record store while you’re in the area.

You can wrap up this busy weekend by catching Steve Forbert at City Winery Chicago on Sunday night.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Incoming

Critically acclaimed Aussie singer-guitarist and free spirit Courtney Barnett kicks off this year’s Taste Of Chicago concert series tomorrow night on the Petrillo Music Shell. Barnett will likely be showcasing her latest release Tell Me How You Really Feel, which features offbeat but catchy, guitar-based tracks like “City Looks Pretty,” “Nameless, Faceless,” and “Crippling Self-Doubt And A General Lack Of Confidence.” It’s available in various formats via her own label Milk! Records. Sunflower Bean, an indie rock band that’s garnering attention with its Twentytwo In Blue album, will be her opening act. Taste of Chicago wraps up Sunday night an impressive double bill of rhythm and blues stars India.Arie and Meshell Ndegoecello.

The Long Grove Arts and Music Council has four events scheduled for the suburb’s 14th season of free Sunday afternoon outdoor concerts on Towner Green. Corky Siegel and Will Tilson will perform on July 14; followed by Creole Stomp on August 4; Sons Of The Never Wrong on August 11; and The Don Sternberg Quartet on August 18. All shows start at 4:00 p.m.

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Friday, July 5, 2019

The Unswept - Minor Blemishes

Leave it to those clever transplanted Brits of The Unswept to title their third full-length effort Minor Blemishes; as though these dozen tracks are somewhat inconvenient or embarrassing. Rather, the album brims with offbeat charm, chiming guitars, and infectious melodies. Founding members Charlie and Ryan O’Brien have lived in Chicago for a few years now but their power pop songs are still influenced by the 1960s British Invasion.

Much of Minor Blemishes concerns pining for or losing relationships, although the opening track “Sunshining” celebrates the simple pleasures (“paperbacks and cups of tea”) of sharing your life with the right person. Bassist-vocalist Liz O’Brien—I’m not how or if all the members are actually related—joins Charlie on the rollicking breakup song “I’m Still Here,” and provides spirited back-up singing throughout the album. Liz, Charlie, and Ryan combine their vocals on the Bob Dylan flavored “You Ain’t On My Mind,” and they nail the off-beat satire of The Bevis Frond’s “He’d Be A Diamond.”

“The Boy Who Wakes You Up” is simultaneously innocent and creepy, while “She Just Knows It’s Over” depicts a wife leaving her husband and kids because she’s bored with that lifestyle. “Brown Line” is another breakup song, as a couple decides to call it quits while commuting on the CTA. On a different note, the very Beatles-like “Fake It” deals with how difficult it can be just trying to survive the average workday.

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Thursday, July 4, 2019

4th Of July Barbecue

There will be no Slumgullion this week because I have to work tomorrow, and Pam and I are going to a neighborhood party in the evening. So here’s a Thursday night, 4th Of July Barbecue in its place. I hope everyone has a safe and fun celebration right through the weekend.

The 38th Annual American Music Festival continues through this Saturday at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn. Tomorrow and Saturday’s schedule includes Brave Combo; Tab Benoit; EXPO ’76; Girls Of The Golden West; Alejandro Escovedo; Marcia Ball; Terrance Simien and The Zydeco Experience; Amazing Heebie Jeebies; and The Iguanas.

Chicago Innerview continues its tradition of covering the city’s major rock events with the publication of its Know Before The Show issue devoted to Pitchfork Pitchfork Music Festival. I picked up a copy at the Reckless Records location downtown, but I’m sure copies are available in other local stores and venues. Pitchfork takes place July 19 – 21, with Mavis Staples, Haim, Low, The Isley Brothers, Belle and Sebastian, Stereolab, and Neneh Cherry among the acts scheduled.

The Petty Kings will be performing Tom Petty songs this Sunday, July 7 at the Mount Prospect Lions Club Festival and on July 12 at the 210 Live venue in Highwood.

The Handcuffs will be performing at 5:45 p.m. next Saturday on the Main Stage at the Roscoe Village Burger Fest. Sunday’s lineup includes The Empty Pockets at 3:30 p.m. and Michael McDermott at 6:00 p.m.

Steve Forbert will be performing at City Winery Chicago next Sunday, July 14. Sonny Landreth will be at that same venue on July 28.

Irish Fest returns to the Irish American Heritage Center on Chicago’s northwest side next weekend with a packed schedule of music, dance, comedy, merchandise, food vendors and a bit of theater. Baal Tinne: A Tribute To Noel Rice is sure to be a highlight—Rice was a founding member of this band and a respected teacher of Irish music. He passed away earlier this year. Other highlights include Tupelo (be ready for some audience participation), the wild and funny Larkin and Moran Brothers, Rory Makem, and The Bagpipes and Drums of the Emerald Society Chicago Police Department.

Son Volt, Camper Van Beethoven, and Cracker are the headline acts at the Square Roots Festival taking place next weekend in Lincoln Square. Chicago-based indie/roots rock label Bloodshot Records will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary as part of Square Roots on Saturday, July 13. Murder By Death, The Mekons, and The Vandoliers will take part in a tribute to the late Andre Williams. The Bloodshot All-Stars Band and other special guests will also be on hand.

The Kokandy Productions presentation of The Go-Go’s inspired musical Head Over Heels continues its run at Theatre Wit on Belmont Avenuet hrough August 25.

Former Hollies lead vocalist Allan Clarke is due to release the single “Journey Of Regret” next Friday, July 12. It’s from Clarke’s latest album, Resurgence, which is coming out on September 20.

Actress Ellie Kemper’s book My Squirrel Days came out in paperback this past Tuesday. Among other things, it covers her time on the TV shows The Office and The Unsinkable Kimmie Schmidt.

The Louder Than Words – Rock Politics Power exhibit continues its run at the Museum of Broadcast Communications through the end of August.

Wish me luck, part 2. Last Saturday, I attended the Writing Workshop Of Chicago event on Michigan Avenue and was able to pitch my YA/Paranormal/Romance/Rock and Roll novel to three literary agents. Each has given me the green light to submit the book for consideration.

In last Friday’s Slumgullion column, whilst mentioning Monty Python is celebrating its 50th birthday, I joked that if people drank enough of the official Monty Python’s Flying Circus IPA, they could end up talking like the TV show’s Gumby character. Now The Guardian is reporting the remaining five members of Monty Python are organizing a Guinness World Record-setting Gumby gathering on October 5. That’s the date my wife and Pam celebrate our wedding anniversary. There must be a way to combine these two momentous occasions.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Incoming

Things will get pretty eclectic at the Arlington Heights Frontier Days this Friday night, with performances by the Alanis Morissette tribute band Jagged Little Pill; soul music legends War celebrating their 50th Anniversary; and the My Metal Heart hard rock cover act. In nearby Mount Prospect, the Tom Petty tribute band Petty Kings and Jay Goeppner and Backdated will be rocking on Sunday.

The Alarm will share a bill with Modern English on August 16 and 17 at House Of Blues in downtown Chicago.

According to this month’s issue of the Illinois Entertainer (with Perry Farrell on the cover), we can expect new albums this month from Imperial Teen (Now We Are Timeless) and New Order (∑(No,12k,Lg,17Mif): Live at Manchester International Festival) on July 12. Radiohead leader Thom Yorke’s ANIMA comes out July 19; and Violent Femmes will drop Hotel Last Resort on July 26.

That issue of I.E. is also where you’ll find a full-page ad for the Jay O’Rourke Band’s August 9 CD Release Party Party for Cover Tracks at SPACE. The album features renditions of classic rock and blues songs. It’s a safe bet the band will also be selling copies of its earlier 2019 release Sumpthin Good. The Dick Dale influenced instrumental act Spies Who Surf will be the opening act.

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Friday, June 28, 2019

Slumgullion

Wish me luck. I’ll be pitching my two my rock and roll novels (and possibly a Middle Grade fantasy) to literary agents at the Writing Workshop Of Chicago tomorrow at the Congress Plaza Hotel on south Michigan Avenue. I’ve gone to this event the past two years and found it a very rewarding experience. Aspiring writers tend to think of literary agents as cold and unsympathetic, but engaging with them in a friendly, informative face-to-face meeting certainly changes that outlook.

Pete Townshend has written a novel. It’s called The Age Of Anxiety and is coming out on November 19.

Mike Skill and ’67 RiOT with Brad Elvis; The Differents; and Acoustipunks will share a triple this coming Tuesday at Montrose Saloon on Chicago’s north side. Skill and Brad Elvis are well known as members of The Romantics, and Brad Elvis is also a founding member of the Chicago-based indie rock band The Handcuffs. Show time is 8:00 p.m.

Tickets went on sale today for Black Flag at Reggies’ Rock Club on August 25; the Dave Brubeck Tribute Project at SPACE on August 28; Shemekia Copeland at SPACE on October 11; Elvis Costello and The Imposters at Chicago Theatre on November 22; Marshall Crenshaw at SPACE on December 12; Morrissey and Interpol at Ravinia on September 14; and New Pornographers and Lady Lamb at The Vic on October 2. These listings, and several others, can be found on the Early Warnings page of this week’s Reader.

Megan McDonough has a gig coming up next Saturday, July 6; at SPACE in Evanston.

Monty Python is celebrating its 50th Birthday this year and it’s going to be a (British accent) silly party. Fully restored episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus will be coming out on November 19, a BBC Takeover is in the works, and the group will be reissuing its books and records. Monty Python’s Flying Circus IPA will be available via Black Sheep Brewery in September and October. Drink enough and you can talk like a Monty Python Gumby character.

Former Hollies lead vocalist Allan Clarke is due to release the single “Journey Of Regret” on July 12. It’s the first taste of Clarke’s new album Resurgence, which is coming out on September 20. It will be Clarke’s eighth solo effort, but the first in almost 30 years.

The Petty Kings will be performing Tom Petty songs on July 7 at the Mount Prospect Lions Club Festival and on July 12 at the 210 Live venue in Highwood.

The Kokandy Productions presentation of Head Over Heels opens on Monday, July 1 and runs through August 25 at Theatre Wit on Belmont Avenue. The gay-centric and anachronistic musical is based on songs by The Go-Go’s.

Former Doctor Who star David Tennant and current Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker are among the English stage and film performers taking part in the BBC Children In Need: Got It Covered CD project.  Each of them will record a cover version of a hit song. Helena Bonham Carter and Jim Broadbent will also be contributing. There will also be a 60-minute programme showing the rehearsals and recordings.

Matt Smith of Doctor Who and The Crown fame and Keira Knightley of thousands of movies fame will be co-starring in a political thriller titled Official Secrets.

Chicago-based indie/roots rock label Bloodshot Records will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary at the Square Roots Festival in the Lincoln Square area on July 13. Murder By Death, The Mekons, and The Vandoliers will take part in a tribute to the late Andre Williams. The Bloodshot All-Stars Band and other special guests will also be on hand.

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