Friday, August 17, 2018

Slumgullion

As I write this, the second annual YippieFest is underway at the Prop Thtr. Carrying on the tie-dyed tradition of the late Mary-Arrchie Theatre’s long-running Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins festival, this counter-culture bash will feature theatre, live music, short films, comedy, and other forms of performance art during its Friday through Sunday run. Famous In The Future, the skit and song comedy group that performed at every single Abbie Fest, are leading the way, and will be unveiling a brand new revue at 8:30 p.m. tomorrow night. (Full disclosure: I was a member of Famous In The Future for several years.) Other Abbie vets who’ll be on hand include Rush Pearson, Citizens Relief, Black Forest Theatre, Trained Monkey Productions, DB Theatre, and whitewolfsonicprincess. The schedule is available on the official YippieFest website; Prop Thtr is located at 3502 N. Elston.

Pearl Jam makes a triumphant return to Wrigley Field tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. The Chicago Cubs currently have the best record in the National League, so Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam lead vocalist and one of the biggest Cubs fans in rock and roll, should be in good spirits.

Wizard World Chicago Comic Con returns to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont August next Thursday through Sunday, August 23 - 26. Celebrity guests include David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson from The X-Files; Nichelle Nichols from Star Trek; James Marsters from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Torchwood, and Smallville; Michael Rooker and Pom Klementieff from the Guardians Of The Galaxy franchise; Ernie Hudson from Ghostbusters; and several cast members from Outlander.

Tickets went on sale today for Black Uhuru and Onesty at Reggie’s Rock Club on September 22; Nicki Bluhm and Gil Landry at Lincoln Hall on November 11; Lindsey Buckingham at Athenaeum Theatre on October 17; Echo and The Bunnymen at The Vic on November 24; and Lemon Twigs at Metro on January 25.

The official website for Shoes is offering assistance for anyone who’s had trouble ordering the power pop band’s new Black Vinyl Shoes Anthology 1973 – 1978 3-CD set on Amazon. In order to overcome a few Amazon glitches, go directly to this page.

Death Cab For Cutie’s latest album Thank You For Today came out today. The happy-go-lucky band will perform at the Auditorium on October 7.

The 210 Live club in Highwood is holding a JB Ritchie Benefit Concert this Sunday.

City Winery Chicago recently announced it will host A John Lennon Birthday Retrospective at 1:00 p.m. on October 7. Other shows coming up at that venue include Justin Hayward from The Moody Blues on August 26; The Lotus Kings doing a tribute to Santana on August 27; Great Moments In Vinyl offering The Jimi Hendrix Experience on September 11; and Dar Williams with Lucy Wainwright Roche on September 16.

There will be a special advance screening of David Schalliol’s documentary The Area at The Gene Siskel Film Center on August 23 as part of the 24th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival. The Area concerns activist Deborah Payne’s efforts to stop a freight company from displacing hundreds of families on Chicago’s south side. It will return for a regular run from September 14 – 27 at Gene Siskel Center.

This year’s Chicago Fringe Festival will take place over the weekend of August 30 through September 3 in various locations in the Jefferson Park neighborhood on Chicago’s northwest side. Over 24 shows are scheduled to take place.

Chicago Filmmakers will present the Chicago Premiere of director Casey Puccini’s satirical look at filming an indie movie I Don’t Care on August 25. The cast includes Sasha Gioppo, Bryn Packard, Kevin Stangler, Christine Vrem-Yostie, Cameron Worden, Brian Wiebe, and Taylor Wood. Mr. Packard was a member of the Chicago-based skit comedy group Famous In The Future some years back.

Fans of the late Tom Petty can enter a contest on the Omaze site to attend a listening party with his band The Heartbreakers at The Clubhouse, a secret recording and rehearsing location. Money raised will support The Midnight Mission, a charitable organization that helps homeless people in the Los Angeles area. The more money you donate, the better your chances of winning.

Fans in Chicago can also honor the singer-guitarist’s legacy at Flirting With Time - A Tom Petty Tribute at The Tonic Room on August 25. The event will feature Ryan Joseph Anderson, Dan Ingrenthron, Mike Holtz, Brian Morrisey, Jeremy Kay and special guests.

The Bookends, the 1960s-inspired garage rock duo of bassist-vocalist Sharon Lee and guitarist-vocalist Karen Lynn, have just released their debut album Far Away But Around. It’s available on the Dead Pulse website

Tributosaurus, one of Chicago most successful and ambitious tribute acts, will become AC/DC on Sunday August 26 at Skokie’s Backlot Bash, take on Eric Clapton at 7:30 p.m. on September 3 at Taste Of Polonia in Jefferson Park; and honor Crosby, Stills. Nash and Young at Wire in Berwyn on September 8.

The 60th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show takes place tomorrow and Sunday on the lakefront at North Avenue Beach. I know this isn’t rock and roll related, but I’ve had a lifetime fascination with planes since childhood, so I’ll be waiting for my favorite one—the P-51 Mustang to fly past tomorrow.

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Friday, August 10, 2018

Slumgullion

Photo from the Smashing Pumpkins Facebook page.

The Smashing Pumpkins will be playing to a hometown crowd next Monday and Tuesday at the United Center. Their opening act is the Emily Haines-led synth rock band Metric, so it’s going to be a potent double bill.

Step right up! Welcome to everyone who’s come to town for The Fest For Beatles Fans – Chicago this weekend at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont. The annual event kicked off this evening and will run through late Sunday night. Be sure to check out Chicago-based acts Ellis Clark and (possibly) Ary Paloma Jeebie; Jay Goeppner; and Phil Angotti and Friends at The Apple Jam Stage on the second floor. For a more extensive look at Fest For Beatles Fans - Chicago, see my post this past Wednesday.

Tickets went on sale today for the John Butler Trio at the Chicago Theatre on November 29; Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal at The Old Town School Of Music on November 9; Stanley Clarke at SPACE on November 6; Peter, Bjorn and John at Lincoln Hall on December 5; and Tom Rush at SPACE on November 18.

Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, Lila Downs, Steve Earle and Graham Nash will embark on The Lantern Tour together starting October 23 at the City Winery in Nashville, TN. Other stops include Washington, D.C., Collingswood, Boston, and New York. The series of acoustic concerts will benefit the Women’s Refugee Commission, which advocates on behalf of migrant and refugee families. No word yet on whether this will be coming to Chicago.

So I was a bit premature in stating here earlier that the Chicago-based trio Sunshine Boys have fully recovered from their various physical ailments. According to a recent email put out by the band, drummer Freda Love Smith is still recuperating from back surgery and isn’t quite ready to rejoin her mates. On a more cheerful note, the email announced the upcoming release of the Sunshine Boys’ stellar debut Blue Music in a limited-edition (250) blue vinyl package that includes lyrics and photos. The blue vinyl Blue Music will be available at “a couple of record stores picked out for celebratory performances.” Hopefully, we'll hear more on that soon.

The Rolling Stones are putting together a collection of vintage songs by their favorite blues artists, titled Confessin The Blues. Available as a two-CD set; a Volume 1 and Volume 2 LP set, or a special 5x 10 vinyl bookpack + six art card prints, Confessin The Blues will feature Chuck Berry, B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, and Muddy Waters. Stones guitarist Ron Wood created the art for the cover. It will be released on November 9 but is available for pre-order on the Rolling Stones official store.

There will be a special advance screening of David Schalliol’s documentary The Area at The Gene Siskel Film Center on August 23 as part of the 24th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival. The film concerns activist Deborah Payne’s efforts to stop a freight company from displacing hundreds of families on Chicago’s south side. It will return for a regular run from September 14 – 27 at Gene Siskel Center.

This year’s Chicago Fringe Festival will take place over the weekend of August 30 through September 3 in various locations in the Jefferson Park neighborhood on Chicago’s northwest side.

Jay Goeppner and his Backdated Band will be performing a John Lennon Tribute on August 14 at the 210 Live club in Highwood. 210 also has a JB Ritchie Benefit concert coming up on August 19

Chicago Filmmakers will present the Chicago Premiere of director Casey Puccini’s satirical look at filming an indie movie I Don’t Care on August 25. The cast includes Sasha Gioppo, Bryn Packard, Kevin Stangler, Christine Vrem-Yostie, Cameron Worden, Brian Wiebe, and Taylor Wood. Mr. Packard was a member of the Chicago-based skit comedy group Famous In The Future some years back. Chicago Filmakers is located at 5720 N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago.

Speaking of Famous In The Future, (full disclosure: I was a member of this group for 20 years) they’ll be hosting their second annual YippieFest next weekend at the Prop Thtr on Chicago’s north side. I’ve been calling this the lovechild of the Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins festival that ran for 30 years at Mary-Arrchie Theatre, because Famous In The Future were Abbie Fest veterans. Look for a similar mix of theater, standup comedy, film, and live music.

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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Incoming

Fans of the late Tom Petty can enter a contest on the Omaze site to attend a listening party with his band The Heartbreakers at The Clubhouse, a secret recording and rehearsing location. Money raised will support The Midnight Mission, a charitable organization that helps homeless people in the Los Angeles area. The more money you donate, the better your chances of winning.

Fans in Chicago can also honor the singer-guitarist’s legacy at Flirting With Time - A Tom Petty Tribute at The Tonic Room on August 25. The event will feature Ryan Joseph Anderson, Dan Ingrenthron, Mike Holtz, Brian Morrisey, Jeremy Kay and special guests.

The New Duncan Imperials will be bringing their straw hats, off kilter sense of humor, and The Total Pro horns with them for their 10:00 p.m. gig tomorrow night at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn. According to a video posted on Facebook, the band has a new EP with an undetermined number of songs on it coming out soon.

Tomorrow is the release date for Diamond Boy from Enuff Z’nuff, and Wild! Wild! Wild! from Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis.

Over The Rhine, the alt rock/Americana band led by Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist will be at City Winery next Sunday.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

I’ll Take A Ride To See What I Will Find There

The 42nd Annual Fest For Beatles Fans - Chicago takes place at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in suburban Rosemont this weekend, August 10–12. The event presents musicians, authors, artists, photographers, and music biz people who have some connection to to the most famous band in rock history. Many are accessible to fans in the general sense of watching them being interviewed in the Grand Ballroom, and on in face-to-face conversations at the autograph tables. It’s not unusual to spot these famous people walking through the crowd or chatting with fans.

There will be live performances in the Grand Ballroom by Peter and Jeremy—Peter Asher from Peter and Gordon and Jeremy Clyde from Chad and Jeremy; Roy Orbison Jr. and his band; Billy J. Kramer; Beatles tribute band Liverpool; The Weeklings; and Sandalwood Sitar. This year’s guest list also includes producer Jack Douglas; Abbey Road engineer Geoff Emerick; and Leslie Cavendish, who served as The Beatles’ hairdresser for eight years.

Terri Hemmert, mid-morning air personality and Breakfast With The Beatles host at radio station WXRT, will notch another year in her decades-long role of The Fest’s MC in Chicago. The Apple Jam Stage, a fairly new and very welcome addition to The Fest, will offer live performances on the second floor of The Hyatt. I would highly recommend checking out the sets by Ellis Clark and Ary Paloma Jeebie; Jay Goeppner; Phil Angotti and Friends; and Scott Erickson.

The Fest For Beatles Fans has a few marketplace areas with loads of music-related memorabilia. The marketplace is also the place to meet noted Beatles authors like Bruce Spizer, Vivek Tiwary, Jude S. Kessler, and Kit O’Toole. Tiwary will also be giving a presentation in The A/bbey Video Ballroom about the Fifth Beatle TV event he’s creating with Bravo and Sonar Entertainment, as well his Jagged Little Pill stage show. Attendees can join in the fun by competing in Beatles sound-alike concerts and an art competition, and you’re welcome to join the musicians and singers who hang out for hours around the stairs in the lower level.

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Friday, August 3, 2018

Slumgullion

Photo from the Lollapalooza Facebook page.

Let me extend a Broken Hearted Toy welcome to everyone who’s in Chicago for the annual Lollapalooza festival in Grant Park. I didn’t see any copies of Innerview at the downtown Reckless Records this time around. The indie publication usually puts out an extensive guide to the festival. WXRT 93.1FM  will have live coverage and interviews from throughout the weekend. If you happen to be in town and want to drop by, forget it. Lollapalooza has been sold out for months.

The Baseball Project, a national pastime related band composed of music veterans, including Scott McCaughey from The Minus Five and Young Fresh Fellows; Mike Mills and Peter Buck from R.E.M.; Steve Wynn from The Dream Syndicate; and Linda Pitmon from The Miracle 3, will be performing at SPACE in Evanston tomorrow night. Sunshine Boys, back in action after some medical issues kept them sidelined for awhile, are the opening act. By the way, “Only A Million Miles,” from Sunshine Boys’ debut Blue Music, remains a serious contender for best song of 2018.

Tickets went on sale today for Courtney Barnett and Waxahatchie at The Riviera Theatre on October 9, and for Lydia Loveless at SPACE on September 24.

The 24th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival kicks off tomorrow at the Gene Siskel Film Center and will run through August 29.

The Bookends, the 1960s-inspired garage rock duo of bassist-vocalist Sharon Lee and guitarist-vocalist Karen Lynn, have just released their debut album Far Away But Around. It’s available on the Dead Pulse website.

The unpredictable and always fun New Duncan Imperials have a rare live gig next Friday, August 10 at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn.

Shemekia Copeland’s new album America’s Child, which long-time Chicago Tribune music critic Howard Reich praised in a full-length article this past Wednesday, is now available. Reich noted that Copeland was “hellbent on sending a message,” particularly on the track “Ain’t Got Time For Hate.”

Over The Rhine, the alt rock/Americana band led by Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist, is based in Ohio but travels to Chicago on a regular basis. They’ll be at City Winery next Sunday, August 14. Moody Blues vocalist Justin Hayward will be at City Winery on August 26, and on August 27, The Lotus Kings will perform their Santana Tribute.

Enuff Z’nuff will release their new album Diamond Boy on August 10; Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis will release Wild! Wild! Wild! on August 10; and Death Cab For Cutie will drop Thank You For Today on August 17.

Todd Rundgren will join forces with the Chicago Sinfonietta for A Night Of Harmony II on September 8 at House Of Blues. The concert is a benefit for Rundgren’s Spirit Of Harmony Foundation, which helps provide music education for youths.

Those of us who were at Little Steven’s Underground Garage showcase at Durty Nellie’s in Palatine a number of years ago still remember how much fun it was to watch the garage rock band The Woggles perform. (The Zombies, Mooney Suzuki, The Gore Gore Girls, and Catfish Haven were also on that bill.) The Woggles will be at Reggies on State Street on September 1, along with Barrence Whitfield and The Savages and Baby Money and The Down Payments.

Jay Goeppner and his Backdated Band will be performing a John Lennon Tribute on August 14 at the 210 Live club in Highwood. 210 also has a JB Ritchie Benefit concert coming up on August 19.

Toots And The Maytals have a gig coming up at Thalia Hall next Wednesday, August 8.

The Fest For Beatles Fans returns to the Chicago area next weekend, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont. Guests include Peter Asher of Peter and Gordon and Jeremy Clyde of Chad and Jeremy; Roy Orbison, Jr.; Billy J. Kramer; producer Jack Douglas, Beatles hairdresser Leslie Cavebdish, and Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick. WXRT DJ Terri Hemmert will once again serves as Master Of Ceremonies. The Weeklings; Liverpool; Phil Angotti and Friends; and Scott Erickson will be performing a The Fest.

Looking ahead, Wizard World Chicago Comic Con will be at the Donald Stephens Center in Rosemont August 23 - 26, and YippieFest, a celebration of theatre, stand-up comedy, performance art, film, and live music will mark its second year at Prop Thtr on the weekend of August 17-19.

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Friday, July 27, 2018

Slumgullion

Photo from Mick Jagger’s Facebook page.

Happy Birthday to Mick Jagger, truly one of the iconic figures in rock and roll. I still have fond memories of seeing the Exhibitionism exhibit that came to Navy Pier in Chicago a few years back, and of course, all the great songs Mick and his mates in the Rolling Stones have given us over the decades. Rock on, Mick!

The powerful triple bill of Jeff Beck, Paul Rogers, and Ann Wilson will perform this Sunday night at the Huntington Pavilion on Chicago’s lakefront.

There will be a tribute to Val Camillletti this Sunday at Val’s Halla Records, the store she ran in Oak Park for several years. Camilletti passed away earlier this week at the age of 78. Ary Paloma Jeebie of The Amazing Heebie Jeebies and Ellis Clark and The Big Parade will do in-store performances, and it’s more than likely customers will share their favorite memories. Val’s Halla was a long-time destination for avid vinyl collectors, and the store always had a full day of entertainment on the annual Record Store Day.

Local psychedelic masters Secret Colours will at Reggies this Sunday night along with Los Angeles-based, self-described “cinematic psychedelic western pioneers” SPINDRIFT. The mind bending music starts at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets went on sale today for a special screening of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas - 25 Years that will also feature a live performance by the Chicago Philharmonic. The event takes place on Halloween night at the Auditorium Theatre in downtown Chicago.

Lollapalooza returns to Chicago next Thursday through Sunday, and the August edition of Chicago-based monthly New City has a feature article titled Taking Back Guyville - A Feminist Guide To Lollapalooza. It includes profiles on The Regrettes, St. Vincent, Chvrches, Lizzo, Larkin Poe, Portugal. The Man, and Alex Lahey.

The same issue also has the annual Music 45 - Who Keeps Chicago In Tune listing. Mavis Staples came in at number one, followed by Chicago Symphony Orchestra Conductor Richard Muti at second, and Chance The Rapper at third. Other local music acts on the list are Jeff Tweedy, Common, Buddy Guy, Kurt Elling, Tortoise, Smashing Pumplins, Robbie Fulks, Twin Peaks, British transplant Jon Langford, and the off-kilter marching band Mucca Pazza.

It was nice to see a feature story on local artist/curator/journalist Robin Dluzen in the August New City. Dluzen was the editor of the Kathryn Born run Chicago Art Machine flight of online publications. I contributed a number of articles to Chicago Art Machine.

With Lollapalooza just around the corner, it was interesting to read journalist Sam Richards’ piece in the August issue of Uncut magazine about what’s believed to be the first rock festival in England. Barbecue 67, held on May 29, 1967, at the Tulip Bulb Auction Hall in Spalding, featured performances by Jim Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and Cream. That same issue has interviews with Graham Nash and Davies, as well as an extensive cover story on Prince.

Musician Adam Marsland has created a small label called Karma Frog that specializes in power pop and garage rock. The label recently released a new CD by Mod Hippie, a group that includes D.J. Bonebrake from X on drums and David Marks of the Beach Boys on lead guitar.

Uncommon Ground’s 1401 W. Devon location (they also have one on Clark Street) celebrated its 10th anniversary of being the first certified organic rooftop farm in the country this past Thursday.

Another Brick In The Wall, an opera based on Pink Floyd's classic album The Wall, has opened in Cincinnati. According to a blurb in this past Tuesday's Chicago Tribune, Pierre Dufour's take on the fictional rock singer Pink will run through July 31.

The Newberry Library on Chicago's near north side is currently hosting a book sale that runs through this Sunday. The Newberry is located at 60 W. Walton Street.

CatVideoFest makes a triumphant return to Music Box Theatre in Chicago on September 9; with screenings at noon and 2:30 p.m.

The current issue of Streetwise, a publication dedicated to helping homeless people get back on track, has a calendar section that lists upcoming events like the Chicago Poetry Block Party this Saturday at Austin Town Hal and the Women And Children First bookstore's annual used book sale going on tomorrow and Sunday at 5233 N. Clark.

The Handcuffs and The Imperial Sound will share a double bill this coming Monday at Martyrs' on Lincoln Avenue. The early 8:00 p.m. starting time is due to it being a school night.

Congratulations to Young Jean Lee on being the first Asian-American woman playwright to have a production on Broadway. Her Straight White Men recently opened there.

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Friday, July 20, 2018

Slumgullion

Photo from the Pitchfork Music Festival Facebook page.

Welcome to everyone who’s in town for Pitchfork. The annual celebration of indie rock, hip hop and other out-of-the-mainstream genres started today, and runs through Sunday in Union Park. The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, along with the city’s weekly free papers, The Reader (with its traditional collectable cover) and Redeye, all have extensive Pitchfork coverage in their latest issues.

Power pop fans who show up at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn tomorrow night are in for a fascinating double bill as Cliff Johnson and The Raine open the evening, and Johnson and the original members of Off Broadway close it. The Raine (John D. Kolonel, Dave Sebastian, Bill Bickel, and Bill Kowalski) have done a great job of backing Johnson as he performs Off Broadway tunes, but it’s also a safe bet that longtime fans will love to see the original Off Broadway back on stage again.

Alt rock band whitewolfsonicprincess will be at The Store tomorrow night with The Darkroom Men and Flapunco.

ArtFest Michigan Avenue opened today in the shadow of the Tribune Tower and will run through Sunday.

Tickets went on sale today for Michael Nesmith and The First National Bank Band at The Old Town School of Folk Music on September 13; KT Tunstall at Park West on November 1; and Violent Femmes at The Vic on November 4.

Shows coming up next Friday, July 27 include My Bloody Valentine at The Riviera Theatre; Mavis Staples at the at Canal Shore Golf Club in Evanston; and Peter Himmelman at SPACE in Evanston. On Sunday. July 29, Jeff Beck, Paul Rogers, and Ann Wilson will perform at the Huntington Pavilion on Chicago’s lakefront.

A special tour edition of Ann Wilson’s upcoming solo album Immortal—a collection of cover material by some of her favorite artists—is now available for a digital download. Two of the tracks were recorded live at The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL. The full album comes out in September.

In other album news, Paul Collins, a member of the highly influential trio The Nerves, and the founder of the dynamic power pop outfit The Paul Collins Beat, has been notching positive reviews for his latest, Out Of My Head.

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