Friday, May 24, 2019

Slumgullion

Summerfest, Milwaukee’s annual outdoor music bash, has announced its 2019 schedule, which once again showcases several genres of music. Willie Nelson; Death Cab For Cutie; Brandi Carlile; Chvrches; Courtney Barnett; Rodrigo Y Gabriela; Catfish And The Bottlemen; Liz Phair; The Roots; Steve Earle And The Dukes; Robert Randolph and The Family Band; X; Guided By Voices; 10,000 Maniacs; The Spinners; and Willy Porter are among the scheduled acts. SummerFest runs from June 26 to June 30, takes a breather, and then continues July 2 to July 7.

There are four major art fairs coming up in Chicago in the next two weeks. The 57th Street Art Fair and the Gold Coast Art Fair take place next Saturday and Sunday, and The Old Town Art Fair and the Wells Street Art Festival will be held on Saturday, June 8 and 9. Other art fairs on the horizon include Millennium Art Festival on June 28 through June 30 and Artfest Michigan Avenue on July 19 and 20.

Filmmaker Balin Schneider is working on a documentary titled Material Issue And The Power Pop Renaissance. The band’s drummer Mike Zelenko recently posted about the project on Facebook and suggested people contact Schneider with any MI anecdotes or info they might have.

The Belmont/Sheffield Festival runs tomorrow and Sunday, with the highlight being a 4:15 p.m. show by The Handcuffs. On Monday, you can catch The Handcuffs at Montrose Saloon on Chicago’s north side.

Van Go, Red Wigglers, MOULTON, and M. Winfield McEwen from Black Cat Heart Attack are slated to perform at the Porchfest Lakeview Chicago festival being held next Sunday, June 2 at 1309 W. Wolfram Street in Chicago. All ages are invited, and it’s suggested that you bring a cooler and lawn chairs. The event last from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Comic Con Revolution will be held next Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2, at the Donald E. Stevens Convention Center in Rosemont. The event promises comics, creators, toys, panels, a cosplay contest and special guests.

There’s a triple bill of Go Time, The Spindles, and 45 Souls coming up on May 30 at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue. Showtime is 8:00 p.m.

Music On Stage’s production of The Producers – A Mel Brooks Musical opened tonight at Cutting Hall in Palatine and will this weekend and next.

The Chicago Underground Film Festival will run from June 5 to June 9, primarily at the Logan Theatre. It’s billed as the longest running underground film festival in the world.

Louder Than Words: Rock Politics Power opened today and will run through the end of August at the Museum Of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. The multimedia exhibit employs videos, photos, newspapers, and other memorabilia to explore how rock music has influenced and has been influenced by society from its earliest days. General admission is $18.

This year’s Nowhere Else Festival kicked off today in Martinsville, Ohio and runs through Sunday. Founded by Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist of the Cincinnati-based Over The Rhine band, it’s being billed as, “A Weekend Overflowing With Music, Art, Earth and Sky.” In addition to Over The Rhine, the other acts scheduled include Band Of Sweethearts; James McMurtry; Birds Of Chicago; John Paul White; Leigh Nash; Joan Shelley; and Carrie Newcomer.

EXPO ’76 will mark a career milestone with its 10 Years Of Musical Triumph event next Friday night at Martyrs’. They’ll be joined by their frequent cohorts The Total Pro Horns, along with special guest vocalists Kelly Hogan and Robert Cornelius. Tradition dictates that a 10th anniversary be celebrated with tin or aluminum, and at least one website notes the daffodil is the official flower of the 10th wedding anniversary. Plan your gifts for EXPO ’76 accordingly.

The fun and cleverly named power pop band The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club has a record release show coming up next Friday, May 31 at the GMan Tavern. Gal Gun and the Mark Watson Band will also be on the bill that night.

Barak Goodman’s new documentary Woodstock - Three Days That Defined A Generation will have its Chicago premiere at the Gene Siskel Film Center next Friday, May 31, and run through June 6.

Four Chords and a Gun, actor John Ross Bowie’s drama about The Ramones recording their End Of The Century album under the guidance (influence?) of Phil Spector, continues its run at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place in Chicago through June 2.

CAKE - The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo comes to the Center on Halsted for a two-day celebration and marketplace of independent comics next Saturday, June 1 and 2. Special guests include Ezra Claytan Daniels, Nicholas Gurewitch, and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. Admission is free.

The Joliet Library’s 10th Annual Star Wars Day takes place next Saturday, June 1 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The festivities will include a parade, games, costumes, live music, and food vendors.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Signs Of Summer

Memorial Day weekend is often seen as the unofficial start of summer, and this year, Chicagoans have a street festival with one of the city’s best bands to help us celebrate. The Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival runs Saturday and Sunday, with the highlight being a 4:15 p.m. show by The Handcuffs on Saturday. Led by vocalist-guitarist Chloe F. Orwell and drummer Brad Elvis (who’s also a member of The Romantics) the band has recorded three impressive albums filled with catchy indie rock songs. They’re currently wrapping up a new album, so there’s a good chance we’ll be hearing some new songs at the Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival. Two days later, you can catch The Handcuffs at Montrose Saloon on Chicago’s north side.

This year’s lineup for Fest For Beatles Fans - Chicago (August 10 – 12) has been announced, and while it’s disappointing The Zombies aren’t among the guests—they were at the NY Fest edition—there’s still plenty to like. Alan White, who was a member of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees Yes, will be making his Fest - Chicago debut. White was also among the noted musicians who joined John Lennon and Yoko Ono at the 1969 Toronto Rock And Roll Festival, and helped out on George Harrison’s All Thing Must Pass album.

Jeremy Clyde has performed at The Fest with Chad and Jeremy partner Chad Stuart, as well as Peter Asher. This year, he’s going solo, backed a guitarist, cellist, and violinist. Other celebrity guests include former Wings members Steve Holley, Laurence Juber, and Denny Laine, and former Apple Records manager Ken Mansfield. The Beatles tribute band Liverpool will be back again, along with The Weeklings, who mix obscure Beatles songs with catchy, British Invasion-flavored originals.

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Monday, May 20, 2019

You Can Read It In The Sunday Papers

Pretend it's the graphic for the Hollywood Casino show in Tinley Park.

The Who’s Moving On tour comes to the Chicago area tomorrow night for a concert at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park. According to an article by Jeff Elbel in last Friday’s Chicago Sun-Times, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltry will likely perform bits from Tommy and Quadrophenia, along with a selection of deep album tracks. A new album—The Who’s Tommy Orchestral—is due out next month, and these guys have also been working on songs for the first new Who album in over 10 years.

I mentioned last Friday that critically acclaimed singer-guitarist Courtney Barnett will be one of the headliners at this year’s Taste Of Chicago, which runs July 10 – 14. There will also be a full schedule of local acts rocking on the Goose Island Stage, according to Chicago Tribune writer Jessi Roti. Another highlight for those who don’t bother with the food at Taste but enjoy the entertainment will be the debut of a Theatre Garden garden featuring shows by Second City and other Chicago-based theatre groups.

Yesterday’s edition of the ChicagoSun-Times included a 63-page special magazine titled Walk This Way - Straight ahead: Your guide to the perfect Chicago summer. It lists several art shows and concerts coming up in the next few (hopefully warmer) months.

Knock, knock, knocking down shots of Heaven’s Door. There’s a full-page ad in this month’s edition of Michigan Avenue for Bob Dylan’s new line of whiskeys, Heaven’s Door. It sounds like a National Lampoon bit, but this posh magazine isn’t known for satire. “We wanted to create a collection of whiskeys, that in their own way, tell a story,” Dylan is quoted in the ad copy. The tag is, HANDCRAFTED, AWARD-WINNING. UNCOMPROMISING. Not sure if that refers to the alcohol or Bob.

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Friday, May 17, 2019

Slumgullion

Four Chords and a Gun, actor John Ross Bowie’s drama about The Ramones recording their End Of The Century album under the guidance (influence?) of Phil Spector, opens tomorrow night at The Broadway Playhouse in Chicago. The official website stresses this is not a musical, which makes me think it might be like Aftermath, Ronan Marra’s terrific Rolling Stones play that was performed by Signal Ensemble back in 2010. Four Chords and a Gun, the website explains, is “A Play Followed By A Concert.” It runs through June 2.

Speaking of The Rolling Stones, they’ll kick off their rescheduled No Filter Tour with gigs at Soldier Field in Chicago on June 21 and June 25. A recent clip of Mick Jagger practicing his dance moves proves he’s still more agile than a lot of people on this planet.

The 7th Annual Chicago Critics Film Festival, which bills itself as “The only film festival created and curated by a film critics association,” opened today and runs through May 23 at the Music Box Theatre.

Tickets went on sale today for Waterboys at The Old Town School Of Folk Music on September 29. They’ll be doing two shows that day, one at 5:00 p.m. and one at 8:00 p.m.

Courtney Barnett will be among the headline acts at this year’s Taste of Chicago. She’s scheduled for July 10, with Sunflower Bean as the opening act. India.Arie and Meshell Ndegeocello share a double bill at The Taste on July 14.

The 10th Annual Chicago Zine Fest - A Self-Publishing Celebration has been staging events the past few days, and will wrap up with its Exhibition Day tomorrow at Plumbers Union Hall just west of downtown Chicago. More than 250 self publishers will be on hand.

Former Houndmouth vocalist Katie Toupin has a gig coming up at Schubas this Sunday to showcase her new solo effort, Magnetic Moves. The album is due out June 14.

L7 will most likely be playing songs from their recently released album Scatter The Rats when they rock the Metro this coming Tuesday. The four-woman band was originally part of the grunge scene and reformed in 2017.

Vintage Garage Chicago will hold a flea market this Sunday featuring clothing, jewelry, and assorted other items. Admission is $6.

Robbie Fulks will be performing Doc Watson songs at 2:00 p.m. at the Evanston History Center this Sunday as part of the Out Of Space series created by the suburb’s well-known music venue SPACE.

International Pop Overthrow - Liverpool continues its run at the Cavern Pub and Cavern Club through this Tuesday, May 21.

If you enjoy The Handcuffs’s show at the Belmont/Sheffield Street Fest next Saturday, May 25, you can catch them again two days later at Montrose Saloon. They’ll be sharing a double bill with The Convincers. It’s a record release party for The Convincers.

Chicago’s Irish Music Community suffered a major loss this week with the passing of Noah Rice, a long-time teacher at the Irish Academy Of Music and founding member of the Baal Tinne band. Rice was a familiar face at the annual Irish Fest at the Academy, as well as the Celtic Fest that used to held in Grant Park. His students and family will no doubt carry on his love of Irish music and culture.

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Saturday, May 11, 2019

Saturday Slumgullion

Photo from the Johnny Marr Facebook page.

Hi Hello, Johnny. Welcome back to Chicago. Johnny Marr’s USA Comet Tour 2019 arrives in Chicago this Monday, May 13 for a show at The Vic Theater. Call The Comet, his third straight solo masterpiece, came out in 2018.

Slumgullion didn’t appear in its usual Friday night spot due to my wife Pam and I attending the ArtReach Educational Theatre and Spotlite Theatrix production of Mamma Mia at Cutting Hall in Palatine. I’m not an avid ABBA fan, but I believe that this type of production—where kids are introduced to the performing arts with mentoring from adults—should be encouraged. All of the adult cast members sang well; most of the kids put their hearts into it; and the finale had a big, good-time feel.

Tickets are now on sale for Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club, Gal Gun, and the Mark Watson Band at GMan Tavern on May 31; Hot Stove Cool Music With Peter Gammons and More at Metro on June 7; Megan McDonough at SPACE on July 6; the Neo Reunion at Metro on July 20; New Duncan Imperials at FitzGerald’s on July 27; and Nots and Olivia Neutron-John at Subterranean on June 4.

International Pop Overthrow - Liverpool, which is the second hottest topic in the UK right now—next to the new royal baby—kicks off this Tuesday, May 14 and will run through May 21 at the Cavern Pub and Cavern Club. The event brings in acts from around the globe, including Yanks like The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Cub and The Jeremy Band. The IPO website has the full schedule.

This week’s edition of Redeye includes the Chicago free paper’s annual festival guide. Compiled by Aine Dougherty, it provides an amazingly diverse schedule of outdoor events coming up from May through September. I always keep this list as a resource to make sure I don’t miss any of my favorite events.

Former Houndmouth vocalist Katie Toupin has a gig coming up at Schubas next Sunday May 19. Toupin has been employing an effective social media blitz to promote her first solo effort, Magnetic Moves, which is due out June 14.

The Handcuffs plan to return to Chicago’s outdoor festival scene with a “big, long, rocking set” at the Belmont/Sheffield Street Fest on Saturday, May 25. I’m guessing a few new tunes may turn up at that gig since the band has been working on its next album for a while now.

Girls Rock! Chicago is having a fundraiser next Sunday, May 19 at Sleeping Village on Belmont Avenue.

There’s a triple bill of Go Time, The Spindles, and 45 Souls coming up on May 30 at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue. The first two acts have garnered praise here on Broken Hearted Toy for their recordings and live shows; 45 Souls is a roots rock, American duo that I’ve haven’t seen yet. Their latest CD, Free, came out early last month. Showtime is 8:00 p.m.

CAKE - The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo comes to the Center on Halsted for a two-day celebration and marketplace of independent comics on June 1 and 2. Special guests include Ezra Claytan Daniels, Nicholas Gurewitch, and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. Admission is free.

L7 recently released its latest album, Scatter The Rats, and will most likely be playing songs from it when they rock the Metro on May 21. The four-woman band was originally part of the grunge scene and reformed in 2017.

Vintage Garage Chicago has a flea market featuring clothing, jewelry, and assorted other items coming on May 19 in Evanston. Admission is $6.

Robbie Fulks will be performing Doc Watson songs at 2:00 p.m. at the Evanston History Center next Sunday, May 19. The show is part of the Out Of Space series created by the suburb’s well-known music venue SPACE.

The Young Authors organization is offering a Write To The City Summer Camp for educators and aspiring poets and activists (ages 12 – 25) at the University of Illinois on July 8 through July12.

Rolling Stone recently reported that Liz Phair’s memoir Horror Stories will be published by Random House in October.

The 7th Annual Chicago Critics Film Festival, which bills itself as “The only film festival created and curated by a film critics association,” starts next Friday, May 17 and runs through May 23 at the Music Box Theatre.

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Thursday, May 9, 2019

whitewolfsonicprincess - The Alternate Boot Vols. 1 and 2

Those of us who first encountered Carla Hayden and James Moeller performing with their Black Forest theatre group probably have an advantage navigating the mystical lyrics of its musical offshoot whitewolfsonicprincess. The band has definitely established its own identity, but it still retains theatrical elements. On The Alternate Boot Vols. 1 and 2, whitewolfsonicprincess once again weaves energetic guitars and percussion through otherwise slow-moving arrangements.

Like U2 on its recent releases, whitewolfsonicprincess seems obsessed with the darkness and bad will that engulfs the modern world but feels there’s a light that can save us. “So Clear” invokes visions of a holy trinity as Hayden sings, “In forgiveness they cut through despair./Their lips painting words on the air.” Hayden takes an ethereal approach to her vocals, while Moeller’s singing is more conversational. They frequently join together on the chorus.

Moeller’s sense of loss regarding global unrest is unmistakable on the gritty “Sadness In The World,” but he defiantly proclaims, “Let’s paint it in the colors of love.” Hayden’s voice underscores the magic of “Dance A Wave” as she declares, “The ocean was my love./The darkness knew my name.” “I Close My Eyes” has a bluesy feel that also echoes the Jimi Hendrix rendition of Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” and “Brown Eyes” offers an enticing mix of adventurous and intricate instrumentation.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Incoming

Marquee Moon will shine in Lincoln Park. Television, one of the first and most influential acts to don the punk label, have two shows coming up this Friday at the Old Town School of Folk Music. The first is at 7:00 p.m., the second at 10:00 p.m. The New York City band, led by vocalist-guitarist Tom Verlaine, released its critically acclaimed debut Marquee Moon in 1977. Chicago-based singer-songwriter Half Gringa is the opening act. She’ll be performing songs from her debut album Gruñona.

Johnny Marr’s USA Comet Tour 2019 arrives in Chicago for a show at The Vic Theater next Monday, May 13. Marr first attracted world-wide attention for his distinctive guitar playing for The Smiths in Manchester, UK back in the early 1980s. He went on to perform with Modest Mouse, The Pretenders, and The Cribs. He’s excelled as a solo artist too, releasing his third impressive effort, Call The Comet in 2018.

There will be five components to the 10th Annual Chicago Zine Fest - A Self-Publishing Celebration, starting with a Zine Archives Visit and Zines + Social Justice Panel at DePaul University next Thursday, May 16. On May 17, there will be a CZF Exhibitor Reading at Quimby’s Bookstore, plus Zine Jeopardy at Cards Against Humanity Theater. Exhibition Day on Saturday will feature more than 250 self-publishers to Plumbers Union Hall. See the Chicago Zine Fest website for all the details.

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