Friday, June 24, 2022

Slumgullion


Ronnie Wood continues to share the joys of performing as one of The Rolling Stones via his amazing artwork. His latest piece, Stones Through The Ages, honors the band’s 60-year career, and depicts himself, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, and Mick Taylor. It’s available in limited edition, autographed and numbered prints. The large size is priced at $3675.00, and the medium size goes for $925.00.

There will be a triple bill at Montrose Saloon tomorrow (Saturday) night; with the copy bands The Mock 5ive and The Undercovers, along with the Americana band Terry White And The Loaded Dice. The music starts at 8:00 pm with Terry White.


There was an official announcement yesterday that Farm Aid 2022 will take place on September 23, but the location and full lineup won’t be revealed until late July. We do know that Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, and Margo Price will be involved.

 

PravdaFest: 38th Anniversary kicked off tonight at the Sketchbook Brewing Company in Skokie. The event marks 38 years of Pravda Records releasing groundbreaking indie music albums. Pravda recording acts Josh Caterer, Steve Dawson, Hushdrops, and Boom Hank are scheduled for tonight; with The Slugs, The Service, Diplomats Of Sound, and The Handcuffs slated for tomorrow. Alt rock DJ VanOsdol will serve as MC. Food will be available to purchase. Sketchbook Brewing Company is located at 4901 Main Street in Skokie.


The soundtrack to the critically acclaimed Summer Of Soul ( . . . When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) documentary is now available as a four-CD set. Recorded at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the album features performances by The Chambers Brothers; B.B. King; The 5th Dimension;  David Ruffin; The Edward Hawkins Singers; The Staples Singers; Gladys Knight and The Pips; Mongo Santamaria; Herbie Mann; Sly And The Family Stone; Nina Simone; and other artists.


Blues great Mavis Staples will headline this year’s Hot Stove Cool Music benefit concert event at Metro next Friday, July 1. Other performers scheduled include Juliana Hatfield; Ted Leo; Scott Lucas from Local H; baseball star/guitarist Bernie Williams; broadcaster Peter Gammons; Will Dailey; the Chicago and Boston Hot Stove All Stars; Red Sox organist Josh Kantor; and the Chicago Children’s Choir. WXRT air personality Lin Brehmer will once again serve as MC, along with Joel Murray. 100% of the proceeds will go to The Foundation To Be named Later College Scholarships.


Last night’s gig at SPACE was the final curtain for Sunshine Boys, a short-lived but consistently impressive Chicago-based trio that recorded two albums and a few singles. You can find all of this fine music on their Bandcamp page. I wasn’t able to make it to last night’s show, but judging from the comments on Facebook, it was a truly emotional experience.


I saw Sunshine Boys a few times over the past few years—the first as part of a Power Pop Shoppe Showcase at Elbo Room on Lincoln Avenue and the last at Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights—and was impressed with their meaningful lyrics and expertly crafted melodies. I would still say “Only A Million Miles” was the best song recorded by anyone in 2018. May its message continue to inspire us.

 

Sunshine Boys drummer Freda Love Smith has one more live performance left on her schedule, and it will be at the above mentioned Hot Stove, Cool Music benefit. “I'll end my career the way I started it,” she stated in a social media post. “Drumming (on a couple songs) with my amazing rock sister, Juliana Hatfield. I know there's no crying in baseball, but I can't promise anything.”


The Country Music Hall Of Fame in Nashville, TN recently announced an upcoming exhibition that will celebrate musicians who mixed country with rock and roll from the 1960s through the 1980s. Western Edge - The Roots And Reverberations Los Angeles Country-Rock kicks off on September 30 with a live concert featuring Dave Alvin from The Blasters; Rodney Dillard from The Dillards; Richie Furay from Buffalo Springfield and Poco; Jeff Hanna from Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; Chris Hillman from The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers; and several other performers. The exhibit will honor artists such as The Byrds; Buffalo Springfield; The Flying Burrito Brothers; Poco The Eagles, Emmylou Harris; Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; and Linda Ronstadt, and run at the Country Music Hall Of Fame for the next three years.


Phil Angotti And Friends (Casey McDonough, John San Juan, Dick Schmidt and John Perrin) will perform the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, along with other 1967 songs, during a Beatles Brunch at City Winery Chicago this Sunday, June 26. Doors open at 11:00 am and the event starts at noon.

 

Prince: The Immersive Experience, is now open at The Shops At North Bridge In Chicago. The official website promises 10 multidimensional spaces, and an opportunity to “step inside the iconic Purple Rain album cover.” A portion of the proceeds will benefit the After School Matters charity.


The Deer Park Art Show is taking place at the Deer Park Town Center in Deer Park tomorrow and Sunday, and will feature 70 artists and live music.


Cruise Nights are coming back to the Randhurst Village shopping mall. The events feature live music, food, and vintage cars. The dates are June 23, July, 21, and August 18, 4:00 to 8:00 pm. 


The Ridge Park Art Fair and Uprising Solstice Market will take place tomorrow, June 25 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm at Ridge Park on Chicago’s south side. The event is being held by the Ridge Park Advisory Council and Beverly Arts Alliance. Ridge Park is just north of 95th Street, near Longwood Drive. 


Modern English will perform at the Raue Center For The Arts in Crystal Lake this Sunday, June 26.

Waco Brothers have a show at SPACE in Evanston next Thursday, June 30. 


The Shakespeare Project Of Chicago will offer a special presentation titled 50-Minute Hamlet at the Library Plaza outside the Des Plaines Public Library this Monday, June 27 at 7:00 pm. The event, sponsored by Friends of the Library, was adapted and directed by Jeff Christian and stars Kayla Carter and Shane Kenyon. Seating is limited, so those interested in attending need to register via the Des Plaines Library website. 

 

There will be live rock in Long Grove this weekend, June 24 —26, when several bands perform as part of the annual Strawberry Fest. Parking can be difficult for these more popular Long Grove events, so organizers have set up a shuttle service from the Buffalo Grove Park District parking lot, at 530 Bernard Drive in Buffalo Grove.


The Eclectic Full Contact Theatre Company is performing Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons through June 26 at the Skokie Theatre.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Unswept - Fast Casual


Fast Casual, 
like The Unswept’s previous three albums, does a good job of capturing the quirky fun of the trio’s live performances. The official story of how the O’Brien cousins—Charlie, Liz, and Ryan—moved from Sheffield, England to Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood seems far-fetched at times, but always clever. Their stage presence taps into that same British sense of humor with entertaining results. The Unswept’s songwriting approach has evolved over the years, with Fast Casual being their most adventurous album yet.


Certainly, Liz O’Brien’s sassy spoken word bit on “Cheugy Choo Choo” breaks new ground for the band, while “Please Don’t Waste My Time” features finger-snapping and street corner harmonizing. “Lucinda Luann” evokes Buddy Holly, and the darker sentiments of “Codependent” and “Try To Forget You” are set to harder edged guitar arrangements. Fast Casual also offers faithful covers of The Smithereens’ “Something New” and “Sometimes Always,” from The Jesus And Mary Chain with Hope Sandoval.


“You Keep Me Company,” the tale of a mild-mannered restaurant patron’s secret obsession with his waitress, is more familiar territory for The Unswept. “You keep me company even if you don’t know it,” Ryan O’Brien sings to a catchy arrangement. “You make me feel alive even if I don’t show it.” Liz O’Brien takes centerstage on “Got Lucky,” an upbeat look at finally finding love, set to jangling guitars.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Slumgullion


I took a break while preparing this week’s Slumgullion tonight to catch the 7:00 pm Backdated performance at Taste Of Des Plaines. It was a quick Metra ride to and from a neighboring town. If only all my musical adventures were that easy. Backdated performed several Beatles songs tonight, as well as John Lennon’s “Imagine” and “Instant Karma.” Lead vocalist Jay Goeppner mentioned Paul McCartney will turn 80 tomorrow and wished him a happy birthday.


Pravdafest, a two-day event aimed at celebrating the 38th year of Chicago’s renowned indie label Pravda Records, will take place next weekend (June 24 and 25) at Sketchbook Brewing Company in Skokie. Eight top-notch Pravda recording acts—Josh Caterer, Steve Dawson, Hushdrops, Boom Hank, The Slugs, The Service, Diplomats Of Sound, The Handcuffs—are scheduled to perform. Veteran alt rock DJ VanOsdol will serve as MC. Sketchbook Brewing Company is located at 4901 Main Street in Skokie. Tickets range from $30 to $75.


“Baba O’Riley” by Christy McWilson and The Picketts is the second entry on the Women Sing The Who Bandcamp page. Carla Olson, whose rampaging take on “I Can See For Miles” was the first choice, produced this new effort. Christy McWilson and The Picketts give their version of “Baba O’Riley” a slower, more haunted arrangement that showcases the band’s vocalists. Downloading the track only costs a buck, and sales benefit The Who’s charitable organization Teen Cancer America.


The Gold Coast Art Fair, a long-time summer tradition for creative-minded Chicago residents, takes place tomorrow and Sunday in Grant Park.


Hey Doll Baby Festival, a multi-act, virtual concert to honor The Everly Brothers, will be available to stream this Sunday, June 19 at The Everly Brothers website, their official You Tube and Facebook pages, and on SiriusXM’s Tom Petty Radio show at 4:00 pm Eastern time. Presented by Gibson Guitars, the event will feature performances by Albert Lee; Bob Weir and Chris Robinson; Carly Simon and Ben Taylor; Chris Isaak and Nicole Atkins; Dave Stewart and Amy Lee from Evanescence; Graham Nash and Chris Stills; Jakob Dylan; Lady Blackbird; Mike Campbell and Stan Lynch; Susanna Hoffs and Dan Wilson; Paul Simon and Edie Brickell; Waddy Watchell and Steve Postell; and other acts.


There’s also a new album titled Hey Doll Baby that came out yesterday. It will be available in CD, vinyl, and digital formats, and feature 17 remastered Everly Brothers rarities. Adria Petty, daughter of Tom Petty, chose the songs with help from Phil Everly’s widow Patti and his son Jason.


Prince: The Immersive Experience, is now open at The Shops At North Bridge In Chicago. The official website promises 10 multidimensional spaces, and an opportunity to “step inside the iconic Purple Rain album cover.” All ages are welcome.


There’s an RSD Drop coming tomorrow, June 18. The number of vinyl treasures being offered will be considerably lower than when the main Record Store Day was held in April, but as with every RSD event, a wide range of genres will be represented. Collectors will find limited editions from Miles Davis; Be Bop Deluxe; Billy Bragg; Ray Charles; Fats Domino; Peter Gabriel; the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band; Steve Hackett; Madness; Paul McCartney and St. Vincent; Pearl Jam; Prince; Keith Richards; The Sweet; Tangerine Dream; Wailing Souls; The Who; Wilco; World Party; Young-Holt Unlimited; and several various artists compilations. I’m looking to pick up the Creedence Clear Water Revival “Travelin’ Band - Live At Royal Albert Hall” 7-inch vinyl, The Kinks Waterloo Sunset six-song EP; and Supergrass Moving six-song EP.


The first annual Third Coast Surf Fest, a benefit for the Alliance for the Great Lakes, will take place at Waukegan Harbor on July 9. The event kicks off at 11:00 am and promises “summer and surf music all day.” Headline act, the extremely fun Los Straightjackets, will perform at 8:00 pm, and the other acts participating are Total Beaches, Outronaut, Tikis, The Breakers, The Moonrays, The Exotics. and Roger That. Tickets range from $25 to $35.


Tickets are now on sale for Adrian Belew at City Winery Chicago on July 18 and 19; Chris And Heather’s 16mm Film Festival featuring Scott Ligon and Sharon Rutledge at FitzGerald’s on July 7; Flat Five at Hideout on July 17; and Nouvelle Vague and Strange As Angels at Empty Bottle on August 23. These and several other gig listings can be found on the Early Warnings page in the June 9 edition of the Chicago Reader.


Brothers Field in Long Grove, IL continues its series of live music events with tomorrow’s 10-hour Blues Fest. The Mike Wheeler Band and Jamiah Rogers Band are the headliners, and six other acts are scheduled. There will be a Tiki bar, and food vendors; admission is free. There will be more live rock in Long Grove next weekend, June 24 – 26, when several bands perform as part of the annual Strawberry Fest. Parking can be difficult for these more popular Long Grove events, so organizers have set up a shuttle service from the Buffalo Grove Park District parking lot, at 530 Bernard Drive in Buffalo Grove.


The Eclectic Full Contact Theatre Company is performing Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons through June 26 at the Skokie Theatre.


If you missed XTC’s Terry Chambers And Friends at City Winery in March, you’ll have another opportunity to see the band when it comes to SPACE in Evanston on October 28. Fans can already buy tickets using the presale code of DEARGOD. If you think of all the incredible songs XTC recorded, it feels like this concert will be well worth attending even if Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding aren’t involved. Chambers was a long-time member, and his mates for this tour are veteran musicians.


The Shakespeare Project Of Chicago will offer a special presentation titled 50-Minute Hamlet at the Library Plaza outside the Des Plaines Public Library on June 27 at 7:00 pm. The event, sponsored by Friends of the Library, was adapted and directed by Jeff Christian and stars Kayla Carter and Shane Kenyon. Seating is limited, so those interested in attending need to register via the Des Plaines Library website.

 

Blues great Mavis Staples will headline this year’s Hot Stove Cool Music benefit concert event at Metro on July 1. Other performers scheduled include Juliana Hatfield; Ted Leo; Scott Lucas from Local H; baseball star/guitarist Bernie Williams; broadcaster Peter Gammons; Will Dailey; the Chicago and Boston Hot Stove All Stars; Red Sox organist Josh Kantor; and the Chicago Children’s Choir. WXRT air personality Lin Brehmer will once again serve as MC, along with Joel Murray. 100% of the proceeds will go to The Foundation To Be named Later College Scholarships.


There was no Slumgullion last weekend because I was busy preparing for the Writing Workshop Of Chicago virtual event. I pitched my YA/Paranormal Romance novel to three literary agents. Two were interested and asked me to send them pages. I should know in a few weeks if they’ll want to see more. Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Incoming


There’s an RSD Drop coming this Saturday, June 18. The number of vinyl treasures being offered will be considerably lower than when the main Record Store Day was held in April, but as with every RSD event, a wide range of genres will be represented. Collectors will find limited editions from Miles Davis; Be Bop Deluxe; Billy Bragg; Ray Charles; Fats Domino; Peter Gabriel; the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band; Steve Hackett; Madness; Paul McCartney and St. Vincent; Pearl Jam; Prince; Keith Richards; The Sweet; Tangerine Dream; Wailing Souls; The Who; Wilco; World Party; Young-Holt Unlimited; and several various artists compilations. I’m looking to pick up the Creedence Clearwater Revival “Travelin’ Band - Live At The Royal Albert Hall” 7-inch single, The Kinks Waterloo Sunset six-song EP; and the Supergrass Moving six-song EP.


A highly potent double bill of The Smithereens with Marshall Crenshaw as guest lead vocalist, and Material Issue with Phil Angotti on lead vocals, will take place tomorrow (Friday) night as part of the Prairie Fest in Oswego, IL. Material Issue goes on at 7:00 pm, followed by The Smithereens at 9:00 pm. That’s 90 minutes of amazing power pop from each act. The tribute duo Acoustic Deficit Disorder will perform earlier, from 4:30 to 6:30. Admission is free.


It should be interesting to see which act will be featured next on the Women Sing The Who Bandcamp page. Carla Olson’s rampaging take on “I Can See For Miles” was the first choice, and a new song is scheduled to come tomorrow. Sales from these songs benefit The Who’s charitable organization Teen Cancer America.


Backdated, the covers band fronted by Jay Goeppner, will perform a number of rock and roll hits from the 1960s and 1970s at 7:00 pm tomorrow night, June 17 as part of Taste Of Des Plaines. The group’s eclectic playlist leans toward the harder-edged songs of the era. The festival is free and takes place in the heart of downtown, just outside the main library. The event will run all weekend in the northwest suburb. 


Best wishes to radio personality Richard Milne, who has left his early morning shift at WXRT FM. He was a classic example of the progressive rock station’s tradition of hiring of hip, knowledgeable, but most importantly, friendly DJs. Marty Lennartz, another popular XRT DJ, has been moved from his afternoon slot to replace Milne, and the double-named Annalisa Annalisa has been recruited to replace Lennartz. She’s a radio veteran who previously established loyal followings at WZLX in Boston and KFOG in San Francisco. Judging from her first round of shows this week, she’s a good fit for WXRT.


The guitar-driven and consistently adventurous instrumental band Outronaut will be rocking the stage at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn tomorrow night.


Hey Doll Baby Festival, a multi-act, virtual concert to honor The Everly Brothers, will be available to stream this Sunday, June 19 on The Everly Brothers website, their official You Tube and Facebook pages, and on SiriusXM’s Tom Petty Radio Show at 4:00 pm Eastern time. Presented by Gibson Guitars, the event will feature performances by Albert Lee; Bob Weir and Chris Robinson; Carly Simon and Ben Taylor; Chris Isaak and Nicole Atkins; Dave Stewart and Amy Lee from Evanescence; Graham Nash and Chris Stills; Jakob Dylan; Lady Blackbird; Mike Campbell and Stan Lynch; Susanna Hoffs and Dan Wilson; Paul Simon and Edie Brickell; Waddy Watchell and Steve Postell; and other acts.


There’s also a Hey Doll Baby album coming out tomorrow. It will be available in CD, vinyl, and digital formats, and feature 17 remastered Everly Brothers rarities. Adria Petty, daughter of Tom Petty, chose the songs with help from Phil Everly’s widow Patti and his son Jason.


The Gold Coast Art Fair, a long-time summer tradition for creative-minded Chicago residents, takes place this Saturday and Sunday (June 18 and 19) in Grant Park.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Slumgullion


Shopping Spree: I took a short break from compiling info for today’s post to purchase a few music-related items online.


First, I dropped by Bandcamp to download a pair of new—and unfortunately—final tracks from the Chicago-based trio Sunshine Boys. Considering this act was only around for what seemed like a couple years (two albums and a few singles), a line from “The Beginning” really hits home: “This story ends at the beginning.” It’s only fitting that “The Beginning” and “Underwater” find Sunshine Boys at the top of their game; putting incisive lyrics to engaging melodies. A fond farewell to Dag Juhlin, Freda Love Smith, and Jackie Schimmel. I’m sure you’ll move on to new and exciting creative endeavors.


Once the above mentioned two songs were placed in my Bandcamp cart, I added the CD version of Burn The Rails, the fourth album from The Handcuffs. I already have the download, which fueled the positive album review I recently posted here, but for special releases, I need a physical copy as well. The Handcuffs have been impressive all along, but this is a particularly strong effort from them.


Following my Bandcamp shopping, I wandered over to Amazon to purchase the CD and vinyl versions of the latest Graham Nash release Live Songs For Beginners, Wild Tales. The album brings back fond memories for those of us who’ve caught Nash’s live shows with Shane Fontayne and Todd Caldwell in recent years. It also showcases the strength of his first two solo efforts.


The Chicago Gospel Festival takes place tomorrow, June 4, from 3:00 to 9:00 pm in Millennium Park.


Matt Damon, the actor who stood just a few feet away from me talking on his phone during a break in the filming of Contagion, will receive The Gene Siskel Film Center’s Renaissance Award on June 25. As an extra on the movie, I made no effort to talk to Damon, but I heard from other extras afterward that he was very friendly toward them and signed autographs once the filming was done for the day.


The 50th Anniversary Edition of Elton John’s fourth studio album Madman Across The Water is coming out June 10 in Super Deluxe 3 CD/1 Blu-Ray/ 4 LP/2CD/Digital formats. Of course, for several people, this will bring to mind how Phoebe on the Friends sitcom insisted one of the song lyrics was, “Hold me closer, Tony Danza.”


The 75th Annual 57th Street Art Fair takes place this Saturday and Sunday in Hyde Park. The event will feature close to 200 artists, live music presented by Buddy Guy’s Legends club, and a food court presented by Ray School PTA.


The Shakespeare Project Of Chicago will offer a special presentation titled 50-Minute Hamlet at the Library Plaza outside the Des Plaines Public Library on June 27 at 7:00 pm. The event, sponsored by Friends of the Library, was adapted and directed by Jeff Christian and stars Kayla Carter and Shane Kenyon. Seating is limited, so those interested in attending need to register via the Des Plaines Library website. 

 

Mud Morganfield, the son of Muddy Waters, has a performance coming up at Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights tomorrow night, June 4. By the way, Arlington Heights has become a festive destination for nightlife in the summertime. A few strategically placed street closings create an open and festive area for pedestrians to enjoy the sights and sounds of restaurants and venues.


The Chicago Writers Bloc New Plays Festival runs through June 14 at the Raven Theatre. Tickets are $10.


Musician Rob Schulz will perform a solo acoustic show tomorrow, June 4 at Merkle’s Bar And Grill at 3516 N. Clark St. Schulz will be playing from 3 to 6 pm, which puts him in the middle of a Cubs doubleheader taking place within walking distance of the venue. 


WGN morning host Bob Sirott will serve as emcee when the 2nd Annual Illinois Rock And Roll Museum on Route 66 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony takes place at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet this Sunday, June 5. The doors open at 4:00 pm. The following are this year’s inductees: Band/Solo Artist Styx, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Dan Fogelberg, and The New Colony Six; Songwriter Jim Peterik and Dennis DeYoung; DJ John Records Landecker; Radio Station WXRT FM; and Record Label Mercury Records. The late Gary Loizzo from The American Breed will be inducted by Kevin Cronin from REO Speedwagon. Tickets are $48.50, $58.50, and $68.50.

 

Pravdafest, a concert event featuring Pravda recording artists Josh Caterer, Steve Dawson, Hushdrops, Boom Hank, The Slugs, The Service, Diplomats Of Sound, and The Handcuffs, takes place on the weekend of  June 24 and 25 at the Sketchbook Brewing Company in Skokie.


The Chicago Writing Workshop will once again be in a virtual format when it takes place on the weekend of June 11 and 12.


Michael Glover Smith’s latest film Relative has VIP World Theatrical Premiere events coming up at Music Box on June 8 and the Gene Siskel Film Center on June 10.


The Chicago Blues Festival takes place next weekend, June 9 through 12. This year’s lineup includes Shemekia Copeland, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Lil’ Ed and The Blues Imperials, and several other blues acts.


The Chicago Guitar Festival 2022 takes place June 9 – 12 at the Roosevelt University Chicago College Of Performing Arts. The event will feature performances, competition, master-classes, and workshops. Freed Haque and Paul Wertico are among the special guests.

 

There will be an East Stage and a West Stage when the Do Division Street Fest takes place this weekend on Division between Damen and Leavitt. The headline acts are NNAMDÏ and Oso Oso tonight; Tune-Yards and Ric Wilson tomorrow; and Torres and Smoking Popes on Sunday. Admission is $10, see the official website for more information and the full schedule. 


Chicago area Anglophiles might want to make a trek to the far north side this Sunday, June 5 for the Platinum Jubilee Street Party in Jarvis Square. The Queen Elizabeth inspired event kicks off at 3:00 pm, and participants are encouraged to wear costumes. Mind Games, a new Beatles and British Invasion tribute band from Ary Paloma and Ellis Clark of My Street George, will be performing. The Jubilee is being sponsored by R Public House, at 1508 W. Jarvis Avenue.


Great Moments In Vinyl, a rotating collective of Chicago area musicians who pay tribute to famous rock and roll albums, will be doing just that at City Winery Chicago this Sunday, June 5 with a performance of Crosby, Stills and Nash’s self-titled debut release. The show starts at noon.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Incoming


WGN AM air personality Bob Sirott will serve as emcee when the 2nd Annual Illinois Rock And Roll Museum on Route 66 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony takes place at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet this Sunday, June 5. The doors open at 4:00 pm. The following are this year’s inductees: Band/Solo Artist Styx, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Dan Fogelberg, and The New Colony Six; Songwriter Jim Peterik and Dennis DeYoung; DJ John Records Landecker; Radio Station WXRT FM; and Record Label Mercury Records. The late Gary Loizzo from The American Breed will be inducted by Kevin Cronin from REO Speedwagon. Tickets are $48.50, $58.50, and $68.50. 


Journalist Caryn Rose’s guaranteed-to-be-fascinating biography Why Patti Smith Matters, came out yesterday from University of Texas Press.


The Chicago Gospel Festival will be one of the first 2022 major outdoor festivals in the city when it takes place this Saturday from 3:00 to 9:00 pm in Millennium Park. 


The Chicago Guitar Festival 2022 takes place June 9 – 12 at the Roosevelt University Chicago College Of Performing Arts. The event will feature performances, competition, master-classes, and workshops. Freed Haque and Paul Wertico are among the special guests.


Mud Morganfield, the son of Muddy Waters, has a performance coming up at Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights on June 4.

 

Los Angeles-based alt rock band The Regrettes have an Official Lollapalooza Aftershow scheduled for 11:00 pm on June 28 at Lincoln Hall.


The 75th Annual 57th Street Art Fair takes place this Saturday and Sunday in Hyde Park. The event will feature close to 200 artists, live music presented by Buddy Guy’s Legends club, and a food court presented by Ray School PTA.


Chicago-based guitarist Tony Richards and special guest Steve Knight have a show titled Two Guitars coming up tomorrow night (June 2) from 7:30 to 9:30 at the Savannah Supper Club. There will be no cover charge for either of their two sets. The venue is located at 2116 W. Roscoe in the Roscoe Village neighborhood.


Musician Rob Schulz, one of the many local acts that performed at International Pop Overthrow - Chicago a while back, has a solo acoustic show coming up this Saturday, June 4 at Merkle’s Bar And Grill at 3516 N. Clark St. Schulz will be playing from 3 to 6 pm, which puts him in the middle of a Cubs doubleheader taking place within walking distance. Hopefully, he’ll bring them some much needed luck.


There will be an East Stage and a West Stage when the Do Division Street Fest takes place this weekend on Division between Damen and Leavitt. The headline acts are NNAMDÏ and Oso Oso on Friday; Tune-Yards and Ric Wilson on Saturday; and Torres and Smoking Popes on Sunday. Admission is $10; see the official website for more information and the full schedule. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

The Handcuffs - Burn The Rails


Burn The Rails, the long-awaited fourth album from The Handcuffs,
 will be available this Friday, June 3 on Bandcamp. The Chicago-based indie rock quintet led by drummer Brad Elvis (The Romantics, The Elvis Brothers, Screams) is justifiably praised for its expertise in channeling 1970s glam rock. But that’s just part of the story. As on their previous release, Waiting For The Robot, the new Burn The Rails successfully explores a variety of approaches.

Some of these tracks, such as the glam rockers “Big Fat Mouth Shut” and “Pretty Pretty” will be familiar to fans since The Handcuffs have been performing them at gigs over the past few years. Lead vocalist-guitarist Chloe F. Orwell always delivers this kind of material with an entertaining sense of fun and bravado. The ribald “She Ain’t No Fluffer,” which features Mott The Hoople veteran Morgan Fisher on synthesizer, and the energetic “Love Me While You Can” were released as a double single in 2021. Still, it’s good to have them included in this new collection.


“Dancing With The Dandies,” which kicks off with Brad Elvis pounding away on drums, finds The Handcuffs again in glam rock territory. The playful “I’m Happy Just To Dream With You,” by comparison, has a hint of vaudeville accented by Fisher’s energetic piano work. “The Ballad Of  Fritz And Zoom” pulls us into the eye of a psychedelic hurricane with an energetic arrangement reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.” “I Cry For You,” the most recent single release from The Handcuffs, could be the best track on the album. An enticing mix of acoustic and electric guitars, along with Orwell’s dreamy vocals, creates a mystical allure worthy of Patti Smith.


Other noteworthy change-of-pace efforts this time out include the romantic fantasy “Let’s Name Our Children” and the intriguing “Come On Hey Hey.” “The End Of The Party” has a theatrical ambience and just might be a political fable. The Handcuffs will no doubt be performing a number of these songs during their set at PravdaFest, which takes place on the weekend of  June 24 and 25 at the Sketchbook Brewing Company in Skokie.

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