Friday, June 25, 2010

Slumgullion #20

Poster art from Underground Garage website.

Sometimes I worry that this blog is a bit too Chicago-centric, considering I do get visitors from around the world each day. So here’s something for our friends in England. Little Steven Van Zandt is bringing his Underground Garage Revue to London for a pair of shows in the next few days. The international triple bill slated to play the Hard Rock Calling in Hyde Park on Sunday, June 27th includes The Breakers from Denmark, the five-woman band Cocktail Slippers from Norway, and English neo-sixties rockers The Len Price 3. On the following night, the same three bands, plus U.K. outfit The Contrast will perform at The Relentless Garage. All of these acts have released CDs on Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool label. I had the great pleasure of seeing a Wicked Cool showcase that featured The Zombies as headliners in my hometown of Palatine (just northwest of Chicago) a few ago, and all I can say is, “Little Steven, please come back!!!”

Speaking of Palatine, I just took a quick break from the computer to dash over to the Fred P. Hall Amphitheater here in town to catch Big Guitars From Memphis. It was a perfect night for an outdoor concert, and the four man band provided an entertaining mix of Country & Western, jazz, and oldies. Versatile guitarist John Pazdan opened a cover of the Tom Jones hit “Delilah” by playing bits from the Pink Panther and James Bond themes, and then the band reinvented the song as though it had been written by Marty Robbins. I still hate “Delilah” for the way it contends that a man has the right to kill a woman if she breaks his heart. Anyway, the concert itself was fun.

The Black Ensemble Theater, which has received a lot of critical acclaim and commercial success for its plays honoring iconic black entertainers, will offer Nothing But The Blues, a celebration of the famous Chicago blues club Theresa’s, starting June 27th. The show was written by Joe Plummer and directed by Black Ensemble Theater Artistic Director Jackie Taylor and Dayrl Brooks. The Black Ensemble Theater is located at 4520 N. Beacon, in Chicago.

In other local theatre news, Cherrywood, written by Kirk Lynn and directed by David Cromer, opened this weekend at the Mary-Arrchie Theatre, at West Sheridan Road. The first few performances have practically sold out, and the play runs through August 8th. Mary-Arrchie is also gearing up for Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins XXII on August 20th, 21st and 22nd. Each year, this freewheeling festival brings together several theatre groups, comedy groups, and solo performers for an entire weekend of virtually non-stop entertainment. (See Archive, August 2009.)

Famous In The Future, the comedy group I performed with for 200 years, is currently seeking a male comedic performer to join the existing cast for its revue at this year’s Abbie Fest. Famous In The Future founding member Frank Carr is the only individual other than Mary-Arrchie Artistic Director and Yippie impersonator Rich Cotovsky to have performed at every single Abbie Fest. If you’re a funny guy hoping to take part in this year’s Famous In The Future revue, you can contact Carr at

The Penthouse Sweets will be playing tomorrow night. June 26th, at Reggies Music Joynt in the south Loop, as part of a triple bill with The City Streets and The Black Tape. The show starts at 9PM and ticket price is a mere $5.

Singer-guitarist Phil Angotti has been busy this week. He opened for The Handcuffs at an outdoor show in Millennium Park on Thursday, and he’ll be celebrating his birthday with a special show featuring several of his friends at Quenchers Saloon on north Western Avenue this Sunday, starting at 8PM. Happy Birthday to Phil!

Kevin Lee & The Kings (see May Archive) will be performing at 5:00PM this Saturday at Jeff Fest, the annual outdoor celebration that takes place in the Jefferson Park neighborhood on Chicago’s northwest side. Other acts slated to perform include 7th Heaven, He Said, She Said, Cuban Essence, Maggie Speaks, Rebel Roots, Hi Fi Superstar, Blackened, Lounge Puppets, K. Michaels Band, Good 2 Go, Darmata, Self Righteous Brothers, and Tumbleweed.

Linda Good, the singer-songwriter who performed with her sister Laura as The Twigs before moving to Los Angeles, has a new website. It includes a Broken Hearted Toy review of her performance at Uncommon Ground in Chicago last August (see August 2009 Archive). Upcoming performances include a July 17th Solo Acoustic With Special Guests House Concert in Los Angeles, and Twigs reunion gigs in Lexington, VA on July 30th and at Uncommon Ground in Chicago on August 6th.

Finally, Chicagoans are walking tall and proud these days. According to an article by Leonor Vivanco in today’s edition of Redeye, Chicago moved from a 46th place showing in 2009 to 7th in an America’s Manliest Cities list put together by the testosterone experts at Combos Snacks. I’d like to think its because I’ve been working out this year, but who knows?

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