The Jokes4Miles events scheduled for tonight at Chicago area Leona’s restaurants have been postponed. Veteran stand-up comedian Len Austrevich is on a quest to collect 5,000 videotaped jokes for his son, Miles, who has brain cancer.
Last Friday, I spent a few hours hanging out with Len at his headquarters while he coordinated efforts to send crews out to a number of Leona’s locations. I wound up at the Leona’s in Des Plaines where a photographer named Ryan and I stood ready to videotape people who wanted to share a joke with Miles. The waitresses had graciously informed customers of our mission and we got some volunteers. The funny messages help cheer Miles up during his therapy sessions.
The next Leona’s videotaping event should be in a few weeks, as Len Austrevich continues to build support through the media. People can also videotape themselves telling Miles a joke and upload it at the Jokes4Miles website.
Regulars at The Fest For Beatles Fans - Chicago are probably familiar with the young lads of Stockwood. The Beatles tribute band will be doing a free concert tomorrow at Durty Nellie’s in Palatine, starting at 7:00PM. Doors open at 6:00PM.
There will be a Remembering Doug tribute on the Doug Fieger Memorial Page on Facebook this coming Tuesday. Organizer Beth Fieger Falkenstein is asking people to post a message about her brother, who was the charismatic singer-guitarist for The Knack. Fieger Falkenstein also suggests fans use a photo of the musician as their Facebook profile on February 14th, which marks the second anniversary of his passing away from lung cancer.
Power pop fans checking out the Rebuilder Concert Series in Kenosha, Wisconsin last Saturday night got an added bonus when former Off Broadway singer Cliff Johnson joined The Bradburys onstage. According to a Facebook post from Bradburys vocalist-rhythm guitarist Dan Pavelich, Johnson sang the Off Broadway hit, “Stay In Time” and Badfinger’s “No Matter What.”
Whitewolfsonicprincess, the alt rock band fronted by James Moeller and Carla Hayden of the Black Forest Theatre group, will be among 4 musical acts performing at the Winter Concert at St. Luke’s next Friday, February 17th. Other acts on the bill include Mr. Mo, Chris Bock, and the Hannah Frank Quartet. The church is located at 939 Hinman in Evanston.
Bangles vocalist-guitarist Susanna Hoffs recently posted on Facebook that Starbucks is playing music from her upcoming solo effort. Hoffs doesn’t have a date for the release yet, but listed the 10 track titles so fans will know when one of her songs is playing on the Starbucks sound system.
In other Bangles news, vocalist-guitarist Vicki Peterson will be taking part in a staged reading of Bradley Kesden’s play, The Love Handyls. It’s part of the Los Angeles-based Katselas Theatre Company’s Inkubator festival, which runs on the weekend of February 18th and 19th.
Chris Hardwick,who created the fascinating and often funny website, The Nerdist, is coming to the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo being held at McCormick Place in April. It would be great if he brought some of his Doctor Who pals along with him. Hardwick joins a growing C2E2 roster that includes other recent additions, comic artist Neal Adams and one of Chicago's most successful and trendy chefs, Stephanie Izard.
Looking for some wild fun this Valentine’s Day? Don’t forget The Handcuffs. The Chloe F. Orwell/Brad Elvis led band will be playing songs from its trio of indie rock CDs at the Double Door on Tuesday. Also on the bill: the four woman, hard rocking band The Wanton Looks; C&W rockers/mockers The Siderunners; the guitar-driven and Who-inspired The Sonnets, the coed garage rock trio The Demerits; and a DJ. The entire event will be streamed live on Gigity.TV.
The Gram Parsons Foundation will sponsor two events on March 14th to celebrate its official launch. Named in honor of the critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter who passed away in 1973, The Gram Parsons Foundation is dedicated to providing drug and alcohol counseling to young people. Blitzen Trapper, Brendan Benson (with Eric Burdon of The Animals), Great Lake Swimmers, Poor Moon (a Fleet Foxes offshoot featuring Christian and Casey), and other performers are scheduled for the first fundraiser, which will take place at the Hotel San Jose parking lot from noon to 8:00 PM. The event will be streamed live via VenueOne.
Later that night, Parsons’ daughter, Polly Parsons, will speak at a private VIP fundraiser being held at Hotel San Jose Courtyard from 9:00 to midnight. The performers for the second event have yet to be announced. For further information, visit The Gram Parsons Foundation website.
Beach Town Confidential, a 16-track CD taken from a live performance by The Plimsouls back in 1983, is now available on Alive Naturalsound Records in vinyl, digital, and CD format. Plimsouls founder Peter Case is currently on tour with Paul Collins. The two musicians first came together in the short-lived but highly regarded The Nerves, and plan to play songs by that band as well as by The Plimsouls and The Paul Collins Beat. They’ll be at The Empty Bottle on March 25th.
Mary-Arrchie Theatre's production of the critically acclaimed Tracy Letts play, Superior Donuts runs through March 25th. Sun-Times columnist Mary Houlihan recently wrote a piece on Mary-Arrchie Artistic Director Rich Cotovsky's connection to the play. Mary Arrchie Theatre is located at 735 W. Sheridan in Chicago.
It’s always nice to get feedback from the artists I cover here on BHT. David Mosey commented on my review of his English Kills digital release, and the song, “There's One Last Thing,” which I described as cryptic. (Translation: it sounded intriguing but I wasn’t sure what it meant.) “Oh, and for the record,” Mosey explained, "‘There's One Last Thing’ is an envisioned dialogue exchange between Bogart and Hepburn from Casablanca -- you know the scene where they're trying to finish the champagne before the Nazis arrive, saying goodbye, expecting the march into Paris, hearing the distant report of artillery...” You have to admire a musician who can come up with a catchy synth pop song about Bogey.
I also heard from Lorinda Murphy, wife of Shoes vocalist-guitarist Jeff Murphy regarding my 45 RPM Memories post about the Shoes single “Tomorrow Night”/“Okay” on Bomp Records. I wrote that the A-Side was a different version from the one that appeared on the Present Tense album on Elektra, and that the B-Side was taken from Shoes’ self-produced Black Vinyl Shoes. “Terrence - read your comments on the Bomp single,” she wrote. “FYI...that version of ‘Okay’ is different than the BVS version.” She also mentioned that Shoes are currently in the recording studio, wrapping up work on a new CD.