Friday, December 27, 2013


Anyone lucky enough to see the Cheap Trick concert tonight at the Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville, Indiana is bound to walk away with an deep appreciation of Rick Nielsen’s guitar playing. Now fans can check out his massive collection in Tom Beaujour’s new book, Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World. The guitars of Joe Perry, Jimmie Vaughn, and Elliott Easton are also featured in in the book, which comes from Guitar Aficionado magazine.

I’m planning to post a review of In Love, the new Amy Gore And Her Valentines CD here soon, and I reckon it will place high on my favorite releases of 2013 List. Gore was a member of garage rockers The Gore Gore Girls, and she’s joined in this new band by bassist Leann Banks from The Von Bondies, drummer Joe Leone from Grayling, and Pete Ballard from Deadstring Brothers. “Send Me A Postcard” got a nod of approval from Little Steven Van Zandt on his Underground Garage radio show. Amy Gore And Her Valentines will be opening for long-time Chicago favorites The Waco Brothers tomorrow night at Schubas on Chicago’s northside. Showtime is 8:00PM

Congratulations to vocalist-guitarist Chloe F. Orwell of The Handcuffs on being the Featured Guitarist on the Gretsch Guitars website.

Having just finished my review of the new Playlist: The Very Best Of Big Star compilation for the Illinois Entertainer, the extraordinary talents of the late Alex Chilton are fresh in my mind. A number of Chicago area musicians have never forgotten him, which is why the 9th Annual Alex Chilton Birthday Bash is being held at The Empty Bottle tomorrow night. The acts involved are Certain Stars; Christopher Joseph Elam; Kathy Greenholdt and Chris Corsale; The Injured Parties; The Intimate Machines; The J and P’s; Letterbomb; Lutz; Scott Niekelski from Go Time!; and Puritan Pine. The tribute starts at 8:00 PM, admission is $9.00.

As noted by Mary Houlihan in today’s edition of the Chicago Sun-Times, the suburb of Evanston has brought back its localized New Year’s Eve celebration, First Night. Country& Western/alt rock band Dolly Varden and blues harmonica player Corky Siegel are among the acts performing at this family-friendly event,

Meanwhile, in Palatine: Jim Schwall, Siegel’s partner in The Siegel-Schwall Band, will be a special guest when The Chris Aaron Band celebrates New Year’s Eve at Mac’s On Slade. The Blue Dadeez are also on the bill.

Just a few blocks away in Palatine, Durty Nellie’s will have the Talking Heads tribute act This Must Be The Band ringing in 2014.

David Bowie fans can have a double dose of tribute fun on the north side of Chicago when Sons Of The Silent Age play at Mayne Stage on New Years Eve, and the Berlin nightclub presents its BowieBall on January 2nd. Chris Connelly of Ministry and Revolting Cocks fame, will be channeling the Thin White Duke as lead vocalist for Sons at Mayne Stage, and he’ll be joined by Robert Byyne at Berlin two days later. BowieBall will also have DJ Heaven Malone spinning tunes, and there will androgynous and glam fashion and makeup in the mix.

The Cheetles, a Beatles cover band comprised of veteran musicians Larry Beers, Donnie Briggs, James Coffey, Skid Marks, Mike Medina, Dann Morr, and Tom Slater, will be performing at Martyrs’ on Monday, January 6th. The cover charge is $10.

Heavy Manners, the politically charged ska band that once ruled Chicago’s club scene, hits The Metro on January 3rd as part of its American Ska-Thic 20 Year Reunion Tour. See the band’s Facebook page for further details.

If you saw the Mary Wilson and The Four Tops Holiday Spectacular at the Harris Theater and you’re looking forward to when Motown The Musical opens in Chicago next April, you might also be interested in The Motown 7s Box: Rare And Unreleased Vinyl set. Writer Mike Duquette recently did a post on this collection from England for The Second Disc, a  knowledgeable website about all things related to rare and re-released music.

And finally, a tip of the fez to Matt Smith, who recently wrapped up his tenure as The Doctor on Doctor Who. I’ve haven’t seen the episode yet since I don’t have cable, but I read Kyle Anderson’s review (with spoiler alerts) on The Nerdist website. Sounds like Smith bowed out with his typical class and humor. The best of luck to him in his acting career. Hopefully, he’ll be as busy as his Doctor Who predecessor David Tennant has been since leaving the show.

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