Friday, May 8, 2015


There will be three great opportunities for fans of The Who in Chicago next week. Simon Townshend will be doing a solo show at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue on May 12th, with Dag Juhlin, who performs with The Slugs, Poi Dog Pondering, and EXPO ‘76, as his opening act. A day later, Simon will be performing with his brother Pete and The Who at the Allstate Arena.

On May 14th, the Townshend brothers will join Eddie Vedder, Zak Starkey, Joan Jett, and Joe Walsh for Celebrating The Who, a benefit to help Teen Cancer America at the Rosemont Theater. Roger Daltry has staged concerts for the organization in the past, and he’s listed on the Rosemont Theater website as being the host for this one.

Chicago Zine Fest  takes place today, May 8th, and tomorrow, May 9th, at the Plumbers’ Union Hall on Washington Blvd. Today is being devoted to a panel discussion and readings, while tomorrow’s main draw will be a Zine Exhibition showcasing zines, self-published books, and comics.

Fans of The Bangles and The Go-Go’s in Los Angeles will get a double treat on June 18th when Susanna Hoffs and her special guest Belinda Carlisle perform at the Largo At The Coronet. 

The Webstirs have a record release show for their latest effort Now You’ve Really Done It, at Beat Kitchen tomorrow night. I received an advance copy, and it offers more of the offbeat lyrics, irresistible melodies, and fun harmonies that fans have come to expect from these guys. For tomorrow night’s show, The Webstirs will be special guests of Textbook, a guitar-driven band who latest album All Messed Up finds them pursuing a more alt-country sound on some of the tunes.

Dennis Diken, the drummer for The Smithereens, will be joining musicians Tom Clark, Sal Maida, Craig Chester, Andy Riedel, and Charles Roth for A Spoonful Of Lovin - A Night Celebrating The Good Time Music Of The Lovin Spoonful on May 17th at The Treehouse at 2A in New York City.

Chicago-based indie rockers Fort Frances have a gig tonight at Lincoln Hall. In my July 1st, 2013 review (it originally ran in the Ilinois Entertainer) of the band’s Harbour album, I said it would fit in well with artists like Fleet Foxes, and that singer-guitarist David McMillin’s vocals bring a beguiling atmosphere to songs like “Truths I Used To Know” and “City By The Sea.”

Tributosaurus became Sting at Martyrs’ this past Wednesday, and they’ll make that transformation again tonight at Wire in Berwyn. 

Fresh from a successful gig at the recent International Pop Overthrow - Chicago festival, the coed power pop band The Right Tidys will be performing at Phyllis’ tomorrow night. Deadly Bungalows and Volt Amp are also on the bill.

A full-color printed Ravinia schedule has been showing up in people’s mailboxes around Illinois and once unfolded, it’s large enough to paper a wall. Some of the highlights of this year’s outdoor concert series in Highland Park include Sheryl Crow on June 25th; Pink Martini, Aimee Mann, and The Von Trapps on July 1st; Brian Wilson with Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin, and Rodriguez of Searching For Sugar Man fame on July 6th; a Chicago Symphony Orchestra tribute to Danny Elfman’s film music on July 21st; Blondie and Melissa Etheridge on July 2nd; Steely Dan on July 24th and 25th; Santana on August 29th and 30th; and Jackson Browne on September 5th.

We also now know the lineup for the outdoor Sounds Of Summer concerts in Palatine at the Fred P. Hall Amphitheater. The Palatine Concert Band once again has three dates (June 10th, July 8th, and July 29th); American English returns on June 12th; and Band Called Catch performs on June 19th. The full schedule wasn’t online yet as I wrote this but it should show up soon on the Sounds Of Summer website. 

Also in Palatine, Theatre Nebula’s staging of Godspell at Cutting Hall begins tonight and runs through May 24th. Theatre Nebula did a great job on Spamalot! last year.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow for the July 14th Matthew Sweet and August 1st Marshall Crenshaw shows at SPACE in Evanston.  

Billie Piper and Arthur Darville from Doctor Who are among the guests coming to the Wizard World Comic Con - Chicago at the Donald E. Stephens Center on August 20th  through the 23rd.

Singer-guitarist Terry Sylvester, who replaced Graham Nash in The Hollies, will make his second visit to the Fest For Beatles Fans - Chicago on the weekend of August 14th through 16th. Other guests include Mark Hudson and George Harrison’s sister Louise.

Frank E. Lee did his final afternoon shift today on WXRT before retiring. It was fun and interesting to hear him reflect on his early days at the station. The musicians he’s interviewed over the years included Jimmy Page, R.E.M., and Robert Smith of The Cure. Earlier today, morning man Lin Brehmer offered a funny and heartfelt tribute to Lee. There’s a short video on WXRT’s website  featuring various members of the staff offering their thoughts on the now retired radio star.

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