Friday, July 10, 2015


Photo of Spoon from the WXRT website.

Taste Of Chicago continues in Grant Park tomorrow with the WXRT-sponsored triple lineup of Spoon, Houndmouth, and Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear, starting at 4:30, at the Petrillo Band Shell. This coming Monday at 6:30 PM, Matthew Sweet and the Chicago band In Tall Buildings, will be performing at the Jay Pritzger Pavilion at Millennium Park.

The Smithereens will be serving up classic power pop from their numerous albums when they perform tomorrow night around 7:00 PM on the Main Stage at the Roscoe Village Burger Fest on Belmont between Damen and Oakley. The Handcuffs and The Fabulous Thunderbirds are also playing. Catfight is among the bands slated to perform on Sunday.

The very first Artfest Michigan Avenue takes place this weekend just outside the Chicago Tribune building, overlooking the Chicago River. Over 100 juried artists will be displaying their work, and admission is free.

Guitar-driven power pop band The Bishops’s Daredevil Stunt Club has a record release show for their full-length album Rock N Roll Motorcycle Dinosaur at the Bottom Lounge July 18th. I’ll be reviewing their 12-song effort in the near future.

Singer-guitarist Danny Cozzi of the local indie rock trio All The Wine has a free acoustic show coming up at Mutiny in Logan Square tomorrow night, and there will be a full-band show at Silvie’s Lounge next Friday, July 17. 

The Irish American Heritage Fest starts tonight and runs through Sunday at the Irish American Heritage Center on Chicago’s northwest side.

Andrea Perry, Scott McPherson, Kirk Adams, and KC Bowman, four musicians from around the USA, have recorded an album under the band name Pop 4 without having actually met each other. Fans of the international power pop trio The Britannicas could tell you this is done by trading music over the internet. I’m guessing that the genre will be power pop here as well, sconsidering International Pop Overthrow founder David Bash and Justin Fielding, the filmmaker behind The Power Pop Movie are involved.

Chicago Acoustic Underground (CAU) is sponsoring a lineup of local acts this Saturday and Sunday at the Club Lucky restaurant/cocktail lounge on Wabansia as part of the Bucktown Garden Walk. Ellis Clark And The Big Parade, Hannah Frank Trio, Whitewolfsonicprincess, Kurt Michaels Continuum featuring Alain Quinn, Greg Jackson Combs, Matthew Morgan and The Family Band, Dann Morr, Waning Faith, Brooke Bartlett And The Blue Lines, Jeff Brown and The New Black, Nancy Connelly, and Aaron Williams are the scheduled performers. When I went last year, the shows were being held outside.

When Steve Barton from Translator plays a gig at Molly Malone’s as part of International Pop Overthrow in Los Angeles on July 25th, he’ll be showcasing songs from his upcoming Projector album. Dave Scheff, Willie Aron, Marvin Etzioni, and Derrick Anderson—the musicians who helped Barton record the album—will be joining him for the show.

International Pop Overthrow returns to its birthplace Los Angeles on July 24 and runs through August 2 at five different clubs. In addition to the above-mentioned Steve Barton, this year’s acts include Maple Mars, The Tearaways, Linus Of Hollywood, The Jeremy Band, Adam Marsland, and The Cherry Bluestorms. 

Citizen’s Relief, a quirky and engaging duo that has entertained audiences at the Mary-Arrchie Theatre’s Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins festivals over the years, will be performing Harold Pinter’s Ashes To Ashes at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art from August 22 to September 20 on Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 4:00 PM. There will be a special opening night on August 20th.

Over The Rhine has just announced they will be doing a show on July 24 at SPACE in Evanston.

Christopher David from Chicago alt rock band Magatha Trysty has a solo EP titled When Cynthia Told Us You Came that’s available to download on his Bandcamp page.

Photographer Tom McKeon has created an eye-popping video for the new song "Miles Of Jenny" from Chicago sci-fi rock band Tomorrow The Moon.

The August issue of Record Collector will have a cover story on The Monkees, as well as articles about Doctor Who on vinyl; The Seeds, The Hollies, Joy Division, Pretty Things, and Polyphonic Spree. It goes on sale July 16th, Elsewhere on the magazine beat, Ugly Things has a cover story on the definitely non-ugly 1960s four-woman band The Clingers. Ugly Things can be hard to find but I have seen copies for sale at Reckless Records in downtown Chicago.

Dot Dash, a Washington, DC based quartet that has drawn inspiration from The Clash as well as Translator on four impressive releases (all reviewed here on BHT) will be opening for power pop master Tommy Keene for three of his dates in September. 

It’s great to see Veruca Salt on the cover of this month’s Illinois Entertainer. The recently reunited Chicago band talked to writer Jaime Black about its history and new release Ghost Notes. The current issue also has my review of the self-titled third release from Birds Of Night.

If I was the type who spent a lot of time reading on the beach, I would have the perfect book for doing that. It’s the second volume in rock critic Ken Sharp’s Play On! Power Pop Heroes trilogy, has 755 pages, and just arrived in my mail today. Any astute pop fans passing by on the beach, seeing me reclining on a Beatles towel and reading a book with an illustration of Rick Nielsen on the cover, would surely stop and strike up a conversation. I could entertain them with wise quotes from Dwight Twilley; Mimi Betinis from Pezband; John and Jeff Murphy and Gary Klebe from Shoes; Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick; Marky Ramone; Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford from Squeeze; Todd Rundgren, and many others just by paging through Sharp’s extensive interviews. I’ll be devoting more time to this book in the near future.

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