Friday, November 20, 2015


WXRT's ONXRT: Live From The Archives Volume 17 will be available starting December 4 at Target stores in the Chicago area. As with past volumes in this series, all the tracks were recorded at local venues and aired at some point on the progressive rock station. Regular XRT listeners will be (overly?) familiar with the selection, particularly "Take Me To Church" by Hozier and "Ex's and Oh's" by Elle King. For my tastes, the highlights are Bob Mould's "If I Can't Change Your Mind," Wilco's "Box Full Of Letters," and Veruca Salt's "Seether." It would have been fun to have a few vintage selections, but with the exception of Mould's 2008 track, all the songs were pulled from performances in the past two years. ONXRT Volume 17 is supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield and proceeds will benefit The City Project and the Logan Square Neighborhood Association.

They'll be painting the town red and yellow (to match the lighted trees) from 5:00 to 9:00 PM tonight in Palatine as part of the annual Holidays On The Town event. A number of stores and venues in the downtown area (including Durty Nellie's and Tap House Grill) will be have special offers, sales, and festive hors d'oeuvres.

Also in Palatine, Music On Stage will be presenting the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie at Cutting Hall

Over 100 indie presses will be represented during the Chicago Book Expo tomorrow at Columbia College. The event, which started in 2011, runs from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM at 1104 S. Wabash in Chicago. Special programs are scheduled for other locations in the city; see the official website for the full schedule. According to a piece by Jeremy Mikuula in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Book Expo aims to spotlight Chicago writers and publishers.

On a related note, sisters Rebecca and Kimberly George have started an IndieGoGo campaign to help open their new independent bookstore Volumes Bookcafe in the Wicker Park neighborhood. So far, they've raised $4,200 of their $20,000 goal.

Chicago filmmaker Michael Smith's feature-length film Cool Apocalypse will receive its Chicago premiere at The Gene Siskel Film Center tomorrow night at 8:00 PM. There will be another screening on Monday, November 23 at 8:15 PM.

Death And Memphis, The Mizzerables, This Obsession, and Horrible will be playing at Quenchers Saloon tomorrow night as part of the Break: Hunger Food Drive and Fundraiser in partnership with the Lakeview Pantry.

Echo Fest 6, which looks to be a very psychedelic happening, takes place tomorrow at The Loving Touch in Ferndale, Michigan from 6:00 PM until the early hours of Sunday. Fourteen bands, including Chicago's The Red Plastic Buddha, will be performing on two stages.

Damn right, I got the drumstick. I meant to include this in yesterday's preview of Thanksgiving weekend shows in the Chicago area. Sopro will presents its 33rd Annual Thanksgiving All Star Blues Revue on Saturday, November 28 at Sullivan's Irish Pub and Eatery in Midlothian. The lineup once again features The Chicago Horns, along with Sopro regulars like guitarist-vocalist Joey Drada; keyboards player Greg Wolfman; and vocalist Deb Seitz. This year's edition will have a memorial to harmonica player Jody Noa that will include harmonica players Doug Lee, Ken Gibbons, and Ted Aliotta. The festival begins at 9:00 PM.

Just to recap, here are the Thanksgiving weekend items mentioned in yesterday's post: EXPO '76 will be at FitzGerald's in Berwyn on Wednesday night; The Safes, The Differents, The Red Plastic Buddha, and The Regals will at Live Wire on Chicago Wednesday night; Squeeze, featuring founding members Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford will give acoustic performances at Park West next Friday and Saturday; and Dean Milano will be performing on Friday at the Port Edward seafood restaurant in Algonquin. Also, Record Store Day Black Friday will held at record stores around the country.

Taking the Queen to some post-Thanksgiving fun. Two of the better-known bands from Chicago's 1970s/80s cutting-edge club scene will be part of the Tuts Reunion and Holiday Party next Friday.  Heavy Manners with Kate "Too Cool" Fagan, known for irresistible ska songs like "Taking The Queen To Tea," and sub urban insult punks Tutu And The Pirates will be joining MC Tony Dale at Mayne Stage on Chicago's far north side. I still have a tattered copy of the December 1978 Metro Entertainment Calendar with my cover story on Tutu And The Pirates.

Artist/art critic (and my editor when I wrote for Chicago Art Machine) Robin Dluzen will be the curator for the Skimption exhibition that runs from December 4 through January 31 at the Ukrainian Institute Of Modern Art in Chicago. According to the press release, artists Diana Gabriel, Emily Hermant, Luis Sahagun, Catherine Schwalbe, and Rusty Shackleford "defy all the usual qualifiers: 'painter,' 'sculptor,' 'fiber artist,' [and] 'ceramicist.'" The opening reception on December 4 starts at 6:00 PM; the Ukrainian Institute Of Modern Art is located at 2320 W. Chicago Avenue.

Metric's upcoming I Can See The End tour kicks off with a gig on February 12 at The House Of Blues in Chicago. Tickets went on sale today. Joywave will be the opening act. Metric's latest release Pagans In Vegas is available on CD, double LP vinyl, and in digital format.

Flight Of The Conchords fans are bound to enjoy What We Do In The Shadows, the vampire mockumentary written and directed by Conchords member Jemaine Clement and fellow New Zealand comedian Taika Waititi. The contrast between droll dialogue and over-the-top carnage is consistently funny, but there's also a coherent narrative and some tender moments. The film is now available on DVD.

A triple bill of Razorhouse, The Handcuffs, and I Lost Control will take place on December 11 at Martyrs' on Chicago's north side. Admission is $8; showtime is 9:00 PM.

Chris Isaak's 13th album First Comes The Night is now available on Amazon. The material ranges from the ballads "Please Don't Call" and "Rerverie" to the old time rock-a-billy "Going Down In Flames," and the Elvis Presley-inspired "Love The Way You Kiss Me."    

There's still time to vote for Cheap Trick to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. It's fun and easy to do, and not one of the nominees has said anything really ignorant. 

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