Friday, November 27, 2015


Here's hoping everyone had a festive Thanksgiving and productive day of Black Friday shopping, vinyl or otherwise.

Two of the better-known and most fun bands from Chicago's 1970s/80s cutting-edge club scene will be at the Tuts Reunion and Holiday Party tonight at Mayne Stage. Heavy Manners play irresistible ska songs like "Taking The Queen To Tea," "Flamin' First," and "Blue Beat," while Tutu And The Pirates, who once embraced the description 'sub urban insult rock,' revel in unsettling subject matter like mass murder and cannibalism. MC Tony Dale will also be on hand. The music starts at 9:00 PM.

A hearty Broken Hearted Toy welcome to Squeeze, which will be at Park West in Chicago tonight and tomorrow for acoustic performances featuring founding members Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford. The songs on Cradle To The Grave, the band's first full album of new material in 17 years, showcase the witty lyrics, catchy melodies, and harmony vocals fans have come to expect.

This is a rare opportunity to see Squeeze in an intimate setting, and the shows are part of WXRT's Holiday Concert For The Kids series. If you plan on going, be sure to bring a new or like new book or toy that can be passed along to a child in Chicago area hospitals during the holiday season.

Singer-songwriter (and author-model car maker) Dean Milano will be performing tonight at the Port Edward seafood restaurant in Algonquin. Milano has a classic folk vocal style, and he frequently adds a satiric edge to his original material.

LI-ON GREVIER, a collective of musicians from north of the border, has a new single called "My World Is Empty (Theme)" available for free download on Soundcloud. It's an ethereal, catchy acoustic-based number with layered vocals from the Toronto-based group, whose self-titled full-length debut came out in 2013. 

This is the last weekend to see the Music On Stage production of the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie at Cutting Hall in Palatine.

Yesterday's Holiday Shopping Guide here on BHT offered a few suggestions on where to find unique gifts for all the rock and roll fans on your list. Another great resource is The Second Disc website, which provides essential information on new boxed sets and special releases. For example, the new Chorus five-disc boxed set from the coed English shoegazer band Lush. Due out on December 4, Chorus will include all of Lush's officially recorded efforts, plus B-Sides, unreleased tracks, and other rarities.

Sopro will presents its 33rd Annual Thanksgiving All Star Blues Revue on tomorrow, November 28 at Sullivan's 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.

Whitewolfsonicprincess has invited over 10 musical acts to join in the fun of its annual Toys For Tots benefit next Saturday at Red Line Tap on Chicago's north side. Performers include The Telepaths; Winston Gerbil; Ten Gallon Hats/5 Gallon Heads; The Myths Of Suburbia; Lady Stardust; The Revellettes go-go dancers; The Dark Room Men; Jeff Brown and The New Black; and The Rut. There's also a slot on the schedule that reads The Raffle with Famous In The Future, but it's not clear if that's an actual raffle or if The Raffle is another musical offshoot of the Famous In The Future comedy group, like The Rut and Lady Stardust. Meanwhile, Whitewolfsonicprinces has been busy working on its third album.

If you missed Cliff Johnson of Off Broadway and Pezband fame performing with The Raine at The Minstrel Paloza show at Durty Nellies, you'll get another shot to see this inspired matchup on December 18 at 27 Live in Chicago.

A few weeks back, I mentioned a power pop double bill of Van Go and The Valley Downs at The Gallery Cabaret, but failed to fully digest the information that was sent to me about it. The gig was one of the last we'll see by Van Go, who unfortunately are winding down their playing days. I've praised Van Go a number of times here on BHT for their live shows and CDs. They play a hard-edged brand of power pop with acerbic lyrics, and will be missed on the Chicago scene. At least we'll be able to see some of the members in other bands they're involved in, such as The Right Tidys. I also should have mentioned that The Valley Downs, another BHT favorite, have a brand new song called "The Prettiest Girl In Salem." 

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