Friday, May 13, 2016


The Bangles have announced a series of August concert dates on the east coast. Stops include Philadelphia and New York. It would be great to catch them at an outdoor event in the Chicago area. The CD version of the band’s very fun vintage rarities collection Ladies And Gentlemen . . .The Bangles comes out in June.

Ramsey Lewis and Graham Elliott are among the special guests at the second annual Lake FX Summit And Expo taking place today, tomorrow, and Sunday at the Chicago Cultural Center, Gene Siskel Film Center, and Hard Rock Hotel. The event bills itself as “The Midwest’s largest free convening of artists and creative entrepreneurs,” and features panel discussions, workshops, pop-up performances, and film screenings.

Mudcrutch 2, the second album from Tom Petty’s reunited early band Mudcrutch, comes out May 20.  Eight days later, the band will be in Chicago for a concert at the Riviera Theatre, with The Shelters.

May 20 is also the release date for Eric Clapton’s I Still Do and Bob Dylan’s Fallen Angels.

X-Communicate, the debut album from Dum Dum Girls leader Dee Dee’s side project Kristin Kontrol, drops on May 27.

The Book Con, organized by ReedPOP, the company that runs Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, New York Comic Con, and other cultural events, comes to Chicago tomorrow, May 14 at McCormick Place. Actor Chris O’Dowd, who has been very funny in TV shows and movies, is one of the guests, along with Veronica Roth (Divergent series), Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen series), James Dashner (The Maze Runner series), Sarah J. Maas (Throne Of Glass) and several other authors. Admission is $40 for adults, and $5 for kids from 6 to 12.

May is British Invasion Month here at Broken Hearted Toy, and you can help celebrate by checking out The Beatle Bros. at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn tomorrow night. It’s a 30th Anniversary Show for the band, and all of the original members (Jay Goeppner, Phil Angotti, Casey McDonough, Dick Schmidt, Rich Geist, and George Krajl) will be on hand. Goeppner and Angotti will open with an acoustic set.

The Handmade Chicago Arts And Crafts Festival is being held tomorrow and Sunday outside Plumbers Hall in the west loop. Admission is free.

Gary Numan has three shows coming on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday at Metro. He’ll perform a different album in its entirety each night; Replicas on Sunday, The Pleasure Principle on Monday, and Telekon on Tuesday. I Speak Machine will be the opening act on all three nights.

Roxy Swain’s new album Beneath Full Moonlight is available now in digital format, and the Chicago indie rock band has a vinyl release party coming up on June at the The Elbo Room on Lincoln Avenue.

Tickets went on sale this week for Belly’s July 7 gig at Bottom Lounge, and The Pet Shop Boys’ November 5 concert at Civic Opera House.

Steve Dawson, a founding member of the critically acclaimed Chicago band Dolly Varden, and an accomplished solo artist, has just released a collaboration with Baltimore-based singer-songwriter Ellen Cherry. They’ve posted an artistic video of the engaging title track from their EP The Thread on YouTube. 

Singer-guitarist Kevin Lee’s song “Tonight” will be featured in the upcoming movie Spaceman, due out in August. Lee and the newest lineup of his band The Kings will be performing on June 11 at The Chicago Loop Sports Bar and Grill in Streamwood.

A Fragile Tomorrow, the South Carolina band that made a strong impression when it stopped by The Red Line Tap as part of International Pop Overthrow - Chicago a few years back, recently released its Make Me Over CD. The hard-hitting title track is a cover of a Slade song, and the quartet gets some help from Joan Baez and The Indigo Girls on its version of folk singer Richard Farina’s “One Way Ticket.”

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