Friday, June 24, 2016


June 25 is Global Beatles Day. At some point tomorrow, Indianapolis-based organizer Faith Cohen will be interviewed by the BBC about the annual celebration of the lads’ enduring and powerful influence on music and popular culture.

Passion Pit and JD McPherson are the headliners for this year’s Worlds Largest Block Party at Old St. Patrick’s Church tomorrow night. The festivities run from 5:30 to 11:00 p.m. at the UIC Festival Lot.

By the time he gets to Woodstock. Graham Nash has announced a Fall Tour that will take him to the Northeast part of America. He’ll be visiting Northampton, MA; Portland, MA; Hartford, CT; and Woodstock, NY, among other places.

The Threadbare Book Party And Trunk Show, presented by The Ladydrawers Comics Collective, takes place tomorrow at In House from 4 to 8 p.m. tomorrow. The event will offer local artists, handmade clothing, art, comics, and literature. In House is located at 3520 W. Armitage in Chicago.

Mighty Con Dupage Comic Con takes place tomorrow and Sunday at the DuPage County Fair Grounds in Wheaton. The event promises over “100 vendors, artists, creators, and guests.” A day pass costs $8, a weekend pass is $12, and kids under 12 are admitted free.

Topical Humor. EXPO ’76, one of Chicago’s best, eclectic, and fun cover bands, is performing at FitzGerald’s tonight. The band’s singer-guitarist Dag Juhlin posted on Facebook, “We’ll be playing songs by British artists tonight, so please join us for Brexpo ’76.”

Phil Angotti will be joined by several fellow musicians as he celebrates his birthday tomorrow night with a performance at FitzGerald’s. The venue holds its critically acclaimed annual American Music Fest from June 30 to July 3, with a guest list that includes Dos Lobos (David Hidalgo and Louie Perez from Los Lobos); James McMurtry; Robbie Fulks; Webb Wilder; Tributosaurus as James Brown; and several other roots rock acts.

Graham Crackers Comics is having a Doctor Who Day Signing at its downtown location on July 9 from noon to 3:00 PM. Fans will have a chance to meet artists Andrew Pepoy and Jason Millet.

The first Wednesday of each month is Ladies Night at the downtown Graham Crackers location. All women will receive 10% off any purchases on those evenings. I talked with a few representatives from Ladies Night at The Printers Row Lit Fest a few weeks back, and they told me that Big Bang Theory notwithstanding, a growing number of comic and graphic novel buyers are female. Ladies Night anthologies featuring local comic creators are available for purchase at Graham Crackers.

Amy Gore recently posted on Facebook that the Gore Gore Girls’ previously unreleased seven-inch single “Don’t Cry” b/w “Sweet Potato” is now available through Bloodshot Records and Get Hip Recordings. According to the Bloodshot website, the record “includes neat-o insert stickers for your jukebox.”

Congratulations to WXRT early morning drive shift air personality Lin Brehmer on being named Best Radio DJ in The Reader’s annual Best Of Chicago Poll. Terri Hemmert, whose shift follows Brehmer’s each day, came in second, and the station itself was the runner-up to WBEZ in the Best Overall Radio Station category.

Also in the poll, journalist/photographer/blogger Robert Loerzel was named Best Chicagoan To Follow On Twitter. Many years ago, Loerzel was my editor at the Palatine Countryside newspaper. The Reader is available for free in various downtown locations and on Chicago’s north side.

Peter Gabriel and Sting are coming to the United Center on July 9th.

Cliff Johnson and The Raine will be sharing another bill with Kevin Lee And The Kings on July 9 at FitzGerald’s. I saw Johnson backed by The Raine at Durty Nellie’s in Palatine a few months ago, and this is a beneficial matchup for everyone involved.

Comic artist/musician Plastic Crimewave (AKA Steve Krakow) featured Johnson’s former band Off Broadway in his very cool strip The Secret History Of Chicago Music in this week’s edition of The Reader. Krakow’s hardbound book My Kind Of Sound – The Secret History of Chicago Music  Compendium, published by Curbside Splendor, picked up a rave review in the April issue of the UK mag Shindig. (The one with 10cc and Graham Nash on the cover.) Reviewer Kris Needs wrote, “Every turn of the page can elicit a gasp of pleasure, if not alway recognition, as Krakow works through the underdogs and mythical characters in jazz, blues, funk, soul, and rock’n’ roll who have lived in the city.”

Heart’s new album Beautiful Broken, which sports the ugliest cover I’ve seen in some time, is now available for pre-order on iTunes. The band will be probably be showcasing a few of these new tunes when it joins fellow Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees Cheap Trick and Joan Jett at the July 19 Three For All concert at FirstMerit Bank Pavillion on Northerly Island.

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