Friday, July 28, 2017


A hearty welcome to Graham Nash, who returns to Chicago for trio of shows, tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday night at The Old Town School Of Folk Music. It’s a mid-sized venue with good acoustics and a decades-long history of presenting well-known performers. A perfect match for Mr. Nash. He was a guest on Chicago Tonight yesterday, talking about the political values that have long informed his work; the on-and-off partnership of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and his early days with The Hollies.

Also, a warm greeting to Roger Waters, whose current series of Us And Them Live Chicago gigs concludes tonight at the United Center. He is not doing on show there this Sunday, as I reported earlier here on BHT. He was at the United Center last Saturday and Sunday, July 22 and 23. I apologize for the error.

Tickets went on sale today for Pete Townshend’s Classic Quadrophenia Chicago  performance at The Rosemont Theatre on September 13. The event features Townshend, Billy Idol, Eddie Vedder, and Alfie Boe as the troubled teen Jimmy. Proceeds from the concert will benefit Teen Cancer America. WXRT morning DJ Lin Brehmer had a few brief telephone interviews with Townshend this morning and yesterday morning.

There are only a few more days left to catch The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism exhibit before it closes on Navy Pier July 30. It’s a very impressive multimedia presentation of the memorabilia, photos, and videos of the iconic band.

According to the Official Hollies Facebook page, The Rolling Stones made their live performance debut as the opening act for The Hollies on July 13, 1963.

Cliff Johnson and The Raine’s perform tomorrow night, Saturday, July 29 at Reggies Music Joint on State Street just south of downtown in Chicago. The Jay Goeppner Band is also on the bill.

Congratulations to Metro owner Joe Shanahan on celebrating 35 years of keeping his Wrigleyville club at the forefront of Chicago’s live music scene.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Cheap Trick – We’re All Alright!

It’s been a little over a year since Cheap Trick’s Bang Zoom Crazy . . . Hello dovetailed so nicely with the band’s overdue induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. We’re All Alright! follows quickly on the heels of that success and the initial impact, at least for some fans, has been this effort strays too far into hard rock territory. Still, this is Cheap Trick, so even on the Kiss or AC/DC style arrangements, it’s possible to join in the fun.

On “Long Time Coming,” Rick Nielsen borrows a well-known riff from The Kinks and the always inventive Robin Zander playfully rolls the ‘r’ in ‘real’ when he sings, “A real pole grinder.” Songs like “Radio Lover,” “You Got It Going On,” and “Nowhere,” put an emphasis on hot-looking women and the joys and frustrations of relationships. All the while, Nielsen, Zander, Tom Petersson, and Daxx Nielsen unleash a big and well-crafted sound.

The above-mentioned meat-and-potatoes material has enough flavor to succeed, but the real highlights on the album are the more nuanced tracks like “Lolita,” “Listen To Me,” and “If You Still Want My Love.” “She’s Alright” flows a series of double entendres through an irresistible shuffling beat. Cheap Trick once again strikes gold with a cover of The Move; giving “Blackberry Way” such a gorgeous 1960s British pop feel, it makes the album’s title We’re All Alright! seem like an understatement.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Papers

Three days of working overtime and one night of freelance work, plus getting a new chapter of my novel ready for my writers meeting wiped out a whole week of blogging. All worthy distractions, but I wanted to explain my absence lest anyone think I’m losing interest in Broken Hearted Toy. I’m not.

Some big names in rock will be in the Chicago area this week; with Paul McCartney playing at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park on Tuesday and Wednesday; Stephen Stills and Judy Collins at Ravinia on Wednesday; Graham Nash at The Old Town School Of Folk Music on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; and Roger Waters on Sunday at the United Center. I’m leaving my schedule open in case any or all these musicians want to get together for my birthday.

Longtime rock critic Greg Kot’s interview with Roger Waters in this past Friday’s Chicago Tribune included this quote from the Pink Floyd veteran about performing “The Wall” on his current tour: “It’s interesting the way it finishes onstage after all the bricks have tumbled down, a symbolic demonstration of what good can come out of a wall coming down as opposed to building one. We’d all stand and grin and bathe in connection, a deeply felt connection with the audience.”

Cliff Johnson and The Raine’s next gig is on Saturday, July 29 at Reggies Music Joint on State Street just south of downtown in Chicago. The Jay Goeppner Band is also on the bill that night.

Tickets went on sale today for The Church and Helio Sequence at Park West on October 6; Flamin’ Groovies at SPACE on October 19; LCD Soundsystem at the Aragon Ballroom on November 6; and James McMurtry at SPACE on November 10.

My wife Pam has embarked on a mission to help save the monarch butterfly population. She brings in eggs she finds on the bottom side of leaves on the milkweed plants in our garden, waits until the caterpillars hatch, and then provides fresh leaves for them to feed on. We now have four butterflies-to-be in the chrysalis stage, and six caterpillars in various sizes.

Two Chicago-based festivals are in the chrysalis stage, and I’ve been tracking their development in the hopes of helping them in my own small way to take flight.

YippieFest, a three-day celebration of theatre, comedy, music, puppets, and other forms of entertainment set for the weekend of August 18 – 21 at Prop Thtr, just extended the deadline for participants to sign up. The cutoff is now Monday, July 24. If the concept sounds like the Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins festival Mary-Arrchie Theatre hosted for 30 years, it’s because the people behind YippieFest are vets of The Abbie.

The Kaleidoscope Eye psychedelic music festival is now selling advanced tickets for its debut on September 8 and 9 at the Live Wire Club on. Organizers Tim Ferguson of The Red Plastic Buddha, Gregory Curvey of The Luck Of Eden Hall, and photographer/writer Lee Klawans have lined up several bands to participate.

Here’s hoping YippieFest and Kaleidoscope Eye both become annual events on the Chicago scene.

The second Power Pop Shoppe Showcase will take place on October 20 at The Elbo Room on Lincoln Avenue. That’s the same venue where radio host Kirk Fox hosted the first PPSS, a major success that featured The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club, The Sunshine Boys, and Phil Angotti. The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club will once again be part of the lineup, along with The Addison, The Peeves, and Mark Watson Band.

Friday, July 14, 2017


A Broken Hearted Toy welcome to all those who have arrived in Chicago for the Pitchfork music festival running this weekend. Over 40 bands will perform on three stages in Union Park and several big names are involved. LCD Soundsystem, Thurston Moore Group, A Tribe Called Quest, PJ Harvey, The Feelies, Solange, and Ride are among the headliners. The Chicago-based band Ne-Hi will be performing songs from their impressive new effort at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

For those who aren’t sure which bands to check out at Pitchfork, local publications The Reader, Red Eye, Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune are offering their top picks. You can also find the complete schedule, as well as thumbnail bios of the participants, in the current issue of Innerview Magazine. It came out a while ago, but there may still be some copies left at stores like Reckless Records.

Secret Colours, a major power on Chicago’s psychedelic music scene, will bring its new lineup to Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue tomorrow night to celebrate the release party of its new Dream Dream album. Yoko And The Oh No’s and Soft Candy are also on the bill.

It will be Six Degrees Of Susanna Hoffs when the Chicago-based indie band The Handcuffs joins Matthew Sweet in downtown Springfield, IL tomorrow at the Amaranth Apple Fest. Sweet has worked with The Bangles as a producer, and recorded three albums of well-chosen cover tunes with Hoffs. Handcuffs drummer Brad Elvis (previously with Big Hello, The Elvis Brothers, and Screams) helped out on drums for a few songs when The Bangles played City Winery Chicago a few years ago. Captain Ivory, The Starter Jackets, and Bruiser Queen are also performing tomorrow at the Amaranth Apple Fest.

The people of Park Ridge, IL must really get into their outdoor festivals. I went past the downtown area this morning while taking the Metra to work, and there was already a crowd of people in the street at 7:00 a.m. for Taste Of Park Ridge. They were drinking coffee from a Dunkin’ Donuts truck rather than beer, but that still counts as partying.

Former WXRT and WLUP air personality Rob Skafish will be at the Chicagoland Record And CD Collectors Show in Hillside from 8:45 a.m. this Sunday, July 16, to sell and sign copies of his book We Have Company: Four Decades Of Rock And Roll Encounters.

You can wear your love like heaven to Wishbone North at 3300 N. Lincoln Avenue next Thursday, July 20 for Tommi Zender And John San Juan: An Evening Of Donovan. The music starts at 7:00 p.m. Zender and San Juan are veterans of the local music scene and have played major roles in other tribute shows.

Author Roger Steffens has a new book out titled So Much Things To Say: The Oral History Of Bob Marley that offers fond memories and reflections from friends and fellow musicians.

My wife Pam and I had a great time watching spirited performances by Gaelic Storm, Tupelo, Makem And Spain, Baal Tinne, and The Academy Of Irish Music last Sunday at the Irish American Heritage Center’s annual Irish Fest. We also caught an entertaining production of George Bernard Shaw’s one-act play How He Lied To Her Husband by Shapeshifters Theatre at Irish Fest.

Roger Waters’ Us + Them Tour hits Chicago next Sunday, July 23 for a concert at the United Center.

Several artists will be displaying their work when Artfest Michigan Avenue takes place next weekend, July 21- 23, just north of the river, near the Chicago Tribune building.

Over 20 bands will be performing at Taste Of River North next weekend, July 21 - 23. The fest takes place at Kingsbury and Erie.

Power pop fans in the Los Angeles area are no doubt familiar with the all-star benefits staged by the Wild Honey Foundation. The events are often tributes to famous bands, particularly The Beatles and Big Star, and the profits go to charitable organizations like the Autism Think Tank. The Wild Honey Foundation is currently seeking donations so it can build its own in-house sound system for future shows rather renting speakers, etc. Anyone interested in helping out can send money to the Wild Honey paypal account. For those in L.A., Wild Honey has a benefit for the Autism Think Tank coming up on July 23 with Marianne, Kristian Hoffman, and special guest Eleni Mandell.

The Rage And Rapture Tour, featuring Blondie and Garbage with special guests John Doe and Exene Cervenka from X, will invade Ravinia next Saturday, July 22.

YippieFest, the newborn love child of the Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins Festival, is seeking a “social media guru” to help spread the word about its debut at Prop Thtr on the weekend of August 18 – 20. Much like Abbie Fest, which ran for 30 years at the Mary-Arrchie Theatre, YippieFest hopes to stage three days of theatre, comedy, performance art, and music. Some Abbie Fest vets, like Frank Carr and Desiree Burcum from Famous In The Future; and Carla Hayden and James Moeller from Black Forest Theatre, are among the planners. They’re also still looking for more participants, so anyone interested in performing should check out the official YippeFest website.

Today is Collector Car Appreciation Day, according to a recent blurb in Parade magazine. As soon as I’ve finished posting this blog, I’m going up to my man cave to play with my Matchbox Mustang, Stingray, and Jaguar.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Mike Benign Compulsion - Kid

Three years have passed since the The Mike Benign Compulsion gave us Here’s How It Works, a collection of satiric tales put to power pop arrangements. The recently released Kid shows the Milwaukee-based quartet still favors that approach and knows how to make it work. Singer-guitarist Benign’s lyrics on these 11 new songs simultaneously leave the listener laughing and a bit worried, while the music is consistently well crafted and engaging.

“The life inside your head’s the better one to live in,” Benign suggests on “What You Do To Me.” The song’s bump and grind rhythm and guest musician Ed Spangenberg’s trombone playing evoke a strip club, but this song could also be about some creepy guy ogling women on a street corner. “Best Years Of Our Lives” offers pure sarcasm as the band sets typical senior citizen complaints to guitar-driven power pop. The self-centered subject of Benign’s catchy “Gadfly” could be any number of people in the current news, while the more complicated title track presents a guy looking back at his younger self as if he were another person.

“Goodbye, Kid Dreams” deals with the sobering realization that most of our lifelong plans may never see the light of day, while the acoustic-based “Hooray” opens with the line, “I’ve got to get out of my head before there’s no getting out anymore.” “The Legendary Band (That’s Still Together)” might have worked better as a rocker rather than a ballad, but it’s still a prime example of Benign’s ability to spin intriguing tales from various points of view.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Random Name Generator

Artwork from the Tommi Zender And John San Juan: An Evening Of Donovan Facebook page.

In honor of the Wilco song by that name, I recently created a BHT feature of shout-outs addressed toward the famous and not so famous around the globe. It made its debut in a July 2 post here but will also occasionally run as a stand-alone post. Fasten your seatbelt. Here we go:

A Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame member and original flower power troubadour will get the local tribute treatment when Tommi Zender And John San Juan: An Evening Of Donovan takes place on July 20 at Wishbone North on Lincoln Avenue. * Reading recent reviews of Broadchurch by Ellen Gray in the Philadelphia Daily News and Lloyd Sachs in the Chicago Tribune reminded me that the BBC show’s star David Tennant seems to be having the most successful post Doctor Who career of any actor who has played The Doctor in the long-running sci-fi series. Congratulations to Evanston native Laura Harrier on the positive reviews she’s getting for her role as Liz in the new Spider-Man: Homecoming flick. According to Jen Yamato in the Los Angeles Times, director Jon Watts insisted on a diverse cast. The comic strip Zits is often good for some generations-clash comedy, but the recent story arc about teenage Jeremy’s band playing for hard-rocking residents of a senior citizens’ home was particularly funny. It was also cool to see a character referencing blues artists Magic Sam, Koko Taylor, and Bukka White. Richard Milne’s Sunday night program Local Anesthetic on WXRT has been an informative and entertaining source for Chicago area music news for decades. Here’s hoping he doesn’t lose his audience now that XRT has moved the show from its 7:30 p.m. slot to 10:30 p.m.  It’s hard to believe U.K. musician Mordecai Smyth, whom I’ve named an honorary citizen of Palatine, IL, came to America for a week, and didn’t drop by to visit me. Mr. Smyth has a new album coming out titled The Mayor Of Toytown Is Dead, which will likely continue in the same funny/scary vein as his earlier Sticky Tape And RustAuthor Roger Steffens has a new book out titled So Much Things To Say: The Oral History Of Bob Marley that offers fond memories and reflections from friends and fellow musicians.

Friday, July 7, 2017


Happy Birthday to Ringo Starr. The Beatles drummer marked the occasion today with a star-studded afternoon bash at the Capitol Records headquarters in Hollywood, CA. Fans who weren’t able to make it out to the west coast could view the festivities via a live feed on Starr’s Facebook page. As usual, his wish was for Peace And Love, and that truly is what the world needs now. Peace and love to you too, Mr. Starkey.

It’s hard to understand why the city of Chicago doesn’t have its annual Celtic Fest in Grant Park anymore, but we still have the smaller but freewheeling and eclectic Irish Fest at the Irish American Heritage Center on Chicago’s northwest side. It kicked off today and runs through Sunday evening. In addition to the headline acts Gaelic Storm, Michael McDermott, Tupelo, We Banjo 3, Runa, Makem Spain, and Scythian, there are entertaining bands like Baal Tinne, The Gleasons, Larkin And Moran Brothers, and The Academy Of Irish Music. Attendees can also watch the high-kicking Trinity Irish Dancers, Foy School Of Irish Dance, and O’Hare School Of Irish Dance; check out an art show; and shop for gifts. Admission is $15.

The Millennium Art Festival takes place this weekend on Lake Street at Michigan Avenue. It’s not one of the city’s bigger art events, but there’s always some interesting work on display there, along with a live music stage and food vendors. Plus, it’s right in the midst of several of downtown’s best attractions.

There are at least three events this weekend for anyone who’s tired of seeing pretty much the same bands at everyone of Chicago’s outdoor events over the summer. West Fest, at Chicago Avenue and Damen Avenue, is teaming up with well-known indie rock venue Empty Bottle in presenting a lineup that includes Local H, Har Mar Superstar, Speedy Ortiz, Woods, Palehound, and Cymbals Eat Guitars. Square Roots Festival is being presented by The Old Town School Of Folk Music on Lincoln Avenue between Montrose and Wilson, and has Nikki Lane, Meat Puppets, and Lucero. Ruido Fest in Medill Park casts a spotlight on Latin alternative rock acts like Molotov, Desorden Publico, and Julieta Venegas.

Chicago-based alt rock band whitewolfsonicprincess will be playing at Tommy Nevins in Evanston this Sunday at 5:00 p.m., and at The Red Line Tap next Sunday, also at 5:00 p.m. The Red Line Tap gig will be part of the R And R Circus series whitewolfsonicprincess has been staging at that venue on a semi-regular basis.

In between the last paragraph and this one, I took a short break to go watch Band Called Catch performing their homespun original alt rock tunes at the Fred P. Hall Amphitheater right here in Palatine. I had forgotten how good their vocals are, and they’ve added a third singer since the last time I saw them.

Secret Colours, has a record release party for its new Dream Dream album coming up on July 15 at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue. Yoko And The Oh No’s and Soft Candy are also on the bill.

The Rage And Rapture Tour, featuring Blondie and Garbage with special guests John Doe and Exene Cervenka from X, comes to Ravinia on July 22.

The Pitchfork music festival returns to Chicago July 21–23, offering over 40 bands on three stages in Union Park. There are several big names involved, including LCD Soundsystem, Thurston Moore Group, A Tribe Called Quest, PJ Harvey, The Feelies, Solange, and Ride. The Chicago-based band Ne-Hi will be performing songs from their impressive new album at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday of Pitchfork.

For a complete Pitchfork schedule as well as thumbnail bios of the participants, pick up a copy of Innerview Magazine at stores like Reckless Records. The Chicago-based Innerview publishes “Know Before The Show” guides to major events in town. Look for their annual Lollapolooza issue to appear in a few weeks.

Former WXRT and WLUP air personality Rob Skafish will be at the Chicagoland Record And CD Collectors Show in Hillside from 8:45 a.m. to noon on Sunday, July 16 to sell and sign copies of his book We Have Company: Four Decades Of Rock And Roll Encounters.

The American Ska-Thic festival will celebrate its 25th Anniversary on August 19 at Metro. MU330, Coolidge, The Eclectics, Detroit Rude Boy Society, Skapone, Tango Wedding Band, and DJ Chuck Wren will be performing.

Last week I mentioned that An Evening Of John Lennon, featuring Phil Angotti, Tommi Zender, and Casey McDonough, was coming up at City Winery Chicago, but I forgot to mention the actual date, which is August 6. In the meantime, Angotti will be part of the Great Moments In Vinyl ensemble when it covers The Beatles White Album next Friday, July 14 at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue.

Jay Goeppner brought his band Backdated to his hometown of Mount Prospect on the 4th Of July and gave the festival a rollicking finish. Backdated takes its name from The Who song “Substitute,” so it was no surprise to hear them cover at least three Who songs. They also did well with stuff by The Doors, Chicago, The Hollies, and other 1960s acts.

Another highlight of Mount Prospect’s 4th Of July celebration on Tuesday was the Motown revue band R-Gang. These guys have a great stage presence and cover a range of rhythm and blues songs that includes Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, The Time, and Fine Young Cannibals.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Fest For Beatles Fans - Chicago Returns

First, a few words about some things to do tomorrow night: The Chicago-based alt-rock group Band Called Catch will be performing at 8:00 p.m. at the Fred P. Hall Amphitheater in Palatine. On previous visits to Palatine (including a concert as part of The Blue Whiskey Film Festival), Band Called Catch has offered a mix of tuneful originals and well-chosen covers.

The 41st Annual Fest For Beatles Fans - Chicago comes to the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in suburban Rosemont on the weekend of August 11–13. The event presents musicians, authors, artists, photographers, and music biz people who have some connection to to the most famous band in rock history. Many are accessible to fans in both the general sense of watching them being interviewed in the hotel ballroom, and on a face-to-face basis at the autograph tables. It’s not unusual to spot guests walking through the crowd or chatting with fans.

This year, the guest list leans heavily toward musicians who worked in Paul McCartney’s post Beatles band Wings—with guitarist-vocalist Denny Laine, lead guitarist Laurence Juber, drummer Denny Seiwell, and drummer Steve Holley all scheduled to appear. In addition to being a founding member of Wings with Paul and Linda McCartney, Laine was the original vocalist for The Moody Blues. (Long gone before “Nights In White Satin.”) Juber now has a successful career recording albums of acoustic guitar instrumental versions of Beatles songs. Other guests include George Harrison’s older sister Louise, musician/producer Mark Hudson; sax player-vocalist Mark Riviera; and Neil Innes, who collaborated with Monty Python and was a driving force behind The Rutles parody band.

WXRT air personality Terri Hemmert will once again be serving as Master Of Ceremonies. In addition to the Beatles-related guests, Liverpool, one of the best Beatles tribute bands around, will perform each night. Liverpool usually invites the Fest’s musical guests to join them on stage, so expect to hear a flight of Wings tunes in addition to Beatles covers. There’s also a marketplace with loads of music-related memorabilia. The Apple Jam Stage, a recent and welcome addition to the festivities, will be back again. Performers in that area will include Laurence Juber, Phil Angotti, Scott Erickson, and Jay Goeppner.

Tickets for The Fest For Beatles Fans - Chicago are $52.00 for Friday; $78.00 for Saturday or Sunday; and $190.00 for the entire weekend. Note: Admission is cheaper for those who purchase their tickets before July 21. I’m hoping to do a more extensive preview closer to the event.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Andy Stone – Blender

Andy Stone’s new album Blender is a skillful collection of traditional singer-songwriter tunes and eccentric 1960s style pop. As was the case with his 2013 effort This Giant Awoke (see archives February 28, 2013), some of these latest songs could have sprung from a musical stage production. The ways in which Stone depicts assorted stages of romantic relationships or offers advice on living life to its fullest provide strong hints he’s a novelist as well as a musician.

“Catherine’s Acting” is an intriguing tale of how a woman’s childhood imaginary friends resurface as characters in her successful one-woman show. The fetching and energetic “Be That Girl” encourages a woman to take risks in love and her career, noting, “hearts don’t beat on rational.” It works better than the similar but more generic-sounding “Are You Satisfied?”

“When You Were Here,” a study of a man coping with a broken relationship, is set to a ornate string arrangement, while “Please Don’t Go” has a melodic, mid-tempo pop arrangement. A more optimistic view of romance arrives with the energetic “4:30,” a giddy celebration of frolicking outdoors with a new love at that early hour of the morning. Occasionally, Stone’s dramatic phrasing distracts from the flow of the songs, but that’s just a small issue on this well-crafted effort.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday Papers

Photo from The Church’s Facebook page.

The Church will be City Winery Chicago tomorrow night and July 4. The Australian band formed in 1980 and is best known for its international hit “Under The Milky Way.”

Also coming up at City Winery Chicago is An Evening Of John Lennon featuring Phil Angotti, Tommi Zender, and Casey McDonough. Singer-guitarist Angotti’s new Such Stories album is available on iTunes.

The Arcada Theatre has added another power pop feather to its cap by bringing back The Smithereens on September 16. Pat DiNizio and the boys have previously played the St. Charles venue as part of a 1980s showcase with The Romantics, Marshall Crenshaw, and Tommy Tutone, and for a solo gig. As previously mentioned here on BHT, there’s a triple bill of Shoes, Pezband, and Dwight Twilley coming up at The Arcada on August 11.

Secret Colours, a young but nevertheless major power on Chicago’s psychedelic music scene, has a record release party for its new Dream Dream album coming up on July 15 at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue. Yoko And The Oh No’s, a good band with a not so good name, and Soft Candy, a quartet that lists The Zombies and The Kinks among its influences, are also on the bill that night.

Thanks to John D. Kolonel of The Raine for tagging me in a Facebook post about wearing his Broken Hearted Toy button during the Material Reissue/Cliff Johnson and The Raine show at the Wire club in Berwyn. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Kolonel at the Cover Palooza show at The Gallery Cabaret a while and gave him a button. So here’s the deal: if I give you a BHT button and you post a picture of yourself on Facebook wearing it, I’ll give your post a “Like.” Cliff Johnson and The Raine’s next gig is on July 29 at Reggies Music Joint on State Street just south of downtown in Chicago. The Jay Goeppner Band is also on the bill that night.

The Yep Roc 20 Festival, an offshoot of the indie record label, will be held October 19 – 21 in Carrboro and Hillsborough, NC. The lineup so far comprises Nick Lowe; Dave and Phil Alvin with The Guilty Ones; Los Straitjackets; Tony Joe White; and the Stray Birds, with more to be announced. Tickets are already available on the official Yep Roc site and there are VIP packages available for $175.

Former WXRT and WLUP air personality Rob Skafish will be at the Chicagoland Record And CD Collectors Show in Hillside from 8:45 a.m. to noon on Sunday, July 16 to sell and sign copies of his book We Have Company: Four Decades Of Rock And Roll Encounters. Skafish, along with his fellow XRT DJ Terri Hemmert, were among the first Chicago radio people to embrace punk and new wave music when it emerged in the mid-1970s. In my yet-to-be-published rock novel, there’s a local radio DJ character who’s sort of a mix of Skafish, Hemmert, and Chrissie Hynde.

Speaking of Terri Hemmert, she focused on Ringo Starr’s birthday on her Breakfast With The Beatles show this morning on XRT. The Beatle drummer’s 77th birthday comes next Friday, and he’ll celebrate at the Capitol Records Building in Hollywood, CA from noon to 4:00 p.m. I’m still kicking myself for missing the birthday bash he had in Chicago a number of years back.

As reported in an Associated Press article in the Chicago Tribune, The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland has a brand new exhibit called “The Power Of Rock.” It uses smoke, laser lights and hidden speakers to amp up film clips of induction ceremony performances from over 30 years. The article also mentioned that The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is undergoing a $15 million dollar remodeling. Hopefully, that means more Hollies memorabilia.

Random Name Generator: In honor of the Wilco song by that name, here’s a new BHT feature of shout-outs (and occasionally shout-ats) addressed toward the famous and not so famous around the globe. It could become a regular part of Slumgullion, a stand-alone post, or just pass into oblivion. Fasten your seatbelts, ‘cause here we go:

Chicago Tribune critic Kerry Reid’s review of City Lit Theater’s production of London Assurance was so well written and researched it makes me want to go see it. As much as I’ll miss Wendy Rice doing Saturday Morning Flashback on WXRT, I have no doubt that new rotating hosts (and longtime XRT air personalities) Johnny Mars and Frank E. Lee will do a great job. Lily Aldridge is the Victoria’s Secret model I think I could most easily be friends with. I’ve never seen the Talking Heads tribute band Big Suit but their ad on page 42 of the new Illinois Entertainer for an upcoming show at the Addison Rock ’N Wheels event on July 20 is so cool it makes me want to check them out. Father Michael Pfleger made a valid point when he told the Chicago Sun-Times that athletes from Chicago’s major teams should visit with city kids in low income neighborhoods the way Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah did when they played for The Bulls. My wife Pam and I go to the cafe at Mariano’s in Palatine every Saturday because we like the beverages and the friendly service from Hailey, Matt, Michelle, and Deb. To Mr. I-Fly-The-W-Flag-All-The-Time-No-Matter-How-The-Cubs-Are-Doing: if you don’t understand the rules, don’t play the game. Boris Boden, a guy I met back in the mid-1970s when we both hung out at the Harlow’s club on Chicago’s southwest side, does a great power pop show called Secret Weapon on Woody Radio. Critics have been praising Baby Driver as a well-made and clever action flick with a wall-to-wall soundtrack of classic rock, but I haven't heard if it actually uses the Simon And Garfunkel song by that name. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Who’s On Fourth?

I’m awfully late getting this post out, but there’s still a lot of live music to catch outdoors in the Chicago area through the 4th of July.

FitzGerald’s 36th Annual American Music Festival  in Berwyn has a full plate of entertainment tomorrow, with performances by Brett Newski; Ike Reilly; Tributosaurus as The Monkees; and others. CJ Chenier; Marcia Ball; Dave Alvin; and The Blisters are among the performers on Monday.

Milwaukee’s annual SummerFest continues tomorrow, skips Monday, and then runs July 4 through July 9. Acts scheduled to perform include Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers; Bob Dylan; Sheryl Crow; The Shins; and Tegan And Sara.

The very first Live On Lincoln festival combines an eclectic live music lineup of with food from local vendors on Sunday.

The International Festival Of Life has returned for a 25th year of featuring Caribbean, African, and Latin American culture. It runs in Union Park through July 4.

Collective Soul performs tomorrow at the 30th annual Ribfest in Naperville, and you can catch The Wallflowers, and Better Than Ezra on Monday. The festival has raised over $15.5 to help eliminate child abuse and domestic violence.

Live rock continues at The Palatine Jaycees’ 60th Annual Hometown Fest in Palatine tomorrow and runs through Monday night. Scheduled acts include Serendipity on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. and the Rolling Stones tribute band Hot Rocks at 5:00 p.m. on Monday.

The Mount Prospect Club 79th Annual Lions Club Festival has live bands running through July 4; including School Of Rock tomorrow; Serendipity and Seventh Heaven on Monday; and Jay Goeppner and Backdated on Tuesday.
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