Friday, August 17, 2018


As I write this, the second annual YippieFest is underway at the Prop Thtr. Carrying on the tie-dyed tradition of the late Mary-Arrchie Theatre’s long-running Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins festival, this counter-culture bash will feature theatre, live music, short films, comedy, and other forms of performance art during its Friday through Sunday run. Famous In The Future, the skit and song comedy group that performed at every single Abbie Fest, are leading the way, and will be unveiling a brand new revue at 8:30 p.m. tomorrow night. (Full disclosure: I was a member of Famous In The Future for several years.) Other Abbie vets who’ll be on hand include Rush Pearson, Citizens Relief, Black Forest Theatre, Trained Monkey Productions, DB Theatre, and whitewolfsonicprincess. The schedule is available on the official YippieFest website; Prop Thtr is located at 3502 N. Elston.

Pearl Jam makes a triumphant return to Wrigley Field tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. The Chicago Cubs currently have the best record in the National League, so Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam lead vocalist and one of the biggest Cubs fans in rock and roll, should be in good spirits.

Wizard World Chicago Comic Con returns to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont August next Thursday through Sunday, August 23 - 26. Celebrity guests include David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson from The X-Files; Nichelle Nichols from Star Trek; James Marsters from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Torchwood, and Smallville; Michael Rooker and Pom Klementieff from the Guardians Of The Galaxy franchise; Ernie Hudson from Ghostbusters; and several cast members from Outlander.

Tickets went on sale today for Black Uhuru and Onesty at Reggie’s Rock Club on September 22; Nicki Bluhm and Gil Landry at Lincoln Hall on November 11; Lindsey Buckingham at Athenaeum Theatre on October 17; Echo and The Bunnymen at The Vic on November 24; and Lemon Twigs at Metro on January 25.

The official website for Shoes is offering assistance for anyone who’s had trouble ordering the power pop band’s new Black Vinyl Shoes Anthology 1973 – 1978 3-CD set on Amazon. In order to overcome a few Amazon glitches, go directly to this page.

Death Cab For Cutie’s latest album Thank You For Today came out today. The happy-go-lucky band will perform at the Auditorium on October 7.

The 210 Live club in Highwood is holding a JB Ritchie Benefit Concert this Sunday.

City Winery Chicago recently announced it will host A John Lennon Birthday Retrospective at 1:00 p.m. on October 7. Other shows coming up at that venue include Justin Hayward from The Moody Blues on August 26; The Lotus Kings doing a tribute to Santana on August 27; Great Moments In Vinyl offering The Jimi Hendrix Experience on September 11; and Dar Williams with Lucy Wainwright Roche on September 16.

There will be a special advance screening of David Schalliol’s documentary The Area at The Gene Siskel Film Center on August 23 as part of the 24th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival. The Area concerns activist Deborah Payne’s efforts to stop a freight company from displacing hundreds of families on Chicago’s south side. It will return for a regular run from September 14 – 27 at Gene Siskel Center.

This year’s Chicago Fringe Festival will take place over the weekend of August 30 through September 3 in various locations in the Jefferson Park neighborhood on Chicago’s northwest side. Over 24 shows are scheduled to take place.

Chicago Filmmakers will present the Chicago Premiere of director Casey Puccini’s satirical look at filming an indie movie I Don’t Care on August 25. The cast includes Sasha Gioppo, Bryn Packard, Kevin Stangler, Christine Vrem-Yostie, Cameron Worden, Brian Wiebe, and Taylor Wood. Mr. Packard was a member of the Chicago-based skit comedy group Famous In The Future some years back.

Fans of the late Tom Petty can enter a contest on the Omaze site to attend a listening party with his band The Heartbreakers at The Clubhouse, a secret recording and rehearsing location. Money raised will support The Midnight Mission, a charitable organization that helps homeless people in the Los Angeles area. The more money you donate, the better your chances of winning.

Fans in Chicago can also honor the singer-guitarist’s legacy at Flirting With Time - A Tom Petty Tribute at The Tonic Room on August 25. The event will feature Ryan Joseph Anderson, Dan Ingrenthron, Mike Holtz, Brian Morrisey, Jeremy Kay and special guests.

The Bookends, the 1960s-inspired garage rock duo of bassist-vocalist Sharon Lee and guitarist-vocalist Karen Lynn, have just released their debut album Far Away But Around. It’s available on the Dead Pulse website

Tributosaurus, one of Chicago most successful and ambitious tribute acts, will become AC/DC on Sunday August 26 at Skokie’s Backlot Bash, take on Eric Clapton at 7:30 p.m. on September 3 at Taste Of Polonia in Jefferson Park; and honor Crosby, Stills. Nash and Young at Wire in Berwyn on September 8.

The 60th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show takes place tomorrow and Sunday on the lakefront at North Avenue Beach. I know this isn’t rock and roll related, but I’ve had a lifetime fascination with planes since childhood, so I’ll be waiting for my favorite one—the P-51 Mustang to fly past tomorrow.

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