Friday, August 10, 2018


Photo from the Smashing Pumpkins Facebook page.

The Smashing Pumpkins will be playing to a hometown crowd next Monday and Tuesday at the United Center. Their opening act is the Emily Haines-led synth rock band Metric, so it’s going to be a potent double bill.

Step right up! Welcome to everyone who’s come to town for The Fest For Beatles Fans – Chicago this weekend at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont. The annual event kicked off this evening and will run through late Sunday night. Be sure to check out Chicago-based acts Ellis Clark and (possibly) Ary Paloma Jeebie; Jay Goeppner; and Phil Angotti and Friends at The Apple Jam Stage on the second floor. For a more extensive look at Fest For Beatles Fans - Chicago, see my post this past Wednesday.

Tickets went on sale today for the John Butler Trio at the Chicago Theatre on November 29; Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal at The Old Town School Of Music on November 9; Stanley Clarke at SPACE on November 6; Peter, Bjorn and John at Lincoln Hall on December 5; and Tom Rush at SPACE on November 18.

Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, Lila Downs, Steve Earle and Graham Nash will embark on The Lantern Tour together starting October 23 at the City Winery in Nashville, TN. Other stops include Washington, D.C., Collingswood, Boston, and New York. The series of acoustic concerts will benefit the Women’s Refugee Commission, which advocates on behalf of migrant and refugee families. No word yet on whether this will be coming to Chicago.

So I was a bit premature in stating here earlier that the Chicago-based trio Sunshine Boys have fully recovered from their various physical ailments. According to a recent email put out by the band, drummer Freda Love Smith is still recuperating from back surgery and isn’t quite ready to rejoin her mates. On a more cheerful note, the email announced the upcoming release of the Sunshine Boys’ stellar debut Blue Music in a limited-edition (250) blue vinyl package that includes lyrics and photos. The blue vinyl Blue Music will be available at “a couple of record stores picked out for celebratory performances.” Hopefully, we'll hear more on that soon.

The Rolling Stones are putting together a collection of vintage songs by their favorite blues artists, titled Confessin The Blues. Available as a two-CD set; a Volume 1 and Volume 2 LP set, or a special 5x 10 vinyl bookpack + six art card prints, Confessin The Blues will feature Chuck Berry, B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, and Muddy Waters. Stones guitarist Ron Wood created the art for the cover. It will be released on November 9 but is available for pre-order on the Rolling Stones official store.

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 film 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.

Jay Goeppner and his Backdated Band will be performing a John Lennon Tribute on August 14 at the 210 Live club in Highwood. 210 also has a JB Ritchie Benefit concert coming up on August 19

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. Chicago Filmakers is located at 5720 N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago.

Speaking of Famous In The Future, (full disclosure: I was a member of this group for 20 years) they’ll be hosting their second annual YippieFest next weekend at the Prop Thtr on Chicago’s north side. I’ve been calling this the lovechild of the Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins festival that ran for 30 years at Mary-Arrchie Theatre, because Famous In The Future were Abbie Fest veterans. Look for a similar mix of theater, standup comedy, film, and live music.

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