Friday, February 22, 2019


George Harrison’s birthday is Monday, February 25 but there will celebrations in the late Beatle’s honor over this weekend. WXRT DJ Terri Hemmert’s Breakfast With The Beatles program this Sunday morning will have a George theme, so look for her and correspondent Professor Moptop to serve up his best songs as well as some rarities and fun trivia.

My Sweet George, the George Harrison Birthday Tribute Concert hosted by local musician Ellis Clark each year, returns to Martyrs’ tomorrow night. Clark, a founding member of Epicycle and Social Act, always brings together some of the city’s best acts, and serves as Master Of Ceremonies. Ary Paloma Jeebie from the garage/rockabilly band Amazing Heeby Jeebies will once again be his co-host.

Scheduled performers include Ken Mottet; Clar Monaco/Sandalwood Sitar; Constantine; Greg Jackson Combs; Phoenix; Frankie B; The Unswept; Gerald McClendan; Robin and Jenny Bieneman; The Handcuffs; Gunner Cleemann; Tom Linsk; Southside Exiles; The Fluffers; The Beyond; and Scott Williams. There’s a genuine atmosphere of peace and harmony at this fest that George himself would (does?) love. Martyrs’ is located at 3855 N. Lincoln Avenue.

Local music fans will have to make a tough choice tomorrow night because there’s also a show featuring the original lineup of legendary power pop band Off Broadway at Reggie’s Rock Club. Cliff Johnson and his mates will celebrating the 40th Anniversary of their debut album On. Singer-guitarist Phil Angotti, another veteran of Chicago’s power pop elite and founding member of The Idea, and The Evictions are also on the bill. Reggie’s Rock Club is located on State Street just south of downtown.

Out on the West Coast, The Wild Honey Orchestra, comprised of all-star musicians, will recreate The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society album at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. The Three O’Clock; Dennis Diken from The Smithereens; Peter Holsaple and Chris Stamey from The dB’s; Jason Falkner; Scott MCaughey from from Minus 5; Clem Burke from Blondie; Elliot Easton from The Cars; Mike Mills from R.E.M. and Jody Stephens from Big Star are among the numerous participants. The event is being organized by the Wild Honey Foundation, and once again, proceeds will go towards the Autism Think Tank. Past Wild Honey events have honored The Beatles, Buffalo Springfield, Big Star, and The Hollies.

Kevin Lee and The Kings, a veteran power pop band that fills its catchy songs with a lot of guitar firepower, has a gig tomorrow night at the Chicago Loop bar in Streamwood.

Tickets went on sale today for Johnny Marr at The Vic on on May 13; Bruce Cockburn at The Old Town School Of Folk Music on September 27 and 28; Al Green at the Chicago Theatre on May 7; and John Mayall at City Winery Chicago on August 1

A lot of us Paisley Underground fans bought the 3X4 vinyl album featuring The Bangles, The Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade, and The Three O’Clock on Black Friday Record Store Day last year, but now it’s officially available on CD and for streaming. I highly recommend it.

The Chicago Film Society will co-present with CHIRP Radio The Ramones musical comedy flick Rock ‘N’ Roll High School  this Monday evening at The Music Box Theatre on Southport. Showtime is 7:00 p.m.

The Chills will be performing at The Empty Bottle next Wednesday, February 27 as part of rare U.S. tour. The New Zealand band found worldwide success with “Heavenly Pop Hit” back in the 1980s, but with Martin Phillipps still at the helm, continues to record engaging albums like the recently released Snow Bound and their politically charged 2016 effort Silver Bullets.

The Chicago Feminist Film Festival runs next Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, at Film Row Cinema on the 8th floor at 1104 S. Wabash Avenue.

The Chicago Irish Film Festival will mark its 20th anniversary of “Celebraring Films From The Land Of Storytelling” when it runs Friday through Sunday next week. Films will be screened at Theater on the Lake, The Logan Theatre, and Gallery Theatre.

Reason number 4,387 why I’d love to visit England again: There a venue called Southsea’s Pie and Vinyl Café that’s sponsoring a Record Store Day Official List Launch on February 28 and March 1. There will be DJs, a live performance by the band Barbudo, and free cider. They have a great slogan as well: Record stores are for life, not just a day so come and visit us every week and prove the physical experience is alive and kicking!

Matt Smith fans will get a chance to see the Doctor Who and The Crown star as they never have before when director Ondi Timoner’s 2018 film Mapplethorpe opens its first Chicago run at the Gene Siskel Film Center from next Friday, March 1. The Gene Siskel Film Center describes Mapplethorpe as a “fictionalized biopic” that “benefits from the full authorization of the artist’s estate.” It runs through March 7.

Local bands Sonia Dada; The Way Moves; Nicholas Tremulis and The Prodical 9; and Dick Holiday and The Bamboo Gang join WXRT air personality Lin Brehmer for Kocour Fest – A Celebration of the Life of Steve Kocour on March at Metro. Kocour was a highly regarded and popular sound/lighting expert and teacher who worked with several bans in the Chicago area.

International Pop Overthrow hasn’t announced the schedule for this year’s Chicago edition, but a few local bands are promoting their IPO gigs already. Thrift Store Halo and The Collectors will be performing on April 19. Note: this year’s IPO Chicago is being held at the Live Wire venue on Milwaukee Avenue.

Chicago radio station WXRT’s Friday Feature this week was prog rock, and morning DJ Lin Brehmer kicked things off by playing “In The Beginning” and “Lovely To See You” from The Moody Blues album On The Threshold Of A Dream. I haven’t heard those songs in ages (I used to own the album) but they still rock.

The English indie/vinyl-only label Fruits de Mer specializes in prog and psychedelic rock, and has just announced its release of three new double LPs. Moose Goose creates guitar-driven instrumentals on its FdM debut Source Code; 16th Dream Of Dr. Sardonicus Live offers live performances of various prog rocks acts; and Astralasia finds Marc Swordfish remixing tracks from bands he’s worked with throughout his career.

Chris O’Dowd, who was funny in Juliet, Naked, Pirate Radio, and pretty much everything he’s been in, will star in a new sitcom titled State Of The Union on Sundance TV this spring.

The Weeklings, a band that has released two albums of obscure Beatles songs and similar-sounding originals, recently came up with a great idea. They joined forces with Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits to record a new version of The Easybeats’ garage rock classic “Friday On My Mind.” It’s available on Amazon, Spotify, and iTunes.

Chicago-based, hard-edged power pop band Go Time! just released a 19-track new album titled Midway. Lead vocalist Scott Niekelski has also been working as a solo act in Chicago area venues. He’ll be performing an acoustic show with Patrick Potts from The Drysdales at District Kitchen and Tap in Oak Park tomorrow from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

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