Friday, December 6, 2019

Slumgullion

A hearty welcome to Chris Isaak, whose 2019 Holiday Tour brings him to the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan tomorrow night. As good as Isaak has been over a long career, I’d have to say my favorite album by him is still his 1985 debut effort Silvertone. It’s hard to beat a lineup that includes “Dancin’,” “Back On Your Side,” “The Lonely Ones,” and “Pretty Girls Don’t Cry.” In addition to all his hits, Isaak will probably croon a few Christmas songs at this gig.

Tickets went on sale today for Robyn Hitchcock at The Old Town School Of Folk Music on April 23; Jayhawks at The Old Town School Of Folk Music on April 18; Alanis Morissette, Garbage, and Liz Phair at The Hollywood Casino Amphitheater on July 17; Joel Patterson and The Modern Sounds at FitzGerald’s on January 10; and Soul Asylum and Local H at Metro on February 14.

Local alt rock band whitewolfsonicprincess is hosting its annual Toys For Tots event tomorrow night at The Store venue from 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. They’ll be joined by Lady Stardust, The Dark Room Men, The Rut, Ex Maquina!, Parallelicopter, Baby No Name, and The Telepaths. Bring toys (no stuffed animals or guns); otherwise pay $5 at the door. The Store is located at 2002 N. Halsted.

Los Lobos will kick off a three-night run at City Winery Chicago this Sunday.

Great Moments In Vinyl, the local tribute band that features a rotating cast of musicians, will perform hit singles and the entire Something Else album by The Kinks next Wednesday night at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue. This time out, the featured musicians are Phil Angotti, Steve Gerlach, Carolyn Engelmann, Jim Barclay, and William Lindsey Cochran.

Next Wednesday is going to be busy night for rock in the Chicago area. The Thurston Moore Group will be performing at the Empty Bottle and Marshall Crenshaw has sold out his show at SPACE in Evanston.

With the digital release of “Broken Gnome” on his Egomaniac Music Bandcamp page,  Australian multi-instrumentalist Joe Algeri continues his tradition of giving us a free download of a Christmas song each year. Performing under the name The JAC, Algeri once again recruited bassist-vocalist Herb Eimerman and drummer Stefan Johansson—fellow members of the international power pop group The Britannicas—to join in the fun. Also per Algeri’s tradition, “Broken Gnome” isn’t your typical cup of holiday cheer. But its offbeat sentiments are set to a catchy 1960s style arrangement, and his harmonies with Eimerman are reminiscent of The Byrds.

A recent social media post from veteran English rockers The Zombies offered a suggestion for anyone still looking for unique rock and roll type gifts this holiday season. And this one is for a worthy cause. The Wear Your Music company uses guitar strings donated by famous musicians such as Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Joan Jett, Nancy Wilson from Heart, Paul McCartney, and James Taylor to creates jewelry. The strings would have otherwise wound up as landfill, and Wear Your Music ensures the profits are donated to charities chosen by the musicians.

Earlier this year when my wife Pam and I went to Cape May, NJ for vacation, I became obsessed with Exit Zero, a bar/restaurant/store/gas station/publishing empire that I first noticed via one of their publications in our bed and breakfast. If I were going to be there on January 25, I would consider attending to the Burns Supper, $45 three-course meal meant to celebrate “the spirit of Rabbie Burns and Celtic music.”

Kelly Hogan and Andrew Sa, Phil Angotti, Paul Cebar, The Amazing Heebies, Dave Drazin, and Nora O’Connor will be among the twelve locals acts covering famous country music and rock and roll stars tomorrow night at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn. The celebration marks the official release of the 2020 edition Chris and Heather’s Country Calendar. As in years past, the calendar will feature some really cool illustrations of musicians. Admission to the Country Calendar Show is $25, the music starts at 8:00 p.m.

Critical acclaimed artist Erika Iris will be featuring some of her unique portraits of celebrities and rock stars—she uses cassette tape and videotape—at the Cheap Kiss Records sponsored Vinyl Records Warehouse Sale tomorrow from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Record collectors will find a massive selection of just about every imaginable genre at the sale, which will be located at 604 Albion Avenue in Schaumburg.

The Toy Con Charity Toy Show will be held this Sunday, December 8 at the Bridgeview Community Center in Bridgeview, IL . There will be over 60 dealers selling action figures, dolls, comics, and collectibles, and all proceeds go to the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation. Toy donations will be accepted.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Leftover Slumgullion

Lonnie Flowers has a new album coming out this Friday.

Last Friday’s Slumgullion was delayed due to holiday events, starting with my morning trek to Reckless Records in downtown Chicago for Black Friday Record Store Day and ending with Thanksgiving dinner with my siblings and in-laws. My side of the family has celebrated Thanksgiving on the Friday afterward for decades now. It makes it easier for everyone who hang around longer.

The employees at the downtown Reckless Records were once efficient and friendly in handling customers’ lists and ringing up our vinyl treasures. They didn’t have the boxed set of U.K. Singles by The Pretenders or the Peter Holsapple Combo Christmas single I wanted, but those issues were beyond their control. I was able to buy the other releases on my list—the “Three” 12-inch single by U2, “Cruel To Be Kind” by Nick Lowe; “Holiday-ish” by The Regrettes; “Arthur” by The Kinks; and “Gimme Some Truth” by Cheap Trick.

Tickets are now on sale for Marcia Ball and Sonny Landreth at FitzGerald’s on February 16; Robbie Fulks at SPACE on April 18; Donnie Vie and Jay Goeppner at FitzGerald’s on January 4; and Wailers at SPACE on February 21.

Lannie Flowers, a widely recognized master of power pop, has a new album titled Home coming out this Friday. Katrina And The Waves have a new album on the way as well.

As her recently released tribute album to The Police picks up steam, Juliana Hatfield is extending her 2020 tour. It still kicks off at SPACE in Evanston, IL and includes stops in Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Milwaukee, and Brooklyn. Juliana Hatfield Sings The Police is a fun album brimming with raw energy that’s definitely worth picking up. It’s available through American Laundromat Records.

Chicago-based indie rock band Fort Frances has a show coming up next Thursday at Schubas on Southport Avenue. The Waco Brothers will be at that same venue on December 27.

Kelly Hogan and Andrew Sa, Phil Angotti, Paul Cebar, The Amazing Heebies, Dave Drazin, and Nora O’Connor will be among the twelve locals acts covering famous country music and rock and roll stars this coming Saturday, December 7 at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn. The celebration marks the official release of the 2020 edition of Chris and Heather’s Country Calendar. As in years past, the calendar will feature really cool illustrations of musicians. Admission to the Country Calendar Show is $25, the music starts at 8:00 p.m.

Critical acclaimed artist Erika Iris will be featuring some of her unique portraits of celebrities and rock stars—she uses cassette tape and videotape—at the Cheap Kiss Records sponsored Vinyl Records Warehouse Sale this Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Record collectors will find a massive selection of just about every imaginable genre at the sale, which will be located at 604 Albion Avenue in Schaumburg.

The Toy Con Charity Toy Show
 will be held this Sunday, December 8 at the Bridgeview Community Center in Bridgeview, IL . There will be over 60 dealers selling action figures, dolls, comics, and collectibles, and all proceeds go to the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation. Toy donations will be accepted.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Rock And Roll Holiday Gift Guide

This boxed set from The Pretenders is available as part of Black Friday Record Store Day.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who reads my blog. Even if you’re not located in the U.S., it’s never a bad idea to take a few moments to consider the things you’re grateful for.

It’s also that time of year when indie newspapers and major publications offer holiday gift guides. Their choices are usually demographically inclined toward their readership, but you will discover items you won’t encounter in your local department store. With that goal in mind, here’s the somewhat annual (I’ve missed a few years) Broken Hearted Toy Rock And Roll Holiday Gift Guide.

You might notice I’ve tried to repair certain format issues affecting BHT, applying my non-existent tech knowledge as best as I can. I apologize for it still not being up to snuff, but hopefully, it’s not as obnoxious as it had become in recent weeks.

For the vinyl lovers in your life, choose from the limited-edition releases coming to record stores tomorrow only for Black Friday Record Store Day. It’s not as massive as the April version, but there are lots of choices in every imaginable genre. Keep in mind, the earlier you get there, the better the selection. Also, most record stores prefer you hand them a list that includes the title, artist name, and format (seven-inch single, 10-inch EP, LP, double LP, boxed set, etc.) for each record you’re hoping to buy.

The Beatles’ Abbey Road album is now available in various 50th Anniversary editions that include alternative takes and other bonus stuff, depending on how much you want to spend.

Don’t forget to support your local bands. There are a lot of options for live entertainment this weekend and if you discover a new favorite, be sure to check their website to see if they have music you can download or order through the mail. Buying one of the band’s t-shirts is another option.

The Chicago Museum of Broadcast Communications on State Street has another winning exhibit with Stay Tuned - Rock On TV. It originated at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and features the 1933 style Ford that ZZ Top used in a series of popular videos in the 1980s. Treat a friend for the holiday, and you’ll also encounter videos and memorabilia from The Hollies, The Animals, Joan Jett, Cyndi Lauper, Outkast, and several other artists who performed on TV shows from American Bandstand to Saturday Night Live.

The Royal Mint has added Wallace and Gromit to its collection of cartoon characters it has chosen to be honored. The human/canine duo, created by the clever and very British artists at Aardman Studios, are featured on coins that will soon be available to order for from the Royal Mint’s website. Also new this year, is a trio of coins depicting The Snowman from the Academy Award nominated short animation. Prices for each of these range from £10.00 for an uncirculated coin to £980.00 for a limited edition gold proof coin.

Rock and roll books are always a great choice, and since they’re often visually oriented, you’ll want to give the real thing and not a Kindle version. Here are a few recommendations;

For David Bowie fans, Insight Comics offers a 160-page hardcover graphic novel titled Bowie - Stardust, Rayguns and Moonage Daydreams that’s now available for preorder on Amazon. Steve Horton and Michael Allred are the writers, Laura Allred is the illustrator, and the foreword is written by Neil Gaiman. The book is due out January 7.

Another good choice along those lines is Bowie: An Illustrated Life, which combines Maria Hesse’s art with copy by Fran Ruiz. The book is told from Bowie’s point of view and covers ups and downs of his entire career.

Power pop fans will surely love reading Go All The Way: A Literary Appreciation Of Power Pop from start to finish. The book features a number of writers waxing nostalgic about their favorite albums from the genre, as well as quotes from artists such as Debbi Peterson from The Bangles, Kim Shattuck from The Muffs, and Gary Klebe from Shoes. It’s available on Amazon.

Also, be sure to check out Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as websites of your favorite artists for exclusive music, apparel, and other items. Record label websites like Bloodshot, Yep Roc, Mega Dodo, American Laundromat, Kool Kat Musik; and Fruits de Mer are always worth shopping, and The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame website has lots of inductee and exhibit memorabilia. Pledge Music, Go Fund Me, and other crowd funding sites are a good way to support your favorite artists and pick up autographed items. And you never know what rare treasures you’ll discover on eBay.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Oh, You’re A Holiday

An older poster of The Safes, with that cool illustration.

To paraphrase the Bee Gees, there’s something I think worthwhile if a four-day weekend makes you smile. Especially one that kicks off the Christmas season. Some people will be out partying four nights in a row. Here are a few suggestions for where to celebrate over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Starting on a more serious note, this Saturday night’s three-band showcase at Martyrs’ will be a fundraiser for teenage musician Rylan Wilder. Wilder’s band Monarchy Over Monday was scheduled to perform at the Lincoln Avenue venue that night, but he was wounded when he was caught the crossfire of a shootout between the police and a robbery suspect a week ago. Wilder was working in the Upbeat Music and Arts store on Irving Park Road at the time of the incident. Proceeds from this Saturday’s show will go towards helping him cover his medical bills. Those interested in helping out but unable to make it to Martyrs’ can contribute directly at the Help Rylan Play Music Again GoFundMe page, which has already raised over $51,000.

Chicago-based alt-rock band The Safes are combining their 16th annual Black Wednesday bash with a record release party at Beat Kitchen on Belmont tomorrow night. Band member Frankie O’Malley describes the new effort Winning Combination as a “crazy album,” and they’ve been touring the country since mid-September in support of it. Shindig, the U.K. magazine every fan of 1960s and 1960s-influenced rock should be reading, gave it four stars, and other reviews have been positive. The ornate 1960s Brit pop approach on Winning Combination marks a new approach for The Safes, and it’s highly effective. The Safes also have some cool t-shirts, particularly one with an illustration of the band members. Maybe they’ll have some on sale at Beat Kitchen. The Differents, The Sonnets, and The Marcatos are also performing at Beat Kitchen tomorrow night. The music starts at 7:30 p.m.

Damn right, I’ve got the drumstick. Sopro Music’s Annual Thanksgiving Blues Revue Concert has been held in numerous venues over the years, and the 37th version takes place at the Cheers Nightclub in Midlothian this Saturday night. Long-time Sopro favorites such as The Chicago Horns—a first-rate jazz quartet—and acclaimed jazz-blues vocalist Deb Seitz will be on hand. Other musicians participating include vocalist-guitarist Joey Drada, bassist John Falstrom, drummer Scott Bonshire, and guitarist-vocalist Frank Anastos. Along with all that blues, there will be prize giveaways.

Beggars Banquet, a tribute band that’s been performing Rolling Stones music for close to 15 years, has a gig at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue tomorrow night. In addition to playing all those great Rolling Stones hits, members of Beggars Banquet dress the part, appearing in full costume.

Val’s Halla Records in Oak Park will close at the end of this month, ending a 47-year run that attracted legions of loyal followers. Fans can honor the store’s legacy, as well as its late owner Val Camilletti, at a Black Friday bash being hosted there by the Ellis Clark/Ary Paloma Jeebie led band Big Hair Trouble. The Amazing Heebie Jeebies, Phil Angotti, Mark Panick, Gerald McClendon and The Soulkeepers, Phoenix, Frankie B, Hannah Frank, and John Kimsey will also be performing.

Chicago-based alt-rock/avant-garde band whitewolfsonicprincess will be performing at Montrose Saloon this Friday night. In addition to being musicians, vocalist Carla Hayden and guitarist-vocalist James Moeller are also the founding members of the Black Forest theatre group, and it’s fascinating to see and hear how they incorporate elements of that experience into their music. Flapunco, led by singer-photographer Lisa Zane, and International Pop Overthrow veterans Rollo Time are also on the bill. The music starts at 9:00 p.m.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Slumgullion

Here’s a Broken Hearted Toy welcome to Elvis Costello and The Imposters, who are in town for a gig at the Chicago Theatre tonight.

Depending on what time you see this, you might still be able to catch The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club, LovePunch, and Dirty Blond performing songs from Twice Removed by Sloan and Blue by Weezer at Montrose Saloon. It’s the 25th anniversary for both of those LPs.

Tickets went on sale today for Black Crowes at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre on August 15; Cornerstones Of Rock with The Buckinghams, Ides Of March, New Colony Six, Cryan’ Shames, and Shadows Of Knight at The Arcada on November 30; The Sea and Cake at The Empty Bottle on February 29; and Vulgar Boatmen and Sunshine Boys at Schubas on January 11.

The Chicago-based U2 tribute band Without U2 joins forces with New York’s Dead Letter Office R.E.M. tribute band tomorrow night at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue. The show starts at 9:00 p.m.

Shindig, the U.K. magazine that celebrates 1960s era rock and roll, has a special edition coming out just in time for holiday gift giving. A recent social media post promises, “Rare, In-Depth Adventures from the Shindig Archives” regarding Donovan, The Hollies, The Rolling Stones, Sweet, Mott The Hoople, The Monkees, The Kinks, and other acts. It’s available from the Silverback Publishing website. 

The Court Theatre’s production of Oedipus Rex continues its run through December 8.

Bobby Elliott, who started drumming for The Hollies back in the early 1960s and still performs with them, has an autobiography titled It Ain’t Heavy It’s My Story – My Life And The Hollies’ coming out via Omnibus Press on April 2, 2020.

The Simon & Garfunkel Story continues its run through December 8 at the Broadway Playhouse. The show combines film and photos with a live band to present the folk rock duo’s rise to becoming one of America’s most popular acts. Broadway Playhouse is located at 175 E. Chestnut Street, at Water Tower Place.

Fathom Events continues its series of limited-run screenings of concert films at movie theatres with INXS: Live Baby Live on December 9.

Reason number 4,786 why I want to visit England again: The Camden area of London now has a Music Walk Of Fame inspired by the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in the USA. This one will be devoted entirely to music; highlighting acts that either emerged from Camden or staged a performance there at an early point in their careers. Pete Townshend and Roger Daltry of The Who unveiled the first commemorative stone, which honors their band’s accomplishments. According to NME online, Amy Winehouse and Madness will be next in line for The Music Walk Of Fame.

I just received my copy of Julianna Hatfield’s tribute album to The Police, and it’s every bit as fun as I hoped it would be. She takes a raw approach on her versions, and apart from getting tangled up in “Roxanne,” she consistently succeeds. In addition to the autographed CD, sticker, and button, there was a postcard advertising an upcoming covers album by Tanya Donelly and The Parkington Sisters. Like Hatfield’s effort, it will be available from American Laundromat Records in signed copies, colored vinyl, and special bundles. Donelly and the Parkington sisters will cover songs by The Go-Go’s, Wings, Split Enz, Echo and The Bunnymen, The Pretenders, and other notable acts. The album will be available for pre-order starting in January.

The world premiere of The First Deep Breath by Lee Edward Colston II continues its run at the Victory Gardens Theatre on Lincoln Avenue through December 22. Steve H. Broadnax III directs the intense family drama,

Steve Dawson and Diane Christiansen, who front the alt rock/country band Dolly Varden and have numerous solo projects, are scheduled for a gig the Hey Nonny venue in Arlington Heights on January 17. Singer-guitarist Chris Rawlins Cialdella will be their special guest.

The entertainment world has lost two iconic photographers in the past week; first with Robert Freeman (see last Friday’s Slumgullion) and the more recent passing of Terry O’Neill. Like Freeman, O’Neill may be best remembered for a Beatles pic, this one taken outside the EMI Studios on Abbey Road for The Daily Sketch newspaper. As related by obituary writer Harrison Smith in the Washington Post, O’Neill’s editor then asked him to photograph some of The Beatles’ contemporaries. When O’Neill came back with a photo of The Rolling Stones, the editor thought they looked like “prehistoric monsters” so a photo of The Dave Clark Five was added to show rock and roll had a nice side as well as a rough one.

SHE (Sisters Helping Elevate The Arts) is presenting The Holidays, a new play written and directed by Katrina V. Miller, from December 8 through December 22 at The Frontier on Chicago’s north side. Miller’s goal is to help bring awareness to help end Alzheimer’s disease, and a portion of the opening night performance will benefit Alz.org. The Frontier is located at 1106 W. Thorndale Avenue, tickets are available via the SHE website.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

When Black Friday Comes

You don’t have to be nestled all snug in your bed to have visions of limited-edition Black Friday Record Store Day releases. The colder weather and an already established tradition of consumers stampeding toward department stores usually makes Black Friday RSD less popular than the April version, but it’s still advisable to get out there early. For most stores, you won’t have any way of knowing how much these records cost ahead of time, so be prepared for a bit of sticker shock.

The list of high-caliber artists involved this year once again sweeps across all genres, including records by Louis Armstrong; Bad Company; Chuck Berry; Beck; James Brown; Jeff Buckley; Jackson Browne; Cheap Trick; Alex Chilton; Eric Clapton; Patsy Cline; Alice Cooper; Devo; Miles Davis; Thomas Dolby; The Doors; Aretha Franklin; Jimi Hendrix; The Kinks; Madonna; The Marshall Tucker Band; Paul McCartney; The Monkees; Willie Nelson; Katy Perry; The Pretenders; Elvis Presley; Lou Reed; The Regrettes; Rodrigo Y Gabriela; The Runaways; Todd Rundgren; Buffy Saint Marie; Joe Satriani; Frank Sinatra; Steppenwolf; Benmont Tench; They Might Be Giants; U2; and a number of various artists compilations. See the full list on the official RSD site.

Number one on my wish list is Three by U2. This 12-inch record is a reincarnation of the three-song EP the Irish band released back in 1979, with “Out Of Control,” “Stories For Boys,” and “Boy-Girl.” Aside from that, all my other choices involve seven-inch vinyl. Such as the U.K. Singles 1979 – 1981 boxed set from The Pretenders. It includes “Stop Your Sobbing,” “Kid,” “Brass In Pocket,” and five other seven-inch records. Next up is Cheap Trick’s cover of the John Lennon song “Gimme Some Truth,” with a B-Side live version of Wizzard’s “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” featuring one of Cheap Trick’s all-time heroes Roy Wood. Also in the holiday vein is The Peter Holsapple Combo’s “Christmas Must Be Tonight”and The Regrettes’ "Holiday-ish.” Rounding out my list are The Kinks’ “Arthur” single; and Nick Lowe with Wilco performing “Cruel To Be Kind.” My selections are likely to expand by the time I walk up to the counter at the Reckless Records downtown location.

Best of luck in nabbing the exclusive releases on your wish list. Afterwards, you can celebrate your successful hunt over a hot beverage (in my case, a chai tea latte) at a nearby Starbucks, Argo, or Dunkin Donuts.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Incoming

Chicago area fans will have an opportunity to catch one of punk’s first and most influential acts when Elvis Costello and The Imposters bring their Just Trust tour to the Chicago Theatre this Friday night.

Sounding just like “Buddy Holly.” Three local bands have a 25th anniversary celebration planned for a pair of beloved power pop albums coming up this Friday night at Montrose Saloon. The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club, who have released some impressive albums themselves, along with grunge/riot grrl quartet LovePunch and the coed power pop quintet Dirty Blond, will be performing songs from Twice Removed by Sloan and Blue by Weezer. The music starts at 8:30 and it will probably a perfect night for wearing a sweater. Montrose Saloon is located at 2933 W. Montrose Avenue.

Congratulations to Sir Paul McCartney on being chosen as the headline act at the 50th Annual Glastonbury Festival coming up in England on June 27, 2020. Diana Ross has also signed on to perform, and several other acts will be announced soon. Loyal fans of the festival can now purchase the Glastonbury 50 book by Micael Eavis and Emily Eavis via Rough Trade, Waterstones, WHSmith, and Book Depository.

It’ll be Automatic Baby all over again. The Chicago-based U2 tribute band Without U2 joins forces with New York’s Dead Letter Office R.E.M. tribute band this Saturday at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue. That’s a lot of awesome music for one evening. The show starts at 9:00 p.m.

The Hey Nonny venue in Arlington Heights has booked another first rate act from the Chicago music scene. Steve Dawson and Diane Christiansen of Dolly Varden are scheduled for a gig on January 17. Singer-guitarist Chris Rawlins Cialdella will be their special guest.

Last Thursday at the Reckless Records on Madison, I bought a copy of a booklet titled Fireside Fury On Fullerton Stories - Chicago’s D.I.Y. Punk Venue - A Retrospective. It features contributions from members of the bands The Methadones, Boris The Sprinkler, The Bollweevils, No Empathy, and Oblivion. Their memories of performing at Fireside Bowl in the 1990s are fascinating, and the booklet is only $3.00.

Monday, November 18, 2019

It Ain’t Heavy, And It Will Fit In Your Library

According to a post on the official website for The Hollies, drummer Bobby Elliott has penned an autobiography titled It Ain’t Heavy, It’s My Story – My Life And The Hollies’ that will be released by Omnibus Press on April 2, 2020. Elliott wasn’t with the band from the very start, but his arrival came close enough that we can call him a founding member. He still tours extensively and records the occasional album with the group, along with fellow original member, guitarist Tony Hicks.

Like The Hollies themselves, Elliott tends to not get the credit he deserves from the general public. But his innovative style (which incorporates elements of jazz) has drawn praise from fellow musicians and he’s usually included when music magazines compile a list of the best rock and roll drummers. Back in 2010, The Hollies received a long overdue induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

It Ain’t Heavy won’t be the first time Elliott has reflected on his life with The Hollies. Back in 2010, he put together an amazing tour book titled The Hollies Through The Ages that featured loads of photos of the band in its early days. A limited number of copies were available on the official website. It’s not likely Elliott will come to the States on a book tour—none of the current Hollies have been here since 2002—but hopefully there will be autographed copies available through their website.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Slumgullion

Welcome to everyone who’s come to Chicago this weekend for the grand opening of the Starbucks Reserve Chicago Roastery; AKA the world’s largest Starbucks. You’ll find it at 646 N. Michigan Avenue in the building that once housed a Crate And Barrel store. While you’re in town, be sure to take in some of our local entertainment.

If you’re intrigued by the recently released Arthur50 box set from The Kinks, but weren’t aware of the album when it was originally released, a recent article by Geoff Edgers in The Washington Post (picked up by the Chicago Tribune) offers some helpful information. Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire) is often cited as the first rock concept album, but in the article, Ray Davies tells Edgers it’s more like “a documentary album.” Davies notes that Arthur still has relevance to today’s world. Edgers also interviewed Dave Davies and Mick Avory, as well as John Dalton, who replaced original bassist Peter Quaife. A limited-edition seven-inch single of “Arthur” will be available as part of this year’s Black Friday Record Store Day releases.

The Simon & Garfunkel Story opens next Tuesday, November 19 and will run through December 8 at the Broadway Playhouse. The show combines film and photos with a live band to present the folk rock duo’s rise to becoming one of America’s most popular acts. Broadway Playhouse is located at 175 E. Chestnut Street, at Water Tower Place.

Over 125 artists and several small independent presses—some from other countries— will showcase their work at the third edition of the Chicago Art Book Fair this weekend at the Chicago Athletic Association at 12 S. Michigan Avenue. The networking event is open to the public free of charge.

Robert Freeman, the photographer who gave the world (and history) the riveting black and white cover shot for the 1963 With The Beatles album (Meet The Beatles in the U.S.), passed away earlier this week. An obituary by Washington Post writer Matt Schudel explained the surprisingly simple lighting and background approach Freeman used in capturing John, Paul. George, and Ringo for generations to come. He also took the psychedelic cover shot for The Beatles’ Rubber Soul album. Rock In Paradise, Mr. Freeman.

Both nights are now sold out for the 22nd Annual Jeff Buckley Tribute event taking place this Saturday and Sunday at Uncommon Ground’s Lakeview location.

Bridge, a literary publication that enjoyed a short run around the turn of this century, is making a comeback as a hardcover journal, thanks to a small group of creative individuals. A relaunch event is taking place at 7:00 p.m. this Sunday night at SITE/less at 1250 W. Augusta Blvd. in Chicago. Following the official relaunch, there will be a Bridge After Party at Montrose Saloon featuring The Thomas Comerford Band, Danny Black, and Eric Chial from The Bon Mots, and Decoy Prayer Meeting. It kicks off at 8:00 p.m. Montrose Saloon is located at 2933 W. Montrose.

The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s holiday concert scheduled for the Chicago Theatre tomorrow night has been canceled, due to lead vocalist-guitarist Brian Setzer having tinnitus.

Heritage Rockfest, a four-act concert event, takes place tomorrow night at the Irish American Heritage Center on Chicago’s north side. The lineup includes the AC/DC tribute band TNT-Chicago, punk/heavy metal outfit Pipe, the high-energy rock of Vicious Circle, and the blues/hard rock band Midnight Road. Admission for the 17 and older show is $10; the music starts at 7:00 p.m.

Chicago-based power pop band The Collectors have changed their name to The Walkdown and have added vocalist Erica Loftus to their lineup. Loftus has made guest appearances with the Mike Mazza led group (as well as with Van Go) in the past and also sings lead for The Right Tidys. The Walkdown’s new Facebook page has racked up 100 likes so far.

Sonic Youth founder Thurston Moore’s new group has a pair of gigs coming up at The Empty Bottle on December 12 and 13.

The world premiere of The First Deep Breath by Lee Edward Colston II opened tonight at the Victory Gardens Theatre on Lincoln Avenue. Steve H. Broadnax III directs the intense family drama, which runs through December 22. The November issue of Chicago Social magazine has an interview by writer Jaclyn Jermyn with Colston.

According to a recent article by Nina Metz in the Chicago Tribune, there will a documentary about Chicago-based improve pioneers Del Close and Charna Halpern. Former Second City member and now successful director/screenwriter Kay Cannon is the creative force behind the film.

Amy Gore’s new garage rock band The Rosalyns are one of the American acts scheduled to join the international lineup at the Purple Weekend on December 4 in Leon, Spain. Australia’s awesome power pop band The Hoodoo Gurus are the headliners. The Rosalyns have a record release party coming up on November 29 at Casbah San Diego.

Tickets are have sold out for Velvet Underground John Cale’s concert at the Art Institute of Chicago on January 26. The performance ties in with the museum’s current exhibition Andy Warhol – From A to B and Back Again.

We are definitely amused. The Royal Mint has added Wallace and Gromit to the collection of cartoon characters it has chosen to be honored. The human/canine duo, created by the clever and very British artists at Aardman Studios, are featured on a coin that’s available to order for from the Royal Mint’s website. Also new this year, is a trio of coins depicting the characters from The Snowman, the Academy Award nominated short animation. Prices range from £10.00 for an uncirculated coin to £980.00 for a limited edition gold proof coin.

The Court Theatre’s production of Oedipus Rex continues its run through December 8. Oedipus Rex is the first installment of the Sophocles trilogy, which Court Theatre will continue with a production of The Gospel at Colonus next May and a production of Antigone next Fall. Court Theatre is located at 5535 S. Ellis Avenue in Hyde Park.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Incoming

The tall guy in the middle is celebrating his birthday.

Chicago-based singer-guitarist Dag Juhlin is celebrating his birthday a day early by performing tonight with EXPO ’76—one of the several hundred bands he’s a member of—at Simon’s Tavern on Clark Street. EXPO ’76 features Juhlin and other veterans of the Chicago music scene playing an amazingly eclectic and always fun selection of cover versions. Admission for tonight’s show is free. Happy Birthday, Dag.

Over 125 artists, along with several small independent presses, will be showcasing their work when the third edition of the Chicago Art Book Fair takes place this weekend at the Chicago Athletic Association at 12 S. Michigan Avenue. The networking event is open to the public free of charge.

The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s annual holiday tour has been canceled due to lead vocalist-guitarist Setzer having tinnitus. That wipes out the gig scheduled for this Saturday night at the Chicago Theatre, but at least fans can listen the Orchestra’s Christmas albums, which offer original and standard holiday tunes souped-up with catchy, old-time rock and roll arrangements.

Over the years, my wife Pam and I have seen a lot of talented Irish acts perform at the Irish American Heritage Center on Chicago’s north side. The live entertainment takes a different turn this Saturday night at the Center with the Heritage Rockfest. The lineup includes the AC/DC tribute band TNT Chicago, punk/heavy metal outfit Pipe, the high-energy rock of Vicious Circle, and the blues/hard rock band Midnight Road. Admission is $10; the music starts at 7:00 p.m.

The 22nd Annual Jeff Buckley Tribute event will take place at Uncommon Ground’s Edgewater location at 1401 W. Devon Avenue in Chicago on November 17 and 18.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Reading And Writing And Rock And Roll

Insight Comics is releasing a 160-page hardcover graphic novel titled Bowie - Stardust, Rayguns and Moonage Daydreams that’s now available for preorder on Amazon. Steve Horton and Michael Allred are the writers, Laura Allred is the illustrator, and the foreword is written by Neil Gaiman. Laura Allred employs a colorful, realistic style that brings Bowie’s career, personality, and fellow musicians to life in a consistently appealing fashion. The book is due out January 7.

Chicago Tribune writer Debbie Carlson reviewed another hardcover David Bowie book in last Sunday’s Life+Travel section. It’s titled Bowie: An Illustrated Life and combines Maria Hesse’s art with copy by Fran Ruiz. Carlson described the book as being told from Bowie’s point of view and added that readers “meet many of the famous musicians he interacted with, including Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, Freddie Mercury and others.” Hesse takes a whimsical and fun approach to rendering Bowie’s story. It’s available on Amazon.

And if acquiring both of the above-mentioned Bowie books puts you in the mood to see some of his music performed live, Sons Of The Silent Age have a Ziggy Meets The Duke show coming up on January 11 at Metro. The critically acclaimed Bowie tribute band will be performing Ziggy Stardust and Station To Station in their entirety. The Queen tribute band The Ready Freddies will be the opening act.

Freelance writer Allison Stewart had an intriguing feature story about comedian/author Jenny Slate in last Friday’s Chicago Tribune. Slate was in town for a show at The Vic Theatre, and her new book Little Weirds has been picking up critical acclaim. Stewart describes it as “an abstract memoir-like collection of short pieces.” Slate currently has a standup show titled Stage Fright on Netflix,

Bridge, a literary publication that enjoyed a short run around the turn of this century, is making a comeback as a hardcover journal via a small group of creative individuals. Its mix of art, poetry, fiction, and essays draws inspiration from vintage periodicals like Tristan Tzara’s literature magazines and Wyndham Lewis’ Blast. The relaunched Bridge will have a freewheeling publishing cycle, based on when its creators feel they have the right amount of material to go to press. There will be a relaunch event for Bridge this Sunday, November 17 at 7:00 p.m. SITE/less at 1250 W. Augusta Blvd. in Chicago. Following the official relaunch, there will be a Bridge After Party at Montrose Saloon featuring The Thomas Comerford Band, Danny Black, and Eric Chial from The Bon Mots, and Decoy Prayer Meeting. It kicks off at 8:00 p.m. Montrose Saloon is located at 2933 W. Montrose.

On a personal note, I recently finished writing my fourth novel. It’s a Young Adult/rock and roll/romance/paranormal—hopefully funny—effort inspired by musicians like Alex Chilton and Steve Winwood who were already accomplished vocalists in their teenage years. My previous efforts (none published yet) are a suspense/satire novel based on Chicago’s punk rock scene in the mid-1980s, a Middle Grade fantasy/holiday novel, and a sequel to the Middle Grade fantasy. Three literary agents at a writers convention I attended last June liked my pitch and gave me the green light to submit my latest novel to them.

One of the requests literary agents often make is that writers provide examples of published (and successful) novels that are similar to the submission. It was during that quest that I discovered Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious, a thoroughly enjoyable Young Adult/Paranormal/Mystery with a hint of romance and lots of clever humor. For its main character, Truly Devious gives us Stevie, a teenage girl who’s unique, funny, inquisitive, and at times, overwhelmed and frightened, the way any teenager would be at a new far-from-home school with a history of unsolved murders. I can’t wait for the second book of this trilogy to come out next month.

Finally, aspiring writers looking to connect with an agent or publisher should consider Chris Roerden’s Don’t Murder Your Mystery. An acquaintance highly recommended this writing guide so I recently bought a copy. Roerden has a decades-long career as an editor and offers essential tips from an insider’s point of view on how avoid common mistakes while submitting your manuscript. I’ve just started reading it can already tell it’s going to be extremely helpful.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Slumgullion

Tickets are now on sale for The Pretenders and Journey at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater on July 3; Jon Langford and Sally Timms at The Hideout on January 19; Silver Suns and Tommi Zender at Martyrs’ on November 14; and Social Act and Nicholas Barron at Martyrs’ on December 13.

The above gig information comes from this week’s edition of The Chicago Reader. For the full list, pick up a copy from local venues or a Reader box in the downtown area.

This week’s Chicago Reader is its Best Of Chicago issue. The honors are divided into several categories across entertainment, sports, politics, restaurants, businesses, stores, and events. Reckless Records was named best record store, with Laurie’s Planet Of Sound coming in second; Women and Children First was the best independent bookstore, with Book Cellar coming in second; WBEZ was best radio station, with WXRT coming in second; and Terri Hemmert was voted as best DJ, with Lin Brehmer coming in second.

The third edition of the Chicago Art Book Fair, a networking event for local artists, will be held next weekend, November 15 – 17 at the Chicago Athletic Association at 12 S. Michigan Avenue.

The Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts is holding its annual Fall Clearance sale today, with a massive selection of art and sculptures available at reduced prices. Palette and Chisel is located at 1012 N. Dearborn, just north of downtown.

The world premiere of The First Deep Breath by Lee Edward Colston II opens next Friday at the Victory Gardens Theatre on Lincoln Avenue. Steve H. Broadnax III directs the intense family drama, which runs through December 22.

Tickets have sold out for Velvet Underground founding member John Cale’s concert at the Art Institute of Chicago on January 26. The performance ties in with the museum’s current exhibition Andy Warhol – From A to B and Back Again.

The Grand Rapids Comic-Con takes place this weekend at The DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The event will include celebrity guests, artists, and authors.

The 22nd Annual Jeff Buckley Tribute event will take place at Uncommon Ground’s Edgewater location at 1401 W. Devon Avenue in Chicago on November 17 and 18.

The Chicago TARDIS convention is being held November 29 – December 1 in Lombard have been announced. The special guests include Paul McGann, who played The Doctor in an American TV movie version of the U.K. sci-fi series, and had a pivotal cameo the 50th Anniversary short clips. Tosin Cole, Greg Austin, Vivian Oparah, and Sophie Hopkins will also be there.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Stop In The Name Of Rock

Nine east coast bands that feature women musicians have joined together and will hit the road in early 2020 as The WhistleStop Tour. The press release describes the lineup of Justine And The Unclean, The Chelsea Curve, Cold Expectations, Field Day, Heather Rose In Clover, Kid Gulliver, The Knock Ups, Powerslut, and Tiger Bomb as “New England Power*Pop*Punk Queens.” The first date is at the Askew Prov in Providence, RI on January 11, and it will be followed by gigs in Somerville, MA, Salem, MA and Portland, ME.

The Somerville show will be a record release party for PowerSlut. So far, the tour appears to be locked in on the east coast, with other regional dates to be announced. Special guests will join in the fun at each location; Lockette and The Shang-Hi-Los have already signed on. It would be nice to see a Midwest version of this tour, and of course, WhistleStop is welcome to visit the Chicago area anytime.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Incoming

We lost Ric Ocasek a while back but his presence will surely be felt tomorrow night at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue. That’s when Tributosaurus, one of the city’s best known tribute bands, will become The Cars. It’s hard to imagine new wave catching on as well as it did back in the 1970s without the nocturnal ambience of Cars songs such as “Just What I Needed,” “Bye Bye Love,” and “Moving In Stereo.” The band was justifiably inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame last year.

Americana singer-guitarist Margo Price has been added to the musicians performing on The Last Waltz Tour, a tribute to The Band’s 1976 farewell concert at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. The Last Waltz Tour, with headliners Warren Haynes, Jamey Johnson, Lukas Nelson, John Medeski, and Don Was, comes to the Chicago Theatre on November 21.

A feature-length documentary about Ronnie Wood titled Somebody Up There Likes Me is set to open in theaters around Ireland and the U.K. on November 26. It will include vintage footage of his days with The Jeff Beck Group, The Faces, and The Rolling Stones. Hopefully, it will open in the States some time in the near future.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Slumgullion

The Got It Covered - BBC Children In Need charity album, which features cover versions of popular songs performed by Helena Bonham Carter, Jim Broadbent, Olivia Colman, Himesh Patel, David Tennant, Jodie Whittaker, and other noted British actors, is now available on Amazon and other sites.

Today is release day for From Out Of Nowhere by Jeff Lynne’s ELO. Two weeks from now, we’ll see Juliana Hatfield Sings The Police from Juliana Hatfield; and November 22 brings Hyperspace from Beck, Losst and Founnd by Harry Nilsson; Thanks For The Dance from Leonard Cohen, and Who by The Who.

A big welcome to Jerry Seinfeld, who’ll be performing stand-up comedy tonight at the Chicago Theatre. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Countless television viewers can recite catch phrases (and probably entire scenes) from Seinfeld’s eponymous sitcom. But he was already a legendary stand-up comedian for his clever and imaginative takes on everyday things like doing laundry or the way a dog reacts when its human returns from even the shortest time away. His current TV project Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee offers fascinating and funny insight on how comedians create and regard their work. By the way, I wore a puffy shirt the other day, but it wasn’t because I wanted to look like a pirate. It was part of my vampire costume for our company’s Halloween party.

Social Act will be showcasing “Time” and other songs from their new album, Innocence In Time tonight at Montrose Saloon tonight. Icebox and Steve Karras are also on the bill. The music starts at 9:00 p.m. Tomorrow night at Montrose Saloon, it’s Go Time, The Spindles and 45 Souls.

Tickets went on sale today for Peter Asher at City Winery Chicago on January 3; Chicago at the Rialto Square Theatre on April 7; Juliana Hatfield at SPACE on January 16; NRBQ at Chop Shop on November 27; and Sons Of The Silent Age and Ready Freddies at Metro on January 11.

Next Saturday, November 9, QUAD CON will arrive in Burlington, IA the fourth destination on its quest to bring toys, comic books, art, and games to cities in the Midwest. Admission is free. QUAD CON will hit Rockford, IL on November 17.

Chicago-based power pop band The Collectors are changing their name to The Walkdown and have officially added vocalist Erica Loftus to their lineup. Loftus has made guest appearances with the Mike Mazza led group (as well as with Van Go) in the past and also sings lead for The Right Tidys. All of the above-mentioned acts are well-known to regular attendees of International Pop Overthrow - Chicago.

We lost Ric Ocasek a while back but we’ll never forget his contributions to cutting-edge music. You can appreciate the nocturnal allure he crafted with his songs when Tributosaurus becomes The Cars next Wednesday, November 6 at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue.

Progressive rock fans should flock to The Raue Center For The Arts in Crystal Lake on Saturday, November 23. The six-member band Prognosis will be performing Six Of The Best, a tribute to Peter Gabriel; Genesis; Jethro Tull; Emerson, Lake, and Palmer; King Crimson; and Yes.

The Grand Rapids Comic-Con takes place November 8 – 10 at The DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The event will include celebrity guests, artists, and authors.

The Music On Stage theater group will present Annie The Musical from November 16 through December 1 at Cutting Hall in Palatine. In 2020, Music On Stage will be presenting The Sound Of Music and The Wizard Of Oz.

Jackson Galaxy, host of Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell TV show, is coming to the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, IL on January 17. Don’t look for me to make any jokes about my cats being from hell. They’re both perfect angels.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Incoming

I haven’t made it to Stay Tuned: Rock On TV at the Museum Of Broadcast Communications yet, but I definitely will. The exhibition originated at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, so the memorabilia is impressive. I’ve been informed by a friend that Stay Tuned includes a drumhead that once belonged to Bobby Elliott of The Hollies. He gave it to Shindig after The Hollies performed on the TV show in 1965. I corresponded with Mr. Elliott via email back in 2010 for a piece I was doing for the Illinois Entertainer about The Hollies being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. He still performs with the band, and was extremely gracious.

The first date on Juliana Hatfield’s 2020 tour will be at SPACE in Evanston on January 16. Other cities she’ll be visiting include Nashville, Indianapolis, Austin, Los Angeles, and Portland.

Indie rock band The Rut (which includes avid Hatfield fan singer-guitarist Frank Carr) will be performing tomorrow night at Phyllis’ Musical Inn as part of the venue’s American Troubadour Night. The band has its roots in the Famous In The Future comedy group, which performed every year at the Mary-Arrchie Theatre’s annual Abbie Fest, and are now runs the annual YippieFest held in August.

The Social Act, the Ellis Clark-fronted band that got off to an impressive start back in the late 1980s with atmospheric rock songs like “World War Three” and “Reverend Joe,” has returned to the recording studio and local club scene. Their Not Too Late album is now available, and they’ll be at Montrose Saloon this Friday night. Icebox and Steve Karras are also on the bill. Show time is 9:00 p.m.

Go Time! and The Spindles, two Chicago area power pop bands that have earned praise here on Broken Hearted Toy for their albums and live performances, will share a triple bill with 45 Souls on the following night at Montrose Saloon.

And finally, as a reminder, there are still a few Halloween treats left in the bowl for some more scary fun.

Late Bar, at 3534 W. Belmont on Chicago’s north side, is having a Halloween Music Video Monster Mash Up featuring DJs Sonic Marchesa and Samorama this Thursday night. Late Bar promises lots of candy and a My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult ticket giveaway.

The Pickwick Theatre in Park Ridge will offer a twin bill of the 1931 horror films Frankenstein and Dracula tomorrow night, as part of its Classic Film Series. Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi are the stars, respectively. Admission is $12.

The Music Box will be screening The Rocky Horror Picture Show at 10:00 p.m. tomorrow night and Halloween. Audience members are encouraged to participate.

There will be a Waking The Witch benefit for the Clinic Vest Project at The Empty Bottle tomorrow night, featuring DJ Claire Lyerla and DJ Ruby Des Jardins.

The Chicago Philharmonic will provide a live soundtrack when Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is screened at the Auditorium Theatre on Halloween and November 1.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Saturday Slumgullion

Last-minute Halloween entertainment suggestion: The bewitching Rasputina, which bills itself as “The longest-running, unique, historically based women's cello rock-band that includes men” has a 7:00 p.m. performance tonight at Subterranean on North Avenue in Chicago. The Brooklyn-based duo Charming Disaster will be opening.

David Byrne’s new musical American Utopia opened at the Hudson Theatre in New York last Sunday, and according to Chicago Tribune theatre critic Chris Jones, it’s “sleek, crisp [and] strikingly optimistic.” The former Talking Heads lead vocalist is joined by singers and dancers for the production.

The November issue of New City is the 27th edition of the local free publication’s annual Best Of Chicago honors.

Be aware of the Ides Of March. The Idea of March have a gig tonight at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, with special guests Mark Farner from Grand Funk Railroad; American Idol finalist Bo Rice; and Cathy Richardson, who’s performed with Jefferson Starship, portrayed Janis Joplin, and leads her own band. Writer Jeff Ebel had a full-length article in yesterday’s Chicago Sun-Times about The Ides Of March marking their 55th anniversary with their new Play On album, and this month’s New City Best Of Chicago issue names them the Best Chicago-Area band That Has Been Around For Fifty-Five Years. On as side note, Ides Of March frontman Jim Peterik was the first rock musician I ever interviewed. That was back when I was a child rock critic for the University Of Illinois - Chicago newspaper The Illini.

As noted on a Rhino Records Instagram post, the iconic hard rock album Led Zeppelin II was released 50 years ago yesterday.

Local indie rock band whitewolfsonicprincess is hosting Invocations Of The Spirit - An Evening Of Fairy Tales, Shaman Magic, Drumming and Music tonight at Jarvis Pottery on Chicago’s far north side. Other performers include author Liam Heneghan, shamanic practitioner Joan Levergood, and guitarist Victor Sanders. Door open at 7:00 p.m.; the suggested donation is $10.

When Monster25, the 25th Anniversary edition of the R.E.M. album Monster comes out next Friday, one of the previously unreleased tracks will be a catchy instrumental titled “Uptempo Mo Distortion.” The song can be streamed on R.E.M.’s official website

The Imperial Sound has a gig coming up this Monday at Martyrs on Lincoln Avenue. The band’s members are veterans of Chicago’s music scene, and frequently invites guest vocalists to help out at its shows. Rob Newhouse from The Elvis Brothers and singer-guitarist Rachel Drew are also on the bill.

The 50th Anniversary edition of The Kinks’ groundbreaking rock opera Arthur Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empires came out yesterday in a seven-inch singles box set and a two CD set.

The Product Placement. By Andy Warhol. exhibition is now open at the Art Institute of Chicago, and will run through January 26.

Cracking good news! I’ve been following the Aardman Animations page on Instagram for a while now, and there was a recent post announcing that the studio’s brilliant and probably still most popular creation Wallace and Gromit now has an Official Instagram page all to its own. Aardman is currently celebrating Wallace and Gromit’s 30 anniversary.

Tommi Zender, a familiar face on Chicago’s northside club scene, will host The Autumn Beatles Social at the Old Town School of Folk Music on November 8. Participants will be able to perform Beatles songs in a friendly environment; advance sign-up is recommended. Zender recently released a new album of original material titled More Songs About Time.

Snap!, the greatest hits album released by The Jam in 1983, has been remastered for a new double vinyl release that will come with a bonus limited edition four-track seven-inch EP. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon.

The Rut will be performing next Wednesday, October 30 as part of the American Troubadour Night at Phyllis’ Musical Inn. Just as the previously mentioned indie rock band whitewolfsonicprincess came the Black Forest Theatre company, The Rut has its roots in the Famous In The Future comedy group. Both acts were regulars at Mary-Arrchie Theatre’s annual Abbie Fest, and both are now major forces behind the annual YippieFest held in August.

Peter Asher, formerly half of Peter and Gordon, as well as a highly successful record producer, is coming to City Winery Chicago on January 3. Autographed copies of his new book, The Beatles From A to Zed are available on The Fest For Beatles Fans website. If you anticipate having Beatles fans on your holiday gift list this year, The Fest For Beatles Fans official site has a lot of great ideas.

The Spindles, Go Time! and 45 Souls will make for a potent triple bill next Saturday night at Montrose Saloon.

Australian singer-guitarist Courtney Barnett has recorded a version of the Loose Tooth song “Keep On” for the Milk On Milk compilation album coming out on her own independent Milk! Label. All of the tracks will feature indie rock bands performing songs originally recorded by other indie rock bands.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Cauldron

This is pretty much a rehash of events I’ve previously mentioned, but now all in one convenient and terrifying guide.

Montrose Saloon is the place for this year’s Halloweekend, a fun tradition where local bands perform as famous rock stars and often dress up like them. Tonight’s lineup is Los Gallos Band as Los Lobos; Roxy Morons as Roxy Music; The Webstirs as The Doobie Brothers; Androgynous Mustache as Hall and Oates; and Fiction Romantics as The Buzzcocks. Tomorrow night, Phil Angotti promises to go wandering as Bob Dylan; and he’ll be followed by Planet Claire as Neil Diamond; Statutes Of Liberty as Velvet Underground; Rachel Drew as Siouxsie and The Banshees; and The Stone Montroses as the Stone Roses.

The Old Town School Of Folk Music is having a family-oriented Spooky Singalong tomorrow morning at Maurer Hall and Sunday morning at Armitage Hall. Both shows start at 10:00 a.m.

The Duke Street Kings featuring Michael McDermott will perform Bruce Springsteen songs at the Halloweensteen bash at Park West tomorrow night.

The 7th Annual Halloween ComicFest takes place tomorrow, with participating comic stores offering candy and free comics. Patrons are encouraged to wear costumes. Check with your favorite comic store to see if it plans on being part of the fun.

Durty Nellie’s in Palatine has an event titled The Ghosts Of Rock Icons Past featuring Modern Day Romeos tomorrow night. Attendees are encouraged to dress up as famous rock stars who are no longer among the living and compete in a costume contest with over $500 in prizes.

The Pickwick Theatre in Park Ridge will offer a twin bill of the 1931 horror films Frankenstein and Dracula on October 30, as part of its Classic Film Series. Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi are the stars, respectively. Admission is $12.

City Lit Theater Company is currently staging a production based on the most frightening of all the Sherlock Holmes novels—The Hound Of The Baskervilles. It runs through November 10. City Lit Theater is located at 1020 W. Bryn Mawr in Chicago.

The Music Box will be screening The Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight tonight and tomorrow; and at 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 30 and Halloween. Audience members are encouraged to participate.

There will be a Waking The Witch benefit for the Clinic Vest Project at The Empty Bottle on October 30, featuring DJ Claire Lyerla and DJ Ruby Des Jardins.

The Chicago Philharmonic will provide a live soundtrack when Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is screened at the Auditorium Theatre on Halloween and November 1.

Metro will present the Nocturna: All Hallow’s Eve Ball with DJ Scary Lady Sarah, and Sincy Vicious on November 1.

DJ Derrick Carter most likely get spooky at his Derrick Does Halloween gig at Smart Bar on October 31.

The town of Long Grove, once a popular destination for antiques, crafts, and gifts items, is showing signs of successfully reinventing itself after go through some tough times. Restaurants and coffee places are now leading the way. Long Grove has transformed itself into Halloween Town that will last through October 27.

For those who like getting their frights through professional drama, a Chris Jones review in the Chicago Tribune points to A Red Orchid Theatre’s current production of Grey House. Written by Chicago playwright Levi Holloway, Grey House shows what happens when a couple takes refuge in an isolated cabin inhabited by mysterious young girls and their equally unsettling mother. A Red Orchid Theatre is located at 1531 N. Wells Street; Grey House runs through December 1.

If scary and comedic short flicks are your thing, director-writer David Metzger’s This Zombie For Hire and director-writer Jeff Kelley’s Song Of The Dead can now be watched on YouTube. The films were screened last Saturday night as part of Elgin’s annual Nightmare On Chicago Street Halloween festival. Full disclosure: I acted in both of these films.

Finally, if you’re up for a flight to Liverpool in England, the Cavern Club is presenting Queen tribute band Classic Queen on Halloween night to commemorate the 49th anniversary of the actual, Freddie Mercury-led Queen’s first appearance at the venue.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Incoming

Sons Of The Silent Age, the David Bowie tribute band made up of Chicago club scene veterans, has a gig coming up on January 11 at Metro. Local Bowie fanatics might remember this group performing in Daley Plaza to help kick off the David Bowie Is exhibition at the Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago, or opening for Billy Idol at Taste Of Chicago. For their Metro gig in January, Sons Of The Silent Age are performing a Ziggy Meets The Duke show in which they’ll perform the entire Ziggy Stardust and Station To Station albums. The Ready Freddies, a seven-person (six women and John San Juan from Hushdrops) Queen tribute band will be the opening act. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit cancer patients at the NorthShore University HealthSystem’s Integrative Medicine Program.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for that Kurt Cobain or Janis Joplin fan on your holiday list, Julien’s Auctions is holding an Icons and Idols: Rock and Roll auction at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York this Friday and Saturday. Self-described as “The experts in contemporary and pop culture,” Julien’s Auctions will be taking bids on Cobain’s custom-made left-handed Fender Mustang guitar; a charcoal and ink self-portrait by David Bowie; Mick Jagger’s handwritten setlist for a 1965 Rolling Stones concert; and “a rare archive of Big Brother and The Holding Company that has not been opened in over fifty years.” Other artist memorabilia on sale includes Elvis Presley; Sid Vicious; Eric Clapton; The Beatles; and Queen.

Chicago-based indie rock band The Handcuffs are looking to release their latest album in vinyl and digital formats in early 2020. There may also be a limited release on CD. It will be their fourth effort, and don’t be surprised if some of the songs wind up being used on TV shows. The Handcuffs have a good track record of doing that kind of thing. They’re be part of a potent double bill with Sunshine Boys at Reggie’s on State Street on December 14. Both bands will likely be offering a preview of their new albums.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

More Halloween Fun

A few more items to go with last week’s post highlighting Halloween events in the Chicago area.

For those who like getting their frights through professional drama, a Chris Jones review in today’s Chicago Tribune points to A Red Orchid Theatre’s current production of Grey House. Written by Chicago playwright Levi Holloway, Grey House shows what happens when a couple takes refuge in an isolated cabin inhabited by mysterious young girls and their equally unsettling mother. A Red Orchid Theatre is located at 1531 N. Wells Street; Grey House runs through December 1.

Music fans who come to the Chop Shop on Thursday, October 24, can participate in a costume party along with checking out four live bands: Pelafina, Bad Candy, The Locals, and the Cincinnati-based Here Come Here. The Locals will be showcasing songs from their emotionally charged new album Minutes, Seconds, Degrees. The music starts at 8:00 p.m. Chop Shop is located at 2033 W. North Avenue in Chicago.

The Duke Street Kings featuring Michael McDermott will perform Bruce Springsteen songs at the Halloweensteen bash at Park West this Saturday, October 26.

The Old Town School Of Folk Music is having a family-oriented Spooky Singalong on Saturday morning, October 26 at Maurer Hall and Sunday morning, October 27 at Armitage Hall. Both shows start at 10:00 a.m.

Durty Nellie’s in Palatine has an event titled The Ghosts Of Rock Icons Past featuring Modern Day Romeos coming up this Saturday. Attendees are encouraged to dress up as a famous rock star who’s no longer among the living, and there’s a costume contest with over $500 in prizes.

If scary and comedic short flicks are your thing, director-writer David Metzger’s This Zombie For Hire and director-writer Jeff Kelley’s Song Of The Dead can now be watched on YouTube. The films were screened this past Saturday night as part of Elgin’s annual Nightmare On Chicago Street Halloween festival. Full disclosure: I acted in both of these films.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Saturday Slumgullion

This week’s serving of Slumgullion is late due to my going to see The Bad Examples at Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights last night. As the venue marked its first birthday, the band rocked through an impressive set that reached back to its earliest albums and continued up to the most recent. Between songs, lead vocalist Ralph Covert reminisced about former band members, auditions, songwriting, and record deals. His funny (and occasionally heartbreaking) tales gave insight into The Bad Examples, and the songs themselves were consistently catchy and engaging.

The Chicago Architecture Center’s Open House Chicago takes place today and Sunday, granting free of charge access to 350 sites around the city that aren’t usually open to the general public. A 35-page guide is included in this week’s edition of the Redeye free newspaper, with sections for various neighborhood. Information is also available at the Open House Chicago website.

Stay Tuned: Rock On TV, an exhibition that originated at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, opened yesterday at the Museum Of Broadcast Communications on State Street in downtown Chicago.

The October issue of Uncut magazine (with Patti Smith on the cover) includes a behind-the-scenes look at how The Hollies recorded their first international hit single “Bus Stop.” Band members Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, Bobby Elliott, and Graham Nash, as well as and songwriter Graham Gouldman were consulted, and their comments are fascinating. It’s also funny to the read the different versions of how Gouldman offered “Bus Stop” to The Hollies and how old he was at the time. One thing they all agree on is that it’s a great song.

Tickets are now on sale for Cracker and Camper van Beethoven at Lincoln Hall on January 12; Chris and Heather’s Country Calendar Show at FitzGerald’s on December 7; Bob Dylan at Credit Union 1 Arena at UIC on October 30; EXPO ’76 with the Total Pro Horns and Robert Cornelius at FitzGerald’s on New Year’s Eve; The Music Of Cream with Kofi Baker, Malcolm Bruce, and Will Johns at Park West on April 26; My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and Chris Connelly, and Conformco at Wire on November 9;

In a related note to the Chris and Heather’s Country Calendar Show mentioned above, Squeezebox Books and Music in Evanston is now carrying greeting cards featuring the country and rock and roll musician portraits artist Heather McAdams created for her calendars.

Tributosaurus will become The Cars on Wednesday, November 6 at Martyrs. On the following night, there’s a Tori Amos Tribute to benefit RAINN.

The 55th Annual Chicago International Film Festival continues through October 27 at AMC River East 21

Dance Center Columbia College Chicago; Stony Island Arts Bank; Museum Of Contemporary Art; Poetry Foundation; and The Art Institute Of Chicago will be taking part in Between Gestures, a city-wide program devoted to connecting Chicago to other countries through performance and dance. There will also be panels, masterclasses, and screenings. The festival runs from October 24 through November 2.

The Henry Diltz Photography Morrison Hotel Gallery Tour will be coming to Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Diltz took the photo for The Doors’ Morrison Hotel album cover as well as the one used for the Crosby, Stills and Nash debut. It would great to see the Morrison Hotel Gallery Tour make a stop in Chicago.

The third edition of the Chicago Art Book Fair, a networking event for local artists, will be held November 15 – 17 at the Chicago Athletic Association at 12 S. Michigan Avenue.

The Haymarket Opera Company will perform John Frederick Lampe’s 1737 work The Dragon of Wantley at the Studebaker Theater on Michigan Avenue on October 27 at 5:30 p.m. and October 29 at 7:30 p.m. Haymarket promises, “beguiling music, cleverly ridiculous poetry, thrilling spectacle,” with ticket prices starting at $30.

BWiFF, the Blue Whiskey will present the 1919 Cinema Centennial – Celebrating 100 Years Of Cinema at the Music Box Theatre on October 23 at 7:00 p.m.

Food for farce. According to Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones, chef Rick Bayless of Frontera and fame is working on comedic play inspired by his highly successful career. Jones noted the work will be performed by the Windy City Players at some point in the 2020-21 season. Which reminded of when Mary-Arrchie Theatre Artistic Director Rich Cotovsky penned a satire based on his work as a pharmacist. As for famous chefs doubling as playwrights, I’m willing to help my nephew Joe Flamm any time he feels the urge.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Something Rocking This Way Comes

It’s that time of year when spooky-themed entertainment drifts across Chicago like a fog on the Scottish moor. And whether you’re already in the Halloween spirit or prefer to wait until we’re closer to October 31, there are numerous events coming your way. The choices include live rock, classical music, films, masquerade, and outdoor revelry. Here are some suggestions:

City Lit Theater Company is currently staging a production based on the most frightening of all the Sherlock Holmes novels—The Hound Of The Baskervilles. It runs through November 10. City Lit Theater is located at 1020 W. Bryn Mawr in Chicago.

Durty Nellie’s in Palatine is hosting Wizardfest – A Harry Potter Themed Pop-Up Party presented by Popular Party Tours tomorrow night from 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. Activities include dancing, a costume contest, trivia, photo booth, Halloween egg hunt for cash prizes, and a chance to win a Sweepstakes Grand Prize trip to London for two. It’s a 21 and over event, with prices ranging from $15 to for general admission to $50 for table for four.

Elgin’s downtown area will once again become a safe zone to escape zombies when the annual Nightmare On Chicago Street returns this Saturday, October 19. That might seem a bit early for a Halloween festival, but it’s always good to get a head start on the living dead. In addition to live music and food vendors, there will be other fun activities, including the world premiere of two independent horror films. This Zombie For Hire was written and directed by David Metzger and Song Of The Dead was written and directed by Jeff Kelley. I had a blast being in the cast for each flick. No one under the age of 17 will be allowed into Nightmare On Chicago Street unless accompanied by an adult.

Music fans who come to the Chop Shop on Thursday, October 24, can participate in a costume party along with checking out four live bands. Pelafina, Bad Candy, The Locals, and the Cincinnati-based Here Come Here. The Locals will be showcasing songs from their emotionally charged new album Minutes, Seconds, Degrees. The music starts at 8:00 p.m. Chop Shop is located at 2033 W. North Avenue in Chicago.

Montrose Saloon is the place to be for this year’s Halloweekend, a fun tradition where local bands perform as famous rock stars and often dress up like them. On Friday, October 25, the lineup is Los Gallos Band as Los Lobos; Roxy Morons as Roxy Muisc; The Webstirs as The Doobie Brothers; Androgynous Mustache as Hall and Oates; and Fiction Romantics as The Buzzcocks. On Saturday, October 26, Phil Angotti promises to go wandering as Bob Dylan; and he’ll be followed by Planet Claire as Neil Diamond; Statutes Of Liberty as Velvet Underground; Rachel Drew as Siouxsie and The Banshees; and The Stone Montroses as the Stone Roses. Obviously, some of these band names are pseudonyms for performers who play the Chicago club scene under their regular names. So in a way, you don’t know who’ll find at Montrose Saloon on Halloweekend.

The town of Long Grove, once a popular destination for antiques, crafts, and gifts items, is showing signs of successfully reinventing itself after going through some tough times. Restaurants and coffee places are now leading the way. Long Grove will transform itself into a Halloween Town from October 23 through October 27.

The 7th Annual Halloween ComicFest takes place on October 26, with participating comic stores offering candy and free comics. Patrons are encouraged to wear costumes. Check with your favorite comic store to see if it plans on being part of the fun.

The Music Box will be screening The Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight on Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26; and at 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 30 and Halloween. Audience members are encouraged to participate.

The Chicago Philharmonic will provide a live soundtrack when Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is screened at the Auditorium Theatre in downtown Chicago on Halloween and the next night, November 1.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Incoming

The Bad Examples will be at Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights this Friday.

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has revealed its list of 16 nominees to be inducted in 2020, sparking the usual debate over who’s worthy, who’s unworthy, and who’s so much better than any of them but never gets nominated. Some rock music fans have long since opted out of even caring about Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. I’ve taken a more positive view since The Hollies were inducted in 2010, but it’s easy to understand people’s frustration. So, five of these following nominees will be chosen to join the RRHF club next year. Notorious B.I.G.; Rufus featuring Chaka Khan; Depeche Mode; Thin Lizzy; Judas Priest; Todd Rundgren; MC5; Soundgarden; Pat Benatar; Dave Matthews Band; Whitney Houston; Kraftwerk; The Doobie Brothers; T. Rex; Motorhead; and Nine Inch Nails. A case could be made that each of them was influential in its chosen genre. My votes would go for Todd Rundgren; MC5; Depeche Mode; T. Rex; and Thin Lizzy.

The Bad Examples, who would easily be inducted if there was a Chicago rock band hall of fame, are coming to Hey Nonny this Friday. It’s another sign the Arlington Heights restaurant-music venue is interested in booking acts from Chicago’s vibrant club scene. The Bad Examples can rock out with songs like the funny and hard-hitting “Not Dead Yet” and also create smooth Squeeze-style pop like “Pictures Of A Masquerade” and “Jayne Left Behind.”

Fans of irresistible English rock and roll can also check out Nick Lowe - Montrose Saloon Tribute Social Night, Number 5 tomorrow, October 17. The venue’s Facebook post describes this event as “conceived and delivered by Mason Payne,” and the performers include Tony Nuncio, Charlie Crane, Dan Morr, Gil Orndorf, and Tim Peters. Cover charge is $5, the pure pop for now people starts at 8:00 p.m. Montrose Saloon is located at 2933 W. Montrose in Chicago.

Durty Nellie’s in Palatine is hosting Wizardfest – A Harry Potter Themed Pop-Up Party presented by Popular Party Tours this Friday night from 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. Activities include dancing, a costume contest, trivia, photo booth, Halloween egg hunt for cash prizes, and a chance to win a Sweepstakes Grand Prize trip to London for two. It’s a 21 and over event, with prices ranging from $15 to for general admission to $50 for table for four.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Lin’s Been Our Best Friend For 35 Years

This past August marked the 10th anniversary of Broken Hearted Toy. One of the first posts I did in August 2009 was about a WXRT event celebrating the birthday of its morning DJ Lin Brehmer. Back then, I noted that Brehmer, who’s always assured his listeners he’s their best friend in the whole world, offered a refreshing alternative to the obnoxious humor served up by typical rock ‘n’ roll morning drive-time types. Whether he’s lamenting a frustrating Cubs game; relating how he mispronounced Bono’s name in an early interview with the U2 frontman; or recalling the time he brought the Australian garage rock band The Hoodoo Gurus home at 3:00 a.m. (much to his wife’s dismay), Brehmer exudes a one-of-the-guys persona

Ten years later, he probably has more best friends than ever. WXRT and Sprint are throwing a Brehmer bash tomorrow night, but this time it’s to celebrate his 35th anniversary of working at the station. Los Lobos are scheduled to perform, and it seems likely a number of Brehmer’s peers, along with special guests, will take the stage to share their favorite tales about him. I met Brehmer for the first time at that birthday party in 2009, and we’ve talked at enough WXRT events since then that when he saw me at City Winery Chicago earlier this year, he grinned and exclaimed, “Flamm!” That might have something to do with my nephew Joe Flamm winning Top Chef on Bravo—Brehmer’s definitely a foodie—but it sure seemed like something a best friend would do. Congratulations, Lin.

NOTE: As far as I know, the only available tickets for this event were given away at Sprint stores a while back.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Slumgullion

Major contender for my RSD wish list.

The official Record Store Day website has revealed the list of limited-edition vinyl releases for this year’s Black Friday RSD, and it looks like a better than average selection. Once again, the artists involved stretch across all genres of music, including Alex Chilton; Miles Davis; Devo; Chuck Berry; Liam Gallagher; Hank Williams; James Brown; Jeff Buckley; John Lee Hooker; Eric Clapton; The Marshall Tucker Band; Alice Cooper; Aretha Franklin; Bruce Springsteen; Paul McCartney; and Willie Nelson. My own shopping list has Cheap Trick; U2; Peter Holsapple Combo; The Kinks; Nick Lowe and Wilco; The Pretenders; and The Regrettes.

America sends its Regrettes. Having released How Do You Love? as a worthy follow-up to their  debut album Feel Your Feelings Fool, The Regrettes are touring the globe. They’re in Chicago tonight for a concert at Metro, and they have upcoming dates in Ireland, England, France, Germany and Japan. The Los Angeles-based band expertly mixes authentic punk with the 1960s girl group sound even though none of its members are old enough to have experienced either of those eras.

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is scheduled to announce the nominees to be inducted in 2020 this coming Tuesday. Expect the usual outrage over which nominees are completely unworthy and which rock acts have been neglected for far too long. Not that there isn’t some merit to those comments. A couple of recommendations for induction off the top of my head would be Squeeze and The Bangles.

Tickets went on sale today for Cowboy Junkies at City Winery Chicago on March 5 and 6; Steve Forbet at SPACE on January 10; Sinead O’Connor at City Winery Chicago March 14 through 16; and Willy Porter at SPACE February 13.

The Bad Examples have a show coming up next Friday, October 18 at Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights. Once again, it’s encouraging to see this new venue tapping into some of the Chicago area’s best rock and roll acts for its bookings.

Congratulations to the Graham Crackers Comics location at 77 E. Madison on 20 years of doing business in downtown Chicago. The store has a sale running through this weekend.

Chris Hillman from The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers will be performing with noted studio Herb Pedersen at The Old Town School Of Folk Music this Sunday night.

Morning Glory On The Vine, a book featuring Joni Mitchell’s art, poetry, and lyrics, is now available for pre-order on Amazon. It’s based on a book Mitchell personally created for a number of friends back in 1971. In other Mitchell news, a double LP version of Jonie 75: A Birthday Celebration, which features various famous musicians in concert paying tribute to the iconic singer-songwriter, will be among this year’s Black Friday Record Store Day treasures.

The Haymarket Opera Company will perform John Frederick Lampe’s 1737 work The Dragon of Wantley at the Studebaker Theater on Michigan Avenue on October 27 at 5:30 p.m. and October 29 at 7:30 p.m. Haymarket promises, “beguiling music, cleverly ridiculous poetry, thrilling spectacle,” with ticket prices starting at $30.

It was nice to see a photo Ray and Dave Davies together at a London bash marking the 50th Anniversary of The Kinks’ groundbreaking rock opera Arthur - Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire. Arthur will be available on October 25 in various CD and vinyl formats.

The 2019 Chicago TARDIS Doctor Who convention will field an impressive roster of celebrity guests when it takes place November 29 – December 1 at the Westin Chicago Lombard. Paul McGann; Sylvester McCoy; Arthur Darville; Tosin Cole; Katy Manning; and Louise Jameson are among those who will be there.

If the critically acclaimed Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice documentary is on your wish list, you can catch it at the Gene Siskel Film Center November 1 through 7.

Professor Moptop presented his The Beatles’ Abbey Road 50th Anniversary lecture at the Palatine Library last week and it proved to be as interesting and entertaining as his regular contributions to Terri Hemmert’s Sunday morning Breakfast With The Beatles program on WXRT. He had copies of his Textbook Beatles Volume One and the very recently released Volume Two for sale after the presentation. Both books are filled with well-researched Beatles history, trivia, and a lots of fun photographs.

The 55th Annual Chicago International Film Festival gets under way next Wednesday, October 16 and will run through October 27 at AMC River East 21. The official 56-page program, with the complete schedule arranged by genre and featuring a brief description of each film, is available at the Gene Siskel Film Center and other place around Chicago.

BWiFF, the Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival, will present the 1919 Cinema Centennial – Celebrating 100 Years Of Cinema at the Music Box Theatre on October 23 at 7:00 p.m.

The Bensenville Arts Council and Bensenville Community Foundation are sponsoring the very first Bensenville Short Film Festival on November 13 at the Bensenville Theatre. The deadline for submissions is October 13 and there is a $10 admission fee. Films should be no longer than 15 minutes.

Elgin’s downtown area will once again be overrun with zombies as part of the annual Nightmare On Chicago Street Halloween Festival . In addition to the roaming flesh-eaters, there will lots of entertainment; including Me-TV’s Svengoolie; DJs; live bands; and a costume contest. If you can claw your way through the mayhem, you might find a storefront theater where Jeff Kelley and Dave Metzger will each be screening an original horror film. I have an acting role in each of them.
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