Saturday, September 19, 2020

Saturday Slumgullion


Suzanne Vega has a new live album out titled New York Songs And Stories. It includes her better -known material and deep cuts, as well as a cover of Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side.” Vega has a livestream concert coming up on October 7 at seated.com A. 

The Today Show recently featured The Go-Go’s performing a rousing live-at-home version of “We Got The Beat.” Each band member was filmed from a different location, and the song sounded just as fun and vital as when I bought the Stiff Records import 45 at Wax Trax on Lincoln Avenue in 1980.

  

Indie label JEM Records will mark what would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday on October 9 with the release of a tribute album featuring seven of its artists. JEM Records Celebrates John Lennon is a mix of Beatles and Lennon solo material that includes Fest For Beatles Fans regulars The Weeklings covering “The Word,” The Anderson Council doing “I Found Out,” and Bongos lead vocalist Richard Barone combining “Revolution” with “Power To The People.” Other contributions include “No Reply” by The Golden Needles, “Strawberry Fields Forever” by The Grip Weeds, “(Just Like) Starting Over” by Jonathan Pushkar, and “Jealous Guy” by The Midnight Callers. The album is available for preorder on Amazon in download, CD, and vinyl formats. 


A JEM Records Celebrates John Lennon: Premiere Concert will be part of the fun when The Fest For Beatles Fans presents Our Virtual 80th Birthday Salute To John Lennon on October 9. The event will be streaming live from Daryl’s House and also feature the tribute band Liverpool and Billy J. Kramer. The Fest promises, “Music, Stories From Stars And Friends Who Knew Him All Over The World.” Check The Fest For Beatles Fans Facebook page for ticket information.


If you can leave work a bit early on Friday, October 9, Phil Angotti and Friends will be celebrating Lennon’s birthday at Martyrs on Lincoln Avenue. The socially distanced event on the venue’s patio starts at 3:00 p.m. Angotti vows to perform 80 songs—one for each of the years Lennon would be if he was still with us.


The second of this year’s three RSD Drops takes place next Saturday, September 26. The trilogy is pretty much the main Record Store Day chopped into separate dates to keep stores from getting too crowded in the midst of the pandemic. The last Drop will be held on October 24. The official RSD site has the entire list of limited-edition releases coming out this year, so make sure you’re looking at the September 26th releases when putting together your wish list. Otherwise, you might show up a month early for the record you want. Check with your favorite record store to see if they’re participating.


Chicago Drive-In has a multi-act, socially distanced live show coming on October 17 at the Seat Geek Stadium in Bridgeview. Long-time Chicago punk band PEGBOY will celebrate its 30th anniversary at the event, and will be joined by fellow hometown acts Local H and The Bollweevils, as well as Jake Burns from acclaimed Irish punk band Stiff Little Fingers. The show starts at 5:00 p.m, and $89.99 General Admission/per car tickets are available at Infinity Ticket Solutions


Artist Michael O’Briant has created a striking and colorful tribute to local country music artists titled Chicago Country, 2020 that combines 20 separate portraits in a single piece. O’Briant plans to hang a 49 inch by 41 inch version at Montrose Saloon at some point in the near future. Montrose Saloon boss Eric Chial is one of the musicians immortalized in the piece, and he has a gig there on October 12.


If you’re the owner of a music venue, restaurant, record store, or any type of retail operation, the makers of an upcoming power pop documentary are looking for your help. Director Balin Schneider’s film Out Of Time - The Material Issue Story is due out in 2021, and establishments are needed to give out Material Issue postcards and freebies. This isn’t limited to the Chicago area, and those interested in taking part can contact the filmmakers through a DM on the official Out Of Time - The Material Issue Story Facebook page.


Fashion model and all-around good-hearted individual Lily Aldridge is among the celebrities helping St. Jude’s Hospital in its current goal to raise $100,000 to battle childhood cancer. Aldridge and her husband Caleb Followill from the band Kings Of Leon are longtime supporters of St. Jude’s. The 30 Days #for St. Jude event is going on now, with donations being accepted via the St. Jude website. 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Saturday Slumgullion


So where was I? It’s hard to believe this is my first post of September 2020, but the triple whammy of being away for a week’s vacation, trying to catch up with work, and getting my novel ready to send to the three literary agents to who agreed to take a look at it, has kept me away from BHT

The Fairport Convention Era, the next installment of Richard Thompson’s Live From London - A Lifestream Concert Series, takes place on September 27. The final edition of Thompson’s three-part series comes on October 11 and will be a Total Request Live event. Tickets can be purchased on the website for The Old Town School of Folk Music, which is a co-presenter, along with SPACE in Evanston.

Jon Langford, the Welsh-born/current Chicago resident who’s garnered acclaim for his artwork and music career (The Mekons, The Three Johns, Waco Brothers, etc.) will be coming to Arlington Heights on October 11 for the Jon Langford, (Solo) Art Song performance at Hey Nonny. Tickets are going fast. October 2 marks the return of The Bad Examples to Hey Nonny.

One of the many well-deserved tributes to the late Chadwick Boseman came from Chicago Tribune critic Chris Jones, and was of particular interest to those of us who follow local theatre productions. Jones described how he met Boseman back in 2004 when the Congo Square Theatre Company staged Boseman’s play Deep Azure. The actor flew to Chicago to see a performance and loved Congo Square’s production. Jones noted that many people might not know the Black Panther star was also a playwright, but added, “I imagine all kinds of theater programmers now are reading Deep Azure and readying new productions, or miniseries or movies.”

The Ronnie Wood documentary Somebody Up There Likes Me will be on screens starting September 18 at virtual cinemas in America, and will available on DVD October 9. Directed by Mike Figgis, the film covers Wood’s successful career as a musician and artist, with clips that include Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Imelda May, and Rod Stewart.

Tickets are now on sale for 1960s soft rock bands The Association and Classic IV at The Arcada Theatre on November 29; Chicago Philharmonic Chamber String Quartet at North Shore Center For The Performing Arts on September 13; Chicago Symphony Orchestra Orchestra with Martin Helmchen at Orchestra Hall Symphony Center on January 7, 8, 9, and 12; Jetbeats at Reggies’ Rooftop Deck on October 3; Jon Langford and John Szymanski at City Winery on September 24; Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials at City Winery on October 2; Cathy Richardson and Anne Harris at City Winery on September 25 and 26; and Tributosaurus Becomes Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young at North Shore Center For Performing Arts on October 1.

The above listings are taken from the Early Warnings page in the latest edition of the Chicago Reader. The long-running Chicago monthly now comes out every other week, and is available for subscription.

The September issue of the Illinois Entertainer, with the New York-based garage rock band The Bobby Lees on the front cover, is now up on the monthly publication’s website. There’s also an interview of Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillian, and album reviews of The Jayhawks’ XOXO and The Flaming Lips’ American Head. That same issue of IE has Jeff Elbel’s review of a recently released seven-inch single by The Smithereens that features updated takes on two songs from the band’s 2008 tribute album B-Sides Of The Beatles. As Elbel notes, the “Love Me Do” bw “P.S. I Love You” single comes in a classy vintage picture sleeve and is available on The Smithereens’ official website.

As mentioned by restaurant critic Phil Vettel for the online Chicago Tribune and by Miriam Di Nunzio is this past Wednesday’s Chicago Sun-Times, my nephew and Top Chef winner Joe Flamm has decided on a name for the new Italian/Croatian restaurant he’ll be opening in Chicago’s Fulton Market area next year. It will be called Rose Mary, which relates to the spice rosemary, as well as the names of both his grandmothers. (One of whom was my mother, Mary Rose Flamm.) Joe recently promoted a new Miller High Life t-shirt on his Instagram page. Each shirt sold contributes to Miller’s Virtual Tip Jar, which supports the service industry. I just got mine in the mail yesterday.

Keep a CIVL tongue in your head. Goose Island Beer Company’s limited edition of CIVL Pale Ale is now available and 100% of the proceeds will go to the Chicago Independent Venue League. The brew is available at the Goose Island’s Fulton Street Brewery at 1800 W. Fulton Street. According the CIVL Facebook page, its goal is to “advocate on behalf of Chicago’s independent performance venues.” Goose Island is also now selling cans of its Women Of The House pale ale, which celebrates women brewers as well as the 100 Anniversary of women gaining the right to vote.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Slumgullion


The Pretenders, The Bangles, The Go-Go’s, The Muffs, The Runaways, Julianna Hatfield, The Pandoras, The Photos, Letters To Cleo, Eve’s Plum, Holly And The Italians, Josie Cotten, The Primitives, Textones, The Darling Buds, The Rebel Pebbles, and nine other women bands are featured on a new CD titled Girls Go Power Pop! on the Ace Records label. The energy level remains high throughout, and there are a few fun cover versions along with the originals. It’s an extensive collection, although I immediately thought of The Aquanettas as being missing, and there are probably several other women or woman-fronted groups who deserved to be honored. Perhaps a Volume 2 is in order. Girls Go Power Pop! is available for pre-order on the Ace Records website or on Amazon.  

The Cavern Club in Liverpool is open again after five months of being shuttered due to the pandemic. Those of us who aren’t able to fly to England, can enjoy the 200-plus videos the iconic venue has put together for the Virtually International BeatleWeek event on its Facebook page. It began yesterday and runs through Tuesday. The U.S.-based Blac Rabbit, Jay Goeppner Band, The Fab Four, Beat-Lele, Rachel Sage, Chad Clifford, and Hard Days Night are among the many acts participating. Most of the shows are Beatles-related, but it looks like The Who, The Kinks, and Small Faces will get some love too. The full schedule is available on The Cavern Club Facebook page, but keep in mind the listings are in England time.


Depending on what time you read this, you can catch a vintage concert of  The Clash on WXRT tonight at 9:00 pm. It’s another impressive edition of the Chicago FM station’s ongoing Live From The XRT Concert Archives series. The show was recorded when The Clash performed at the Aragon Ballroom in September of 1979, shortly before the release of London Calling.

 

The first of three 2020 RSD Drops takes place around the globe tomorrow. Participating Chicago area stores include Reckless Records, Laurie’s Planet Of Sound, Dusty Groove, Vintage Vinyl, and Val’s Halla. The official RSD site has the entire list of limited-edition releases coming out this year, so make sure you’re looking at the Aug 29th section when putting together your wish list. The now-customary social distancing and mask-wearing rules will apply, and some stores will be selling official RSD face masks. This year, more than ever, it will be important to have a written or printed list ready to hand over; store employees won’t want to look at your phone. The remaining Drops will be on September 26 and October 24. 


Limited spaces are still available for the My Sweet George George Harrison Tribute at the Post42 Patio in Evanston next Friday, September 4. This good-hearted event, organized by Ary Paloma from Amazing Heeby Jeebies and Ellis Clark from Social Act and Epicycle, has been a blast each time I’ve seen it at Martyrs’ or The Fest For Beatles Fans - Chicago. Past My Sweet George shows have featured various guest musicians, but I’m not sure how this one will play out. Tickets are available at Post42.


The online music magazine Rock Cellar has added a new section devoted to new releases by independent artists. The current batch is a mixed bag covering various genres. Independent artists hoping to snag a review in Rock Cellar’s new section can download a form and send it to mike@rockcellarmagazine.com.


The Ronnie Wood documentary Somebody Up There Likes Me will be on screens starting September 18 at virtual cinemas across America, and will available on DVD October 9. Directed by Mike Figgis, the film covers Wood’s successful career as a musician and artist, with clips that include Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Imelda May, and Rod Stewart. 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Hot Wax In The SummerTime


Vinyl fanatics will finally get their 2020 day in the sun when the first of three RSD Drops takes place this Saturday. Usually, the main Record Store Day is held on the third Saturday in April, and the less popular Black Friday version comes in November. This year’s trilogy is pretty much the main RSD chopped into separate dates to keep stores from getting too crowded in the midst of a pandemic. The remaining Drops will be on September 26 and October 24. 

The official RSD site has the entire list of limited-edition releases coming out this year, so make sure you’re looking at the Aug 29th section when putting together your wish list. Otherwise, you might show up two months too early for the record you want. The list spans every imaginable genre, including jazz, blues, hard rock, prog rock, classic rock, techno, punk, country, and hip hop; and includes artists from several decades.


Check with your favorite record store to see if they’re participating. Chicago area stores involved include Reckless Records, Laurie’s Planet Of Sound, Dusty Groove, Vintage Vinyl, and Val’s Halla. RSD regulars have proven to be pretty level-headed over the years so it’s likely we’ll all be following the now-customary social distancing and mask-wearing rules. Some stores will be selling official RSD face masks. This year, more than ever, it will be important to have a written or printed list ready to hand over; store employees won’t want to look at your phone.


As for my own list, I’ll be aiming for The Pretenders - Live! At The Paradise, Boston LP; The Soft Boys - “I Wanna Destroy You”/Near The Soft Boys 2 X 7-inch; U2 - “11 O’Clock Tick Tock” 12-inch; The Kinks - The Kink Kronikles 2 X LP; Pink Floyd - “Arnold Layne Live 2007” 7-inch; and Various Artists - Girls In The Garage Vol. 8 LP. 


In previous years, I’ve waited outside the Reckless Records downtown in April and November—months when the morning air can have a definite chill. This will be the first Record Store Day where I could actually work on getting a tan.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Slumgullion

September 9 will definitely be a celebratory day for Rolling Stones fans in the U.K., as the band opens what’s being described as a “world-first flagship store” on London’s iconic Carnaby Street. RS No.9 will carry Rolling Stones merchandise and music in various forms, and serve as a hub for exclusive collaborations. It’s also being billed as a “fully immersive experience for fans.” The term 'flagship store' makes me wonder if there other locations will eventually spring up around the globe, but I couldn't find anything about that in the announcement. The band promises updates will be posted at #rollingstonescarnaby on Instagram.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the fourth annual YippieFest will take place this weekend as a virtual event, due to the coronavirus virus. The schedule once again mixes local theatre, music, film and performance art, all of which will be available to stream on Twitch.TV (having an account isn’t necessary). The fun kicked tonight off  at 7:00 p.m.; see YippieFest.com for more information.


New York-based singer-guitarist Jerry Lee is performing live tonight on Facebook. I’m listening to him doing some cool cover versions as I’m putting the finishing touches on this blog.


The first of three Record Store Day 2020 Drops takes place next Saturday, August 29, and yes, it will happen in actual record stores. Social distancing and face masks will be mandatory, and official RSD face masks will be available for sale at these stores. Of course, it’s up to individual stores if they want to participate. As always, limited-edition vinyl releases will cover various genres.


The participating artist include: Black Crowes; Tommy Bolin; Bone Thugs-N-Harmony; David Bowie; The Charlatans UK; Charli XCX; Gary Clark Jr.; Collective Soul; The Cure; Dave Davies; Def Leppard; Drive-By-Truckers; Steve Earle; Billie Eilish; Emerson, Lake and Palmer; Brian Eno; Ace Frehley; Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker; Gorillaz; Al Green; Guided By Voices; Terry Hall; John Wesley Harding; Hawkwind; Bob James; Bert Jansch; Jethro Tull, Elton John; The Kinks; k.d. Lang; Lennon/Ono With The Plastic Ono Band; Lisa Loeb; Bob Marley and The Wailers; Nick Mason’s Saucerful Of Secrets; Thelonious Monk; Ennio Morricone; Motorhead; New Order; New Riders Of The Purple Sage; Charlie Parker; Pink Floyd; The Pogues; Iggy Pop; The Pretenders; John Prine; Roxy Music; The Soft Boys; Spoon; Sun Ra; Tangerine Dream; THE THE; Throwing Muses; Tom Tom Club; Tones On Tail; U2; and Ultravox. There are also a number of various artists compilations.


Dennis Diken is hosting a new program called Denny’s Den each Wednesday on WFMU’s Rock ’n’ Soul Radio Stream, but don’t expect The Smithereens’ drummer to focus solely on power pop tunes. The playlist for his first show included jazz, vintage rock, 1960s Girl Groups, British Invasion and well-chosen hits from other genres.


Artist/musician Ronnie Wood’s new exhibition at the posh venue Ashridge House in Berkhamsted in the UK will include his latest piece, “The Show.” It’s a colorful collage of him and fellow Rolling Stones performing amidst angels and a few nudes. Numbered and signed limited editions are available at Wood’s online art store.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Hippie Days Are Here Again

The fourth annual YippieFest, a freewheeling weekend of theatre, music, film, and performance art, will be a virtual event due to the coronavirus virus. Its organizer, Frank Carr of the Famous In The Future comedy group and rock band The Rut, posted an update on Facebook with a link to the schedule. YippieFest  2020 will be available to stream on Twitch.TV (having an account isn’t necessary) starting tomorrow (Friday, August 21) at 7:00 p.m. and running through Sunday. Check the YippieFest Facebook page for more information.

Viewers will be able to check out pre-recorded material from various performers. Here’s the line-up: Mike Felten; Steve Evans from Trained Monkey Productions; The Myths Of Suburbia; David Drazin; Uber Films; Citizens’ Relief; whitewolfsonicprincess; Amy Crider; Camilo Restrepo; Dark Room Men; The Rut; Eileen Tull; Famous In The Future; Collage Productions with Mobilewave Films; Ovadya; Shitter Critters; Jason Midas; Michael Bratta; Industrial Gardens; Flower Shop Bangers; Ross Childs; and Pigasus Project. This year’s entertainment leans more toward music than in past, but a quick look at the show descriptions reveals this will be an eclectic virtual celebration.


Full disclosure: Carr and I were founding members of Famous In The Future—along with David Drazin and Lake Sirmon—back in 1988. FIF participated in the first Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins festival at Mary-Arrchie Theatre in 1989 and went on the become the only act (other than Mary-Arrchie itself) to appear at each Abbie Fest through its 30-year run. I left the group somewhere around the 20-year mark, which leaves Carr as the only human being who's performed in every Abbie Fest and YippieFest. I’ve attended all of them, but only as an audience member in recent t years.


Carr mentioned in his Facebook post that this will be the first time in 31 years he won’t be performing in the middle of August. That brought back a lot of happy memories of performing with Famous In The Future at Abbie Fest and other venues around Chicago for over 20 years. Abbie Fest gave us opportunities to perform before large crowds, and it was always a thrill to hear so many people laughing at the lines we wrote and performed. 

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Saturday Slumgullion

Anyone’s who’s been on the fence about buying the new Chris Franz memoir Remain In Love - Talking Heads: Tom Tom Club: Tina should check out an interview he did with journalist Scott Mervis at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (picked up by the Chicago Tribune for last Sunday’s Arts + Entertainment section). In the the article, Franz describes the dynamics of how Talking Heads created songs; the excitement of the band's first gig—opening for The Ramones at CBGB; and that bass player Tina Weymouth was the only band member who could read music. Mervis notes that Joe Strummer, David Bowie, and Andy Warhol are also mentioned in the book. As an added incentive, fans can order an autographed copy of Remain In Love from Premiere Collectibles via the official Tom Tom Club Facebook page. I’m expecting my copy to arrive in the mail any day now.

Congratulations to the staff of Fest For Beatles Fans on pulling off its first virtual edition last weekend. Credit also goes to MC Terri Hemmert, the celebrity guests, and all the musicians who participated. Understandably, the event had its glitches, but everyone pulled together with patience (and humor) as Fest For Beatles Fans was able to project the same peace and love vibe of its live events. I’ve never been able to sit for hours watching anything on a screen, so I didn’t experience all the benefits the Virtual Fest had to offer. Luckily, Fest For Beatles Fans made the entire event available to watch again for all of those of us who paid the admission.


The Flat Five will deliver their second full-length album Another World on November 13. In the meantime, fans (and several music critics) who loved this all-star, vocally dynamic quintet’s 2016 debut It’s A World Of Love And Hope, can download a new single. The playful “Drip A Drop” became available on the Flat Five Bandcamp page yesterday.


Sunshine Boys, the Chicago trio that released its stellar lull-length debut Blue Music in 2018 and came back with another impressive effort (Work And Love) earlier this year, will be performing live at SPACE in Evanston on September 5. They’ll be sharing the bill with The Bobbleheads. Love and Work is filled with more melodic songs with lyrics that can paint wistful memories or deliver a call to action.


Ary Paloma and Ellis Clark will follow their recent My Sweet George performance at the Virtual Fest For Beatles Fans with a limited-seating, social-distanced gig at Post 42 Patio in Evanston on September 4 at 7:00 p.m. As with the Fest gig and the annual My Sweet George events they stage each February, Paloma and Clark’s expertly rendered George Harrison songs will backed by a talented group of local musicians.

 

Paloma is also the lead vocalist for the garage rock/rockabilly band Amazing Heeby Jeebies. They celebrated their 10th anniversary today with a performance at the Glenwood Avenue (Mobile) Arts Fest earlier today. The event, which meets social-distancing requirements by having live bands perform on trucks that cruise though the neighborhood, continues tomorrow. There will also be video trucks showcasing local artists.


The Old 97’s have a new song titled “Bottle Rocket Baby” available to stream or buy on various sites. It’s another preview from the band’s full-length effort Twelfth, which is coming out on August 21.

 

It’s nice to see Long Grove’s downtown area continue to mount a successful comeback amidst current pandemic limitations. Once known for its antique and craft shops, the area fell on hard times but is now being led by new restaurants and cafes, such as Chatterbox, Buffalo Creek Brewing, Long Grove Coffee, and Covered Bridge Creamery. Older venues like Village Inn and Enzo and Lucia continue to maintain their popularity, along with a variety of stores. My wife Pam and I have become regulars at Long Grove Coffee, and Covered Bridge Creamery in particular. A new promotion called Long Grove Live is bringing musicians to perform at various locations throughout the downtown area.


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Virtual Fest For Beatles Fans Rolls On

As The Virtual Fest For Beatles Fans continues its weekend run, the major highlight tonight for many will be Liverpool’s performance with special guest former Wings member Steve Holley. Liverpool is a top-notch tribute band that skips the costumes and concentrates on authentic renditions of classic Beatles material from the early days through Abbey Road. Liverpool’s live performance starts at 9:00 p.m. Prior to that, there will be a Soundalike Contest hosted by Byrd at 8:00 p.m. The evening’s festivities conclude with a screening of Good Ol’Freda, a cheerful and fascinating documentary about the charming woman who ran The Beatles Fan Club for several years.

Tomorrow, there’s a full line-up for the Apple Jam Stage, kicking off with Phil Angotti performing John Lennon songs at noon. Abby Slocum; Olivia Van Goor; Chad Clifford; Scott Erickson; Cellophane Flowers; Kelly Sabatino; and Daniel Phillips are also scheduled. The MarketPlace Zoom Room will offer collectibles from various vendors throughout the day, and a star-studded Main Stage lineup includes Freda Kelly, Billy J. Kramer, Klaus Voorman, Jenny Boyd, Laurence Juber, Betty Lavette, and Denny Laine.


Last night’s Apple Jam Stage highlights included Blac Rabbit;  Phil Angotti, Carol Engelemann, and Casey McDonough covering Paul McCartney; and My Sweet George, a George Harrison celebration featuring Ary Paloma, Ellis Clark, and a full band.


Check The Fest For Beatles Fans Facebook page for information on how to sign up for this virtual celebration, and to watch clips from the various Apple Jam Stage performers.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Slumgullion

Happy Friday Night! As I’m writing this, I’m bouncing back and forth between the Ravinia Festival YouTube TV tribute to Janis Joplin with guests Cathy Richardson, Terry Talbot from Mason Proffit, and WXRT DJ Lin Brehmer; and a set by the New York duo Blac Rabbit on the Virtual Fest For Beatles Fans. Critically acclaimed Chicago musician Steve Dawson from Dolly Varden and other bands just started a live watch party on Facebook. 

I hope lots of people are enjoying these presentations, as well as other online opportunities for entertainment. And be sure to support live music venues like Montrose Saloon, Hey Nonny, and FitzGerald’s who are offering great music in safe outdoor settings.


Virtual Fest  For Beatles Fans will present Phil Angotti with Casey and Carolyn at 9:35; and Ellis and Ary’s My Sweet George at 10:35. These are acts I’ve enjoyed seeing at live Fests in the past, and I’m looking forward to tuning in tonight. The Virtual Fest For Beatles Fans has great stuff going on all weekend so be sure to check out their page on Facebook for info on how to sign up.


Angotti’s new vinyl LP The Best Of  Phil Angotti - Top Tunes And Real Grooves on Big Blast Records is now available on his website. It’s a collection of previously released material and a few new songs. He’ll likely have some some copies for sale when he’s back on the outdoor patio at Reclaimed Bar on August 23 for the monthly Beatle Brunch. I love the “I Saw Her Standing There 6 Feet Away” graphic on Facebook.


Keep a CIVL tongue in your head. Goose Island Beer Company’s limited edition of CIVL Pale Ale became available this past Wednesday and 100% of the proceeds will go to the Chicago Independent Venue League. The brew is available at the Goose Island’s Fulton Street Brewery at 1800 W. Fulton Street. According the CIVL Facebook page, its goal is to “advocate on behalf of Chicago’s independent performance venues.” It’s a refreshing way to support those businesses and the musicians who perform at them.


Another way to support artists, musicians, stage performers, and various creative types is to buy stuff from their websites. CHIRP RADIO.ORG is celebrating its 10th Anniversary by selling limited edition t-shirts through August 10.


The John San Juan-led Chicago-based psych band Hushdrops released the four-song EP Endless Summer today, giving us the first new music from these guys in six years. 


The September issue of MOJO magazine will have an 18-page special on David Bowie, along with feature stories on The Clash, P.J. Harvey, X, Deep Purple, Jonathan Richman, Warren Zevon, and Joni Mitchell discussing David Blue. The U.K. rock magazine is also offering Part One of its Neil Young edition from The Collectors’ Series. I’ve decided to take out a year’s subscription to MOJO with the some of the money I received for my birthday.


The Pretenders’ new CD Hate For Sale arrived on my doorstep this afternoon, and it’s a another highlight in the band’s career. Since I’m light years behind on posting album reviews (again, my sincere apologies to everyone who has sent stuff) I’ll just say here that Chrissie Hynde continues to pick her targets, chew them up and spit them out. The music is hard-edged, guitar-driven, and consistently melodic.


The documentary Creem: America’s Only Rock ’N’ Roll Magazine is now showing at theaters and virtual cinemas.  

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Incoming

Several independent local music venues will benefit from the sales of a new various artists compilation titled Situation Chicago that’s available in various formats on Bandcamp. Quiet Pterodactyl, an organization devoted to enjoyment, education, and entry into the arts and music, brought together 25 acts that reflect the amazing diversity of Chicago’s music scene. Dee Alexander, Poi Dog Pondering, Jeff Tweedy, and OK Go are probably the best-known of the bunch, but a quick spin through these tracks reveals solid efforts from everyone involved. A digital download is priced at $25; a double vinyl LP (as well as the download) costs $45;  and their are special limited editions that run for $150 and $300. The full list of venues benefitting from Situation Chicago can be found on the Bandcamp page.

August 7 marks the 50th Anniversary of Janis Joplin’s one and only performance at the annual Ravinia Festival and the festival’s YouTube Channel will celebrate tomorrow (Friday, August 7) at 7:00 p.m. The Chicago-based band Mason Proffit opened for the Joplin that night, and former member Terry Talbot will share his memories of being backstage. Vocalist Cathy Richardson, who portrayed Joplin in the off Broadway play Love, Janis, will also be on hand, and WXRT radio personality and everyone's best friend Lin Brehmer will present a “TOPical 5” countdown of iconic rock stars died at the age of 27.

The documentary Creem: America’s Only Rock ’N’ Roll Magazine is coming to theaters and virtual cinemas this Friday. A post on the CREEM Magazine Facebook page says the flick will explain how it went from an underground newspaper to national acclaim within six years.

When Hushdrops release the four-song EP Endless Summer tomorrow (Friday, August 7), it will be the first new music from the Chicago-based psych band in six years. Founding member John San Juan has kept busy recording solo material, and before the pandemic shut things down, you could often find him performing with other musicians on the local club scene.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Slumgullion


Fest For Beatles Fans has just announced that its massive, multi-city Virtual Fest For Beatles Fans 2020 will take place two weeks from tonight. It’s the weekend the actual Chicago version would have been held if it hadn’t been canceled due the coronavirus. Regular attendees of that event will be glad to discover WXRT DJ Terri Hemmert will be MC for the online version, and several of their favorite guests will be appearing in what The Fest people are calling BALLZOOMS. Peter Asher, Billy J. Kramer, Jeremy Clyde, Laurence Juber, Klaus Voorman, Donovan, and Freda Kelly will be taking part, along with newcomers Mary Wilson from The Supremes, Jenny Boyd, and drummer Gregg Bissonette. The Beatles tribute band Liverpool will be performing, and several Chicago-based musicians and musicians from around the country will appear as part of The Apple Jam Stage. Tickets are $44.00 for the weekend and will only be available through Eventbrite. I’m hoping to post more about this within the next few weeks.

Phil Angotti will be performing at a Beatles Brunch this Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. at the Reclaimed Bar. He had a record release gig at the same venue last week for his new vinyl LP The Best Of Phil Angotti, so maybe he’ll have some copies on hand this Sunday. Reclaimed Bar is located at 3655 N. Western Avenue in Chicago.

Michael McDermott, the Chicago-based singer-songwriter whose politically charged new song “What In The Word” has been rampaging across the WXRT airwaves, has some Patio Concerts coming up August 17 – 19 at City Winery Chicago. “What In The World” is the title track of McDermott’s latest album. Other patio concerts coming up at City Winery Chicago include Al Rose and Steve Doyle on August 11; Gordon Ivanovic and Fareed Haque on August 5; Sandra Antongiorgi Trio Unplugged on August 4; Lynne Jordan on August 3 and August 10; Chicago Global All Stars on July 29; and An Evening With Neal Francis on July 28.

The Hoodoo Gurus brand new single titled “Hung Out To Dry” came out today. Like McDermott’s “What In The World,” its video features an homage to Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”

If everything had gone according to plan, I would be having a great time in London today.
My wife Pam and I finalized our plans somewhere around early March for a dream vacation to London, Manchester, York, and Liverpool. Of course, COVID-19 put an end to that. I’m now following so many Instagram sites based in those cities I’ll be an expert on their food and entertainment scenes by the time we do go (hopefully) sometime in the spring 0f 2021.

The last few nights, I pulled out the fancy Container Store box with all the memorabilia I saved from our 2006 European trip (it’s not like we do these things every year) and relived a lot of fun memories. I have some cool U.K., French, and German papers. I always search for local publications wherever we go, whether it’s Paris or Cape May. After a few days in London back in 2006, I had collected so many free papers I decided to mail them home rather than lug them around in my backpack. A very polite gentleman at the post office weighed them and came back to the counter. “It’s going to cost you $120 American money to send a pile of free newspapers home. Do you really want to do that?” I thanked him for pointing that out, and decided to only mail my British Air Museum mug. Back at our bed and breakfast, I sorted through my stash to decide which ones I could just pull a page or two from and throw the rest of the issue away.

The publications that survived that trip in their entirety include Filter mini uk from England with Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the cover; The Skinny from Scotland with XMen The Last Stand on the cover; and Virgin! from France with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Festival de Cannes, and Bob Marley on the cover. I saved a bunch of pamphlets, flyers and postcards as well. They’ll have to hold me over for now.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Saturday Slumgullion

By now, I hope everyone has taken part in at least a few fun activities to mark my Unofficial Hollies Celebration Day. See yesterday’s post for full details.

I’d like to send a big thank you to Chicago-based musician Phil Angotti for participating and posting a stellar rendition of “Carrie Anne” on acoustic guitar.  I was also happy to post a clip of local power pop band The Spindles covering “Bus Stop.” It’s from their recent Past and Present CD, but enhanced with a new video montage of The Hollies. Also, a big thank you to singer-guitarist Gerry Lee for posting a video of himself doing a sterling job on “I Can’t Let Go.” I have permission to share these clips on my Facebook page, so you can find them there.

Also, thanks to the Allan Clarke Appreciation Society Facebook page for allowing me to post a link to yesterday’s blog on their site. It was great seeing the responses and words of support from U.K. Hollies fans, especially on a page I've been enjoying for years.

Graham Nash will be part of the Little Kids Rock Virtual Benefit Music Will Bring Us Together taking place next Thursday, July 23. Other performers include include Elvis Costello, Warren Haynes, Christine “KINGFISH” Ingram, Joan Jett, Darlene Love, Steve Miller, Phil Lesh, Jon Secada, Keb’ Mo’, Jesse Colin Young, Judy Ho Ph.D, and celebrity chef Jeff Mauro. The event will also feature Dance Party DJs Zeke Thomas, Sam Feldt, Modern Machines, and DNMO. Little Kids Rock is a non-profit foundation dedicated to helping children play music via free lessons and instruments.

The Pretenders’ new album Hate For Sale came out yesterday and is available in CD, vinyl, and streaming formats. Chrissie Hynde and her mates generated a lot of interest for this long-awaited new effort by offering previews of some of the songs on social media. Judging from those clips, Hate For Sale looks like a definite return to the hard-hitting but melodic approach that gave us so many classic songs in the past.

Depending on when you read this, you could catch the previously mentioned Phil Angotti doing a record release show tonight at the Reclaimed Bar for his new vinyl LP The Best Of Phil Angotti. The show starts at 9:00 p.m. Reclaimed Bar is located at 3655 N. Western Avenue in Chicago. Angotti will be doing a Beatles Brunch at Reclaimed next Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.

The Hoodoo Gurus have a new single titled “Hung Out To Dry” coming out next Friday.

EXPO ’76, one of the Chicago area’s best (and eclectic) cover bands will be performing on the patio at the Toadstool Pub in Highwood tomorrow afternoon. All of its members have extensive experience performing in bands that create original material.

Big Hair Big Trouble, yet another fun collaboration from Ary Paloma, lead vocalist for the rockabilly/garage rock band Amazing Heeby Jeebies and Ellis Clark from The Social Act and Epicycle, will be performing tomorrow evening from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Beer Garden at Montrose Saloon. Spies Who Surf guitarist Thomas Klein will be the duo’s special guest. Big Hair Big Trouble released their second single, “Crackers In Bed,” just about a month ago.

Friday, July 17, 2020

July 18 - UNOFFICIAL Hollies Celebration Day

Tony Hicks (left) and Bobby Elliott. Come on America, let’s show them some love.

July 18 was the date The Hollies were supposed to perform at the Chicago Theatre as part of their 2020 The Road Is Long Tour. It would have been their first visit here since a ChicagoFest gig in 1983, when Graham Nash was back in the fold for a short-lived reunion. The band’s entire U.K. and U.S. tours were scratched this year due to the coronavirus. A quick scroll through the messages on the official Hollies Facebook page will reveal how many Yanks are severely disappointed by this turn of events. No amount of hand-wringing will enable The Hollies to reschedule before 2021, but I do have a plan to make us all feel a little better. And it could serve as a reminder that their American fans definitely want to see them.

I’m declaring tomorrow, July 18 as UNOFFICIAL Hollies Celebration Day in Chicago. Fans across the U.S. can choose the date the Hollies were scheduled to come to their city as their Unofficial Hollies Celebration Day. Loyal followers should have no trouble organizing several events. First, put on a Hollies t-shirt. Hopefully, you’ve purchased one online at some point, but if you haven’t, you can create one with a magic marker or just pin a photo on a t-shirt. If you live in the Chicago area and I’ve given you a custom-made Hollies button at some point, be sure to wear it. Start the morning with English tea and crumpets—you’ll find crumpets in the bread aisle at Trader Joe’s. Make out a schedule that’s a mixed bag of books, records, YouTube videos, social media, and DVDs. 

Here are a few suggestions:

DVDs: The Hollies - Look Through Any Window 1963 – 1975 - 22 Complete Performances and The Hollies Special Live Edition from 2007

CDs and Vinyl: The Hollies have released numerous greatest hits collections, but I suspect true fans will also dive into their favorite LPs, which can range from the early 1960s to almost present day. Also, check out Hollies Live Hits! - We Got The Tunes! from 2012 and The Hollies - Reunion, which was recorded at Kings Island in Cincinnati in 1983.

Books: Definitely read a few chapters from drummer Bobby Elliott’s recently released autobiography, It Ain’t Heavy, It’s My Story - My Life With The Hollies. Elliott takes us through the band’s entire history, as well as his own childhood, in an entertaining, matter-of-fact style that’s consistently engaging. If you have Volume No. 1 of critic/musician Ken Sharp’s excellent Play On! - Power Pop Heroes series, read the chapter on The Hollies. It features his interviews with Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, and Graham Nash.

YouTube: The Hollies have their own channel, where you can watch vintage clips as well as very recent quarantine recordings of “The Air That I Breathe” and “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.”

Social Media: In addition to the official Hollies Facebook page, there are some very good fan-created sites that offer rare clips and foster a cheery ambience. Likewise on Instagram; there’s an official site, and if you search #Hollies or # some of the band members, you’ll find amazing rare photos. Also check out the official Hollies website. It looks like they might have a store section coming back soon.

That should be enough to fill your day. Choose appropriate meals and beverages throughout the day, and concentrate on positive vibes that will help us through these difficult times, and bring The Hollies back to America next year. Cheers!

Monday, July 13, 2020

Andy Stone - Every Single Day

Andy Stone’s followup to his 2017 effort This Giant Awoke finds the Providence, Rhode Island singer-songwriter once again exploring relationships from various angles. Listening to Every Single Day, it’s easy to believe Stone is also a novelist, because he crafts believable scenes filled with heartfelt lyrics. Nothing gets too literary though, because he sets each of the 11 tracks a melodic arrangement.

The stark piano ballad “I Never Should Have Said It” gives us a guy who who tried to convince himself he was in love, only to cause pain when it turned out to be untrue. The energetic “Why” depicts a doomed relationship where neither person can pull the trigger on ending it, and the melodic “Isn’t It Funny?” suggests we all worry too much about what other people think of us. On the more romantic side, “The Man Who Could Love Only You” evokes a slow dance hit from the early 1960s, while the clever “You Are A Problem” grooves to a 1980s synth beat.

“Gonna Be Different” is a catchy and celebratory track with Stone proclaiming “I knew there was a fair tale ending from the start.” For power pop fans, “I’m Gonna Love You” is likely to be the standout track, with its high energy arrangement and a whirlwind of guitar action in the middle. Every Single Day can be purchased from Andy Stone’s Facebook page.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Saturday Slumgullion

The Stereogum music blog is raising funds to help meet its expenses via an Indiegogo campaign. The project involves 44 recording artists donating previously unreleased cover versions of songs from 2000 to 2009. Participating artists include Death Cab For Cutie, Bethany Cosentino from Best Coast; Dirty Projectors; Sharon Van Etten; White Reaper; The New Pornographers; The National; Ty Segall; and Wye Oak. The perks for those who donate include a download of the 44 tracks for $20; the download and a t-shirt for $50; a Zoom Party, t-shirt, and download for $100; and a #1s, party, download, and a t-shirt for $1,000.

Let’s get together and feel all right. According to an item in the Arts and Entertainment section of yesterday’s Chicago Tribune, Bob Marley’s children Stephen and Cedella Marley, along with his grandson Skip Marley, recently recorded his iconic tune “One Love.” Their version is being released on July 17 and will benefit UNICEF’s Reimagine campaign to help kids affected by Covid-19. Special guest musicians are involved with the song, which will also be featured on a video.

Keep a CIVL tongue in your head. Goose Island Beer Company’s limited edition of CIVL Pale Ale became available this past Wednesday and 100% of the proceeds will go to the Chicago Independent Venue League. The brew is available at the Goose Island’s Fulton Street Brewery at 1800 W. Fulton Street. According the CIVL Facebook page, its goal is to “advocate on behalf of Chicago’s independent performance venues.” It’s a refreshing way to support those businesses and the musicians who perform at them.

Singer-guitarist Michael Steven Cohen will be performing vintage love songs from the 1930s through the 1950s from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Beer Garden at Montrose Saloon tomorrow (Sunday, July 12). Cohen is probably best known for his original power pop tunes with The Abbeys and Pop Dollies, but he’s also adept at what he calls “Big Band Stuff On A Little Guitar.” There’s no cover charge; attendees are encouraged to hit the tip jar. Montrose Saloon has a full schedule of performances in its Beer Garden coming up, so fans of live music should check it out.

The interview Ralph Covert conducted with Brad Elvis this past Thursday is now available on each of their Facebook pages. It’s part of Covert’s Staycation With Friends series, and a great opportunity to hear two of Chicago’s better musicians looking back on their careers. Covert is famous for Ralph’s World and founding The Bad Examples, but as we learn in the interview, he’s also written plays and books. Brad Elvis can proudly look back at a history that includes at least four top notch bands, even if most of them fell victim to record label negligence. That includes Screams, The Elvis Brothers, Big Hello, and his present-day outfit The Handcuffs. He’s also been drumming for The Romantics for a number of years. Throughout all of it, Brad Elvis kept a diary, so it’s no surprise he’s currently working on a book. Which reminds me of Bobby Elliott, who kept a diary throughout his (still active) days with The Hollies, and recently released an autobiography.

The Chicago Reader has now switched to a biweekly format and can still be downloaded for free on the long-running publication’s website. The Early Warnings page of the July 9 issue has listings for upcoming livestreams by Beach Bunny (July 15); Guided By Voices (July 17); Jazz Record Art Collective featuring Mardra Thomas and Reggie Thomas (July 16); Jazz Record Art Collective featuring Geof Bradfield and Ryan Cohan (July 23); and Angel Olsen and Hand Habits (July 14). The Chicago Reader is seeking donations to help with expenses, and is also available in print format by subscription.

The July issue of the Illinois Entertainer, with musician/actress Jehnny Beth on the cover and features on Mike Peters from The Alarm, and House Of Lords, is available on the publication’s website. The New Releases column mentions some of this month’s most promising albums, including Paul Weller’s On Sunset and Willie Nelson’s First Rose Of Spring (July 3); Rufus Wainwright’s Unfollow The Rules and The Jawhawks’ XOXO (July 10); Gang Of Four’s Anti Hero and The Pretenders’ Hate For Sale (July 17) and Steve Howe’s Love Is (July 24). The Spins column offers reviews of Bob Dylan’s Rough And Rowdy Ways; Michael McDermott’s What In The World. . .;  More Trouble, an expanded version of Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man soundtrack, and a Frank Zappa and The Mothers box set.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Slumgullion

The Go-Go’s will release the single “Club Zero,” their first recording in 20 years, on July 31. It’s from director Alison Ellwood’s documentary The Go-Go’s, which will have its premiere on Showtime the following day. A promotional clip on the band’s social media sites features Charlotte Caffey describing “Club Zero” as “a powerful, punky, anthemic song” and Belinda Carlisle adding “it’s very much of the times but infused with The Go’Go’s sense of humor.”

DJ James Deia will be spinning records on the patio at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn tomorrow night from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. for his “Robbed And Ridiculed” - An All Vinyl Tribute To The Traveling Wilburys. Admission is free.

Graham Nash recently performed an acoustic version of “Be Yourself” from his 1971 solo debut Songs For Beginners as part of the Pearl Works Presents series on YouTube. The company makes inlays for guitars.

Montrose Saloon has two sets of live music scheduled for its beer garden tomorrow. Handsome Man’s Gentleman’s Club performs at 3:00 p.m. and Erin Edmister and Killian Sweeney perform at 6:00 p.m.

The Chicago monthly publication New City has come out with its annual Music 45: Who Keeps Chicago In Tune issue. Those honored include Sunshine Boys, Steve Dawson, Topeka Reid, Mucca Pazza, Ohmme, The Newbury Consort, Sons Of The Never Wrong, Krewella, Patricia Barber, Jon Langford, Beach Bunny, Sir The Baptist, Twin Peaks, and coming in at number one, Jamila Woods.

A graphic novel celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Doors’ Morrison Hotel album is now available for pre-order on the band’s official website. It’s due out on October 13 in in a 144-page soft cover version for $19.99, and a deluxe hardcover in a slipcase limited edition for $99.99. The Doors website describes it as an anthology “written by Leah Moore, in collaboration with the surviving members of the legendary rock band and drawn by artists from around the comic book world.”

It doesn’t seem that long ago that Durty Nellie’s in Palatine clawed its way back from a devastating fire to begin operating as a restaurant/live music venue again. Then COVID-19 struck, forcing Durty Nellie’s to cancel its St. Patrick’s bash for the second straight year, and shutting down concerts and indoor dining. But its owners have launched another comeback, as evidenced by this weekend’s 4th Of July Social Distancing Parking Lot Party. Plus, Durty Nellie’s is now just Nellie’s, and there are new offerings on the menu. The 4th Of July event runs from 4:30 through 10:00 p.m. today, and returns tomorrow from 2:30 to 10:00 p.m. Tomorrow’s acts are Jasmine and Perona; Lara Bell; Serendipity Acoustic; and Pino Farina.

Paul Collins, who was a member of The Nerves with Peter Case and Jack Lee before leading The Paul Collins Beat, has a book coming out on the Chicago-based HoZac Records and Books. I Don’t Fit In was co-written with Chuck Nolan, and named after a track on the 1979 self-titled debut from The Paul Collins Beat. It’s now available for pre-order.

I love when fun things come in the mail. Especially when I get them by helping a worthy cause. Today, I received a poster and sticker for sending money to support the upcoming documentary Out Of Time - The Material Issue Story. The film won’t be out until 2021, but its producers have been posting some enticing previews on Facebook and Instagram. The most recent is a previously unreleased demo of the Material Issue song “Fourth Of July.” It’s a haunting recording of the late Jim Ellison singing and strumming an acoustic guitar.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Slumgullion

The Chicago-based Sunshine Boys were one of the highlights of Hot Stove Cool Music.

Cool To Be Kind. I watched the entire Hot Stove Cool Music virtual concert last night, only taking a short break to feed the cats. Which apparently caused me to miss Nick Lowe’s performance, because I didn’t see him. It was the 20th Anniversary of Hot Stove Cool Music, but the first time it hasn’t been staged in a venue before a live audience. The format enabled big names to join in the fundraising, including Lowe, Common, James Taylor, Steven Tyler, and Robyn Hitchcock. Band Of Their Own and Ted Leo were also among the many highlights, and I was particularly proud to see local acts Sunshine Boys and The 45 sounding so impressive.

100% of the proceeds from last night will benefit Paul and Theo Epstein’s Foundation To Be Named Later and Peter Gammons’ Scholarships for urban young people. The virtual auction runs through July 3, so there’s still time to bid on some amazing sports and popular music related memorabilia. According to an email sent out today by The Foundation To be Named Later, they will be re-airing this year’s event in the near future on Facebook.

Radio Hall Of Fame inductee Terri Hemmert will host Pride In The Name of Life on WXRT this Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event, which will celebrate diversity, equality and the LGBT+ community, follows immediately after Hemmert’s weekly Breakfast With Beatles program.

The following livestream events were listed on the Early Warnings page in this week’s edition of the Chicago Reader: Andrew Bird on June 28 at go.seated.com/events; Dollyrots on June 28 at stageit.com/the_dollyrots; Larkin Poe on June 27 at livestream at fans.com; Ramsey Lewis on June 27 at stageit.com; Roots Picnic Virtual Experience on June 27 at rootspicnic.com/philly; and Voices: A Benefit Concert for Chicago Artists featuring Taylor Mallory and more.

Tickets are now on sale for Riot Fest 2021, featuring My Chemical Romance, Smashing Pumpkins, Run The Jewels, Pixies, Circle Jerks, L7, and more. The event will run September 16 through September 19 next year.

I’m going to renew my subscription to the Chicago Reader since I’m still working from home and don’t want to miss my weekly copy. The 26 issues option looks like it might bring me through the end of 2020. Please consider supporting our local publications.

Is that the wacky neighbors playing new wave cover versions again? Chicago-based musician Mike Cohen (The Abbeys, Pop Dollys, The Everly Hillbillies) often finds fun things to post on Facebook, and I particularly like a YouTube video he just shared of Glenn Tilbrook, his wife, and sons doing a shelter-in-place cover of The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me Baby.” I’d buy a recording of this in a minute. The people in my neighborhood just blow off fireworks.

Chicago Tribune theatre critic Chris Jones offered a heartfelt tribute to the recently closed Mercury Theater in today’s Arts and Entertainment section. I thoroughly enjoyed a production of Spamalot there last year, but was unaware of how many critically acclaimed productions the company had done. Best wishes to everyone involved for their future endeavors.

Posts have appeared on Broken Hearted Toy less frequent lately, partly because I’ve been preparing for the annual Writing Workshop Of Chicago. It’s a virtual event for 2020, but I’ll be able to SKYPE with four literary agents tomorrow about my YA Paranormal Rock and Roll Romance novel. I finished it a while back but have revised close to 130 pages. It’s hard work, but I like the results I’m seeing.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Take Me Out To The Website - Hot Stove Cool Music Goes Virtual Tonight

Tonight brings the 20th Anniversary of Hot Stove Cool Music but don’t try to find the Chicago version anywhere in Wrigleyville. The annual event organized by Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein and journalist Peter Gammons will be virtual concert that kicks off at 8:00 p.m. EST. 100% of the proceeds will benefit Paul and Theo Epstein’s Foundation To Be Named Later and Peter Gammons Scholarships for urban young people. Check out the Hot Stove Cool Music Facebook page for details on admission and how to make a donation.

The online format has enabled some big names to participate, such as Common, James Taylor, Steven Tyler, Nick Lowe, and Robyn Hitchcock. There will also be a number of baseball stars involved. Mike O’Malley will serve as emcee and guests include Bernie Williams, Kay Hanley, Len Kasper, Tanya Donelly, Chicago Children’s Choir, and Will Dailey. The all-women/all-star Band Of Their Own will be on hand, and other special guests are likely to show up.

I attended the Hot Stove Cool Music event in Chicago last summer, and it was fantastic. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for all the performances due to having to catch and a train back to Palatine. This year, transportation won’t be a problem.
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