Saturday, January 11, 2020
Scottish musician Midge Ure, who performed with Ultravox and Visage, as well as participating in Band Aid, is coming to City Winery Chicago on January 29. The City Winery ad in this week’s Reader promises he’ll offer songs, questions, and answers. So you can do your best Chris Farley, and say, “Remember when you were in Ultravox and recorded ‘Reap The Wild Wind’? That was awesome!”
Garage/rockabilly band Amazing Heeby Jeebies turned in a great performance last night as the opening act for Spies Who Surf at the Hey Nonny venue in Arlington Heights, and they’ll continue their Second Sundays residency at Montrose Saloon tomorrow with special guests The Handcuffs. It’s a great opportunity to catch two of Chicago’s best bands on the same bill.
The reunited Spies Who Surf were also fantastic, and seemed genuinely thrilled with the wildly appreciative audience at Hey Nonny. These guys create adventurous instrumental songs while simultaneously exuding the suave persona of James Bond.
Martyrs’ on Lincoln Avenue has a psychedelic triple bill coming up next Wednesday, January 15 with whitewolfsonicprincess, Ovadiya, and Baby Noname. I first met vocalist Carla Hayden and guitarist-vocalist James Moeller of whitewolfsonicprincess when they performed with their theatre group Black Forest at the annual Abbie Fests at Mary-Arrchie Theatre. The music of their band exhibits a similar off-kilter charm to Black Forest’s avant garde theatrical pieces.
There will be a bit of a reunion when Sunshine Boys open for Juliana Hatfield at SPACE in Evanston next Thursday, January 16. Drummer Freda Love Smith was a member of Blake Babies with Hatfield long before she joined forces with Dag Juhlin from The Slugs and Jacqueline Schimmel in Sunshine Boys. Hatfield just released a fun video for her cover of The Police’s “Can’t Stand Losing You” which features her performing as Sting, Andy, and Stewart. It’s a prime example of how she brought her own approach to all the songs on her recent tribute album to The Police.
Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones recently mentioned The House Theater Of Chicago’s upcoming production of Verboten as one of his recommendations for local shows this winter. Written by Brett Neveu with original songs by Jason Narducy, Verboten is set in 1983 and concerns a teenage punk band aiming to rock out the Cubby Bear venue. Nathan Allen is the director. The promo postcard I picked up at the Gene Siskel Film Center states the play is based on Narducy’s own experiences when he started a punk band when he was 11 years old. It runs at the Chopin Theatre January 16 through March 8.
Crosby, Stills, and - - - . Decoy Prayer Meeting will be performing the music of Buffalo Springfield and The Byrds next Friday at Montrose Saloon. That’s two-thirds of the history just prior to CSN, so I’m not sure why they wouldn’t throw some Hollies songs in there as well. Nevertheless, it’s bound to be a good show.
Annoyance Theatre will a hold Food, Tunes and Booze event at the Cubby Bear on January 15. Founding member Mick Napier and Executive Director Jennifer Estlin will serve as hosts.
Mean Girls, the musical based on Tina Fey’s film of that same name, runs through January 26 at the James M. Nederlander Theatre. The book is by Fey, and the songs were created by lyricist Nell Benjamin and composer (and Fey’s husband) Jeff Richmond.
I just finished reading The Vanishing Stair, the second novel in Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious YA mystery trilogy. I’ve been told by literary agents that I need to find popular books that are similar to the novel I’ve written so they have an idea of what I’m pitching to them. Johnson’s ability to mix tension, romantic attraction, and humor; all the while dropping fascinating clues is something I strive for, and there are similarities between her story and my latest YA novel. Mine is still waiting to get published someday, but you can enjoy Truly Devious already. The final book of the trilogy is due out in a couple weeks. Note: Each of the first two books ends with a cliffhanger, so you're pretty much forced to read all three.