Can’t wait to blast this baby on my stereo.
In keeping with my annual tradition, I took the Metra train into downtown Chicago this morning so I could be waiting outside Reckless Records the moment they opened. I was able to purchase five of the six choices on my Black Friday Record Store Day wish list, with only the seven-inch single “Beatles Vs. Stones” by Los Straitjackets being MIA. So, the latest additions to my vinyl collection are: U2’s 40th Anniversary Edition of Boy; Fountains Of Wayne’s Welcome Interstate Managers; The Bangles’ Doll Revolution; George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” seven-inch single, and The Vince Guaraldi Trio’s “Christmas Time Is Here” seven-inch single. The staff at Reckless was once again friendly and efficient, though a little more cautious now that COVID-19 has surged again.
Episode One of the Chicago Independent Venue League’s CIVLIZATION virtual concert series kicked off tonight at 8:00 p.m. with performances by local acts Dos Santos, Beats y Bateria, Half Gringa and ÉSSO. In addition to giving music fans the opportunity to enjoy shows, the series aims to cast a spotlight on the CIVL Emergency Relief Fund. Working in conjunction with the Giving Back Fund, CIVL supports Chicago artists and venues. Donations are being accepted at the CIVL website.
The Chicago venue Metro has a decades-long reputation for booking some of rock and roll’s best and ground-breaking acts. I interviewed vocalist-guitarist Jimme O’Neill from The Silencers there for the Illinois Entertainer in 1987, and caught shows by The Hoodoo Gurus, Material Issue, The 360s, The Bad Examples, and several other acts. Metro has just launched a special sale at its online store with an intriguing Facebook post that reads, “The vault is open. Curious as to what’s been hiding in the haunted fourth floor all these years? We’ve got you covered for t-shirts, hoodies, posters, and bundles! Keep an eye out for more drops as we go deeper.” Right now, visitors to the site will find Metro and Smart Bar t-shirts, gig posters, and accessories. I saw Metro’s impressive 30th Anniversary exhibition of gig posters a while back, so as these drops continue, things could get very interesting.
The virtual Black Harvest Film Festival wraps on Monday, November 30 with a tribute Chadwick Boseman. All of the Festival’s films are streaming via the Gene Siskel Film Center.
Here are a few websites I could have included in the Rock And Roll Holiday Gift Guide I posted yesterday: The Beatles Store website has clothing, holiday items, toys, and recorded music. Actor David Tennant’s official website has t-shirts, mugs, and tote bags related to his performance as the 10th Doctor on the long-running BBC sci-fi program Doctor Who.
If you’re looking for rock and roll biographies for gifts, check out Bobby Elliott’s It Ain’t Heavy, It’s My Story - My Life In The Hollies; and Remain In Love - Talking Heads - Tom Tom Club - Tina by Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz. Another suggestion would be Harold Bronson’s My British Invasion, which features the Rhino Records cofounder interviewing members of The Yardbirds, The Hollies, Herman’s Hermits, The Troggs, and other UK groups.
While roaming downtown this morning, I picked up a copy of The Reader even though I have a subscription to it. The long-running Chicago free weekly paper is embarking on a new direction, and is looking for donations to help it stay afloat in these troubled times. I’ve donated to The Reader a few times in the past year, and was happy to do so again just now.
I also picked up the November issue of the Chicago free monthly magazine Newcity, which features its annual Best Of Chicago list. For 2020, the emphasis is on the Black community, and the issue was guest edited by sports journalist Robert “Scoop” Jackson and poet Tara Betts.
Graham Nash, Elvis Costello, Angelique Kidjo, Sting, Jim James, Kesha, and the Brooklyn Youth Choir will perform when the David Lynch Foundation presents Meditate America on December 3. Katy Perry, Hugh Jackman, Debora Lee Furness, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, and Jennifer Ashton, MD will serve as hosts. The free virtual event aims to raise awareness of transcendental meditation, which is believed to help control stress and lessen the risks of stroke, heart disease, and depression. Viewers are encouraged to donate.
CoCo and Blu, a hip and classy cafe in Arlington Heights, has a Christkindlmarket going that will run through December 23. The venue promises, “Fabulous Holiday Mug Keepsakes, Shopping, Food Cocktails, and Coffee Creations.”