We tend to think summer ends with the final days of August, but the season will be alive and well on September 11 and 12. A pair of outdoor events offering entertainment as well as creative inspiration will be taking place that weekend.
The Lakeview East Festival Of The Arts will return to Broadway, between Belmont and Hawthorne. In addition to 250 juried artists, some of Chicago’s best music acts will be performing. Singer-songwriter Rachel Drew has a 2:00 pm set on Saturday; Sunshine Boys perform at 5:00 pm, immediately followed by the copy band EXPO ’76 at 6:30. Those of us who keep track of singer-guitarist Dag Juhlin’s multitude of bands will see him in back-to-back shows, starting with Sunshine Boys. Eric Chial, who’s also been known to play with a few bands in addition to running Montrose Saloon, will be performing at the Lakeview East Festival Of The Arts when Decoy Prayer Meeting takes the stage at 4:30 pm on Sunday. See the website for this event for the full music schedule.
Meanwhile, the 36th Annual Printers Row Lit Fest takes place on that Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, on Dearborn between Polk Street and Ida B. Wells Drive. The festival features well-known authors—National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates is this year’s headliner—vendors selling new and antique books, as well as independent writers and small publishers promoting their work.
As if choosing between Lit Fest and Lakeview East wasn’t tough enough, I’m signed up for the Washington, D.C. Writing Day Workshop, which takes place in virtual format Friday, September 10 and Saturday, September 11. I’ll have two opportunities to pitch my YA novel to literary agents via Zoom calls, but I don’t know yet when they’re scheduled. I’ve attended the in-person Chicago WWD conference a few times in the past, and the virtual Chicago version last year. I strongly recommend these conferences to writers who are serious about getting a book published. In addition to the opportunity for face-to-face (or screen-to-screen) contact with agents, there are several helpful seminars.
Congratulations to Fake Chapter Records on its 25th anniversary. The Maywood, NJ indie label plans to celebrate with a 25-track release titled Fake Chapter Records: The First 25 Years on November 11. Founder Gilligan (one name only) works with acts from around the globe, and some of those chosen for the anniversary release are The Nuclears, Thirsty Curses, Maryleigh Roohan, Arms And Sleepers, Dodgeball, and The Bright Road. In addition to giving his company a literary-sounding name, Gilligan has written a book titled Sex Drugs and Cubicles. It’s about him running the label while holding down a 9-to-5 office job.
Sonic Youth founding member Kim Gordon and award-winning journalist Sinéad Gleeson have co-edited a new book titled This Woman’s Work: Essays On Music. It’s due out in April, 2022 and will feature 16 contributions from female writers about the music industry from a female perspective. The book will include profiles on Wanda Jackson and Laurie Anderson.
Congratulations to author Cherie Colyer on the release of her novel Friends To The End. Colyer has been scaring readers via a series of Young Adult paranormal novels while creating sympathetic, believable heroines. Her latest effort aims for the Middle Grade market with a twelve-year old boy named Zach moving to a haunted Chicago suburb with his family. Full disclosure: Colyer was a member of the monthly writers group I’ve belonged to for a number of years. Friends To The End is available for preorder on Amazon.
An international trio of journalists—Andrew Môn Hughes, Grant Walters & Mark Crohan— have put together a book titled DECADES - The Bee Gees In The 1960s. Spencer Gibb, son of Robin Gibb, and Vince Melouney, who performed with the Brothers Gibb in 1967 and 1968, wrote the Foreword for the book. Copies signed by Melouney are available to pre-order at beegeesdecades.com
I received my copy of Riding The Carousel - A Biography Of The Hollies not long ago, and I’ve already zipped through over a hundred pages. Author Malcolm Searles, who’s also released books about The Beach Boys, Bread, and The Association, brings a concise but consistently engaging approach to his thoroughly researched material. His fascinating tales about the chart-topping British Invasion band feel honest, and Searles sometimes relates conflicting versions from a few sources, leaving the reader to decide which interviewed musician has the best memory. Riding The Carousel starts off before the band was even named The Hollies and continues to the current version that still includes Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliott. The book makes a great companion for Elliott’s It Ain’t Heavy. It’s My Story - My Life In The Hollies and Graham Nash’s Wild Tales. It’s a limited run, available from Dojo Tones Publications.