Friday, November 17, 2023


The Gene Siskel Film Center will screen the 1978 Chicago-based drama Stony Island tonight at 8:00 pm. Director Andrew Davis and his brother Richie, who starred in the film, will take part in a Question and Answer session afterward. Stony Island also featured future Bangle and author Susanna Hoffs in a major role. Andrew Davis was born in Chicago and went on to direct The Fugitive in 1993.

Push Puppets, a band I’m proud to say hails from my hometown of Palatine, will be showcasing songs from their impressive Allegory Grey album at Hey Nonny in nearby Arlington Heights tonight.

Shiiine On Weekender 2023, which is being billed as “An Indoor 3 Day Festival With Accommodation Included,” will be held this weekend at the Butlin’s Minehead Arena in Somerset, England. Scheduled acts include The Wonder Stuff; Inspiral Carpets; The Primitives; Martin McAloon of Prefab Sprout; Miki Berenyi Trio; and Stereo MC’s.

WXRT radio personality Marty Lennartz will drop by the Reckless Records store at 1379 N.  Milwaukee Avenue tomorrow at noon to give away WXRT t-shirts and winter hats.

Big Brother’s Vinyl will be performing lots of classic rock songs that most cover bands overlook  at Peggy Kinnane’s in Arlington Heights tonight.

The Randolph Holiday Market will take place tomorrow and Sunday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Over 100 vendors will be selling housewares, clothing, art, and gifts. The event takes place indoors.

The Chicago-based indie rock band The Handcuffs are riding the success of their superb fourth album Burn The Rails, and will perform tomorrow night at Liars Club on the city’s north side. They’re part of a triple bill with singer-guitarist and former member of the Chicago punk band Articles Of Faith, Dorian Taj; and the five-piece Chicago/Los Angeles collaborative band Man’s Body.

The Darker Waves festival takes place tomorrow in Huntington Beach, California. The lineup features several acts that launched successful careers in the 1980s and have maintained them over the decades. New Order, The B-52’s, Tears For Fears, X, The English Beat, Devo, Soft Cell, The Psychedelic Furs, Echo And The Bunnymen, OMD, and The Human League will be performing, along with other acts.

Liz Phair’s Guyville Tour will arrive at the Chicago Theatre tomorrow night. Congratulations to Phair on celebrating the 30th Anniversary of her groundbreaking Exile In Guyville.

I wonder if he’ll bring his banjo. According to the TheaterMania website, Steve Martin is providing the voice of God in the production of Monty Python’s Spamalot now running at the St. James Theatre on Broadway. The official opening was last night.

The Unswept band will perform its catchy and clever tunes tomorrow night at the Gallery Cabaret on Chicago’s north side.

Congratulations to The Luck Of Eden Hall on selling out all the copies its The Luck Of Eden Hall - An Introduction CD on England’s Fruits De Mer indie label. And those Brits really know their prog rock. The collection pretty much includes all the tracks The Luck Of Eden Hall recorded for Fruits de Mer over the past 15 years. 

The Ripleys, a covers band whose repertoire includes tunes by The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and U2, has a gig coming up at the Toadstool Pub in Highwood tomorrow night. There is no cover charge.

The Chris Isaak It’s Almost Christmas Tour is coming to The Genesee Theatre in Waukegan on November 30.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical recently opened at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, and if I can trust theater critic Chris Jones in the Chicago Tribune (and I always do), this is a well-crafted and entertaining production. Jones was particularly impressed with Kaitlyn Davis in the title role and Andrew Mueller, who portrays King’s spouse and fellow Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame composer, Gerry Goffin.

The Chicago-based Nicholas Tremulis And The Prodigals will perform next Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve, at SPACE in Evanston.

Tickets are now on sale for Peter Hook And The Light at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago on September 7, 2024. Hook, who was a founding member of Joy Division and New Order, will be performing songs from both the Joy Divisions and New Order Substance albums, as well as other New Order material.

Be sure not to party too much on Thanksgiving night if you’re planning to get up up early for Black Friday Record Store Day. While this holiday version is never as expansive as the April RSD, there will be several limited-edition vinyl treasures to choose from. You might also find a few items for any vinyl records collectors on your holiday gift list.

As usual, the RSD offerings cover just about every genre and era you can imagine. As for my own choices, I’m leaning toward The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album on green vinyl; The English Beat’s 2-LP I Just Can’t Stop It (Expanded); and U2’s Under A Blood Red Sky. Check with your favorite record store to see if it’s participating.

Several well-known musicians will perform at The Benefit Concert For Denny Laine being held on November 27 at The Troubadour in West Hollywood, California. Laine, who was a founding member of The Moody Blues and Paul McCartney’s Wings, currently has serious health issues. The already sold-out event is being organized by musician Alex Jules, a longtime member of Laine’s touring band, in association with The Wild Honey Foundation. In addition to Jules, Denny Laine Band members Erik Paparozzi and Brian Pothier will perform. Special guests include Susanna Hoffs, Denny Seiwell, Laurence Juber, Joey Molland, Micky Dolenz, Puddles Pity Party, Peter Asher, Joe Bouchard, Neil Hamburger, Tim Heidecker, Paul Shaffer, Jeremy Clyde, and Albert Lee. KLOS Breakfast With The Beatles DJ Chris Carter will serve as host. 

Ralph Covert, who led The Bad Examples through a rousing set last Friday at Fitzgerald’s, will return to the Berwyn venue this Tuesday for as a solo acoustic performance as part of a Songwriter Round Night. Phil Angotti and Jenny Bienemann will perform as well. 

The new documentary The Stones And Brian Jones from Magnolia Pictures and award-winning British director Nick Broomfield had its general release today at theaters and for home viewing. The 93-minute The Stones And Brian Jones features interviews with numerous musicians and previously unseen archival footage. 

Chicago-based power pop trio Thrift Store Halo’s latest release, the six-song EP Live And Unlearn is now available on Bandcamp in digital and CD format.

Juliana Hatfield Sings ELO, the indie musician’s Electric Light Orchestra tribute album, was released today in CD, vinyl, cassette, and digital formats.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s new tropical take on William Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night—complete with Bob Marley and Sting songs—runs through November 26 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier.

The iBAM Irish Books and Music Festival, an annual event that honors “the Best in Irish Heritage and Culture,” will be held at the Irish American Heritage Center on Chicago’s north side tomorrow and Sunday.

The Goodman Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol opens tomorrow and will run through December 31. 

The monthly Beatles Brunch With Phil Angotti And Friends takes place this Sunday at noon at City Winery Chicago.

Following the success of her authentically gritty cover of  The Rolling Stones’ “Street Fighting Man,” singer-guitarist Carla Olson takes a completely different approach on the next single from her Have Harmony, Will Travel 3 album. Written by Hollies founding member Allan Clarke, “It Makes Me Cry” is a country style ballad rich with heartfelt observations on human nature. It features Clarke playing harmonica and combining with Olson for the heartfelt vocals. Laurence Juber, the former Paul McCartney and Wings member, embellishes “It Makes Me Cry” with his lead guitar playing.

The Music On Stage presentation of Plaid Tidings - A Special Holiday Edition Of Forever Plaid, continues its run at Cutting Hall in Palatine through November 26.

Music For Mars: Liquid Soul Featuring Mars Williams, a multi-artist event taking place at Metro in Chicago on November 25, will honor and support the critically acclaimed jazz saxophone player. Proceeds will benefit him through the Mars Williams Medical Treatment Cancer Fund. In addition to Liquid Soul, the entertainment will include The Joe Marcinek Band and Jesse De La Pena. While Williams has impeccable jazz credentials, many rock fans first became aware of him via his work with The Psychedelic Furs. So it’s fitting that Richard Butler, Zachary Alford and Rich Good from that group will be on hand at Metro. Other special guests will include Jeff Coffin from The Dave Matthews Band; Richard Fortus from Guns N’ Roses; and Ike Reilly. Tickets are $30 in advance,  $35 on the day of the event, and there’s a $150 table for two options.

The Mercury Theater’s production of Young Frankenstein runs Wednesday through Sunday until December 31.

Nick Lowe has a concert this Monday at the Old Town School Of Folk Music, as well as a gig with Rami Gabriel on Tuesday at SPACE in Evanston.

Noted blues singer-guitarist Ronnie Baker Brooks will perform at City Winery Chicago on November 22.

The Des Plaines Theatre in downtown Des Plaines will present The Last Waltz: Tribute To The Band next Friday.

The Smithereens, with guest lead vocalist Robin Wilson from The Gin Blossoms, will perform at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

The Flat Five, a super group of Chicago-based vocalists, will perform at SPACE in Evanston November 26.

As someone who’s currently shopping a YA paranormal/romance/rock and roll novel to literary agents, I was particularly interested in Chicago Sun-Times staff reporter Stefano Esposito’s profile on the recently opened and highly successful The Last Chapter Book Store in Chicago’s Roscoe Village neighborhood. Esposito notes it specializes in romance novels involving all types of people and within various settings. I’m currently working on a sequel, so maybe someday I’ll have two YA paranormal/romance/rock and roll novels for sale in The Last Chapter Book Store.

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