Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Happy Headbanger Fest

Hey, blogspot readers and metal fans! 

SouthSide is all about supporting the local music scene ...no matter how large or small - there's something ALWAYS happening locally ...especially in Chicago. So far this summer, Chicago has exploded with music and art festivals rockin every corner of the city ...favorites like Fiesta Del Sol, Lollapalooza, Pitchfork ...local ones like I Am Fest (happening August 20th at Chicago's House of Blues) and new ones like Reggae Fest Chicago. 

Recently, she got the scoop of another music fest happening Saturday Sept. 3 at the legendary Elbo Room (located in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood). SouthSide highly recommends checking out Happy HeadBanger Fest 2016 which will feature an amazing 6-band lineup for one reasonable price of $9 advance (or $10 day of show). 

How can you beat that, blogspot readers?!

This headbanging lineup will feature performances by Her Name is Mercy, Evil Engine and Threatening the Order with Fist to the Sky rocking the lounge.

Sorry, kids, this event is 21+.

SouthSide suggests snagging tickets now for this one-night only beadbanging metal music festival. Go to http://www.elboroomlive.com/event/1278543-happy-headbanger-fest-2016-chicago/ or https://www.facebook.com/events/1787728388170326/ for more information about the bands performing and tickets.

Just might see SouthSide headbanging too...


Until next time, support your local music festival scene,
SouthSide

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Forest (2016)

:...when you see something bad, it's all in your head ...it's not real...

Well, that's basically the driving theme to this movie, blogspot readers, to which SouthSide regrets renting from the library. Usually, she pick some good ones but this recently released on DVD movie was mediocre at best in trying to frighten this reviewer with it's haunting spirits within  a spooky forest that's totally real in Japan. The Forest definitely has rewritten the classic movie rules, blogspot reader, to the point the storyline and some of its characters left SouthSide scratching her head in confusion.

The premise is - a twin named Sara (played by Natalie Dormer) is in search of missing her twin sister (who's an American teaching in Japan) who took her students on a field trip to Japan's infamous Suicide Forest (actually named Aokigahara or Sea of Trees located at the base of Mount Fuji). The police believes she went there to commit suicide and is dead ...Natalie's character believes otherwise. She has this "feeling" (to which she emphatically repeats throughout the movie) that her sister is alive and is determined to find her as such. Those whom she meets on her journey to Aokigahara warn her that perhaps her sister doesn't want to be found. They tell her that strange things happen when you stray off the path ...you might hear or see weird things that could be just your mind playing tricks on you.

Yet, warnings like those mentioned doesn't deter this twin from her mission especially when she decides to spend a terrifying night inside the forest against the sound advice of her Japanese guide. She's lucky to survive ...or did she?

Is her sister alive or dead?

And who is Taylor Kinney's character - Aiden suppose to be? Is he a "uri" (Japanese for ghost) or a reporter like he said he was?

Confusing questions that will NEVER be answered because this movie was messy with so much confusion, blogspot readers!

Granted, SouthSide did enjoy the surprising twist at the end of the movie ...but please - NO sequel. This particular movie doesn't even deserve one since it ends with many unanswered questions or perhaps, this reviewer should re-rent the movie for a second viewing.

Then again - perhaps not.

Some movies are just made to be viewed once and only once, blogspot readers. And she also understands why there was some strong opposition against the release of this movie. It does somewhat exploit of true historical significance of Aokigahara as the movie's horror backdrop and theme. Besides that, the characters especially between Natalie Dormer and Taylor Kinney had no real connection to each other. SouthSide felt she was watching two actors just going through the motions of hitting their lines without any emotion or depth. It was almost like that god-awful Prince of Persia movie again, blogspot readers. Despite the messy script and confusing characters, the scares within The Forest was okay ...some do grab at you but nothing that will leave you looking for a flashlight to keep you company. 

SouthSide recommends viewing The Forest if you want to see it to be seeing it. Rent it first before buying to add to your collection.

Until next time, support your local scene,
SouthSide

The Brood (1979)

Oh, the wondrous things you can discover while visiting your local library, blogspot readers, as SouthSide has recently done. She found a hidden gem though not really looking for any particular movie that fateful day to check out. Well, in her opinion, it was find of a lifetime that she had heard about but never seen ...until now.

David Cronenberg's 1979 film - The Brood.

This intense psychological horror shock thriller stars the late Oliver Reed as a radical medical psychologist, Dr. Hal Raglan, who treats his patients with a rare form of psychotherapy at a mysterious institute. Right there, blogspot readers, you should be shivering with delight or fright. Yet, it sounds good so far, huh? One of Reed's patients, Nola Carveth (played by Samantha Eggar) is also a mother of a 5 year old daughter  (Cindy Hinds as Candice Carveth )who's being terrorized by demonic beings.

Oh it's really getting creepy now.

Then toss in an estranged husband (Art Himdle as Frank Carveth) as he fights to save his daughter (as well as himself) from the frightening terrors that haunt her ...only to discover the SHOCKING secret involving his wife at the end. And SouthSide truly means - it's a gripping horrorshock that feature one of Cronenberg's  best horror grotesqueness of the OMG kind, blogspot readers, before shocking horror fans with other cult classics like Videodrome, Scanners, Rabid, Dead Ringers and more. 

The Brood, at first runs like two separate movies for your viewing pleasure where you're thoroughly immersed into Reed's intense psychotherapy sessions with Eggar while the next, your eyes are witnessing graphic scenes of murder committed by a little demonic thing ...about the same size as Cindy Hind's Candice character. Yet, as both scenarios move ever so closer together as one as you continue viewing this movie, you're gradually sucked towards one horrifying movie-viewing end that may leave you either scratching your head and wonder OR shaking scared from Cronenberg's gruesome fest.

Got to love Rick Baker the Monster Maker and his talented horror monster-making craft which paved the way for other movie work he did - ie Videodrome and Nightbreed (SouthSide's favorite go-to movie for bumps and chills), blogspot readers. The shocking revelation does give the heart a bit of a jolt  yet that's what Cronenberg and his movies do best. The Brood is the original "shock and awe" type of cinematic masterpiece you'll ever find. And just for that one particular scene (which this reviewer does suggest watching more than once to soak in the full effect of that 'shock and awe') at the end when you discover Samantha Eggar's horrific secret.

If your jaw doesn't drop or your stomach doesn't twist in knots, then something's horribly wrong with you, blogspot readers.

Won't reveal anything else in this review, blogspot readers, you have to find and watch The Brood yourself. SouthSide even dares you to watch it without the lights on ...she did. And it was even more frightening in the dark.

Highly recommend.

Until next time, support your local scene,
SouthSide

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

04 Jul 16 - The Purge: Election Year

***this review contains no spoilers***

"Purge and purify ...purge and purify..."

The Purge - pits you deep within the terrifying, nail-biting action as a family unexpectedly experiences the annual event due to their neighbors' jealous rage against them. 
The Purge Anarchy - three separate stories rolled into one plot as you experience the annual night of crime, murder and mayhem on the streets of Los Angeles while seeds of revolution sprout. There was SO much realism of what's happening to the poor and working-poor in this movie.

Both highly recommended viewing by SouthSide, blogspot readers.

Now, we have come to the third chapter of this series - The Purge: Election Year ...and once again, you're in for another nail-biting, "edge on your seat" ride of your life within this movie set in Washington D.C. And this time the subject of purging is on the forefront as a major election issue between two candidates - Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), a lone survivor of a purging in which murdered her family protected by Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo - the only returning character from Anarchy) and Minister Edwidge Owens (Kyle Secor), the creepiest political candidate ever seen on the movie screen (The Donald has nothing on this guy!) who wholeheartedly supports the NFAA (New Founding Fathers of America) annual event. 

The nation as a whole is torn between supporting and not supporting the purge, blogspot readers. Anti-purge movements and protests appear to be dominating the news on a regular basis and this has the NFAA sorely pissed off. And they're prepared to do whatever it takes (i.e. clean house) to make sure the annual night of purging remains in tact. Perhaps ...forever.

Meanwhile we meet other characters indirectly caught up within the election debate in this movie. Meet Joe Dixon - a deli shop owner who at the last minute has his purge insurance rates jacked up, Marcos - a Mexican immigrant who knows the key to winning the election for Senator Roan, Laney - who drives a makeshift ambulance to help purge victims reach an underground triage center and Bishop Dante - the organizer and leader of the anti-Purge movement. Though the stories are not somewhat connected, they do intertwined together by misfortune when the Purge finally begins.

It's a crazed scene, blogspot readers. 

It's race against race ...gender versus gender ...young versus old ...political candidate versus political candidate...

Yet, who really benefits from this night of mayhem, crime and murder? Well, definitely not those who are poor, unemployed, drug addicts, illegal immigrants, etc because it's was intentionally designed to "purge and purify" the nation, if you connect the subtle hints left throughout this movie. There's profit to be made if you're into the tourism aspect, blogspot readers. The Purge: Election Year introduces a creepy notion that this type of event would attract thrill-seeking Euros hopping across the pond to experience what most Americans have been doing for years now. As America, this where we hit a new low but in reality - it could happen. The United States has hand its share of being a bad influence on our European friends. 

SouthSide appreciates how director and writer James DeMonaco skillfully tapped into what's currently occurring in today's political scene, blogspot readers. It may be a movie but with SO much realistic tones and subject matter, it's downright frightening how our two-party political system can be. It's truly a "dog eat dog" type of duel to the death between a Hillary Clinton-like candidate and Donald Trump-like candidate being prominently featured on the big screen. SouthSide had chills when the scene of Lincoln Memorial was written in blood with the letters spelling P U R G E across the columns and dead bodies draped on the steps. Yet, you also witness how this annual event truly effects those helplessly as well as innocently caught in the middle at the underground triage center. The fact James picked T-Rex's "Twenty Century Boy" and Parliament's "Give Up The Funk) as well as David Bowie's "I'm Afraid of Americans" (a fitting homage to Ziggy's love-hate relationship with Americans) to instill some lighthearted fear and fun into this movie. SouthSide wasn't expecting to hear those three songs currently rotating on her playlist yet it was nice shocking surprise.

The Purge: Election Year does have its moments when you want to cheer and root for the good guys ...rejoice at the moment when the members of the NFAA get their comeuppance towards the end ...but it's still a horrifying, gory (at times) movies in which the actions of violence can touch a nerve. Definitely not recommended for kids under 14 even though SouthSide and her daughter saw moviegoers bringing their children as young as 5 to 9 to this movie. 

She highly recommends seeing The Purge: Election Year. 

Until next time, support your local scene,
SouthSide

Saturday, February 27, 2016

25 Feb 16 - We Are Temporary


"...suppose to be a Goth-y artist ...even Goths don't like me..." ~ We Are Temporary

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's back!

And tonight's adventure, she had the extreme chance to hang out at Quenchers with the one and only leader of the Children of the Night (you have to be a Villains to understand that song reference) - Mr. Agitator along with the lovely lady Vexx and the dashing Fallon Flynn - unmasked tonight! Oh what villainous fun this reviewer had with them ...getting the exclusive scoop about the upcoming Villains album and more, blogspot readers.

Yet, it wasn't about V Is For Villain tonight ...well, sort of. SouthSide was there to welcome home Northwestern alum, former Digital Mindy member and now We Are Temporary member - Mark Roberts who came to town to perform an impromptu show opening for Axons. In actuality, Mark told this reviewer not to expect much out of this performance except trying his utmost to connect with his audience. Besides reuniting with old college friends, his mom driving in from Indiana attended the show. This performance in SouthSide's opinion was more than memorable ...and suggests it's best seen live to experience the realistic intensity of humanizing deep, dark emotions in which this artist puts into each song. Not only was the audience immersed into the Goth-sounding music but we were also sucked into the atmosphere surrounded by darkness ...neon staging and flash lighting perfectly sequenced to We Are Temporary's set list. It was a unique experience that SouthSide wanted more of especially when Mark tapped into the dark, crazy side at the end to which she is certain everyone has that sometimes screams to be released.


This is how Mark Roberts explained what is We Are Temporary - "...it's sincere ...nonfiction music in such a way I hope people can connect ...[it's] rooted in reality ...what I think are problems in humanity ...everyone has them..."


And if he makes a fool of himself, he simply had two words to say "...fuck them..."

Drawing his influences from a wide variety of genres and artists like Skinny Puppy to Crystal Castles to The Weekend and everything in between within a mixture of Hip Hop and electronica, this Chicago native during an interview with SouthSide described his music as "extenalist artwave" ...according to him "...it's one of those weird words [similar] to 90's music ...like cold wave[but] it's not urban inspired..." What this artist does, blogspot readers, he taps into our deepest ...darkest human emotions about life, love, hurt, and death. What SouthSide felt during We Are Temporary's performance was pain and woe. It was raw and extremely moody that there were certain points within the short set this reviewer had icy chills crawling down her back. as if  he was channeling Edgar Allen Poe. To feel such pain and lost, Mark and SouthSide highly recommends listening the hit single - "Who's Going To Love Me Now?"

Written when briefly separated from his wife, it pits you, blogspot readers, into the intense middle of how it feels to be alone wondering who is going to love you after royally fucking up. You feel so badly that the thought does stick in your mind no one is going to love you. It's the one song, according to Mark, family, friends and fans easily seemed to connect with when he sent them demo copies of the album - Crossing Over  before its recent February 19th release. From their opinions, he changed the mixing on certain songs as well as the track order. For him, it was a learning experience. Hearing this particular song live, SouthSide was able to feel more of the pain and heartache pouring out of Mark's vocals ...truly humanizing that sensation of loneliness and despair wondering who will love you after a huge break up. Yes, blogspot readers, that feeling never goes away until you make amends and sincerely apologize. It was an intense realistic moment as you watch his body expressively convey the lyrics of this song against the lighting sequence.


Oh before SouthSide continues - Chicago deep dish triumphs over New York slice any day with this artist!

So where can you find We Are Temporary, blogspot readers? According to Mark, he will be touring Germany for a month while attending Wave-Gotik-Treffen (happening 13 May thru 16 May) held in Leipzig, Germany to which he feels honoured to be part of the largest Goth festival. SouthSide saw photos from last year's event and has put that event on her long list of festivals to review. Mark also has plans in the works to tour in Brazil in the Fall of 2016 ...where Brazilian DJs who are connecting with his music. Not to worry US fans, We Are Temporary will be hitting the east coast with some dates in between. He told SouthSide would like to tour the Midwest region ...hopefully he can come back to Chicago ..perhaps opening for Digital Mindy and V Is For Villains. 

Sounds like an awesome lineup to SouthSide...


However in the meantime, check Mark of We Are Temporary at http://www.wearetemporary.com and on Facebook as well as https://wearetemporary.bandcamp.com/album/crossing-over-album.

SouthSide highly recommends catching We Are Temporary live, blogspot readers.


Until next time, support your local scene,
SouthSide

Monday, February 8, 2016

05 Feb 16 - Jai Ho: Loveria


Friday night in Chicago ...and it's for another wild SouthSide adventure around town, blogspot readers! 

This extra special adventure took our local scene queen to the Uptown neighborhood for her first Bollywood experience attending Jai Ho: Loveria at Big Chicks. This one of a kind event sponsored by Trikone Chicgo, an organization supporting the South Asian LBGTQ community featured good friend Nevin Hersch of VoxBox spinning classic and modern Bollywood music and midnight performances by some of the best leading ladies of the stage - Penny Tration, Masla Sapphire and Zafina Hasheeh.

And what a night it was, blogspot readers!

This bar was packed for a long night of music, good company, fun and love ...yep, love was definitely in the air at this place tonight. Everyone looked and dressed fabulous including SouthSide in her favorite sequin top. It was a festive mood ...people crowding the dance side to Big Chicks before and after the spectacular performances by Masla and others until closing. There was even a dating game love match too, blogspot readers!

If you were looking for a party, this event was the place to be.



Here are photos from Jai Ho: Loveria...










SouthSide highly recommends joining her at the next Jai Ho...


Until next time, support your local scene,
SouthSide

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Perfect Body

What is the "perfect body", blogspot readers?

Is it a size 10 ....size 4 ...or even a size 2 to 0?

Could it be found even in a size 16 or 32 and beyond, blogspot readers?

Not trying to poke fun at anyone's size or weight  ...even SouthSide has been on the non-skinny size since she was a teen. She has been told that she doesn't have the "perfect body" to get boyfriends, to be more popular and friends while in high school. She was told no one would love her due to her size.

What a way to instill confidence at a teenage SouthSide. Yet, it does actually happen to other teenage girls and young adults every day by their own family members and/or parents ...or now - on social media via "body" or "fat" shaming. It takes years to raise above the negativity and learn to love yourself as well as your body again.

Fashion magazines are no help either ...since they view the "perfect body" to be a size 00 to 2 yet it's encouraging to see more models walking the runways in plus size body and to know that Paris, le fashion capital of world requires models to be more than a 00 or 0 size.

SouthSide applauds the realization that we, plus-size women, deserve some representation on the fashion runways too. 

However, it's not enough. What about the younger generation?

Today, young girls, tweens and teens are still being bombarded with stereotypical advertisements of what a "perfect body" is, not only through teen magazines but more than ever through social media - since that's how you can basically reach and connect with them in this new technological millennial age. They need REAL positive role models ...real inspiration that they do have the "perfect body" no matter what size, skin color, hair style, gender, et al they have. 

Real beauty is found and seen everywhere, blogspot readers.

SouthSide highly recommends viewing this powerful ...yet inspirational video, "Perfect Body" by her good friend, Aryk Crowder, that was recently released. The video touches on the negative but with a beautiful message - you are indeed beautiful ....you have the "perfect body" no matter what anyone says.


Not only does SouthSide encourages you to watch it but also share it with others. Spread the message around ...to your daughters, nieces, grandchildren, etc ...spread the message around that everyone know they have the 'perfect body".

There was a PBS television show in which SouthSide as a young child would watch every day called Mr. Roger's Neighborhood ...and Fred Rogers aka Mr. Rogers would close each episode by saying "You're beautiful by being just the way you are" or something to that effect. 

A powerful message for an adult to say to his television audience of children.

The same message still rings true ... you are indeed beautiful by being the person just as you are, blogspot readers.

SouthSide believes that.

So should you.

You can visit Aryk Crowder and his music on Facebook or http://www.arykcrowder.com.


Until next time, support your local scene,
SouthSide