Wednesday, December 30, 2009

So Long 2009!

Well, blogspot readers, what an exciting 2009 it has been! SouthSide's sad to see it leave so soon. Time certainly does fly by when you having rockin' fun like this reviewer did all year. Believe it or not - 2009 was a record breaking year - over hundred show/music-related events were attended on her busy calendar. Actually the final count was 106 as December 26 (see review posted below). Local bands as well as touring acts kept her running from venue to venue up to four nights a week. Lots of great music was out there and she wishes she could have covered more. Still, this reviewer enjoyed each and every memorable moment. And there were plenty. From I AM Fest (in June) to the after Lolla concerts and everything else in between, she was out there supporting the music scene. It's thriving as she continues to discover new bands/artists during her wild adventures around town. So expect to see more of SouthSide in 2010 - already her January calendar is booked! However before the old year fades into history, she wishes to end her final review with a fond look back at the Best of 2009.

Band(s) of the Year:

Well, that's a given. This honor is reserved for a special group of people ...the hardworking D.I.Y. (Do It Yourselfers) that rocked the stages around town. From the Elbo Room to Cubby Bear to Reggie's to Fitzgerald's and anywhere else that has live local shows - this salute is to you. Yes, dear band friends, SouthSide applauds your tireless efforts in keeping the music scene alive and well. You've lit up the stages with awesome rockin' music. Though there were some off nights, you still gave it your all for the diehard fans in the audience. Broken guitar strings, busted amps, bloodied fingers, and blown fuses (just to name a few of the minor technical difficulties seen) did not stop you from rocking out the crowd.

And speaking of fans - SouthSide has a special salute to you for all of your efforts being the band's most important factor for their success. Without your love and support, they wouldn't be rocking the stage like they do. Even during these tough economic times, you're still there in the audience. So keep on supporting your favorite band in 2010!

Gone but DEFINITELY Not Forgotten:

SouthSide had wonderful memories with most of the bands before taking their final bows off the stage. Though they're not rockin' the scene anymore, she'll never forgot them or the music they wowed her ears.


Tonight The Prom

Yardstick Civilization ( now known as Dead Drunk Judge )

A Birdsong Valentine


Reverie ( now known as Model Stranger )


Simplistic Urge (now known as Til Death )

Red Line District

Killing Karma ( now known as Trainwreck Symphony )

Thank you ...and thank you...

SouthSide would like to extend a HUGE "thank you" to the following venues for another wonderful year of live music.

Elbo Room, Double Door, Abbey Pub, Miska's Bar, Beat Kitchen, Bird's Nest, The Exit, Bottom Lounge, Cobra Lounge, Metro, The Rockbox, Congress Theatre, Goose Island Brew Pub, Cubby Bear, Reggie's, House of Blues, Silvie's, Kinetic Playground, Viaduct Theatre, Subterranean, Darkroom, Horseshoe Lounge, Lilly's, Park West, Wise Fool's Pub, Underground Lounge, LaSalle Power Co, Martyrs', Ronny's Schubas, Mutiny, Portage Theatre, Red Line Tap, Morseland, Smart Bar, US Beer Company, Tonic Room, Walter Payton's Roundhouse (in Aurora), Quenchers, Hideout, Empty Bottle, Nite Cap.

As you see - this list barely taps the iceberg of the MANY venues around town that host nightly live music. Most of the names mentioned are places SouthSide has visited in her travels.

And another HUGE "thank you" to all my blogspot readers. Hope you enjoyed reading SouthSide's adventures around town ...well, stay tuned to this blog page - 2010 looks to be another wild rockin' year.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, December 28, 2009

26 Dec 09

Hey, blogspot readers, the very last of 2009 is winding down fast! What a year for this reviewer! SouthSide's squeezing in a few shows before saying "goodbye" to the year. Tonight, she's at the Double Door for a free after-Christmas concert featuring the retro band, The Dirty Blue.

This local band rocked the stage with its classic rock sound which brought back some of that 60s feeling to the venue. After opening with New Feelin', they had SouthSide jammin' to their ultra cool cover of Heaven on Their Minds (from Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical, Jesus Christ Superstar). Yes, it was very unusual (and unheard of) to hear such a song like that on any band's playlist. However The Dirty Blue gave Judas' opening song more of a psychedelic/hardcore guitar rock sound during the instrumental. Though performing more than one cover within a set was nice touch by this band, this reviewer perferred hearing their originals more.

Fans will enjoy the thunderous intros that instantly get you moving to the fast, rhythmic beat. SouthSide clearly heard their influences (The Beatles, Led Zeppelin) as part of the driving force in the music. Yet it wasn't the main focus. The Dirty Blue added a touch of themselves (more like their personality) into the songs as each member took on lead vocal duties. They were also big on thrilling the audience with its guitar rock. At times (especially during the instrumentals), there were moments to savor every wailing riff chord by chord. For example, listen to The Dirty Blue's Idle Hands (a song about self mastrubation) off their current self-titled CD. There was a lot of high pitched guitar rhythms to rock out your ears. Also check out, Check Your Head, in which SouthSide enjoyed hearing the frustration of society's stance of not giving a damn these days. It was a fitting anthem to sum up the current mood of 2009.

If you want to feel as well as hear that retro rock sound, SouthSide highly recommends checking out The Dirty Blue at their next performance. For more information, visit the band at or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

19 Dec 09

Happy Holidays, blogspot readers! It has been a fun three-night adventure around town. Before taking a restful Christmas break, SouthSide's hanging out at the Tonic Room in Lincoln Park. Tonight's lineup featured an intimate acoustic performance by Adam Percy. This reviewer, however, was saddened to learn that Facing Winter had to cancel. She hopes to review this band during the new year but in the meantime, visit or for music and information.

This singer/songwriter has the heart of a romantic and the soul of a poet. Such a delightful combination created an intimate atmosphere for Adam Percy's set. Acoustic fans will enjoy the narrative lyrics presented in his songs behind the gentle guitar rhythms. SouthSide liked the intense falsetto during certain songs as well as the soft vocal tone for emphasis to express tender emotion. Listen very closely and one can hear his honest feelings speaking vividly through his lyrics. It's a known secret that many guitarists aren't able to say what they feel unless it's written in a song. Hallmark cards have nothing on what truly comes from the heart of a musician. For example, check out Adam's song, Lindsey - a heartwarming song about not having the nerve to say "hi" to someone he had a crush on. It was as if he was singing to this one person instead of an audience of friends. And when he's now wooing the heart, notice the vocal range change to more of a pop/alternative tone. There's also a livelier groove and energy in his acoustic riffs. For example, listen to Talkin' About - a toe-tappin' rhythmic alternative beat.

The audience, mostly consisting of first timers like SouthSide to his performance, were captivated by his vocals and music. At times, there was a hush sound befalling throughout the venue ...not even a whisper could be heard. When Adam closed with the song, Hallelujah - what an amazing sight to witness. The audience was instantly enraptured by his soft vocals tenderly singing the lyrics mixed with a couple of verses of O Holy Night in the middle. It was an awe inspiring ...soulful and probably not a dry eye in the house either, blogspot readers.

Want to hear more of Adam Percy? Check his song, Anyway (and his others) will be available for download off iTunes in January. Also in January, SouthSide highly suggests seeing this singer/songwriter when he brings his acoustic performance to the Elbo Room.

For more information, visit Adam Percy at

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, December 18, 2009

18 Dec 09 - part 2

...please pray for me... ~ Kazy

Wow, what an acoustic performance by Joe Taylor at the Bird's Nest. Now it was time for SouthSide to head towards the Elbo Room for more rockin' holiday fun and music. This venue was already in full party swing, blogspot readers, upstairs and downstairs. The upstairs lounge crowd was enjoying a lively jam session by Tim Strother and his band. SouthSide immediately got hooked onto their toe-tappin' jive and mojo rhythm. She highly suggests checking out this band in 2010 when they're rockin' The Intersection (Jan 2 in Grand Rapids) and Moch N Music (Jan 5 in Hudsonville) in Michigan. Hopefully, Tim and the guys will make another Chicago appearance in 2010 for a full review. In the meantime, check out Tim Strother at for more music and information.

Downstairs, there was more swingin' mojo music happening. The crowd was rockin' to performances by Lovesick Radio and Thunderunderus. SouthSide highly suggests getting your mojo vibe going with The Dirty Vibe. This reviewer enjoyed their holiday twist to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen as a rockin' intro to their set. It was one lively performance full of hardcore rhythms and energetic vibes flowin' around the basement lounge. Thunderous openings, wicked instrumentals and sultry femme fatale vocals will get your blood pumpin'. SouthSide highly suggests checking out songs Immortal Bitch and Damned. Also get into the groove with their Jam Like a Reindeer (cleverly renamed from Jam Like a Raven for the holiday spirit). For more information, visit The Dirty Vibe at

The first thing fans will notice about Kazy is the unique array of instruments lining the stage. Though having a standard setup (guitars and drums), this band added an element of electro violin to their hardcore sound. SouthSide found this be very interesting along with the zombified makeup and foggy atmosphere ...very dark and spooky, blogspot readers. This reviewer was instantly hooked. Haunting whispered vocals and bursts of screamin' angst and energy vibin' off the guitars ensnared the audience into Kazy's dark world. And it was great seeing Oscar (formerly of A Birdsong Valentine) doing some vocal duties too.

Yet it was the electro sounds off the violin which gave this band its uniqueness in the dark realms of rock. Sometimes that violin was the hidden fourth guitar meant to be rarely heard in certain songs. Meanwhile in others, its presence was definitely known. Also there were a lot of tumbling chords creating that dark tone for the crowd. It was so menacing with its creepy imagery in the lyrics and guitar sound that SouthSide was totally loving her first time inside Kazy's music.

This reviewer highly suggests immersing yourself into their song, Blown (track five off their CD, Undeniable) for its hardcore guitar riffs crashing in your ears. And that, blogspot readers, is a wondrous thing to behold as each pulsin' ounce vibrates continuously of sound. Hear it ...definitely feel it oozing while the chords rise and fall behind vocal angst in the lyrics. So much to handle in one song ...and yet you'll be wanting more. Mask will totally bring out that inner metalhead demon hidden inside you meanwhile beware of Lycans (wolves) roaming during Wolf. SouthSide heard a bit of Rage Against The Machine during Kazy's Hooks which literally lit the stage on fire. This band even turned one of her favorite INXS songs (Need You Tonight) into something more haunting yet sexier than its original production.

Want more Kazy? Fans should check out the video for Choke (the live version of this song had this reviewer meditiating for a moment to savor the solid rock sound pulsin' inside her head) on YouTube or on its Myspace and official sites. A new video for song, Pitch Black, is due out soon however in the meantime, snag a copy of Kazy's CD, Undeniable for your collection. SouthSide highly suggests checking out Kazy in 2010 - a wonderfully, energetic portrayal of the dark and macabre side to rock.

For more information, visit Kazy at or

Until next time, support your local scene,

18 Dec 09

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's covering two shows in one snowy night. At the Bird's Nest, she was invited to meet and hear an acoustic performance by Joe Taylor. Afterwards, it''s off to the Elbo Room for more fun and music with the headliner, Kazy. However, first, this reviewer would like everyone to meet an extraordinary singer/songwriter from New York.

Joe Taylor is.... Well, according to him, one man on a mission to bring back the oldies to the music scene. He describes his style as having a classic pop sound which one can compare to Don Henley, Steve Perry and Journey. Mostly power ballads are the core base of his music yet there are times when he take on the role as philosopher or observer of world events happening around him. Joe says some of which he would keep tabs on while the rest he wishes to forget. Personally, this reviewer found him to be very warm, friendly as well as open when discussing his music with her.

Joe's music reflects a retro flavor from some of his influences like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. However listen very closely and you just might hear a familiar Journey tune hidden inside a guitar riff or two. This might give the impression he's either not independent enough but too commercial for the indie scene or vice versa. His music cannot even get labeled as raunchy. That doesn't bother this singer/songwriter at all. It seems Joe's quite comfortable staying in the middle of this music spectrum. That being said, this artist would critique his songs as inspirational the listener hope and enthusiasm to wipe the slate clean.

SouthSide suggests listening to his Canadian chart topping hit, Sweetest Tune. The retro acoustic song nicely complimented that Journey-like vocals off the lyrics. Meanwhile, Tears In Your Eyes brought out the touch of Don Henley in the narrative songwriting tone in the song. The audience did get to hear that inspirational side to this artist when performing New Day Is Come. It totally gave this reviewer hope in which she had to stop writing for a moment and savor the intense passion in his voice.

Plenty of enthusiasm could be found in Joe's new song, All Around The World, however one could feel the cry for help from a desperate man in Save Me (both songs off his current CD - Save Me). We were advised to Smile even the outlook in life goes suddenly downhill. This reviewer found this song to be very reassuring given the current status of the times and highly suggests listening to it when you need that instant pick me of cheer. The highlight of his performance came while performing to classic as well as popular Journey songs, Lights and Don't Stop Believin'. Both covers had some in the audience singing along with Joe.

It was an spectacular acoustic show and if you're in the New York area, SouthSide highly recommends attending his next performance. Don't despair, Chicago fans, Joe Taylor regularly visits our fair city twice a year do expect him to return again in 2010. He's currently planning a bigger tour which will consist of a 40 - 50 city blitz to start in some time May or June. Fans of iTunes can find his songs, Save Me and All Around The World, currently available for purchase. Also, this reviewer highly recommends snagging a copy of his CD, Save Me - a worthy addition to anyone's collection.

Lastly, Joe revealed his holiday wish for 2009 - to have a relaxing Christmas at home. And this reviewer wishes him and his family a wonderful holiday season.

For more information, visit Joe Taylor at or

Until next time, support your local scene,

17 Dec 09

...what - no tramp stamps tonight... ~ EchoSon

Hey, blogspot readers, the halls were decked at the famous Double Door ...and the Thursday night crowd was enjoying cups of holiday cheer as well as rockin' around the Christmas tree. It was a night of Who's Who of the local scene attending tonight's show. Chicago Noise Machine members Brian Bender and Chris Shen as well as Lucid Ground, 72 Hours, and A Friend Called Fire, Makeshift Prodigy, 6 Degrees of Separation, and Inn Cinema came out to lend support to the linuep performing. Everyone was pumped to see EchoSon headlining along with Made Avail, Arma and Along The Parallel rockin' the stage.

Along The Parallel kicked off the lineup with a rockin' sound that had the entire venue vibin' to the hardcore rhythm. This set was merely a taste of what fans could expect to hear from them at the Cubby Bear Friday night when they they open for Taproot. This CNM band brought their A-game to the stage full of intense guitar riffs which fans banged their heads to . This was not your regular guitar rock sound pounding the ears. No - it was the type of rock music that grips you by the balls. Ballbusting sound and vocal angst was being pumped into the venue. ATP impressed the audience with wicked guitar instrumentals as well as huge song finishes that left them wanting more. And though the intense sound was dropped for a moment for a ballad, All You Need, the momentum still remained from the beginning. SouthSide highly suggests listening to Atrophy and Balance. Whew! Feel that intense guitar sound ripping your eardrums ...hear the vocals dominate the lyrics - ATP's performance tonight was spectacular. This reviewer sees brighter things happening for this band in 2010. For more information, visit Along The Parallel at or

Last month, Arma had one fantastic psychedelic performance at SubT (Subterranean) and SouthSide was ready for more. Yet, the guys had a little Christmas surprise for this reviewer. It wasn't all psychedelic sound tonight, blogspot readers. This set contained some rather intensified guitar rhythms especially during the instrumentals. Fans will immediately notice that with Arma's unique sound songs have a personality of its own. So don't expect to hear the same riff or chords twice in the next song. You too will want to dance to the tribal beat with Taylor (Arma's energetic lord of the dance) while feeling each intense rhythm performed. The fun, however, isn't contained just to the stage either. Sometimes there were moments when Arma's music can start sporadic moshing and wild fan dancing amongst the audience. Still watch out for those sudden (and sometimes hidden) chord changes which will leave you wanting more. SouthSide highly suggests rockin' to their new song, Hypnic Jerk. This song had subtle tempos and waves of crescendoing riffs that paused for a dramatic crash of explosive sound at the middle. And the highlight of the night was their cover of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song with an Arma twist. They truly released their inner rock demons during Carrier and Metropolis. This reviewer highly suggests catching this band in 2010 at a venue near you. For more information, visit Arma at or

Made Avail was one of the few bands SouthSide has tried to review all year but couldn't due to scheduling conflicts. Well, not tonight. She finally had the chance at the Double Door. Though having more of a pop/alternative sound than the others before them, this reviewer was shocked to hear some unexpected screamin' angst from them in a couple of songs. It would be no use to group this band into a single genre when they incorporate a solid mix within their music. Yet, SouthSide had a distinct feeling that something was terribly wrong with Made Avail's performance. One noticeable thing was the high falsetto vocals during one song was done too quietly to be heard where this reviewer was standing. The audience was another factor hindering a favorable response for this local band. At times they (the audience) seemed non-exsistent and quite unresponsive. Other times, the response was lukewarm and at one point, cold ...not a sound of anyone clapping. Dead silence from an audience can kill any band's performance causing them to end it rather quickly like Made Avail. SouthSide didn't know they were finished with their set until the stage lights were turned on. She's not saying they didn't have a good performance however she's saying it was more geared for the younger crowd set than the adult rockers. This reviewer does suggest checking out this band for its energetic variety of the pop/alternative sound. For more information, visit Made Avail at or

Closing out tonight's lineup was another proud CNM member, EchoSon. This rockin' band literally pumped life back into the Double Door with its hardcore guitar sound. Yes, blogspot readers, they once again rocked out the venue especially during Black For Gold. SouthSide found it difficult to rock and write at the same time with this band - the music was too good not to busy herself with notes. However, fans should check out Echo's song, Gone Again, if you want to hear angst behind the soft guitar rhythms. Check out the ballad, Song For You however during Wash You Away, Echo really turned up the guitar sound blasting away eardrums. SouthSide enjoyed the new song, Floyd Jam, for its subtle experimental sound off the bass. And judging by the audience response, this song's about to be another rockin' hit for this band. This reviewer hightly suggests checking out this band in 2010. For more information, visit EchoSon at or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, December 7, 2009

4 Dec 09

...tonight, we're going to be channeling a lot of the 80s... - The Real Jane Martin

Hey, blogspot readers, it's an extra special night for SouthSide. She's celebrating her one hundredth and one hundredth first local shows of the year! WOW - it has been one very busy year for this reviewer. And what better place to celebrate this milestone was at the Elbo Room. This popular Lakeview venue had two floors for the regular Friday night crowd to hear great live music. The upstairs bar featured an acoustic performance by SouthSide's good friends known as The Real Jane Martin. Meanwhile, the downstairs lounge featured a rockin' lineup of performances by Room 11, Merlin, and Matt Dragstrem with a unique acoustic set by Lophophora. This venue is always looking for acoustic acts to perform in the upstairs bar area during certain nights of the week. For more information, email Brian Bender (Elbo Room's talent buyer as well as sound guy) at for details.

The upstairs audience enjoyed a lively acoustic performance by the duo known as The Real Jane Martin. The set consisted an array of originals off their Simple Math CD and a variety of cover songs from the 80s and 90s. Fans will enjoy TRJM's whimsical songwriting skills. Anyone with an E-lettered name should check out their collection of songs beginning with that special letter. She highly suggests All About Eve in which the guy falls in love with a lesbian however she wants to remain friends. This could have been a song about the frustration felt for loving a woman who's only interested in other women, blogspot readers. Yet it's a funny tune about the guy wishing he was a lesbian to join in the fun with this woman. There are other whimsical songs like that example found in Gravity (scientific references and love within a ballad) or Work In Progress (a new song about a relationship being a work in progress). SouthSide also suggests fans new to TRJM to introduce themselves to Manhattan. It's an excellent example of the duo's unique writing style ...storytelling laced with narrative descriptions or funny observations of life.

This reviewer also enjoyed TRJM's renditions of Til Tuesday's Voices Carry in which she felt the anguish and frustration told from Allen's pov. Other cover hits during the first half of the set included Eye of the Tiger and Madonna's Crazy for You. Now channeling that inner Britney (Spears) for Oops, I Did It Again was a little too much for SouthSide. Yet she liked their version since it was performed with in a less sexual tone but more emotion from a male perspective. TRJM's performance was fun however it was time for this reviewer to catch the action downstairs. For more information about The Real Jane Martin, visit or

Downstairs, the crowd was already rockin' to a wicked psychedelic/experimental performance by Merlin. SouthSide was completely floored by the mix of genres (from reggae/ska to metal for some screamin' angst) tossed within their music. Look for a full review on this band soon however in the meantime, check out songs like Killin Zombies and Green Squall which rocked out the close of their set. For more information, visit these wizards of the experimental sound at or

...zombies love this kind of music... ~ Zombies in the audience

Though having recently seen them rock the Double Door stage, this reviewer had to review Lophophora again. It was a unique but interesting experience to witness a much calmer side to this band. For the first half, the guys took the intensity out of their rock sound trading it for something more alternative and performed a semi-acoustic set. Another interesting fact about their set - all songs performed tonight were brand spanking new (except for one). This move took SouthSide by surprise. She had her doubts about them pulling this off. In the end, Lophophora proved her wrong. Now, this reviewer had a difficult task wondering which side she enjoyed the most. After opening with Maybe Girl, it was amazing to see how "calm" Todd (the band's troublemaker front man) could be in an acoustic setting. Despite being well behaved, the low key tone of their music truly brought out the emotions in his vocals. Whew - it was a sight to behold especially during the song, Beautiful. This reviewer was expecting to see tears flowing from his eyes at the end of the song. Want to hear more of his emotional side, then check out Sakina and Freeway Mind.

SouthSide highly recommends catching Lophophora as an acoustic act - not saying she didn't enjoy their intense electric side any less. However after witnessing the lophophorisity (patent pending) of emotion and passion that rocked the stage, she still cannot decide which side of the band to like better. Lophophora in the second half still gave the audience an intense rock show. This was when the wild side to Todd's and the band's inner demons were finally released to the world. There was angst (Brother), punk with a The Clash sound (Two Birds) and guitar rock with a bang (Crecendo). Get to know the two sides of Lophophora at their next performance. For more information, visit

...I guess she told you... ~ Room 11

Now it was time for the Elbo Room to get funkified with Room 11! Though a long time between reviews, this band still knew how to totally rock an audience with a combination of funk, rock and lots of soul. Performing under a lively fusion like that, Big Ced and the band were ready to kick it up to the next level all night long. And that's what this audience came for. SouthSide highly suggests listening to Dip Wit' Me for its funky rhythms and tempo. Fans rocked the floor during the lively jam session that came at the middle of the song. Then Room 11 showed its sizzlin' hot and slow tempo side of funk and R&B when performing Let's Ride. Yet this band did appeal to SouthSide's inner rock chick. Cosmic Slop lit up the basement lounge with excitement bridging the gap between most of its audience. This music certainly had Todd (of Lophophora) and others from tonight's lineup rocking out to Room 11's sound. The funk was really let loose during Funk-E-Muzik in which Ced was the wizard of the guitar funk rhythms.

Besides wowing the audience with its funk/rock combination, SouthSide also heard some social messages within their music. The Soul Sisters (Allegra and Dolores) truly laid into some of that sista divatude during certain songs like Mundane Monday and Social Suicide. Dolores really let out her angst and frustrations when performing G.O.M.F. (Get Out My Face). This song was dedicated to those who totally piss you off ...people who like to test and micromanage your nerves. Everyone could relate to the sentiments felt from the lyrics. Then it was time to Face It (Room 11's new song) for the new year, blogspot readers, and rock to the funk fusion with this band. Room 11 will have you catching their Rock Fever of R&B/soul sound with a rockin' twist. For more information, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

3 Dec 09

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's trapped behind enemy lines. However don't fret, she's among old friends. Tonight's adventure took her behind the famous Wrigley Field bleachers to a popular bar appropriately named Murphy's Bleachers. This quaint neighborhood spot was holding its weekly open mic session in which good friend, Nate (of Bona Verba) was the opening act.

SouthSide has always enjoyed his performances whether it's an intimate acoustic setting or with the entire band. Yet, this reviewer found herself likeing this set better. He performed his with lots of passion and soul ...and this is where his vocals truly shine as a singer/songwriter. He wowed the audience with various styles of guitar rhythms that sometimes crossed genres or gradually merged from one into another within the same song. For example, Nate's opening song, April Fifth, had a trippy psychedelic intro while the second one had a metal guitar rock sound. There was a moment when we heard a touch of grunge which was full as angst and frustration. SouthSide liked Nate's alternative sound in Amy Ireland consisting of rhythms weaved in and out within different melodies.

Sadly this was way too short for this reviewer and audience. It was merely a sample of Nate's music and vocal performance though it wasn't your typical acoustic setting since it had more of an electric sound. The audience not only heard the passion in the vocals but also off the guitar. At times, this reviewer found herself lost in the music thand the lyrics savoring the rhythmic waves ...never hearing the same notes twice. SouthSide highly suggests getting to know this artist whether as a solo performer or with the band, Bona Verba. For more information, visit Nate at or

Until next time, support your local music scene,

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

30 Nov 09

...cociane is for rich people... - Division and Honore

Warning: parts of this review might offend some readers due to the sexual reference and content

Hey, blogspot readers, the moon's full and there's more than lycans and vampires roaming the street tonight in Chicago. SouthSide found zaniness and looniness running amuck at the Elbo Room. The lineup featured an interesting combination of music, funnies and adult content that would make your knickers blush red. Fans had plenty of laughs and rockin' fun from performances by Division and Honore, Your Little Ponies, and Strange Ranger.

Billed as the Nineth Wonder of the World, this one-man show had the audience laughing in stitches to his whimsical song titles and comedic flare. Division and Honore's no stranger to SouthSide review notes. She has met this funny, satirical comedian/musician on a hot summer night at Silvie's a couple of years ago. Now back at the Elbo Room, this performance featured danceable funky beats and humorous lyrics which sometimes poked fun at himself. For example, the set opened with him rapping historical facts about William Howard Taft, the 27th U.S. President. Then he informed us about truth, justice and the American way in Law and Order. Yes, he even turned that signature Law & Order gavel sound fx into a haunting beat. SouthSide cannot wait for his satirical rap about President Obama if he should ever do one some day. During Division's shows, audience participation is a must if you want to join in the fun. Don't worry if you don't know the words to his songs ...he does post some of the lyrics on a video screen for you. This reviewer enjoyed watching the random images (mostly of himself) from Rocky III (though not really a big Rocky fan like him) and Golden Girls (which was used as his finale song). She recommends checking out his song, El Matador. Besides having a funky James Bond 007 movie theme feel at the beginning, fans liked the lively trumpet rhythms turning the song into a modern jazz/latin melody. There were plenty of laughs during one song about being a male receptionist (are there really male receptionists out there?) with its 80s hardcore hair-guitar rock sound. SouthSide highly suggests attending this local funnyman's next show. For more information about Division and Honore, visit him at or

This next band should come with its own warning label for explicit behavior and language before, during and after the show. It's merely a nice compliment when SouthSide bills Your Little Ponies as the Raunchiest Band in the local scene. She has met other in her many adventures however none has compared to this band and its performances. Now this reviewer must warn you, blogspot readers, that their lyrics can be rude and quite crude ...sometimes very offensive to the ears. Think being stuck in the male locker room listening in what men gossip about their one-night stands. That description clearly states what YLP's all about. New listeners to their rock alternative music quickly learn they don't hold anything back when it comes to subject matter. Nothing's taboo with these guys's not a dirty word to them either. For example, some might find their usuage of the F-word during the F-Bomb song to be a bit too much on the ears. Or listening to One Finger might make some prudish Janes blush hard from embarassment. Just watching them perform on stage and you might get the feeling sex and other subjects like self-mastrubation was all they sing about. And you would be partly correct. Though most of their lyrics are sexually suggestive and explicit, it's guaranteed you'll be laughing than blushing over the content. YLP simply reveal what we try to hide from the rest of the world ....showing that all of us deep inside are horny as a toad, love being naughty in the sack, and enjoy a good lip smackin' cream wiches (listen to their Vagina Sandwich song to get the hint). Just for the record, SouthSide's a "good" girl. Besides the filthy talk about sex and other things in between, the band also provided a couple of psa's for the audience to follow. They reminded everyone to beware of vampires roaming the Lakeview neighborhood to staying late (at the show) if you want to get laid. Well, actually that's a true statement to live by, blogspot readers. Whew *fans self* ...all this naughty bedroom talk has made SouthSide hot again. If you want to join in the naughtiness about sex and other taboo things, she highly suggests checking out Your Little Ponies. It'll be orgasmic fun for your ears. For more information, visit them at or

Closing out this lineup of zany comedic performances was a lively set by Strange Ranger. Known as the party squad, this group of talented musicians used percussion rhythms, pre-recorded beats and random images (i.e. scenes from They Live and original Star Trek series) for their show. SouthSide enjoyed the weird but funny combination in which both music and pictures had on the senses. Yet there times when the images had a hypnotic effect on the eyes during certain songs like Jose Canseco. It'll be hard to describe what zany antics that occurred on stage without spoiling a few surprises here and there by Ranger. So it's highly suggested, blogspot readers, that you see this fun group yourselves. SouthSide does recommend listening to their Gregorian chant-like mantra titled Jose Canseco. Think of obsessed baseball fan when hearing the creepy three-part harmony repeating this famous ball player's name. Or check out Ranger's new song, Fez, in which the trio dons the fez hats and pretend to be driving in their Shriner's mini cars. It would have worked better if they did have a mini car to drive around the basement lounge. SouthSide enjoyed the Spanish ditty called Golden Sombero that had a sultry Latin rhythm to get your hips swaying to the music. The guys did provide plenty of sexiness to the stage when they performed a Give Me a Dollar stripper show to Prince-like music. *fans self again* Yes, it was that hot again as Ranger pranced and danced begging for that dollar ...they even promised to undress you for only a dollar. SouthSide might take them up on that offer next time. Ending the night with Booty Hump, do expect mad insanity to ensue when hearing the Benny Hill theme song during the middle of the song. It's a madhouse ...a madhouse of wild antics all over the lounge! Hey, no pinching SouthSide's booty either! For more information, visit Strange Ranger at

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, November 30, 2009

Howl At The Moon - 20 Nov 09

Hey, blogspot readers, do you need an awesome, friendly place to unwind after a long day at the office? A cool pub for you and your friends to meet for drinks and yummy appetizers? SouthSide highly recommends spending your happy hours at Howl At The Moon. It's a great place to have zany fun while enjoying tasty treats and drinks ...and the dueling piano guys.

Recently, Arma held a "thank you" party in which SouthSide met and chatted with a few of their fans and friends. The place was already in full party mode packed all around from front to back. There were spicy tacos (chicken and beef) and rice as well as jumbo hot dogs to munch on this particular night. The bar offered a variety of mixers, drinks and beer in bottle or tap. SouthSide liked the friendliness of the staff who made everyone at Arma's table feel welcome.

Yet, the main feature at Howl was the two comedic piano performers. This rockin' duo entertained the crowd with renditions from artists like Elton John to Beyonce ...and a few classic tunes in between. On this night, Elton John and Bruce Springteen requests were very popular. The dueling piano guys truly kept this rowdy Friday audience dancing to the music. They even allowed a few to join them on stage for a couple of songs. Where else can you play a round of two of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes against your friends? Or get serenaded by your favorite song on your birthday? Nowhere but at Howl At The Moon.

Also some of the staff had their moment under the spotlight when they danced to the classic Jackson 5 song, ABC. Yes, my blogpsot readers, this reviewer enjoyed the friendly fun atmosphere this place had to offer. She along with a few others shook her groove thang to the music. SouthSide does suggest arriving early if you want to enjoy the yummy food bar the kitchen had to offer (or you can order off the menu too) and/or snagging an unreserved table near or around the piano guys.

For more information about Howl At The Moon, visit


Monday, November 23, 2009

28 Nov 09

,,,I don't believe in bs - I read The Onion...

Hey, blogspot readers, time to work off those extra holiday pounds with Voice Of Addiction! Forget health guru Richard Simmons ...this local band will definitely get you in shape sweatin' to their punk rock sound. Recently they had The Mutiny crowd jumpin' and jivin' to the music as well as screaming for more. SouthSide does not remember the last time when she danced so hard after seeing one set.

VOA was loud and fast. They had the type of punk music which got the blood going from beginning to end. Lots of wild guitar riffs and angst to blast your ears away. There were times when this reviewer thought the riffs and percussion rhythms were off beat. Yet, she quickly learned that the mesh of confusion was what this band wanted ...sometimes. It drove them to perform wildly all over the stage and in the audience ...strumming faster and furiously. Thus it did start pockets of moshing and fan dancing near the front of the stage. Whew - it's exhausting while trying to keep up with VOA.

One interesting note Southside noticed about this band was their sound wasn't purely straight punk rock. She heard a wide variety of combinations such as reggae/ska to metal and classic guitar rock. There was also a bit of garage/grunge in their songs which kept the music energizingly fresh. Heads everywhere were banging to the fast rhythms. SouthSide suggests listening to their Empty Bottle - an excellent song to forget about your problems. She enjoyed the downtempo taken during the chorus while the lyrics were sung hurriedly as if someone was anxious or frustrated. Fans during the performance were encouraged to drink since most songs were labeled as VOA's drinking songs. Yet, this reviewer got the feeling that all the songs were drinking songs.

Besides the rockin' music, this band also provided some comedic relief and funnies between songs. While performing, VOA had their wild moments on stage that kept everyone busy at dancing or joining in the antics with them. Watch out for that final song, blogspot readers! Everyone, including the band, went out of control during System Control ..but it's all good to have a mini riot to blow off some of that mall shopping steam. This was what they're all about - letting loose and having a good time. SouthSide highly recommends checking out Voice Of Addiction at their next performance.

For more information, visit Voice Of Addiction at or

Until next time, support your local scene,

24 Nov 09

...or should I say blue Tuesday...

Happy Thanksgiving, blogspot readers!

SouthSide had a chance to enjoy some pre-holiday fun at the Elbo Room before preparing the turkey feast. This was the place for seeing local metal bands rockin' the stage. Fans were treated to performances by Failure Of Progress and Lollipop Factory. This reviewer, however, was intrigued by the dark mysteriousness of Sage 4 after visiting their Myspace page.

There was a creepy feeling when sudden darkness surrounded the basement lounge air of mystery clung heavily as the band took the stage. With an ambient setting like that, SouthSide was ready to understand the secrets of Sage4. This local band, under the cover of blue faux candlelight, performed a rockin' metal set. This reviewer instantly liked the atmosphere created for them. It certainly gave her the chilled feeling of being deep inside her own grave. Morbid thought, she knows but how else was one suppose to enjoy a performance like theirs under the brightness of day? No, blogspot readers, the cover darkness was where you can feel right at home with this band.

The darkness also served as a perfect vice to convey the haunting vocals (by Tracy) behind the Sage4's metal sound. SouthSide could hear the pain and woe as well as fire and passion off the lyrics when she sang. Sometimes where was a bit of tortured frustration hidden in there of what love can do to a soul like hers. A good example would be listening to Am I Evil? off their current CD, Graves. A good question in which needed a truthful answer haunted by the vocals full of pain. Sage's metal sound resonates the mood throughout each song in which this reviewer was wowedy by the guitar rhythms. At times, they were dizzily swirling higher before crashing hard back to reality. SouthSide recommends listening to their Out of Body. This was the moment when both music and vocals shined together. Look for this song to be used in the upcoming movie, Evil Angel starring Ving Rhames. She also loved Everyone's A Hypocrite that had tumbling guitar riffs going so fast that it was hard to keep up with this band.

They eneded this journey with a rousing rendition of a Tool classic. You had to be there to see this band rockin' out the Elbo Room. Sage4's performance took SouthSide to a scary place where her nightmares of love lost and pain roam - and to her, that's a good thing. It forced her to face her fears feel things she would rather keep hidden while letting their dark sound surround her. Think of them as Evanescence however with a harder metal sound and vocals to match.

For more information, visit Sage4 at or

Until next time, support your local scene,

21 Nov 09

Well, blogspotters, it has been one rockin' week for this reviewer. Four non-stop nights of jamming with local bands came to an end at Reggie's Rock Club. This hot spot on the southside for local music featured Wonderland Honey, Parts Per Million and Crazy 88's for the 17 plus crowd. SouthSide was ready to jam again with her friends, Nothing Forgotten. She reviewed this band during the summer when they rocked the Metro stage.

Tonight was almost like witnessing the evolution of this local band. Though the band seemed to be energized as they rocked the stage, SouthSide felt there was something missing. Compared to Nothing's show back in August, this reviewer could feel that energry between the band and its fans and vice versa. However at Reggie's, while the band took their music to a whole new level, in her honest opinion, the audience wasn't really feeling it. Whatever the reason that may be, blogspot readers, SouthSide still recommends checking out Nothing Forgotten at their next performance.

This hardcore/metal band wowed its fans with their guitar riffs and unconventional approach to the metal rock sound. For example, listen to SouthSide's favorite song, Metaphysical Girl. This was Nothing's approach to a ballad without really sounding like a love song. It combined sexiness and charm (from Jameel - the band's front man) and metal rock. There was too much hardcore guitar riffs for anyone to take it seriously as a ballad yet those soft moments does allow it to have that tenderness shine through. Another prime example would be Seeds of a Rose in which a few lucky ladies in the audience were privvied to a single red rose. Very touching indeed yet this local band's known truly for its rockin' metal sound.

Besides a little tenderness, blogspot readers, SouthSide enjoyed the head bangin' rock the most. You can hear the angst and frustration in the lyrics without having to resort to high pitch screaming. The audience merely felt each ounce of pain dripping from Jameel's voice. Also you heard that same emotion off the guitars. Their songs, Thieves and Indegenious, were good examples of hearing Nothing's angst within its metal guitar music. At one point there was some hiphop/freestyle wrapped inside this sound too.

As SouthSide mentioned earlier, this band has an unconventional approach to metal rock. It's loud, hard and sometimes full of tenderness ...definitely not your typical metal band. Nothing Forgotten will certainly get you bouncing with them.

For more information, visit them at

Until next time, support your local scene,

20 Nov 09

...chill the [bleep] out - it's no big deal...

After an evening of relaxing fun with Arma and friends at Howl At The Moon (see review), it was time for SouthSide to dash to the Double Door. There Lophophora was ready to rock the stage in front of a Friday night crowd.

When SouthSide last saw them, she thought their set was too wild and intense but enjoyable. Now they, were somewhat tamer however Todd, that troublemaking front man of the band, hasn't changed. This time he was sporting at DOC (Department of Corrections) orange jumpsuit after getting "arrested" during the opening of the set. That's nothing new, readers, he's always in some sort of trouble with the law. And still, this was considered "normal" for Lophophora.

Lophophora's music on the other hand wasn't "normal" or one dimensional. You could say it's hard to classify their bas rock sound into a box since they borrow snippets here and there from other genres. If you want to hear that classic California rock sound with a bit of ska/reggae, SouthSide suggests listening to 1701 Passadena. Or try their Violent Eyes, a song that had a little Iron Maiden rock sound in it. That hardcore tone off the guitars had some in the front rockin' out with the band. This was Lophophora's unique way of keeping their music fresh and exciting for all. During the performance, they left some in the audience wondering "what the heck". Yet they weren't wondering for long after feeling Todd's bout of angst in It's A Lie. This was no act as he poured out his raw emotions into this song.

Though Lophophora's set did get intense during certain songs, it still had their fans wanting more. And Todd gave them what they wanted in the end. As they ended with Bottom, this front man was all over the place - on stage stage - sprawled on the floor to break dancing ...going wild with angry fever. Be careful and try not standing too close either. Meanwhile this band thrilled the crowd with crazed riffs to a spectacular finish. Whew - what a rush!

SouthSide also recommends listening to Lophophora's Red Hot Betty. This rockin' honky tonk song had a raw feel to its sound with a danceable rhythm. Check out their bassist, Bob, who wowed this reviewer in somewhat keeping the band pretty "sane". And yet there were moments in which he was a little wild too.

For more information about Lophophora, visit them at

Until next time, support your local scene,

19 Nov 09

Hey, blogspot readers, it was an all-star studded night of rockin' music! Yes, the Who's Who of the local scene graced the historical stage of Subterranean recently. Other local stars such as members of Chester and Along The Parallel were in attendance enjoying the night's lineup. Fans heard intense performances by Inn Cinema, Arma and Riot Inside. There was also a special appearance by the brother-sister duo known as Vulgarrity. And of course, SouthSide was there to capture all of the fantastic highlights.

The night was kicked off by the intense guitar rock sound of Inn Cinema. Not one inch of the staghe was left untouched after this set was finished. The instant this band felt that rock vibe flowing the more intense their music became. Inn Cinema not only wanted the audience to hear but experience each rip-roaring riff performed. My readers, it's the intensity which drove the band to rock hard as they usually do. SouthSide suggests listening to their song, Wake Up, to truly introduce your ears to their hardcore guitar sound. You'll certainly feel each riff pounding intense that it will get your blood pumping. 2010's looking bright for this local band. There are plans in the works for Inn Cinema to rock the Metro stage celebrating their CD release. In the meantime, visit them at

Currently on tour, this duo totally rocked the stage as if they were a 4 - 5 member rock band. Vulgarrity's performance took this reviewer on a fantastical journey of sound via psychedelic/rock. Fans were treated to epic and grand song intros as well as the intense energy felt within their songs. Even though the sound was a little distorted at times during the set, SouthSide was still able to experience such rhythms and more ...never thought imagined. It was like listening to the indie version of Rush after getting lost amongst Vulgarrity's trippy keyboard/guitar combination. There were moments when this reviewer had to stop writing and simply enjoy the music. The highlight of this performance came at the end as this duo performed an epic instrumental. Through the use of looping (so Tracy and Shawn could switch between drums and guitar during this song), the finale left SouthSide breathless ...and hungry for more. For more information, visit this duo at

This next band had everyone listening to melodic rock as well as feeling its rhythmics beats. It was psychedelic rock taken to a whole new level. Arma's music was so intense that it had SouthSide wanting to join Taylor on stage for that tribal dance. Throughout this performance, the guitar riffs were mindblowing ...hearing chords that change from one dimension to the next. For example during Arma's In The Blacklight, the crowd heard riffs which went beyond anyone's comprehension. The song had everyone embracing its dark tone as well as feeling the uncharted melodies. Crashing back to reality when the song was finished was hard but certainly worth it. SouthSide also enjoyed the debut of the band's new song. The rising crescendo off the guitars led into a fiery burst of vocals and music. Fans instantly felt jolts of energy within this song that had them banging their heads to the music. It was even intense enough to start a mini mosh pit scene near the front of the stage. Arma really rocked the SubT with their version of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song. SouthSide suggest snagging their new CD this holiday season and get ready to experience psychedelic like never before. For more information, visit Arma at or

Now it was time to riot with this headlining band. Not to worry, my readers, no one was hurt or any part of the SubT destroyed. SouthSide has come to understand that most music needs fire, passion and energy in which it could cause fans to riot ...but in a good way. Riot Inside and its music did just that. SubT was packed with fans ready to rumble as well as rock after waiting anxiously (and patiently) for this band's set. Nothing couldn't contain the excitement felt in the air for Riot. By now, you're probably wondering - what makes Riot Inside so special? Besides wowing their diehard fans with lots of rock and energy, there's also sexy charisma from Gary (the band's hot front man on vocals) to excitable guitar and drum solos. This band truly packed a show within a show that had the crowd (upstairs and downstairs) screaming for more. Performing songs like TYT (Take Your Time), Satisfy, and King, SouthSide enjoyed the raw and sometimes gritty rock sound and the wicked guitar riffs. Riot's closing song, Levitate, absolutely raised the roof with a surprising guitar finish at the end. This reviewer cannot tell you what happened to that hardworking instrument because that would ruin the shock value of seeing this local band live. To experience your own riot with this popular band, SouthSide highly recommends attendint their next performance in December. For more information, visit Riot Inside at or

Until next time, support your local scene,

18 Nov 09

...the beginning of a wasted Wednesday... - On The Run
SouthSide's back on the beat scouting for something new and eclectic in the local scene. Recently the search took her to the Double Door for a night of psychedelic/fusion rock music. The lineup featured solid performances by On The Run, Band Called Catch, Oui Si Only You and Empra.
Southside highly recommends checking out the lively ...always friendly and funtastic band called Band Called Catch. This local band mixes rock alternative sound with lots of energy and sex appeal by the band's femme fatale, Jessica. There was plenty of band-fan interaction throughout this set especially during their Friendly Song. Watch out for the flying Frisbees heading your way in which you can win fabulous BCC prizes at the end of the show. This reviewer recommends checking out their new song, Here I Come. The title might suggest it's a ballad however it's way more than that. There was fiery passion in the music and lyrics that totally lit up the stage. Since they're "sponsored" by Axe Body Spray, BCC wowed the audience with their rendition of the company's hit commercial song. For more information about this fun band, visit them at
This reviewer highly recommends getting to know a band called On The Run. Their music was an eclectic mix of rock/R&B/funk with a lot of soul from the saxophonist. The music had a vibin' energy of sound which kept the audience grooving to the rhythmic beat. SouthSide liked that this rockin' music was fresh ...alive that she felt certain songs didn't need any lyrics. All they had to do was let the music speak for the band. That's how fantastic OTR's sound was to her ears. Behind such great music was the powerful vocals which matched the energy perfectly. For example, this reviewer suggests their song Beautiful. Though the tempo was at a slower pace than their previous songs, it still retained its energetic momentum and fire for the fans to enjoy. Yet it was the lyrics which made you feel what their music was all about ...they simply made the song feel very beautiful for all. Another song, their new one Tango, played with a R&B and Latin rhythm within their alternative sound. Listen very carefully because that Latin beat sneaks itself in there for a brief moment before disappearing. This lively rhythm had a few in the front dancing. For more information, visit this band at
When seeing Oui Si Only You perform, expect the wildly unexpected, my dear readers. Your ears will definitely bleed (in a good way) from the incredible yet maddening music this local band creates. You'll hear chords and riffs never thought imagined. SouthSide wasn't truly prepared to hear such music as she so thought after the first guitar riff. It's very difficult to describe the mesh of guitar rhythms heard floating inside the venue. They suddenly began in one dimension and then crossed another that was beyond this reviewer's comprehension. In a nutshell, it was fantastically mindblowing! She loved the creepy imagery the music not only present to its audience but also the lyrics. Think of the lyrics, freestyle MC by Ben, as the current state/mood of today's society - so frustrated and angry. He perfectly voiced the angst, etc while jumping (or better yet pounding) his way around the stage. It was a journey via song and sound that dragged this reviewer into the mind of someone's feelings - each song another brick in the personal wall. SouthSide loved it! It was amazing though weird though she felt every ounce of Ben's anger in one set. Yest, my dear readers, there's a face to anger today and it belongs to Oui Si Only You. SouthSide highly recommends taking a trip into this psychedelic mind of frustration with this band. For more information, visit them at
Recent Fearless Radio studio guests, Empra presented the mellower side to psychedelic/experimental music compared to Oui Si Only You's performance. Still, there was a touch of angst in the music ...or merely think of Pink Floyd more relaxed after consuming psychotropic drugs. It might sound like a poor analogy of this band's music however this reviewer enjoyed the trippy guitar riffs during Empra's instrumentals. It also was the variety of music styles within their songs that attracted Southside the most. Each had its own defining personality. Sometimes you could hear the experimental sounds in one and then hardcore metal riffs in the next. She even heard a tender moment of flowery prose and Beatleseque sound in their music. This reviewer recommends checking out their song, Moscow Satellite for its funk/R&B/soul rock music. Meanwhile Colorado was a fast paced guitar rock song with a classic 70s psychedelic sound. Empra also premiered an untitled song for fans though slightly rough on the vocals had an interesting mix of music. Fans liked the cool guitar rhythms as they banged their heads to the hard psychedelic rock sound. This band was totally rockin' the Double Door stage until the very end. They even gave the audience a brief taste of Keith Moon (of The Who) antics when the drummer kicked over his drum kit. For more information, visit them at or contact them at
Until next time, support your local music scene,

Friday, November 13, 2009

14 Nov 09

...ya'll not ready to go home yet - we're not... - Passafire

Welcome to the islands, readers! No, SouthSide's not on vacation at the sunny beaches of Jamiaca however she didn't have to leave the states to hear the music. She soaked up the flavor and sounds of island beat from the lineup from the Beat Kitchen stage. It was the soothing yet hip music with a Bob Marley feel in performances by The Pinstripes, The Embraceables and Passafire. Each band's unique spin on the reggae/ska sound had the crowd grooving to the beat.

From Cincinnati, Ohio, The Pinstripes kicked off the night with their mix of rock and reggae. It had also a modern twist of jazz from the rockin' brass horn section. This really had the entire stage as well as crowd jumpin' to the lively beat. SouthSide enjoyed the energy in which The Pinstripes' songs brought to the venue especially during the extended instrumental jams. This reviewer highly recommends catching this band's groovy sound at their next show. For more information, visit them at or

The next band combined soulful vocals like Aretha Franklin and Roberta Flack, R&B tempo with a soft reggae mix and a funky rock sound. Stir a couple of times and you'll get a band known as The Embraceables. SoutSide was completely blown away by their music that was full of heart and soul. It was the type of music which totally jammed ...something she hasn't heard in a long time especially in the local scene. The Embraceables tossed in a variety of genres into their performances keeping this packed room dancing from one song to the next nonstop. Music that made you feel the rhythms, melodies and harmonies even while taking the tempo down a notch. there was still that momentum for the crowd to groove to the soulful sound. The female vocals by Maggie (also on piano) and Emily generated plenty of sex appeal which their type of music and lyrics requires. SouthSide recommends listening to Panties in the Sink off their current CD, Stories. A slow groove with a bass and subtle xylophone rhythms coupled around haunting vocals. It was almost a lullaby with a semi-acoustic feel in the music floating inside the venue emulating perfectly the mood of the lyrics. Also she recommends checking out their vibrant closing song, Wash. This tribal tempo-sounding song which left everyone hot and sticky from its smokin' rhythm in the end. For more information about this band, visit them at

Closing out this fantastic night of eclectic music was the lively sounds of reggae/funk./rock fusion by Passafire. After briefly chatting with the band rep at the merch table, SouthSide learned this type of music's quite popular in Savannah, GA where the band is from. And she could see why. They had this crowd jumping to the island groove instantly on the first note. This reviewer enjoyed the unique fusion of other genres such as psychedelic rock and freestyle in their songs. During Everyone Awake, off their current CD Everyone On Everynight, she liked the creepy voodoo hoodoo intro but it also jammed with lots of wicked guitar riffs . Even their new song, Here in front of Me, was performed as a rock alternative song with that reggae rhythm as its back melody. Another fine example was Passafire's mindblowing psychedelic intro before it slipped back to their standard reggae tempo in Fade Out. It was like taking a frightening journey through someone's nightmare but still fun. SouthSide highly recommends checking out this band while they're currently on tour. Their hot version of the reggae/ska sound will keep you warm all winter long. For more information, visit them at www.passafiretheband.comor

Until next time, readers, support your local music scene,


13 Nov 09

...take it off...

...give me another beer then I'll take it off... - Sister Switchblade

Whoever said Friday the 13th was bad luck didn't have the luck like SouthSide did. She rocked the night away once again at the Elbo Room to performances by Dollbody Kid and Sister Switchblade. This reviewer was saddened by the fact Liquor Boxx, though scheduled to perform, wasn't there. She was looking forward in reviewing this rowdy bunch of party animals again. Perhaps, next time, there will be a full review on them.

After opening with an orchestral crescendo off the guitars, this reviewer was immediately hooked by this band. Not only for its music but for the insanity that reigned on the stage. That's how Dollbody Kid liked to present itself to the world raging madmen of hardcore rock. The audience was literally sucked into the craziness of DBK's mind. And it's not a pretty sight, my dear readers. They felt the thunderous riffs and drum beats clashing together with some screamin' angst which made the blood curl. Seriously, SouthSide's blood did curl however with excitement after hearing the first song, The Grey I Find. She enjoyed the intense energy this band brought to the Elbo Room. Sometimes she found it hard to keep up with them because there was so much to see and hear. DBK prided itself in rhythms that were furious like a madman's hot tempered anger. It seemed that was the intention throughout this performance making the audience feel the frustrations as well as hear it in the music. For example, in DBK's song, Diamond Bullets, the subtle intro fooled this reviewer into thinking the insanity was over. Hardly that wasn't the case, readers. The slow tempo was merely the prelude into feeling the pain and anger off the lyrics. It felt like a ballad but not the type of ballad which seemed "sane". There's a definite method to this band's madness which this reviewer loved. At times, she thought their guitar riffs were a mesh of offbeat chords and riffs. Not exactly - the riffs intertwined somehow meeting in the middle just right. It's highly recommended to keep reminding yourself that "insanity is good" when seeing Dollbody Kid's next performance. Their music thrills with hardcore guitar rock that chills your blood ...yes, they are totally insane in the membrane! Also stick around for the entire set when they really release those crazed demons on stage. Hey, where did all that blood come from? For more information about Dollbody Kid, visit the madmen at

Performing songs like Run Like Hell and Lil Miss Cocaine, Sister Switchblade slashes through its hardcore rock sound with a sharp knife. There's a lot of energy in the band's guitar riff which set the stage on fire again. Sister loved bringing their sound loud and fast - this of them as an indie version of Aerosmith mixed with some AC/DC. So watch out, my readers, this local band means business when it comes to giving what the audience demands. Sister premiered two new songs, Sweet Spot and Baby Don't Stop. Both had a raw, gritty rock sound that had SouthSide's head banging to the heavy metal rhythms. Oh what dirty minds (and mouths to match) did this band have letting loose their hot sexual innuendos onto the "innocent" world. And that's merely a sample of what Sister Switchblade offered during their performance. They're simply Fast and Easy in all things about the rock sound ...leaving the audience hungry for more. They totally rocked out the Elbo Room when closing the set with a rousing AC/DC cover. This song had the audience going wild, readers! Those who really want to rock should salute this band. SouthSide highly recommends snagging a copy of their current EP, A Dirty Mind & A Mouth To Match, as a holiday stocking stuffer. Also request their song, Eye On You, now heard on Q101. For more information about this band, visit Sister Switchblade at

Until next time, readers, support your local scene,