Tuesday, March 31, 2009

27 Mar 09

"…don’t touch that dial…” I Fight Dragons

Have you ever wondered what your videogames would look like if they were a rock band? Well, Fearless gamers, you don’t have to wonder anymore because there’s such a band. SouthSide first heard of I Fight Dragons when they sold out the Elbo Room a month ago. At that time, they were promoting the release of their EP, Cool Is Just A Number. Watching the crowded room react and interact with the band, she had to review this unique group of colorful characters and experience their wild antics herself.

What fans should know about IFD is they’re probably the only ones to claim the title as a NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) band. Second, they don’t skimp on recreating the feeling for the audience of being inside a videogame. I Fight Dragons had classic NES controllers, sounds and a power pad to show off those video dance moves. The members of the band were our favorite video characters. For example, Brian (on guitar and lead vocals) was Superman/Mario and Mike (on guitar and vocals) was Luigi. Of course, there wouldn’t be a video adventure like this one if there wasn’t a princess (Laura on vocals) to save. Also, there’s a TV which runs video and game images corresponding to their song playlist. And lastly, be prepared to have fun playing along with the band.

The excitement on Friday night began way before IFD ever reached the Martyrs’ stage. Their bubbly street team got the crowd hyped for the show by passing out glow sticks as well as hawking IFD wear. Opening the set with a retro NES commercial, fans were ready to begin their live video quest. Fearless fans, this performance was filled with sight and sounds. Sometimes you’ll have a hard time keeping track of what’s happening on and off stage. Hearing songs like The Faster The Treadmill and Money, their fans were singing, playing and dancing along with the band. SouthSide enjoyed the funny antics during one about saving the Princess trapped in the tower. However besides the fun, there was a serious message to be heard in IFD’s songs. For example in Money, there were clips of financial news reports and clever lyrics like “…money makes the world go round…”. Another fine example would be This Just In. She liked how the network news was labeled as mindless chatter leaving her to wonder do we really want to know what’s going on in the world. Of course, no IFD show would be complete without the fun cover version of Rick Astley’s Never Give You Up. This song truly fired up the crowd especially when the Zelda theme was played during the instrumental. The highlight of the night came at the end of the set. IFDs performed a unique NES-sound instrumental before rocking the packed Martyrs’ with No Likes Superman Anymore.

Whew! SouthSide’s exhausted yet it was the most fun to had on a chilly Friday night. This reviewer highly recommends Fearless fans checking out this wild and crazy band when they rock the XRT free show at Cubby Bear on April 17. For more information about I Fight Dragons, visit these NES gamers at www.ifightdragons.com or www.myspace.com/ifightdragons.

Until next time, Fearless fans, support local indie artists and music.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

19 Mar 09

“…you’ve failed the dancing portion of this show…” The Moves

Hey, Fearless fans, Spring’s almost here and that means the return of baseball for this Southside gal. Tonight fans packed the popular Cubby Bear for an exciting free show featuring awesome music and fun. The late lineup featured performances by two great bands, The Moves and Makeshift Prodigy.

This Fearless band tried to use bribery to get a good review from SouthSide. The guys wanted this reviewer to rave how fun and exciting their performance was. HA! Their check didn’t clear however a bribe wasn’t necessary. The Moves had all of the right the moves on stage to impress this reviewer. SouthSide had a great time moving and grooving to their rock alternative sound. She liked how the keyboards in their music gave it a pop tone and energy. For example, during Pump, fans could feel the vibes from the band as they rocked out the stage. Thrilling the audience with wild guitar riffs, this song had The Moves more animated than before. Other times their pop sound took on a different personality. It was interesting not knowing where this band would take her next within their set. From alternative to powerpop, this band knew how to mix things up to keep fans rockin’. Drama Queen was a fine example hearing Dave switch from pop to angst in his vocals. SouthSide highly recommends listening to the political themed song, No Way Out. They closed out their performance with a retro 80s cover before quickly vanishing off stage. Fearless fans are encouraged to snag the latest copy of The Moves’ EP titled One Two Three Four. Or better yet, check them out live on stage at their next performance. For more information about this band, visit them at

Makeshift Prodigy – what more can SouthSide raved about this next band? Except this time she was ducking from a flying drumstick instead of a drum! This reviewer highly recommends Fearless fans checking out their next performance. Their music inspired the mind by taking the audience on a spiritual journey via sight and sound. As SouthSide mentioned before, think of Coldplay when seeing this popular local band. Makeshift Prodigy uniquely meshes different genres into one that was so uplifting yet leaving you breathless for more. It was definitely intoxicating. Just watch and hear the reactions from their legion of fans. From beginning to end, the band fed off their feverish vibes and energy. And vice versa that fans couldn’t get enough of Makeshift Prodigy. They demanded for more. Everyone inside the Cubby Bear grooving and dancing to the tribal beat of their songs. You could feel the spirit moving throughout the venue – it was something you have to experience for yourself in person. Fearless fans. Words cannot truly describe how wondrous it was to be live feeling their music flow through you. It wasn’t like their Metro show two months ago but it was close to it. This Revolution will never be broadcasted on television. It shall always be live whenever and wherever Makeshift Prodigy performs next. In SouthSide’s opinion, it’s the only way to experience a spiritual journey like this. For more information about this band, visit them at
www.makeshiftprodigy.com or www.myspace.com/makeshiftprodigy.

Until next time, Fearless fans, support local artists and indie music.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

13 Mar 09

“…welcome to the phone booth…” 6 Degrees of Separation

Hey, Fearless fans, the luck of the Irish was smiling on SouthSide tonight! She got an early start to her St. Patty’s Day fun with a rockin’ show at US Beer Co. A few members of Chicago Noise Machine were in attendance to support good friends 6 Degrees of Separation. (A)bakus rocked the stage along with The Brass Beans, Cavalry and Sanguine Means (
www.myspace.com/sanguinemeans). Fearless fans can expect a full review on Collin (ex-White Hot Knife guitarist) and his band, Cavalry (www.myspace.com/cavalry) from Cobra Lounge next month. The Brass Beans (www.myspace.com/thebrassbeans) wowed this reviewer with their energetic punk rock set.

SouthSide’s sad to report that 6 Degrees of Separation was nothing like the fire and energy felt during their Elbo Room show two months ago. It wasn’t the band, Fearless fans, that lacked the spunk in their classic rock sound. It was the sound system itself which weighed down their set. However, this band managed to put on a good show for fans Friday night. After performing Just Wake Up and Tear It Down, 6DOS woke the audience with some social consciousness and awareness in Cruel Nation. The song had that psychedelic feel from the 60s yet the message remained the same in 2009 as it did back then. The lyrics represented to the hearts and minds of the generation. Also the audience was given a harsh reality check in Pennies For Heroes. It was a ballad about performing live shows from a band’s personal point of view. You definitely could feel the angst in Rich’s vocal during this song. SouthSide enjoyed listening to Seven, a song about the pain and hurt felt of a love gone cold. As for an encore, 6 DOS wowed the audience with their cover version of Mississippi Queen for Karl (of Lucid Ground). Despite the sound system not fully amplifying their music in a way it should be heard, SouthSide highly recommends fans checking out this band. They know how to bring the classic rock for the new generation. For more information about 6 Degrees of Separation, visit them at www.6degreestheband.com or www.myspace.com6degreestheband.

What SouthSide liked about this band was they know how to take you from one extreme to the next in their hardcore/metal sound. For example, take (A)bakus’ opening song, Voices. It was a rock experience of guitar riff changes one after the other that you could forget it was a metal song. That’s how SouthSide remembered them from their last US Beer Co show in 2008. This band doesn’t hold anything back from their music – fans were treated to a mixture of metal, hardcore rock and screamin’ angst. Sometimes there’s much more which doesn’t break their electrified rock vibe. During Reasons, the (A)bakus ballad somehow kept the feel of a headbanger’s song without breaking that energetic metal tone. Fans felt the frustration and angst from El Torito without him resorting to inaudible screaming. It was another type of set metalheads could sink their teeth into. And just like 6 Degrees of Separation’s set, (A)bakus managed to perform another exciting set despite problems with the venue’s sound system. For their set, it didn’t allow the audience to enjoy the full effect of this band’s music. The best place to hear both vocals and music was standing underneath the speaker near the back. Though it lacked the sound needed for their set, SouthSide still highly recommends fans checking out this band. For more information about (A)bakus, visit them at www.myspace.com/abakus.

Until next time, Fearless fans, support local indie artists and music.


12 Mar 09

“…I know it’s not Friday let’s get drunk tonight…” M.O.T.O.

Warning – this review might contain offensive material. Read at your own risk.

It was a dark and raunchy night. Fearless Fans! Fans gathered at the coolest place on the Southside for a shock and punk glam rock show. Reggie’s Music Joint was the place to see and hear the raunchiest band ever reviewed by SouthSide. That’s right – SHAT was back in Chicago to rock the stage. This time they brought along a few new friends to provide more shock, glam and fun all night long. Also appearing on the lineup included Howie & The Homos, M.O.T.O. and The Fuckaround Kids.

Dressed in their finest glam attire, Howie & The Homos kicked off the lineup with rockin’ set of punk covers. They covered a wide range of hits and forgotten tunes such as Suffragette City (David Bowie) and Yo Mama Crazy. Fans loved the wild stage antics and mini striptease by Howie as well as the music. Though there was some bad mic feedback during Mott the Hoople cover of All The Young Dudes, Howie & The Homos’ performance did please this reviewer. She enjoyed the Village People-like attire for the band behind Howie. Yet this was only the beginning to the wild and raunchy night, Fearless fans. For more information about Howie & The Homos, visit them at www.myspace.com/howieandthehomos.

M.O.T.O. kicked off their set with a song dedicated to all the ladies at Reggie’s Music Joint. With song titles like Chicks Can Tell and Chokin' On Your Insides, this band thrilled the audience with wild rhythms and riffs. Their performance was fast paced and full of fun. Fans could feel the energetic vibes through their music. SouthSide liked 2 4 6 8 Rock and Roll which had this touch of British punk in the song. Besides having a good set, M.O.T.O. did have some problems. The vocals needed to up more to be hear above about guitars and the song finishes were a little rough. Overall, M.O.T.O. didn’t disappoint these punk fans. For more information about this band, visit them at www.myspace.com/moto.
Usually SouthSide’s prepared for anything during a punk rock show however she wasn’t expecting anything like this next band. It was one performance which left this virgin reviewer blushing bright cherry red from start to finish. The Fuckaround Kids were the second raunchiest punk band she has ever reviewed. And ladies, there was some eye candy to behold during this set as well. The antics on stage were nothing compared to what was happening off stage. Fans went completely insane from FAK’s punk sound and songs about sex, beer and fun. Or was it from watching the gyrating hips of the bassist in the blue thong? One thing SouthSide could say about this performance – it’s definitely not for those who are easily offended by crude lyrics and full frontal nudity. Beside the lewd behavior and breaking every indecency law, FAK thrilled the audience was wicked instrumental solos and riffs. There was even a thirty-second death metal drinking game during the middle of their set. Beware of beer cans being tossed to and from the stage, Feareless fans. Overall, SouthSide highly recommends being part of the wild and craziness that ensues with this band. For more information about The Fuckaround Kids, visit them at www.myspace.com/thefuckaroundkids.

SouthSide’s still reeling from Shat’s performance last year at the Elbo Room. Tonight, they conquered Reggie’s with another wild and raunchy set. Mixing metal with plenty of crude sexual innuendoes, this band rocked down the house with songs like Time To Suck On My Penis and Thank God For Pussy. And this was only the beginning to some of their sixty-nine song playlist. They performed fast and hard like a lunchtime quickie in a storage room closest. Yes, Fearless fans, this band like The Fuckaround Kids took the audience into new heights of the deviant minds of horny men. You could tell from the lyrics how much they love every aspect of the female anatomy sans the missionary position. Oh yeah, lesbians, Shat loves you too! All Shat’s saying was give vagina a chance. Despite that, they do advocate practicing safe sex or you’ll get Crabs. SouthSide enjoyed their new songs off their upcoming EP like the one about shaving and selling dollar whores. If everything’s a dollar at the Dollar Tree, then why can’t you buy a dollar whore? Something to think about the next time you visit your neighborhood dollar store. SouthSide would disclose more about Shat’s performance however she recommends that you view the raunchy punk show yourself. For more information about Shat, visit these bad boys at www.myspace.com/shatpunkrock or www.jeffwoodofshat.com.

Until next time, Fearless fans, support local indie artists and music.



Friday, March 6, 2009

26 Feb 09

“…rain, rain go away…” SouthSide

It was wet, dreary and stormy night, Fearless fans, however that did not stop this reviewer from completing her mission. Fans braced the rough weather to attend the final Rock Star Mafia showcase. Kudos to Brian Bender (also the front man of A Birdsong Valentine) and Elbo Room staff for compiling the best of rising bands. For the last four weeks, these bands rocked the stage for a chance to add a song to the 2009 compilation album due out soon. Tonight’s lineup featured 40oz Sidekick, Arma, Late Night Hooligan Riff Raff, Chester and Geared Towards Nowhere.

Featured on New Music Binge, SouthSide finally had the chance to review this eclectic rock band. Chester was hard to define because it incorporated a unique blending of genres in its music. And that wasn’t a bad thing in this reviewer’s book. Add rip-roarin’ guitar riffs, pounding percussion rhythms and Jordan, SouthSide knew she’s was going to have a fun time. Throughout their set, she heard lyrical rap with metal rock to emo with a haunting creepiness and head-banging metal with raw angst. A variety like that truly kept the audience on its listening toes never knowing what to expect next from Chester. Their opening song, Soma, fused lyrical verse of rap with some screamin’ angst and metal sound. Not quite seen together but with front man, Jordan, on vocals, this band pulled it off nicely.

SouthSide enjoyed My Imagination because of its creepy journey inside a mind full of dark secrets and desires. Warning, it wasn’t a pretty thing to hear either. Tranquilicious had this strange metal rhythm woven into a rock ballad. Yes, Fearless fans, this reviewer said strange and ballad …still not a bad thing. Though taking a slower tempo than the others, this song had that punch of head-banging metal and angst. By now, Chester’s energetic insanity and antics on stage became contagious reaching the audience. Meanwhile, Wake Up took a more upbeat rhythm as the insanity continued. They took us Home with one heck of a send-off which left the fans wanting more of Chester. Whew, what a performance, Fearless fans. SouthSide highly recommends Fearless and metalhead fans checking out this band whenever they perform again. For more information about Chester, visit them at www.myspace.com/gochester.

Until next time, Fearless fans, support local indie artists and music.



Thursday, March 5, 2009

19 Feb 09

Hey, Fearless fans, it’s the annual Rock Star Mafia showcase at Elbo Room! This showcase was designed to generate more fan interest in Chicago’s local music scene. And as you know, SouthSide’s all about supporting independent bands – near or far. Every Thursday night during the month of February, bands rocked the stage to be a part of a compilation CD. On February 19th, the lineup featured an eclectic range of music from techno/powerpop to classic rock and metal. The audience enjoyed sets by Ask You In Gray, Before The Sun, Basement, Three Years Hollow and Iron Vein. This reviewer recommends checking out Basement and their Animals cover of The House of the Rising Sun. Though she did enjoy Three Years Hollow, SouthSide noticed that huge woofer and amp sound overshadowed the vocals and percussion. Next week, she’ll cover Fearless band, Chester, during the final showcase.

“…imagine yourself flying in a space ship …then you’re done…” Ask You In Gray

These two guys brought a fun and poppin’ powerpop performance to open tonight’s lineup. Ask You In Gray had this reviewer dancing to their dual keyboard rhythms and programmed beats. They simply rocked the stage with pop lyrics and sound. It was reminiscent of the 80s pop music but with a modern space age feel. However the touch of emo during certain songs kept this grounded in reality. The audience delighted in the varying melodies which gave each song performed a different personality. For example, most of AYIG’s songs didn’t have that “happy go lucky” feel in the lyrics. There was some spite and angst too but with a techno beat. Yet the duo had energy and some fun freestylin’ dance moves to keep this audience grooving along with them. SouthSide highly recommends checking out this new wave of powrpop music by Ask You In Gray. Fans encouraged to join in fun whenever this duo performs again. For more information about this band, visit them at
www.askyouingray.com or www.myspace.com/askyouingray.

“…I got your meat locker, b*tch…” Before The Sun

If you enjoy your guitar rock loud with a classic sound, leave the earplugs at home and check out SouthSide’s friends, Before The Sun. This band packed what SouthSide dubs as “man balls” of rock music. There were no wimpy simple instrumentals or lifeless riffs, Fearless fans. It was fast, hard hitting cords and full of wicked instrumentals that grabbed you by the balls. This type of music truly pleased the audience during their set. Be certain to watch out for those sudden changes. They defined the tone of their songs taking you to one end of the spectrum and back. For example, listen to Fire in the Sky. It began with a Led Zeppelin feel and tone before quickly moving into guitar pounding rock. On the flipside, if you like your rock with fierce angst and frustration in the vocals, Before The Sun had that too. In Your Gawd or Haunted, Mike, the band’s front man, had the audience feeling the angst in his voice. Sometimes there was spite and despair slapped into our faces too. Yet no Before The Sun show would be complete until SouthSide heard her favorite, Wicked City, performed. This reviewer highly recommends getting your rock on with this band. For more information about Before The Sun and their music, visit them at www.myspace.com/beforethesun.

“…And I’m Mini Me…” Michael of Iron Vein

Iron Vein promised this reviewer a good performance. Good was an understatement in SouthSide’s book. It was HOT! After opening with Revenge, this was a band that came ready to rock! They didn’t need much to grab the audience’s attention merely allowing the music do all of the showboating for them. Thrilling them with lots of metal rock and instrumentals and having a good time on stage was simply enough too, Fearless fans. Now add vibrant song intros which got the blood pumping and rhythms fans could sink their teeth into. You barely have a tiny sample of what Iron Vein’s performance was like. SouthSide wasn’t use to ballads appearing so soon on a playlist but was impressed how that strategic move worked for this band. They weren’t dull or lifeless since there was spunk and energy to be found keeping the audience momentum high. She also noticed that their music didn’t blast your eardrums with a cluttered mess of riffs and changes. It had a subtle presence in their songs yet moving quickly before you even realized it was even there. This reviewer could go on and on about Iron Vein’s stellar performance at Elbo Room however she highly recommends checking them out yourself. For more information about Iron Vein and their music, visit them at

Until next time, Fearless fans, support local indie artists and music.