Thursday, February 25, 2010

23 Feb 10

Hey, blogspot reader, it was a night of contemporary pop music for SouthSide. Tonight's review (and interview afterwards) took her to the Elbo Room for a performance by Felili (from Texas). Currently on her The Moon Release tour, she and the band had the audience immersed in an eclectic sound of contemporary pop rock. With the aid of random video images on a screen, Felili's songs seemed to pop with more depth and meaning than they would without. This was something SouthSide enjoyed very much throughout the set. This reviewer did more than listen to the music while enjoying the pretty images. She found herself lost amongst the emotions behind the lyrics especially during the slow songs.

And this was what Felili hoped the audience would do while attending her performances. According to this singer/songwriter, most [people] don't take time out to appreciate the lyrics within a slow song. However with Felili's songs, SouthSide suggests you do. For example, take the title track off her CD - The Moon and while admiring the intense images of the moon, listen to the haunting slow tempo and the way this singer emotionally projects her vocals. And listening to this song live with the video images really puts it into a unique prospective that you might have never experienced before. This reviewer also recommends listening to Stay. Fans will enjoy the calming yet lively Brazilian rhythm that had her groovin' to the beat. However SouthSide did notice that the bass somewhat overpowered the song thus taking away a little the pleasantness of the music and vocals heard.

Though part of Felili's music is programmed (for background vocals and extra beats/rhythms), it's also the driving force behind this songwriter's eclectic uniqueness. Certain rhythms gave Felili's vocals a definite soulful feel whether she was performing on the guitar or not. You can say, blogspot readers, that she's simply a musician/artist expressing herself ...performing and connecting with fans on a level through her lyrics. Check out the lively upbeat tone of Hotel in which she soulfully rocked the stage ending on a high note. According to Felili, she hopes everyone in the audience left the show remembering a line or melody from her songs. She wanted them to have that feeling they saw someone giving them a genuine performance. And it was truly what SouthSide had felt after attending this show, blogspot readers.

SouthSide recommends catching Felili during her The Moon tour. However don't be discouraged if you miss this tour. If you happen to be and/or live in the Denton (Texas) area, she and the band will be performing at NX35 (North by 35, a fest similiar to SXSW) on Sunday March 14. There are also plans for an acoustic tour along the East Coast in May as well as a summer tour (perhaps opening for another band). For more information, visit or for more information and tour dates.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

21 Feb 10

...I guess Gabriel came to feed your soul
...we came to steal it
... - Brother John

Hey, blogspot readers, it's another snowy review for SouthSide. It's a rare Sunday night outting rockin' on her home turf at Reggie's Music Joint. This hip Southside venue featured performances by Gabriel Kelley (from Nashville, TN) and local rockers, Brother John.

SouthSide enjoyed the simplistic yet heartwarming acoustic Americana opening set by Gabriel. The singer/songwriter's lyrics painted a clear image behind the guitar music. The audience could hear him pouring out his emotions into each song performed. For example, during one song, this reviewer heard his heart breaking behind the soft rhythms as he said goodbye to a woman named Jessie (Goodbye Jessie). Though his music can be quite serious and emotional when dealing with people's sordid crap, there were certain moments when it also took a swingin' upbeat tempo. SouthSide highly recommends catching Gabriel Kelley while he's on tour. For more information, visit or

Boy, did this band jam under an electrified cloud of organic blues rock with a bit of that psychedelic sound. And that was barely getting started into Brother John's first song, Wild One. It was indeed wild alright, blogspot readers. This reviewer was literally melting in her chair (something that doesn't happen too often) ...totally feelin' the band's groove and energetic vibe. SouthSide was in love with the fantastical electric riffs that lit up the stage throughout this performance. Wither, ladies, to the raw, raspy vocals of the band's charismatic front man, Brad (and what lungs he has)as he sings. He projected the right amount of passion ...soul into Brother John's lyrics. Yes he was definitely channeling his inner rock god likeness while rockin' to the band's momentum. And not to say their covers were simply okay - no way, blogspot readers. They totally owned Hendrix's Foxy Lady. It was the best this reviewer has ever heard. She believes Jimi would be very honored and proud.

Brother John covered a wide range of rock genres. It would be quite unfair to this band to pinpoint their core rock sound since they easily flow from one to the next. Other times, they did at the same time without you missing a beat. From acid rock to grunge and everything else in between, this band certainly had the audience's blood pumping to the hardcore riffs and bass rhythms. And if you're lucky like SouthSide maybe you'll get the hottest electric serenade by John (on guitar). She's still breathless after feeling that rush ...absolutely blown away. SouthSide highly recommends listening to Shovelman (for its rousing intro that immediately grabs your attention) and the title track off their current CD, Rust (an awesome Pearl Jam-esque sounding song with an explosive crescendo of guitar riffs at the end). Visit for more information and where they're rockin' the stage again. Also if you're on Facebook, befriend them there as well. One final note, Brother John deserves a HUGE kudos for their part donating 100% of the show profits to charity, according to their website.

Until next time, support your local scene,

19 Feb 10 look like a Mom... - Metro Security*

Hey, blogspot readers, it's "Take Your Kids to Work" Day for SouthSide. She was joined with her "test audience" (as she lovingly calls Vyolet, age 17, and Sunday, age 8, - not their real names of course) for this review. They spent a rockin' evening as guests of Cobalt and The Hired Guns at the Metro's all ages show Friday. The lineup featured Cobalt opening for State Radio with Big D and The Kids Table in between. Since the "test audience" was the target age group of the night, parts of this review will contain their thoughts/opinions about the performances by Cobalt and State Radio. They did give big thumbs up to Big D's energetic set and exuberant rock sound. Sunday liked the funny song titles while Vyolet was seen partying along with the crowd. This reviewer recommends listening to the song, Hell On Earth which caused a fan frenzy on the main floor. For more information, visit Big D and The Kids Table at or

For one night only, this indie band was known as Cobalt and The Hired Guns and Hired Guns. The extra "hired guns" included a four-person horn section and accordion player to give their sound that special umph for the home crowd. This truly, blogspot readers, had fans instantly dancing to Cobalt's unique twist on the Americana/alternative music. So after that explosive opening song, this crowd and band were definitely ready to party all night long. And how could you not blame them. With the band's catchy tunes and energetic beats, you won't be standing still for long. SouthSide could clearly see that from the way they were rockin' the stage. Cobalt was absolutely having fun which kept everyone else under that same momentum. The horn section and accordion sound certainly did their jobs maintaining that eclectic uniqueness for the band. Vyolet loved Cobalt and The Hired Guns stating that the horns were an awesome touch. She enjoyed their charismatic style and whimsical songs. According to her, this band drew lots of attention and excitement towards the crowd - a real eye catcher. Meanwhile, Sunday simply wanted to say they were awesomely cool. Well, blogspot readers, the "test audience" has spoken highly recommending that you catch the new Americana wave with Cobalt and The Hired Guns. Besides listening to their hits, You Left Your Sweater and Of Summer, listen to the brand new song, Lazarus - a mellow alternative sound but still retaining that energetic spark to keep you grooving to the rock rhythm. For more information, visit or

Now, SouthSide has attended many shows at the Metro. However, she has never seen it so packed before! It was a sellout crowd ...standing room only everywhere including the Reserved/VIP area for State Radio's performance. The entire venue lit up with screams and cheers when this touring band took the stage for their first song. This band had an organic feel to their rock sound ...think of them as the millennium's version of 60s grassroots rockers like CSNY (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young). Their music and songs, like CSNY, had a story that needed to be told ...a cause worth supporting ...a message to be heard. With their sign, Wage Peace, waving proudly behind the band, there was in Southside's eyes universal peace and harmony amongst the masses. It was simply amazing, blogspot readers, to hear voices singing along with State Radio. This crowd was definitely feeling each rhythmic guitar vibe waifing from the stage. There were many hands in unison clapping to the crescendoing riffs until it peaked. Then - wow! So hard to describe the heads bobbing (as well as bodies surfing around the main floor) to the music. You truly had to be there to witness this. State Radio's performed under an eclectic array of genres such as Reggae/ska to Irish melody within in their songs. Vyolet and Sunday both enjoyed the energetic atmosphere in which this band's rock music provided. They liked how the Metro security kept the fans near the stage from overheating by squirting water at them. SouthSide highly suggests listening to State's Bohemian Groove, Masin Humanity and of course the popular Knights of Bostonia (also check out the hilarious video for this song). For more information and tour dates, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

*oh btw - SouthSide wasn't offended by this - it's cool being recognized as a Mom!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

11 Feb 10

Hey, blogspot readers, Carnivale fun has arrived! Festive rockers were at the Double Door for all of the delights and sounds of a Mardi Gras party. Fans were treated to spicy gumbo (yummy), had their fortunes told and faces painted to colorful designs as well as hearing rockin' performances. Tonight's lineup featured music by Mojo & The Bayou Gypsies and Fifth World with a double set by Papadosio (from Athens, Ohio).

The party was in full swing when SouthSide arrived though missing the first half of Papadosio's appearance. she does highly recommend checking out the psychedelic scene of Fifth World. This rockin' group combined the sounds of funk/soul/electronica and other genres into one astounding fusion. It was a toe-tappin' groove that had SouthSide viewing them as an indie version of George Clinton & The Parliament Funkadelic. The crowd danced at one point to Fifth's rhytmic island music featuring the sultry conga beat. She suggests listening to the song about Muhammad Ali which had everyone rockin' to the lyrical freestyle mixed with R&B/soul. Visit Fifth World at or for more information.

SouthSide was very excited to finally review the electronic wizardry of Papadosio. This band from Ohio will remind fans of another band known as Boombox but with a larger stage setup. This venue immediately felt the instrumental groove of Papadosio's rhythm and trippy space themes. Add the lights which ran in sequence with the music and you felt you're in an electronica club rather than a rock venue. The music alone didn't need much lyrics since, in SouthSide's opinion, it would merely slow down the vibe. Yet, you can listen very closely for the lyrics magically hidden in Papa's songs however why - when you can simply enjoy the cosmic ride this music brings to your ears. Feel that rise and fall of this band's melodic musical spectrum that sent your mind and on a journey lightyears into the future. Ah, blogspot readers, what a fantastical journey it was for this reviewer. Besides debutting a new song, the crowd grooved to You and Yourself and many others that seem to flow endlessly from one wave to the next. The fans (including SouthSide) certainly had one heck of a rockin' time feeling the melodic sounds of Papadosio. She hopes they bring their cosmic ride back to Chicago soon. In the meantime, visit or for tour dates and information.

Until next time, support your local scene,

09 Feb 10

Hey, blogspot readers, call SouthSide crazy ...or insane but she had to brave a winter storm for this review. Tonight's she's hanging out at the Cubby Bear (in Wrigleyville) for their weekly Local Music Showcase. This free show featured an array of music from psychedelic/alternative rock to industrial and acoustic solo acts. The lineup included bands such as Illusions Fate, Absinthe & The Dirty Floors and Open Til Midnight. Email for information.

SouthSide enjoyed Absinthe's rockin' performance which combined the psychedelic sound with alternative rock music. Even while taking their music to alternative-only, the energetic vibe felt from this band wasn't lost in the mellower sound. She suggests listening to their song, There's Nothing Wrong With Misery - an alternative/acoustic jam that rocked the stage as they closed their short set. Absinthe & The Dirty Floors will be headlining Subterranean on Feb 16 or visit or for more details.

Though having a rockin' opening cover song, this reviewer did have a hard time hearing the lead vocalist above the guitars. Open Til' Midnight had an okay set performing popular rock songs almost as good as the originals. However this band did put a unique spin on their versions for the audience to enjoy. Fans can find this cover band rockin' the stage again on Feb 27 at the Save More Lounge or visit for other dates and information.

Illusions Fate rocked the Cubby Bear to their head-banging screamo/industrial rock sound. This raw rock music mixed with hardcore guitar riffs had the audience feeling the angst and frustration off the lyrics. It was no illusion how this trio blasted this reviewer's ears as much industrial rock as they possibly could handle. SouthSide enjoyed the sudden riff changes going from one spectrum to the next before returing to the original rhythm. Don't be surprised to see Illusions tearing up the stage when they feel that energetic vibe. Performing the first single off their upcoming CD, SouthSide heard a touch of Marilyn Manson-esque rock sound about being evil. This song had her head banging to the haunting guitar rhythms and hard screamin' angst. She also suggests listening to the ballad, The Dying Anthem and the trippy industrial space sound of Space Wanderer. This brief sample of Illusions Fate's music wasn't enough for this reviewer and she plans a full review of this band again soon. Illusions' CD (featuring both songs mentioned in this review), The Ghost of Maya, should be out on April 1st - no foolin' [either] says the band. In the meantime, visit or for more information.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

08 Feb 10

Hey, blogspot readers, the rockin' fun doesn't happen only on the weekends for SouthSide. She even finds fun and music happening on Monday nights too. The Elbo Room was alive with an eclectic mix of music that had the audience feeling the groove. The lineup featured Blind Man Leading (acoustic), Izzy and The Kesstronics (retro rock from Brooklyn, NY), The Palace Flophouse (alternative/rock) and Visionaire (fusion of hiphop/funk/soul).

SouthSide highly suggests meeting her new friends, Izzy and The Kesstronics, at their next show. This lively bunch of rockers had SouthSide and others dancing to their retro rock sound. You'll hear a bit of Chuck Berry, Elvis (shaking that pelvis), and Jerry Lee Lewis (great balls of fire in sound) from this band. This reviewer enjoyed the rhythm section (saxophones and percussions) and rockin' guitar riffs. Listen to Izzy's tear-jerker, Strangers about one-night stands for that sweet yet hot saxophone serenade (believe this reviewer when she says it was definitely sweet and hot). Or have your burst of revenge against that annoying ex in Bobble On Your Grave. Everyone was caught the spirit of the wolf vibe when they closed with Gonna Do What I Want To Do. Hopefully, Izzy and the guys will return again for another rockin' jam session. In the meantime, visit Izzy and The Kesstronics at for more information.

Simplistic rock/alternative sound that explodes with melodic rhythms - that's how SouthSide describes the performance by The Palace Flophouse. Don't be fooled by this band's gentle tone and seriousness, blogspot readers. There's a rockin' energy within TPF's songs to get you movin' to the beat. This reviewer enjoyed the slice of life the band brought to their songwriting. At times, the lyrics could be as poetic in Irish Tune or whimiscal in The Language Barrier (both off TPF's current CD - Try Not To Get Worried). Though there's a mellow sound in the band's ballads, fans will enjoy how TPF performs with fire and gusto while on stage. SouthSide also recommends listening to Chubby Kid and If I'm Not There. Visit The Palace Flophouse at for more information.

Until next time, support your local scene,

06 Feb 10

... Who are you rooting for - Saints or Colts? ....
... Bears! ...

Hey, blogspot readers, fun times were aplenty at the Elbo Room during Super Bowl weekend! The Saturday night crowd packed this popular Lakeview venue for rockin' entertainment all night long. Upstairs, keyboardist Steven Mullan (currently on a winter tour with Caleb Lovely) performed a double set of originals and covers. Visit or for more information.

Meanwhile the lineup downstairs featured hot performances by Manny Capozi, Mahoney, Kicking Cans Band and Arkady. SouthSide heard great things about Mahoney ( or hopes they return soon for a full review. Also she recommends checking out the energetic workout of 80s alternative/pop rock sound by Workout Music. Fans enjoyed the fast paced jazzercise performance while dancing to songs such as Sounds Like Church and Working It. Visit for more information.

Now, blogspot readers, let's take a music journey back in time. A time when funk/soul music ruled the charts and Don Cornelius had the youth groovin' on Soul Train. Well reminisce no more ...what was old is quite new again. Funktion (pronounced "function" but with a "k") rocked the basement lounge with hot R&B sound and cool funk rhythms. This band, from Kalamazoo, MI, brought back the classic 70s music yet performed in a slight modern twist. Bursts of trumpet and sultry conga beats had this crowd instantly dancing to the Funktion groove. And that, blogspot readers, was barely into their opening song, Make You See.

Funktion's set was alive ...energetic and full of that fresh funk sound whick everyone (including this reviewer) moving to their songs. Besides the base funk/R&B sound, there was alo a touch of that Stax rhythms and rock riffs off the guitars heard in certain songs. Sometimes you could hear some lyrical freestyle verse behind the R&B music. With music like that, how could you not feel the groove and dance? For example, off their current EP, Funk Prelude, Step Into It (which has plenty of airplay on SouthSide's CD player) really had this crowd rockin'. Or listen to the funk anthem for 2010, Funk Year, for that classic Parliment sound. Still there was no slowing this band down at all. Too much funky music to stop your booty from shaking or doing the electric slide with the band. Though the fun had to end, Funktion closed their set with a song about hope in Better Dayz.

This reviewer highly recommends catching that funky fever with Funktion at their next show. For more information, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, February 5, 2010

19 Feb 10 - preview

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide has the latest scoop on the hottest ticket in town! This reviewer highly suggests everyone spending a fun Friday enjoying a night of rockin' indie music. Check out local guys - Cobalt and The Hired Guns when they share the stage with State Radio (now currently on tour)at Metro on February 19.

Since 2002, Cobalt had the pleasure of sharing the stage with other local giants such as I Fight Dragons and Pet Lions. In 2009, this band really burst onto the scene when they were part of Metromix's Rock the Vote final four. Now, they're fortunate to open for State Radio not only for the home crowd but also later this month at Cat's Cradle in North Carolina.

What makes Cobalt and the Hired Guns' music different? SouthSide believes it's their eclectic twist on the Americana sound. Think way outside of the box - it's not your ordinary alternative music. This bands adds a lively flavor of punk and rock. This unique combination has their fans dancing as well as singing along with the band. Cobalt's songs, You Left Your Sweater and Of Summer, have been receiving airplay on Local Q 101. However SouthSide recommends experiencing their shows live.

For more information about Cobalt and the Hired Guns, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,