Tuesday, August 31, 2010

September 2010

Hey, blogspot readers, the month of September explodes with a rockin' bang for SouthSide! There are plenty of awesome shows/events to check out along with this busy reviewer during the month. *SS - donotes which shows she will be attending for future On The Town reviews.

Thursday Sept 2 - Check out good friends, Makeshift Prodigy rockin' the LaSalle Power Co or hang out at Double Door for the Window Licker Showcase featuring Starter Kit, Ready The Destroyer, Baracuit Couture and Without A Breath. SouthSide's tentatively scheduled to review this Double Door show.

Friday Sept 3 - Pink Floyd fans DO NOT miss seeing The Machine at Beverly Arts Center! SouthSide heard that this band of 22 years has captured the essence and spectacular of a real Pink show. Visit www.beverlyartcenter.org for more details.

Wednesday Sept 8 - Celebrate Reggie's (Rock Club and Music Joint with Record Breakers) 3rd Birthday! This bash will be rockin' with live local music such as Treaty of Paris, Ha Ha Tonka, Black Actress and other notable local acts on stage. Visit www.reggieslive.com for more details about this fun party.

Thursday Sept 9 - SouthSide's rockin' SubT to review Mother Culture's set along with good friends, The Love Shots. This reviewer highly suggests snagging a copy of Mother Culture's latest EP - Sold Your Voice. *SS

Friday Sept 10 - SouthSide's rockin' Schuba's to review Matt Ryd at his record release show. Also snag a copy of his Looking For Home CD. *SS

Monday Sept 13 - SouthSide suggests checking out folk singer/songwriter Jarrod Dickenson (from Nashville, TN) live at Elbo Room promoting his live album "Jarrod Dickenson Live at Roost House". Check out his YouTube at www.youtube.com/jdickenson or visit www.jarroddickenson.com / www.myspace.com/jarroddickenson.

Tuesday Sept 14 - It's a double bill for this reviewer. First SouthSide's at Elbo Room to review Ricky Stein (from Texas) and then, she'll be making her Debonair Social Club debut to see Violet Winter. She highly suggests checking out the HOT video for Violet's song "Abuse Me" on YouTube. *SS

Also happening on Sept 14, SouthSide highly suggests rockin' to the cool summer beach sounds of Seaside Stars. Think of this band as Germany's answer to The Beach Boys yet with more of a light pop/rock groove. She recommends listening to songs Guiding Star and Summer Holiday (it's the perfect summer-themed song for 2010). Unfornately due to other shows planned for that same night, SouthSide is unable to meet and review this band's live show. HOWEVER, you shouldn't miss their only Chicago appearance at Darkroom ...hopefully, they'll return again. Visit www.seasidestars.net or www.myspace.com/seasidestars for more details.

Wednesday Sept 15 - Hangout at Elbo Room with SouthSide for Philadelphia Phil's double acoustic set in the upstairs lounge. *SS

Saturday Sept 18 - SouthSide's rockin' another music fest and this time it's at Martyrs'. It's the Rock Chicago mini music fest which will feature six of the hottest rising bands in local music - The Branded, The Dirty Vibe, Thunderunderus, Red City and Low Of The Low. Now that's one HOT lineup for a Saturday night! *SS

Sunday Sept 19 - SouthSide rocks out the week and weekend by heading back to Elbo Room to see Grand Evolution (from MA) along with local favorite Warhellride and Lehnen (from Austria). *SS

Wednesday Sept 22 - Strange Young Things (from AZ) land in Chicago for their Elbo Room performance. *SS

Thursday Sept 23 - Miggs (from FL) make their appearance at Lincoln Hall for a rockin' show ...SouthSide's tentatively scheduled to cover this.

Friday Sept 24 - SouthSide's taking a break from the music scene to hang out with her artist friends at Gallery 54B for the Subdeermal art show. Gallery 54B is located at 2128 S. Halsted in Chicago. *SS

Saturday Sept 25 - new band Deceibel Dog will be making their debut into this vibrant music scene at Abbey Pub. *SS

Thursday Sept 28 - join SouthSide for Wheatus when they rock the Elbo Room stage. *SS

Wednesday Sept 29 - this hardworking reviewer is rockin' out the month with Keith & The Complications at Double Door. *SS

Thursday Sept 30 - Semi Precious Weapons at SubT ...sounds to be a fun All-Ages show with Lady Gaga's good friends (perhaps she'll make a special appearance too!) *SS

Whew, what a month, blogspot readers! Hope to see you around town!

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, August 27, 2010

25 Aug 10

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's rockin' the heart of Evanston! Tonight, she's hanging out at SPACE for Dave Specter's Spectified CD release party. The Chicago blues artist's celebrating the release of his ninth album, Spectified, and it's his first studio release under the Fret12 Productions label. Containing nine original tracks and three covers, Dave recorded this one of a kind rockin' album at the studios behind SPACE. Spectified features well-known artists such as David Hidalgo (of Los Lobos) on a funky/Latin Blues track called Rumba & Tonic (awesome name for an alcoholic drink) as well as the rockin' brass section, Bo' Weavil Brass (led by trumpet man Mike Cichowicz, formerly of Tower of Power) on four tracks.

And what a swingin' party it was, blogspot readers. Dave and the band rocked the SPACE audience with a live double set which featured songs off Spectified. Also joining him on stage was Bo'Weavil Brass, Bro John Kattkie and Pete Benson (on keyboards). SouthSide enjoyed the energetic bursts of vibrant music that popped with life song after song. This reviewer definitely got her blues groove on while listening to tunes like Blues Call (a jazzy mix with a lively swing though the electric and organ sound was a bit overpowering off the monitors) and Funky Hunky (a hot R&B/swing/Blues mix had this contagious rhythmic groove that jammed ...easy to dance along with the band). She highly recommends checking out Dave's Azulado (translated as Blue-ish) off the Spectified CD as well. A calming, after hours tune with gentle docile yet vibrant sounds off the flute and trumpet accompanying Dave's electric and percussions. With the perfect lighting effects shadowing the stage, this song was performed under a slow relaxing tempo that gave the feeling of being a "last call"/"last dance" club track. The highlight of the night came when Dave performed the Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions classic People Get Ready. It was an excellent homage to this R&B icon that was played so tenderly and reverently with a lively gospel feel towards the end.

Just like the late great Bo Diddley, Dave Specter knew how to make his "Lucille" sing as well as cry depending on the mood and tone of the song being performed. At one point while taking the tempo down a notch, his guitar had this vibrant persona as it "sang" during an instrumental blues piece. And, blogspot readers, this "Lucille" sang sweetly and heavenly personifying that passionate emotion felt from his fingers. Also SouthSide highly suggests listening to his cover of King Curtis and the Kingpins' Soul Serenade - plenty of soulful blues that sometimes crosses over to the R&B sound. There was a definite rockin' blues jam going on as Dave, joined by Bro John's vox (on keyboards/organ), rocked out the show with classics Early In The Morning (a BB King tune) and Everything's Gonna Be Alright. This reviewer felt privileged to be witnessing this spectacular event with other well-known artists and friends in the audience. And on a personal note, she felt extremely lucky in meeting this legendary artist during a brief intermission between sets.

SouthSide highly recommends every Blues/Jazz fan checking out this Chicago legend, Dave Specter, live at his next performance and/or snag a copy of his latest album, Spectified. Also check out his site, www.davespecter.com, for Blues & Beyond, blogspot readers. This will give fans the insider access into the blues world with live interviews with blues/guitar icons, fan questions answered to lessons.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

22 Aug 10

Hey, blogspot readers, it's another fun Sunday night at the Elbo Room! SouthSide's rockin' the famous Lakeview venue for some music by Maddog Madden. This reviewer recommends checking out the eclectic alternative music by Sil Harvey. Visit www.silharvey.com for more information and music.

Who is Maddog Madden? Good question, blogspot readers. Well, she discovered they're not the rabid dog of rock music. Hardly, they're one totally fast and furious band of hardcore metal sound especially while performing Rocket Ship. Yet SouthSide expected more of a rockin' stage presence to compliment Maddog's head/hair banging rock music. She wholeheartedly advises that the guitarists loosen up more ...take notice of the drummer behind them who was truly rockin' to the vibe felt from their songs. It was a wondrous vibe floating from the thundering roar of the riffs and chords.

Still Maddog did rock the stage with songs like Happy Pills (what's a rock band without at least one cool song about drugs that keep people "happy"?), Louder (yes, man, crank this song up on the electric and bass ...lots of amplified guitar rock for your ears), and Rock Rock Rock (so good that they had to sing it three times). SouthSide does suggest to the band that they let the music ride during the instrumentals. She noticed they didn't give their audience enough time to soak deeply into their metal groove. For example, in Slaying The Gremlins, there were plenty of loud tumbling riffs and chord changes in which Maddog righteously jammed until the end. Or check out their Flight Of The Navigator - an awesome metal song that SouthSide highly suggests listening to get better acquainted with this band's sound. Or better yet listen to the epic-sounding ballad appropriately titled Dragons - plenty of guitar metal/rock to excite the blood as well as bang your head to the music. Though the finish was slightly rough around the edges, Maddog absolutely rocked out their headlining set at the Elbo Room.

Overall, blogspot readers, SouthSide highly suggests giving this "young" (newly formed eight months ago) rock band a try at their next performance. Maddog Madden, in her opinion, has the potential into becoming a rockin' metal band making noise in the local scene. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/maddogmaddenmusic.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

21 Aug 10

Hey, blogspot readers, it's a rare Saturday afternoon adventure at Reggie's Music Joint. SouthSide's rockin' the Southside venue to check out another fine acoustic performance by good friend (and Double Door's own door guy), Don Gibson.

Don rocked the afternoon audience with songs that are emotionally "down" yet performed with lots of fire and gusto on the acoustic guitar. And still ...there were moments in which we heard the whimsical side to Don such as the opener, Dear Mr. Leevee (about one sexually active chick pretending to be a virgin). SouthSide enjoyed his unique vocal style that at times may appear he's "talking" out his lyrics to you rather than singing them behind the vibrant acoustic sound. That "talking" truly pumped out raw emotions throughout his set only because he wanted everyone to feel the same as he did when writing the song. Even the guitar chords and riffs projected the exact sentiments off this artist especially during Blood (plenty of angst/aggression not only in the voice but also in the strings).

Perhaps there's another reason why Don's songs are so "down". The lyrics behind his songs seem to tell a story yet not personal to himself but personal to everyone listening in the audience. Somewhere in any one of his songs, he could be singing about the sordid details of our relationships and love affairs as well as the mundane and obscure of everyday life. For example in Confession, SouthSide felt deep humanly sorrow in Don's vocals with a touch of lover's angst that you would almost think he could cry at any given second. Still it's not his pain that the artist's feeling but someone else during this particular song. It may have been the saddest song on Don's playlist however it was one song in which he become the most vulnerable while on stage ...exposing what's deep inside his heart and soul.

SouthSide highly suggests checking out Don Gibson at his next acoustic performance for his tales about everyone and their lives in his world. OR say "hi" to him while he's working the door at the Double Door (trust SouthSide, he's a very nice person to talk to). For more information, visit or befriend Don Gibson on Facebook.

Until next time, support your local scene,

19 Aug 10

"...will work for music..." - Cosmos' t-shirt

Hey, blogspot readers, it's a yummy good time at the Beat Kitchen tonight! SouthSide's latest rockin' adventure had her munching on juicy burgers (with crispy tater tots) and groovin' to sultry funk/reggae music. She highly recommends browsing through the Beat Kitchen's delicious selection of eats before any show. So far this reviewer has tried their mouth-watering burgers (only five dollars on Thursdays) and spicy-cajun chicken breast sandwich. Not to worry, my veggie-loving blogspot readers, this venue does serve veggie/vegan meals too that go beyond the green salad. Also before handing your server the menu back, take notice of the classic vinyl given to you. SouthSide was rockin' to her Wild Cherry menu while selecting what to eat.

After a well-satisfying meal, it was time to rock and groove with tonight's lineup featuring a vibrant fusion of modern jazz/R&B-soul to reggae/ska. Bands Mos Scocious, Sidewalk Chalk, Vertikal and Doc's Delorean celebrated along with Akasha during their record release of how they move CD. SouthSide recommends checking out the smooth modern jazz/liquid soul sounds of Vertikal which featured some lyrical hiphop by MC Illegit. She enjoyed their updated version on the classic song, God Bless the Child as well as its other songs in which the music continuously popped with life. Also this reviewer recommends checking out the sexy funk/soul rhythm of Doc's Delorean which had a poppin' vibe throughout the set. The audience rocked to the eclectic fusion during Doc's Theme and their take on the classic 70s male song by The Spencer Davis Group - I'm A Man literally blew the rook off the Beat Kitchen. Also this group closed with another rockin' take which mixed a classic Nirvana song with Al Green's Love and Happiness.

Opening with awesome harmonizing vocals on Could U Be Loved theme, this packed venue was ready to feel the island vibe of Akasha. This local reggae/ska band had everyone rockin' and groovin' to their funky sound during this party celebration of their new CD - how they move. Yet there was more to this band's lively reggae music, blogspot readers. At one point, SouthSide heard a sultry yet unique mix of salsa with their reggae/ska that kept this crowd in a happy mood until the next song. This venue was jumpin' nonstop due to Akasha's vibe and momentum heard within its music. It was amazing to this reviewer watching how this band "infected" the fans and listeners into dancing to its contagious music. And it was very contagious ...even this reviewer was dancing along with the happy people. Performing songs such as Joy Song, One Man Rises, and When This World, Akasha's lyrics offered its listeners hope, peace, love and happiness as well as "preaching" a message about society/politics today. Think of the spirit of Bob Marley vividly speaking through Cosmos (the voice of Akasha) as he uses expressive body language to beautifully convey the lyrics throughout the performance. Even during the Could U Be Loved, U Got Me and many others, this reviewer was definitely feeling the spirit floating in this venue. It's highly suggested checking out the vibin' island groove, mon, by Akasha at their next performance. For more information, visit www.akashaband.com or www.myspace.com/akashamyspace.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

15 Aug 10

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's out and about covering two exciting shows in one hot night! First, she's hanging out with kids of all ages at the Bottom Lounge for Secondhand Serenade. Then she's popping over the Elbo Room for a nice serving of Pork'n Beans (actual band name).

Inside the Bottom Lounge, it was a crowded teen scene as bands Runner Runner and White Tie Affair rocked the stage. Yet, SouthSide was impressed by the depth and warmth felt during Secondhand Serenade's headlining performance. Though not truly familiar with this band's music, this reviewer enjoyed how the music stayed within the middle of the pop/alertnative spectrum despite its setup on stage. With three guitars and double keyboards, Secondhand could have gone either hardcore/electronica or overly bubble gum pop/rock. In SouthSide's opinion, it would have definitely changed the dynamic of the band and the emotion heard in John's voice ...losing that uplifting feel to Secondhand's sound behind the lyrics. Performing songs like Stay Away(off the new CD - hear me now), this band wowed its diehard fans with dramatic intros (just enough to get everyone excited for the song) to explosive pauses which gave its music the emphasis needed to make the entire song pop with life. No matter the style or tempo of Secondhand's songs, there's plenty of continuous energy and momentum to be found from beginning to end. What SouthSide liked most about this performance was the solo acoustic set perfectly situated midway through the show. She considered this be the high point since thie was when you could clearly hear how powerful his vocals can get without the full band behind him. Not saying his voice isn't as dynamic while they're jamming on stage with him ...this reviewer preferred listening to the raw talent of his amazing falsettos as he sang. She enjoyed how simplistic ...heartfelt and emotionally personal lyrics were off the two songs during this moment. It was the way while performing on the piano during the encore after the show. SouthSide highly recommends checking out Secondhand Serenade while this band's burning up the stage and airwaves before heading back to class. Currently on tour promoting the new CD - hear me now, visit www.secondhandserenade.com or www.myspace.com/secondhandserenade for all of the when and where this band will be next.

Meanwhile at the Elbo Room, SouthSide arrived in time for her yummy serving of Pork'n Beans and their headlining performance. Though not the band rockin' the stage, there was still plenty of vibrant semi-acoustic/alternative sound to impress this reviewer. What she liked about this local band was the continuous flow of emotionally charged music which helped the vocals do some powerful venting within the lyrics. For example, Pork performed a song not normally done with bassist Shanna in which highlighted the angst/frustration found in Shane's deep raspy voice. Even the music and tempo was in sync with the tone of the song that SouthSide thought he was going to break a couple of strings the way the guitar was played. Another fine example featured Drew (on percussion) on vocals during a song that had a tempo with something more of a livelier acoustic vibe with a poppy feel. This rockin' instrumental jam (done mostly in lyrical jazz scat) had this audience feeling the fun beat and rhythms of Pork's new song. Despite having a good performance at the Elbo Room, this band had to re-arrange their standard playlist to accommodate life without their bassist on stage. The guys did a very good job pulling off a solid show for the late Sunday night audience. Yet some songs did require a female's touch on vocals to balance out that aggression heard from Shane. Closing out the show with the song, Down, SouthSide highly recommends getting your own serving of Pork'n Beans - this band, though only at 2/3 strength for this review, definitely had a rockin' kosher mix of acoustic/alternative with other genres to add a bit of flavor into their music. Visit www.myspace.com/porknbeanslive for all of the when and where this band will be back on stage again.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

09 Aug 10

Hey, blogspot readers, it's back to business as usual after a long Lolla-music/party weekend! SouthSide's latest on the town adventure took her back to the Elbo Room. She was very eager to meet and hear the group from Boston, MA - The Grownup Noise.

Performing a few songs off their shall we? EP, this reviewer was highly amazed how Grownup's music sounded so much like the recorded version. Yet there was a slight difference. Despite not having the subtle sounds of the cello (by Katie) with them tonight, they were still able to pull off a lively performance of alternative/pop music with a touch of the Americana/folk feel. However, blogspot readers, it's not really fair to box this band as SouthSide did. Basically, it's damn good, feel happy dancing type of music in which she highly recommends listening to this summer.

What makes Grownup's music so damn good? There are bursts of unexpected energy at the most randomest of moments within its use of poetic/image-filled storytelling style of lyrics. This unique combination flowed beautifully together as the words vividly popped to life by Paul's (on guitar/keyboard) vocals. He had a way of projecting pictures inside your head while enjoying the lively feel of the toe-tappin' music. And that's another thing what SouthSide liked about this band. It (the music) constantly changed from one extreme to the next ...sometimes within the same song. There could be moments which a particular song (i.e. Artist Type) would have a rock sound and then POW from out of nowhere comes this alternative tempo to keep the song's rhythm at a steady beat.

This reviewer highly suggests listening to the mad crazy tune titled The Same in which it wonderfully reflected the hectic madness of many notes/chords jumbled together running all over the place. Yes, it was music gone wild, blogspot readers! But that's also a good thing ...not bad since it was a prime example of grownup noise performed by The Grownup Noise. Another song suggested is Vampire Love Song (not for those Twihard fans ...sorry this was written WAY before that craze became sort of fashionable, according to Grownup)for its retro rock feel combined with a bluegrass tone (off the steel pedal). This song definitely had a funky vamp-like vibe going on. Also check out Grownup's The Oldest Running Feature - a tender yet emotional love ballad that one can hear the poetry tucked inside the lyrics. It was very moving ...personal and heartfelt though this reviewer feels the keys and steel pedal should have been turned down to highlight Paul's voice to give the calming gentleness the song deserved.

Off the shall we? EP, Grownup performed live versions of Strawmen (track 1) Six Foot Solemn Oath (track 3), Artist Type (track 2) and Outside (track 4) which closed out their Elbo Room performance with a rockin' BANG! This rockin' group are currently on their summer tour - SouthSide says - check them out before heading back to school! For more information and tour dates, visit www.thegrownupnoise.com or www.myspace.com/thegrownupnoise. Also snag a copy of their shall we? EP - it's a worthy addition to your collection.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, August 6, 2010

04 Aug 10

Hey, blogspot readers, it's metal, leather and Flabby Hoffman on TV ...oh my! SouthSide's latest adventure had her making a guest appearance on the Flabby Hoffman Cavalcade, the newest addition to the Flabby Hoffman TV series. This cavalcade featured a variety mix of local comedic talent as well as rockin' music under one roof at The Exit - a popular gathering place for bikers, metalheads and the leather/alternative community.

Now, you're probably wondering who is Flabby Hoffman? Some say he's a rock myth ...a local legend righting the wrongs of the evil doers ...a champion for the little people. Who really knows? Probably some direct (or indirect) relation to the well known Abbie Hoffman with his pseudo-political themed songs when performing with his band, The Flabby Hoffman Trio, this masked man tapes live shows around town for his weekly Chicago Cable Access show (on channel 19 every Thursday from 11:30p to 12:30a). Sorry, only Chicago residents can only see this television show however one day he shall conquer the world, blogspot readers. Local music acts such as Hail The Black Dragons, Pool of Frogs, Before The Sun, Camera, Reverie (now Model Stranger) and Mr. Russia have made an appearance or two on the Flabby Hoffman Caravan Show. Tonight's musical acts included Wally Dogger, Spherical Banana and Soul Fix. For more information about Flabby Hoffman and/or how to appear one of his many shows, visit www.flabbyhoffman.com.

As always hosted by the lovable Sloop Biederman (www,dailylimerick.net), the first cavalcade got off to a rocky start, blogspot readers. Besides the minor technical difficulties, the comedy sketches were found to be a bit lacking on the funny side until later into the show. SouthSide enjoyed laughing to Ricky March, Marcos Lara and Thomas Bottoms during their five to ten minute sketches. Then there was the slightly unusual performed by another mysterious masked man only known as Sid Yiddish. This performance artist/poet/throat singer did a solo for the throat and spit stream as his act. This performance was quite interesting as well as entertaining to this reviewer in which she found herself laughing too hard while listening to the poetry of his throat effects. SouthSide highly recommends checking out the strange and unusual poetic style of Sid Yiddish. Sid can be found at www.myspace.com/2dollarcockroach or read his blogs at http://mishegasmaster.blogspot.com.

Wally Dogger rocked The Exit with an energetic performance of lively music and whimsical songs. This reviewer liked Tramp Stamp and You Only Like Me When I'm Leaving in which both appear on their We've Turned Into Monster CD. Though Pauly's (Wally's front man on guitar) voice somewhat sounded emotionally depressed during Cyanide, she liked how his vocals also vented some angst while keeping the music light and fun. Check out Wally Dogger at www.wallydogger.com or www.myspace.com/wallydogger for more music including Sugar In The Kettle. Meanwhile Spherical Banana was the most unusual musical act SouthSide has ever reviewed. The combination of folk/rock with in an instrumental Americana sound impressed this reviewer with its only song performed. It was about the sound an upset chicken makes when the guy she loves doesn't love her back (think of the Camilla-Gonzo-Miss Piggy-Kermit love square, blogspot readers). Despite having some rough distortion during this performance, she enjoyed the trippy-psychedelic feel to this one (long) song ...also liked the vibrant earthy flow and spontaneous energy that changed with the tempo and mood. Visit www.myspace.com/sphericalbanana for more details and information about this band. Lastly, the rockin' hardcore bang of Soul Fix closed out this edition of Flabby's Cavalcade. It was very energetic and full of vibrant guitar riffs especially during the instrumental bridge. This band truly allowed the chords ride long and hard with plenty of passionate fire. Yet the "soul" side to Soul's music came from Marlon's (front man on guitar) vocals. He had the audience feeling the angst and frustration as well as his high falsettos during certain songs. It's not a typical vocal style heard with rock band like Soul Fix but it definitely does work for this band ...giving it that momentum it needs to rock out a place like The Exit. SouthSide highly recommends checking out the hardcore sound of Soul Fix with its thunderous guitar sound and soulful vocals. What a dynamite combination! Visit www.soulfix.com or www.myspace.com/soulfixrock for more details and information about this band.

Until next time, support your local scene,

03 Aug 10

Hey, blogspot readers, it's always nice helping out a friend in need. A fundraiser event was held in The Branded's honour on Tuesday night to help replace gear and equipment lost due to recent flooding. Fans, friends and members of the local scene (i.e. Digital Mindy, Lucid Ground, Model Stranger, Bambi Raptor, etc) generously donated what they could for towards the cause. Even Matt (bartending tonight's benefit) donated all of his tips received to The Branded. The benefit included raffled prizes ranging from CDs to t-shirts and many other items as well as five dollar Branded Bombs (1/2 Jagermeister, 1/2 Jameson and 1/2 PBR) served by the lovely "Molly" (SouthSide promised not to post her real name). Plus there was rockin' acoustic entertainment featuring Rob Nicholas, Bambi Raptor, Ryan Powers with Mike Charvot, Your Little Ponies, Kelsey Montanz, Matthew Alfano (of Mason's Case) and The Branded. SouthSide was able to stay for the Rob Nicholas and Bambi Raptor performances before heading downstairs to see A Crush On Yesterday (from Germany). The Branded has set up an online link for donations ...please support this local band by giving what your can at http://funds.gofundme.com/thebranded/floodloss.

Rob Nicholas begun the evening's lineup of entertainment for this benefit with a lively acoustic performance. After having good friend, Mike Haracz (of The Branded) open with him on the first song, this reviewer was amazed by the talented singer/songwriter. She enjoyed the dynamic vocal power of his subtle voice behind the heartfelt lyrics heard within his songs. SouthSide highly recommends adding his self-titled CD to your collection and take notice of tracks two (Searching) and five (Lost Yourself). Also catch him performing again at Schubas in September. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/robnicholasmusic. Meanwhile, Bambi Raptor, though unplugged, didn't tone down the split personality of their music. They simply amplified it acoustically. SouthSide could still feel that cry for help and the need for anger management counseling from Roger (front man on vocals) and Kenneth (bass and vocals). She had a fun time listening to Bambi's short playlist which included Gunslinger and Alaska. It would have been interesting to hear their View To A Kill (not the Duran Duran cover) in an acoustic setting. However, the guys did rock out the crowd with their version of Disney's Kiss The Girl (from The Little Mermaid). Sebastian (the crab) may not approve the noticeable hint of anger/frustration in his song but SouthSide does. Catch this band rockin' the stage at the House of Blues on August 28 for the I AM Fest. For more details and information, visit www.officialbambiraptor.com or www.myspace.com/bambiraptors.

Now it was time to head downstairs to meet the duo from Magdeburg, Germany known as A Crush On Yesterday. Chris and Hans were finishing their US tour with a stop in Chicago's Elbo Room before heading home. SouthSide enjoyed the vibrant feel of this duo's music though it being simplistic and quite flowing in tempo. Yet, there were moments when the sound was calming and gentle while in others very vibrant and energetic especially when Hans played his acoustic guitar like an electric. The lyrics alone conveyed a clear image as to what each song was about. This type of music offered more of a romantic side heard within Crush's poetic ballad that brought out the emotions in Chris' voice. Think of it as the lost art of troubadour style singing being revived while listening to this band's music and lyrics combined. Performing songs like Writing Words In The Sand and Sinking Ships & Pale Seas, this reviewer liked the lively tempo in the song Two Days that had her rockin' during the instrumental bridge. This reviewer highly recommends getting to know the poetic music and feel of A Crush On Yesterday - vibrant romantic music your heart will definitely enjoy. Hopefully they will return again for another US performance but in the meantime, visit www.myspace.com/acrushonyesterday for when and where this duo's performing.

Until next time, support your local scene,