Thursday, September 30, 2010

29 Sept 10

"...50 Cent...
...We don't play any of his stuff..."

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's diggin' the soulful sounds at Double Door! Tonight, the famous venue was totally in the groove with lively R&B performances featuring bands like The Congregation and The Sometimes Family. If you're looking for a band that has energy rockin' the stage with a bit of the old-new school mix, then SouthSide highly suggests checking out Keith & The Complications.

There's nothing complicated about Keith and his swingin' music, blogspot readers. Hip cats would like the classic stax riffs (off the guitars), soulful rhythms (off the keyboards), HOT funkified horns and percussions. And then there's Keith and his two lovely divas adding powerful vocals and sexy charm to each song. What a dynamic combination! How can you not feel that vibe and momentum upon hearing the subtle crescendo at the start of the performance?

For example, this reviewer suggests listening to Sweat - everyone within this band added their own seductive persona into this song though in a downtempo groove, there's still plenty of spunk and fire in the music which had Keith and his divas literally sweatin' to the groove. He and his ultra suave falsetto had SouthSide feeling his sexy charisma and stage presence. She enjoyed the natural interaction between him and his female vocalists especially towards the end of the song during the hot electric solo.

The performance had this soulful vibe with a Southern Baptist gospel feel (off the keyboard rhythms) when Keith added some harmonics and deep emotion into his voice. The instrumental alone of this particular song in a slow downtempo pace rocked the stage with a splash of lively energy. And this energetic vibe wasn't solely contained to the stage. The audience felt it as well throughout this set especially when Keith would hop off stage to mingle amongst them. He was acting more like a gracious host than a front man of his band making sure everyone's having a fun time at his party. What a party this show turned out to be as Keith & The Complications closed in style by rockin' the stage to The Time (dedicated to Jerry Lee Lewis' birthday).

SouthSide highly recommends heading to Martyrs' on October 27th for Keith & The Complications' Record Release show. It should be one HOT rockin' time, blogspot readers. For more information, visit http://www.keithandthecomplications or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

25 Sept 10 - T-shirt Art Harvest Fest

Hey, blogspot readers, it's more fun with art ...and this time, it's wearable with a purpose! SouthSide and her girls attended a unique festival at the American Indian Center (located in Ravenswood) for the 23rd Annual T-shirt Art Harvest Fest. Sponsored by the Uptown Multi-Cultural Art Center, this three-day weekend fest featured an array of t-shirts on display (which could be purchased for ten dollars or less) designed by artists locally and across the nation. Besides art, there was local music performances by acts like General Patton and His Privates and The Flabby Hoffman Trio as well as delicious food.

SouthSide chatted briefly with the founder of this event, Chris Drew - a vocal advocate of The Free Speech Artists' Movement. Many might recognize the name and story from his arrest last year (on Dec 2nd) for selling art in public view in front of the State Street Macy's. Though only charged with a misdemeanor, prosecutors later charged him with a first class felony for audio-recording his own arrest and are seeking to have him serve a four to fifteen year prison sentence simply because he's a "dangerous" art person. Chris' goal during this fest was to educate the public about the artists' full speech right to sell art in public as well as change the current laws (peddler's license and park's policy) which prevents them from selling their art in public. Art, according to him, is covered under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Blogspot readers can read more about Chris Drew and his case as featured in a recent edition of Chicago Reader online at

Chris discussed in detail with SouthSide about The Art Patch Project in which UM-CAC (Uptown Multi-Cultural Art Center) teach the basic of screen printing (a free hands-on workshop) to artists as a way to sell their art on t-shirts. According to Chris, it's a community art form and what better way to reach the community than wearing a t-shirt created by local artists. Screening classes happen every Sunday from 3p to 6p at the American Indian Center. Visit for more information. Expect to see SouthSide sporting a t-shirt created by Irvin Cravatt titled "Peace" at future rock shows/events around town.

SouthSide highly recommends checking out her good friend ...ordinary citizen by day but masked man with a band at night, Flabby Hoffman. His band, The Flabby Hoffman Trio (always never an actual "trio" appearing on stage) made a special appearance at the T-shirt Art Harvest Fest. Saturday's performace featured an energetic grouping of five guitars (two bass guitars, one electric, one electronic, and acoustic), keyboard, therman, percussion, harmonics, female vocalist (known only as Trophy Wife) and Sid Yiddish (on meditation and ram's horn). After opening with a tradional Sid Invocation, each member of the Trio added a distinct piece of themselves into Flabby's eclectic rock sound and style. At times, his music borders on many genres between psychedelia to blues as well as new age/rock. He has most bases covered during his live performances. You might also say, blogspot readers, Flabby's music follows its own beat of a totally different drummer. With many flowing riff/chord and tempo changes in his instrumentals, sometimes SouthSide gets the feeling the masked man is communing with tribal spirits until the last note is played. In between songs, Sid Yiddish treated the audience to his pop culture Haikus subject or person was taboo from this poet master. This reviewer suggests taking a rockin' ride across the Flabby Hoffman universe at his next live performance. For more information, visit or

One special note, blogspot readers, SouthSide encourages anyone and everyone who wants to end the wars and occupations ...march for peace - come to Chicago on October 16th and join in a Midwest Regional March for peace and justice. There will be a rally starting at 12:30 at Michigan Avenue & Congress Parkway with a march through downtown starting (approx) 1:30p. SouthSide wishes she could be there herself to joun in this worthy cause however she has other plans happening that same day. For more information about this peace march, contact or visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

24 Sept 10 - Subdermal

Hey, blogspot readers, it's a well-deserved break away from bands for SouthSide. Tonight's she's viewing what's radical yet modern happening within the underground art community at Gallery 54B. Located in the Pilsen neighborhood, this showing was cleverly titled Subdermal which featured realistic and textured artwork by Melissa Hawrysz and Steven Johnson Leyba. This reviewer was curious why this unusual showing was called "subdermal" and Melissa responded saying "...because their art gets under people's skin ...exposing what's inside outward..."

Literally, blogspot readers, these artists' art will definitely get under your skin ...might even make it crawl a little too. Yet, that's the realistic approach of what this art showing wanted you to experience. Melissa's approach to her Subdermal pieces bordered on the female complexity as well as eclectic which featured real life texture and ordinary objects. For example, in one piece titled Hairy Pussy, Melissa used cuttings of her own hair for symbolic image of a hairy vagina trapped inside was a mouse trap and broken glass. Another piece, titled Itchy, had more clippings of her hair indeed had SouthSide feeling a bit itchy standing around it. There were otehr realistic textured pieces that had "used" condoms (Dirty Vagina and Dirty Condoms) as well as pins and band-aids ...some were splattered with human feces too. SouthSide at times found herself drawn to touch and experience what inspired Melissa to create such complext art.

Meanwhile, Steven took a difference approach to his artwork of his Subdermal showing. Compared to Melissa's art, his pieces represented the pain of what we experience underneath the skin. His technique had some texture and complexity like his counterpart however he featured intricate beading work (which accenting many of his portraits' designs), paint splatter and one special artistic ingredient - penis blood (his own). When asked about the beading, Steven referred to it as his Bhuddist meditation while creating his portraits. Today's modern art, according to him, " missing the realistic side..." SouthSide was intrigued by the deep emotions behind the haunting dark eyes of his Christine and Staci III portraits. She also liked his Gigi Lunar Alchemical (portrait) because it featured two quarters as nipples (not originally planned) as well as the elaborate bead work. Plus she loved touching his book full of painted/beaded pages in which each tells a piece of the entire story. Guests were encouraged to thumb through it during the showing.

During the course of the Subdermal art show, SouthSide chatted briefly with Brian Evan (Gallery 54B's owner) and Zore (curator). As probably the only underground art gallery in Chicago for over two years, they hold year round showings every 2nd and last Friday of the month which they focus on individual artists. Though booked with select artist showings, they said renting Gallery 54B is available (at a reasonable price) for any underground artist who wishes to host a showing there. For more information, visit The 54 B Gallery on Facebook.

Visit Melissa at

Visit Steven at

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, September 27, 2010

October 2010

*UPDATE - two new shows were to this post for Oct 29th and 30th!*

Wow, September certainly has flown by super fast, blogspot readers! Already thoughts of pumpkins, ghouls and other creepy things that go bump in the night are on SouthSide's mind. In the meantime, her calendar for the month goes as follows:

Oct 1 - SouthSide's rockin' Bottom Lounge to review Atari Teenage Riot.

Oct 2 - Chicago Sound Studio opens its doors! She's checking out this 1500 SQ Ft recording facility as well as Lucid Ground performing an acoustic set. For more information -

Also happening on this date, she highly suggests checking out her good friends, Save The Clocktower rockin' the stage at The Abbey. However, SouthSide will be making an appearance at Double Door for Blane Fonda, Jonny Rumble and Oh My God!

Oct 5 - SouthSide's back at Double Door for a FREE show featuring Papa Jupiter, Jack In Space, Illusions Fate, Daylight Dawns & Losing Scarlet - all good bands you should check out.

Oct 7 - Check out this worthy fundraiser happening at Empty Bottle. Presented by, Book Bike Fundraiser will feature performances by Sad Brad, Adam Fitz & Stephen Paul Smoker. Tickets are $5 with portion of the proceeds benfitting Book Bike. For more information visit

Oct 8 - First it's rockin with Bergamot (from IN) at Elbo Room then it's off to Jerry's to check out France Jean-Baptiste. For more information visit or

Oct 9 - Back at Elbo Room for PJ's My Cousin Too before rockin' her first Riot Fest at Subterranean to see The Last Vegas and The Gravetones.

Oct 10 - SouthSide's off to Reggie's to review Once A Pawn.

Oct 14 - SouthSide's interviewing as well as reviewing Keith Lynch aka Unknown Component at Elbo Room.

Oct 16 - SouthSide and her girls will be hanging out at this all-star lineup of bands featuring some of the best female rockers in the local scene. Portage Theatre is the place to be to see Chicago Girls Rock Show - tickets are $10 ...check out good friends, ADD (Analog Digital Disorder) and Beneath The Stares.

Oct 20 - Fans should head to U.S. Beer Co. to see a new local band hitting the scene known as Poly Black ...SouthSide might make an appearance to see them.

Oct 21 - SouthSide's starting her trick-n-treating early by attending The Dead Celebrity Ball happening at Logan Square Auditorium featuring the fun faculty and staff of The Prep School Tragedy with Mushroomhead. Plus there's an aftershow party at The Exit. Come dressed as your favorite dead celebrity and win a prize! Expect SouthSide to be dressed for the party too.

Oct 22 - SouthSide's partying at LaSalle Power Co to see her friends, Empire State Express rockin' the stage.

Oct 23 - It's SouthSide as you've never seen her before ...what will she be doing and wearing at the Illy's Burlesque B-Day Bash ...well, come to Elbo Room and see for yourself. *wink*

Oct 26 - Back to Double Door to see long-time friends, Milk At Midnight rockn' the stage.

Oct 28 - It's a double bill for this busy reviewer! First snag your ticket to attend Project Exploration's Change Your Face For Science Masquerade fundraising event. Happening again at Elbo Room from 7p thur 10p, this event raises money to help support programs which ensures communities overlooked by science - mainly minorities and girls - continue having access to scientists and science-related fields. Tickets are $25 in advance ($35 D.O.E.) / $10 raffle. For more information, visit

Also happening on this same night - Window Licker CD Compilation show's a pre-Halloween costume party so expect this reviewer to be dressed for the occasion.

Oct 29 - Last Rites Presents… The 3rd Annual Halloween Fest at The Abbey…
TOMORROW THE MOON as Pink Floyd, PENTHOUSE SWEETS as The Kinks, ELLIS CLARK & EPICYCLE as The Beatles, WHO’S THIS MARY as The Cure (lineup changes), CANASTA as Elton John, SENTINELS as MC5
Doors at 8pm and show at 8:30pm
$10 advance and $12 door
Ticket info:

Oct 30 - It's the annual Cealed Kasket Halloween party! And this year, Mortal Death, Soul Collector and many others will be rockin' Reggie's chivalry and honour!

Also... Last Rites Presents… The 3rd Annual Halloween Fest at The Abbey…
ZZ LISTENING as ZZ Top, PHIL ANGOTTI as Buddy Holly, THE WEBSTIRS as Beach Boys, THE DELAFIELDS as New Order, CURTIS EVANS as Nirvana, ANDROSTACHE as The Pretenders
Doors at 8pm and show at 8:30pm
$10 advance and $12 door
Ticket info:

SouthSide highly suggests getting your tickets NOW ...looks to be 2 great nights of rockin' Halloween fun!

Also at Elbo Room ...there's a special Halloween show! Dress in your best ...scariest costume and see The Plastic Boots, Bullet Called Life, Model Stranger, THE FIRESHIP, Bambi Raptor & Montia thrill and chill you to death. $10 / 21+

Oct 31 - SouthSide's taking the night off to hobnob with the ghostly ghouls and goblins ...trick or treat!

Until next time, support your local scene,

23 Sept 10

Hey, blogspot readers, it's a windy start to Autumn here in Chicago! Tonight, this busy reviewer rockin' the Park West to see Miggs (from FL) and then it's dining at Sushi O Sushi for some yummy Japanese eats. Both come highly recommended.

SouthSide first wants to apologize to Miggs for missing part of their opening set. However, she was able to enjoy the rest of the refreshing, energetic pop/rock sound in which the band rocked the stage. This reviewer suggests listening to Summer Takes The Fall (a perfect song to ease into the seasonal chage while holding onto those fun summertime memories), Crawl Inside (an emotionally charged love ballad which highlights the dynamic power of Don's [front man on guitar] vocals) and Let The Games Begin (an energetic rock pop anthem which pumps excitement and momentum). Catch Miggs currently on tour with Thriving Ivory and Ed Kowalcyzk (of Live). For tour dates and information, visit or Also listen to the podcast of Miggs' live appearance on Fearless Radio at

Just a short distance away from Park West, SouthSide suggests dining Sushi O Sushi restaurant for some yummy before or after concert eats. This friendly place prides itself on delicious sushi in 43 different varieties with unique names as well as Sushi & Sashimi, Dinner Entrees, Appetizers and more. This reviewer enjoyed the tantalizing Chicken Teriyaki while her friend tried the special uniquely titled Armitage (fresh tuna mixed top secret sauce on top of yummy cucumber). Diners will like the coziness of this intimate restaurant (great for first-dates and small gatherings) and the personable staff who make sure you're having a wonderful dining experience. Oh be sure to say "hi" to Kyle of (Along The Parallel). Check out his band when they rock the stage at Cubby Bear (Wrigleyville) on Oct. 9th. For Sushi O Sushi menu information and hours, visit or call 773 871 4777.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, September 24, 2010

25 Sept 10 - Preview

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide highly recommends checking out this show happening tomorrow night ...and guess what's FREE!!

Yes, that's right, SouthSide said "FREE". Don't get much free these days unless they start taxing the air we breathe but she shall save that rant for another day. It's all about her good friends, The Maybenauts rockin' the stage with Spacehog!

How cool is that?!

Why should you check out The Maybenauts? Well, this band does have the HOTTEST rock females a dancing panda bear on guitar. They're fun ...full a vibrant space/punk rock sound ...their live performances are very intense.

Check out their video off the Big Bang CD - Not Aware

Now the "free" part of this plug. This show will happen tomorrow night at Cubby Bear (Wrigleyville) and it's a 21+ show (sorry, kids). For free tickets go to Q101 site - (copy and paste this link)

The Maybenauts will be hitting the stage around 9:30p ...also making an appearance in this show will be SouthSide's other good friends, Holding Mercury - check them out too!

Have a good time, blogspot readers!

Until next time, support your local scene,

22 Sept 10

...good morning, welcome to the rock show...
Strange Young Things

Hey, blogspot readers, welcome to the 100th show for this On The Town review! Tonight, SouthSide celebrated this momentous feat (second year hitting 100 shows) with her very first and last (tiny) shot of whiskey before heading downstairs to see Strange Young Things (from AZ) rockin' the stage. However, she highly recommends checking out the eclectic rock-n-roll style of The Love Shots. Though recently reviewing this band as headliner at Subterranean, SouthSide enjoyed once again their vibrant mix of the old (think 50s/early rock-n-roll) and the new (punk/rock) together. She suggests listening to her favorite song, Husband Undercover, Banshee and Good Girl Gone Insane. Also at The Shots' live performances, listen out for their rockin' renditions of Pearl Jam's cover of Ricky Nelson's Last Kiss and The Ronettes' Be My Baby. For more information, visit or

Who are Strange Young Things? They're not strange ...hardly, but they do love to rock down a stage with an eclectic rock sound that's all over the map, blogspot readers. This quartet from Arizona exploded (literally) with a LOUD bang of energy and momentum ...vibrant guitar riffs and thundering percussion rhythms which this reviewer has a devil of a time writing and observing the action in front of her at the same time. There was so much happening on stage before slowing things down in the middle SouthSide had to stop writing for a minute. And this was just the opening song! Now simply imagine the rest of the set being like this and you'll have the type of performance Strange Young Things had at Elbo Room. This band pumped LOTS of rock music ranging from Americana to Country/Bluegrass ...even some R&B/Soul groove to funkified the audience. SouthSide was thoroughly wowed by the twittering riffs/chords in her ear to the toe-tappin' music vibe as well as the deep raspy vocals by Corey (front man on guitar). There's no way a band like Strange doesn't instantly grab your attention. And, ladies, you too will be melting from the sexy charismatic charm and stage presence when Corey's not behind the guitar. He did that and more while blowin' some sweet harmonics rhythms in the microphone to give one particular song its Americana/rock groove. Strange was on fire tonight, blogspot readers ...everyone on stage was feeling that rock vibe especially during songs Not That Kind and The Spoils Of War (look for that to be the title track of their next album). Off Strange's current CD, Look What They've Done To My Champagne Music, SouthSide suggests listening to track 1, Lonely Hearts Are Wild (the live version was a rousing set closer), track 3, Get Your Fire For Free (two words - smokin' hot), and the delightfully amusing track 9, You've Tripped On My Words For The Last Time (Don't It Hurt). The rest of the CD has plenty of toe-tappin' songs for you to groove while admiring the cover art ...and do follow Strange's advice printed behind the CD - play this album LOUD! SouthSide highly recommends fans in Arizona to head to Prescott where Strange Young Things will be rockin' the stage there. For more information, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

19 Sept 10

Hey, blogspot readers, it's an extra special Sunday night adventure for SouthSide! She's rockin' the Elbo Room to see and review three bands known for their unique as well as eclectic music. From far away as Vienna, Austria and Boston, MA or simply local, Lehnen, Grand Evolution and Warhellride are making an impact within their respective genres in the indie scene. And SouthSide highly recommends blogspot readers into checking out each band at their next scheduled performances.

High octane punk/rock was the best way for SouthSide to describe Warhellride's opening act. This lively energetic trio kicked off the night and lineup with an explosive BANG! There was plenty of guitar riffs and percussion rhythms vibin' inside War's songs which thrilled this reviewer with chills and exhilerating excitement seen in their stage presence. Punk fans will definitely enjoy the fast twittering chords and heart-stopping changes that gets the blood boiling to the band's sound. And don't be fooled by the downtempo riff changes either (during certain songs)'s merely a prelude to the wow-factor of sound happening at the chorus and instrumentals. Though fighting off a slight cold in the vocals, Jimmy (front man on guitar) pumped a lot of raspy angst and aggression into War's lyrics especially during Come Back To Me and The People Vs The Gun. SouthSide also recommends listening to the pseudo ballad wonderfully titled Sentimental Purpose slowing things down for a moment so the audience could feel the raw emotions heard within his vocals (despite straining towards the end). Plus check other songs featured on the site Greetings From The Apocalypse and Apathetic Casualty. For more information about Warhellride, visit

Under the cover of semi-darkness, Lehnen (from Austria) wowed SouthSide with a very intense performance of sight and sound. It created the perfect atmosphere for everyone in the basement lounge by setting the tone and mood of the music performing tonight. Instantly this reviewer fell in love with the majestic composition (almost like hearing Mozart's Piano Concerto number 20 for the first time) to Lehnen's opening song, What Is In The Air which beautifully begun the set. The audience was suddenly seduced as well as immersed into a world of haunting Euro electronica beats/rhythms coupled with emo/guitar rock in the riffs. Such a combination did something to body and soul was awe-inspiring ...heavenly yet lucid when adding vocals by Joel (front man on guitar) on lyrics. Plus Lehnen stimulated the mind and senses with vivid video images to provide a deeper sense of symbolism which conveyed the tone for each song. For example this reviewer loved the calming sensation felt while watching the waves of water and rain for one song ...meanwhile for another, it was the fun and excitement of being at an amusement park. This helped give her the rush of Lehnen's energetic vibe during songs like Make Believe (poetry in motion behind an electronica-beat driven sound and Coma (an electrifying closer for this performance). Off the album, Awake, SouthSide suggests listening to tracks 2 - White Flowers and 6 - Loom as well as the title track, Awake. Catch the band while you can during Lehnen's US tour, blogspot readers. For more information, visit or

Currenly in the middle of their first US tour, Grand Evolution (from MA) popped onto the stage with a rockin' alternative/rock groove. This band's music exploded with plenty of energy and momentum vibin' off the three guitars with wildly twittering riffs/chords for the audience. It was, blogspot readers, extremely wicked especially during the instrumentals as each riff/chord dizzily took us from one extreme to the next. WOW! The only problem about Grand's set - Jeremy's guitar sound was up too loud that drowned out his vocals at the chorus shared with Sarah. She needed more of Heremy's voice and less of his guitar when Sarah beautifully sung Vanish. Still SouthSide highly recommends rockin' with Grand by listening to Suicide Girl (check out the hot video on YouTube) and The Way I Kill (plenty of angst and aggression heard within Sarah's voice ...this female lead singer did pack a solid punch with her soft voice yet very powerful and emotionally dynamic). This band certainly rocked down the house with their rendition of Pixies' Gigantic before featuring other songs off their CD titled Recovery such as Welcome and Happy Hour. For more information, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, September 20, 2010

17 Sept 10

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's inching closer to the magical 100th show reviewed for 2010! Tonight, her 98th outting around town began with a rockin' BANG at Elbo Room to see Vanattica and Epidemia (from Russia) on stage. She highly recommends checking out Luring Thieves and their non-lyrical rock groove. This reviewer thoroughly enjoyed the fantastical journey inside this band's instrumental rock of jammin' guitar riffs. The audience was literally blown away by Thieves' heart-pounding sound and high andrenaline energy. What an experience! For more information, visit or

Who's ready for some intense your face rock performance? If the answers are "yes", then check out this band rockin' the local scene in Champaign, IL named Vanattica. Don't expect subtle guitar rock grooves when they hit the stage - Vanattica prides itself as the band with high energy that's going to blast your ears from start to finish. SouthSide was totally in the zone with Van's hardcore momentum ...feeling its riffs and chords while immersing herself in their thunderous vibe. What a rush, blogspot readers, and they're barely finishing the opening song! These guys bursted out of the gate like gangbusters reader to rockdown the Elbo Room leaving no part of the stage untouched with their exuberant presence. Too bad the stage was quite small ...she was told they do get pretty wild rockin' out at other venues. And SouthSide does love it when bands get wild upon feeling that momentum while performing. Besides the energetic tone of Vanattica's songs, let's not forget the driving force behind the band's sound - Travis (front man on guitar) on vocals. Watch out, ladies, this guy can literally steal your heart with the passion and dynamic power heard within his voice. His vocal style vividly caught this reviewer's attention especially during the live version of Ready Set Stop. There was plenty of angst in the lyrics as Travis poured a lot of himself into the words and mood of this song. Plus check out the amazing drumming by Drake and his elaborate set-up and Jaron (on bass) - sometimes these two can get a bit crazy during a nonstop action packed Vanattica show. Yet there was also a moment when a bit of pop/alternative rock sound could be heard. The feel didn't deter the band away from the energy or momentum even while kicking it old school with lots of twittering guitar riffs. What an exciting show, blogspot readers! SouthSide suggests checking out the podcast of Vanattica's appearance on Fearless Radio at For more information, visit or

Though SouthSide's command of the Russian language was a bit rusty, she was more than ready to rock with Epidemia. Performing one of two US dates, this band packed a lot of hardcore metal guitar rock with the passion of Russian poetry heard in the lyrics. Not knowing what was being sung in each song may have been a barrier for this reviewer yet she does have a distinct ear for listening to rockin' music performed as well as a watchful eye to read body language. Since music is the universal language of the world, she thoroughly enjoyed hearing the direct influence Western rock bands (especially Metallica and Scorpions) had Epidema through its guitar riffs and dramatic style. Plus she liked the European influence use of haunting electronica (off the keyboards) rhythms which added that balance to the rock edge as well as that passionate fire and energy. The best way for SouthSide to describe it would be like this - try imganing Russian composers Petr Ilich Tchaikovsky (for the poetic soul of music) and Sergei Rachmaniov (for that hardcore edge) combined with the fiery poetic words of Alexander Pushkin (SouthSide's favorite poet) and that's what she basically felt from Epidemia. She was fascinated by the poetry behind this band's rock sound which was vividly noticable in the piano/keyboard rhythms. The rise and fall of the crashing crescendos swept her away ...the thundering pulse of the percussions and guitar riffs aflamed the blood ...and in the beauty of the lyrics (mostly spoken in Russian) captivated her soul despite never understanding what was said especially when he hit the high falsettos. You had to be there, blogspot readers, to feel what this reviewer felt inside while observing this band performing at Elbo Room. This was one unique experience for SouthSide and she highly recommends checking out Epidemia wherever they're performing next. Hopefully they'll return to Chicago for another exhilerating rock show full of passion, fire and energy coupled with thrilling hardcore guitar riffs. For more information, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, September 17, 2010

14 Sept 10

OH what a night, blogspot readers! It was an incredible night to rock around town with SouthSide as she covered not only one but THREE seperate shows! A feat never attempted before until now. First, she was at Elbo Room for a little country and some Blues with Ricky Stein (from Austin, TX). Then she danced with a panda bear and The Maybenauts and mellowed out with some of Violetness' emo/electronica music at Double Door. Finally, this reviewer ended the night with an appearance at Debonair Social Club to groove with Violet Winter. Whew - don't ask where she gets all of this energy to rock like she did...

Returning agan for another Elbo Room appearance before hibernating in Texas, Ricky Stein rocked the stage with a rousing yet passionate Country/Blues performance. This singer/songwriter (also part of a band The .44) grabbed SouthSide's attention through his raspy falsettos as well as the energy in which he acoustically performed his songs. A few had this rockin' electric twang coupled with some harmonics rhythm to give them that Blues sound ...meanwhile on acoustic guitar, there was this mellow calmness heard in his music. For example listen to Shreveport Blues - what a strong opening song filled with fiery emotions in the vocals and electric riffs. Or Now Or Never - in which Ricky passionately sang about his hometown through vivid imagery off the lyrics. Then there was Out On The Road Somewhere that had SouthSide feeling the road well-traveled via the lyrics within the soothing calmness of his voice. This ballad could easily as well as personally sum up his 2010 summertime travels since he logged over 30,000 miles on the engine. This reviewer also recommends listening to his new song - On The Rise (this will be featured in the next album) for the way it demonstrated the dynamic power and range of Ricky's emotions while singing about the aftermath of an apocalyptic event. Off The .44 CD - In The Red, SouthSide highly suggests listening to track 2, Trouble All The Same (the live acoustic version rocked the stage while the recorded version with the band added more fuel to the fire within his vocals) as well as recorded versions of Now Or Never (track 3) and Out On The Road Somewhere (track 4). The title track - In The Red, blew SouthSide away with its lively Country/Blues sound with Ricky behind the full band. Perhaps, The .44 will make an appearance in Chicago along with Ricky next summer. For more information, visit The .44 at Visit Ricky Stein at or

Before heading to Debonair Social Club for a late night performance by Violet Winter, SouthSide stopped by Double Door to check out her friends, The Maybenauts, rockin' the stage. Fans thoroughly enjoyed the wild space ride which included a dancing (costumed) panda on guitar. Don't despair if you missed this free show sponsored by Old Style. They will be rockin' the stage again at another free show on Sept 25 at Cubby Bear (Wrigleyville). For more information, visit or SouthSide also recommends checking out the dark emo/electronica sounds of Violetness. Not only will the music send chills down your spine but so will the haunting vocals of this band's female lead. Don't be fooled by how soft she sings, blogspot readers, she does pack a lot of emotion and fire into Violetness' lyrics. For more information, visit Expect full On The Town reviews on both of these bands in the near future.

Off to Debonair Social Club where SouthSide was excited to finally hear the live version of Violet Winter and its self-titled CD. This reviewer enjoyed how the band opened with track 10, Becoming - the perfect song to immerse the audience into the darkside of Winter's harsh ...cold electronica/rock. And it can get very cold and harsh while listening to this non-lyrical track since it emits the sense of someone's frustration and aggression against the clashing mesh of keyboards and guitars. Moving right into Disease (track 7) and Living A Lie (track 5), this reviewer liked the way Violet's front man, Oscar (also on guitar) wonderfully vented heated raw emotions of anger without ever turning the band's core sound into hardcore screamo. Also, the reviewer specially noted that the music itself had a vivid personality of its own. If there were no lyrics to such songs like Break (track 4) and Part Of Me (track 6), the angered mood and tone of the songs would be clearly evident inside the dark electronic keyboard rhythms and guitar riffs. SouthSide highly suggests listening to track 8, Find A Way, though the live version differed from the recording (which featured Malik Yusef), the live version still retained that haunting feel (sans the violin rhythms at the end) as well as Oscar's pain heard within the vocals. Also she suggests listening to Violet's current hit (and see the YouTube video) Abuse Me (track 2). SouthSide's favorite song had this delicious sensation of one can experience pleasure from pain and vice versa underneath its sultry electronica groove though it would have been better if they ran the video for a more visual image at Debonair. Still ...she was all tingling inside from hearing the song live. SouthSide says ...this season's color for winter is not white but violet and highly suggests checking out the darkside (if you dare) with Violet Winter at their next performance. Be on the lookout for their rockin' Nine Inch Nails' cover of Closer. For more information, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

10 Sept 10

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide rocked Schubas! Her latest adventure had this busy reviewer hanging out at the popular Lakeview venue for an exclusive celebration sponsored by Binny's (Beverage Depot). Matt Ryd was celebrating the official release of his newest CD titled Looking For Home. Besides a sold-out crowd of family, friends and special guests, he also asked Little Light and Mike Mentzer to share the stage with him on this night.

Performing their show together, Little Light kicked off the night with a soothing, mellow performance of semi-acoustic music. Pairing the electric with an acoustic added some depth and emotion inot the duo's sound which immediately grabbed everyone's attention. SouthSide enjoyed not only how the vocals wonderfully complimented each other but also conveyed the imagery and tone of their songs performed. In the truest of simplistic terms, blogspot readers, nothing - neither music nor vocals were ever hurried or rushed during this fantastic opening set. These musicians simply allowed the mellowness of their music breathe ...inspire in which had everyone delighting in its wondrous effects. And it also gave SouthSide her unique opportunity to see an electric used an acoustic instead of the hardcore rock instrument though still retaining that lively rhythm. SouthSide highly recommends checking out this local duo when or wherever they're performing next.'re all genies in my bottle...

I Fight Dragons fans will remember the name of former member, Mike Mentzer as the laser gun rockin' guitarist of the band. Well, he may not be fighting dragons or rescuing princesses these days but he's still rockin' the stage as front man of his own band with more of an alternative/pop sound. Featuring Al (of Contriaband on bass) and Justin (of Fashion Bomb on drums ...without the mask and paint tonight), Mike's music and sound had this vibrant groove in which had the audience dancing. She enjoyed the bursts of energy felt throughout the performance that included songs such as Lessons From Being Alone and Butterfly. The highlight of the night came when he performed a popular IFD song, This Just In. SouthSide remembered how it originally was performed with the videogame pop however she enjoyed Mike's version better as it was intended to be. He uncovered his own song with more raw emotions in his vocals especially witin the tenor falsettos. Also, his cover version of Christina Aguilera's Genie In The Bottle cleverly ditched the original poppness for something more within a rhythmic funk/groove sound. It was steamier (than Christina's original) and quite soulful spoken from a male's point of view. Another fine moment happened when Mike performed an acoustically solo that truly had showed him transtitioning from part of the band to front man on his own in SouthSide's eyes during These Eyes. It also demonstrated the dynamic power of his vocals as a singer/songwriter. This reviewer highly suggests IFD fans checking out the "new" Mike Mentzer as he rocks the stage on his own. For more information, visit or

...we'll be playing guitar bingo later in the show...

If you're a Scrubs fan, you've probably heard of Matt Ryd ...better yet his hit song, Healed, featured on an episode before. Even if you have or haven't, this reviewer highly suggests getting yourself quite acquainted with Matt by snagging his latest CD, Looking For Home, as well as attending his next live show. Fans will enjoy his eclectic yet rockin' Americana/alternative sound that's full of life and energy. He had one lively rhythm section featuring Justin (again on drums ...and looking very dapper in a shirt and tie), John (on violin), Ben (on bass) and Joan (backing vocals and keys). Performing song off the CD like For So Long, Pieces and Wondrin', it was very difficult for SouthSide to pick which was the highlight of the night since this singer/songwriter had so many throughout his set. She did find a couple of examples such as when his father, Steve Ryd, joined him on stage for Lie To Me with a rockin' trumpet solo. Another was when he performed SouthSide's favorite song, Shadow Of Your Life (track 11 on the CD) in which the live version was more moving than its recorded version. Hearing the haunting rhythms off the violin live coupled with Matt's acoustic guitar took on a whole new meaning for this reviewer as she felt the lyrics to come life inside her ears. Or feel that angst and frustration when he wrote the songs Thought Was Wrong and Over You (the ultimate break up song for the year. And of course, the true special moment happened when Matt finally performed his hit song, Healed, to end the spectacular performance. However, this crowd didn't have enough of Matt and his rockin' band as an encore, he rocked out the crowd with a Jackson 5 cover I Want You Back. Now it was truly a party, blogspot readers. For more information, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

09 Sept 10

Hey, blogspot readers, there's still plenty of summertime fun left on SouthSide's calendar before the frosty autumn chills come! Her latest adventure had her perched in her favorite spot at the famous Subterranean. This balcony seat offered the best view in the house to cover the hot performances rockin' the stage tonight. The lineup featured Mother Culture and The Love Shots with Empire State Express and Ryan Traster.

She regrets missing most of the Empire's set however the little she heard mad her reserve future performance dates for a full On The Town review. This reviewer enjoyed the energetic sound and feel to this band's Blues/Americana music especially during their cover of a Ray Charles classic, What'd I Say - performed with lots of fire and passion. Visit this band at or their Facebook page for more information. Ryan Traster (from NY) had SouthSide enjoying his semi-acoustic performance. Currently on tour with Mother Culture, this singer/songwriter (joined on stage with friend Dillon on bass) impressed this reviewer with not only his vocals but how the heartache/pain was clearly expressed through his lyrics. Ryan's words seemed so personal and straight from the heart. Visit Ryan Traster at or for more information. SouthSide highly recommends checking out both opening acts at their next performance.

SouthSide suggests reading her interview of Mother Culture at to meet the members of this quartet band from Kansas City, MO. She highly suggests checking out their next live performance for the rockin' organic sound ...the energetic feel that popped to immediately grab your attention. And Mother was barely into their opening song to have SouthSide feeling the vibe and momentum of their music. With three guitars in the band's lineup, Mother could have gone the hardcore or screamo/metal route yet they kept it within the pop with more alternative for their rock sound to retain that earthiness heard in the lyrics. For example in Mission, SouthSide definitely heard and felt the purpose of Mother's mission with the vibrant drumming (by Nick) ...almost having a tribal-like groove rockin' the stage as barefoot Jessi lit the mircrophone on fire with her vocals. Or listen to Exodus - though performed in a downtempo beat, there were still bursts of organic energy felt in the music as well as in Justin's (on guitar) vocals with Jessi backing him. This band, blogspot readers, was all about making their music fun and spontaneous without overloading it in fancy guitar hooks or instrumentals. Mother was having too much fun rockin' the stage to even slowdown for Sold Your Voice (title track off their latest EP) and Paper Dolls (with Plastic Parts), track 2. SouthSide highly suggests getting to know Mother Culture while they're in the midst of their Fall 2010 tour as well as snagging their latest EP, Sold Your Voice. For more information, visit or

Hey, blogspot readers, it was time for SouthSide to get her rockin' dosage of The Love Shots! This local trio featured an eclectic twist to the punk/pop rock sound by incorporating a retro sound (early 50s rock-n-roll) into their music. For example, their cover of Quiet Riot's Cum On Feel The Noize was switched from its original 80s metal-hair sound to be re-arranged to fit into Shots' retro style as they began their performance. This style had SouthSide enjoying the lively rhythm as well as the energetic beat for anyone to dance along with the band. Fans should take notice (besides the retro feel of Shots' music) of this band's take on the subject of love. Yes many are about love but don't expect them to be happily lovey dovey. The Love Shots wonderfully expose the dark side of love which is never lovey dovey's darker, lustful and sometimes painful. Check out their songs Kill, Good Girl Gone Insane and Banshee. Prime examples of love sometimes gone wrong and/or painful. Yet there were two moments in which the softer side to Shots' made an appearance. SouthSide recommends listening to Katlynn (a personal love ballad straight from the heart from Danny [on vocals/guitar] to her) and the 2007 Pearl Jam cover of Ricky Nelson's Last Kiss. Also she recommends listening to her favorite song Husband Undercover and the heart-pounding howl of Wolfhound (plenty of chills and thrills down your spine). This reviewer highly recommends getting your own dosage of The Love Shots and its retro rock sound. For more information, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

07 Sept 10 - Rock-N-Roll Fantasy Camp

...we're all fans... ~ Rudy Sarzo

Hey, blogspot readers, want to experience the ultimate backstage life as a celebrity rock musician? Or did you once have a dream of performing on stage in front of a crowd of screaming fans? If the answers to SouthSide's questions are both a "yes", then she invites you to participate in the Midwest session of Rock-N-Roll Fantasy Camp held during the weekend of November 19 thru 21. This camp session dubbed as the "Weekend Warrior" will be a mini version of what campers experience at the week-long camp session held at Los Angeles. Yet this one in November will be held at the legendary House of Blues. This is Chicago's first time hosting a fantasy camp though other locations, besides Los Angeles, also include New York, Las Vegas and Abbey Road Studios in London.

Since holding the first camp session back in 1997, founder David Fishof has been making many campers' fantasies become a reality regardless of their musical abilities. Rock-N-Roll Fantasy Camp gives the avid rock fan the chance of a lifetime to be and live as a rock musician. Plus, each camper who attends gets to jam with their favorite rock musician such as Slash, Roger Daltrey, Ringo Starr as well as rehearse and ask them questions. Sounds like a dream come true, doesn't it, blogspot readers? Campers attending the session in November can expect the following: 1)admission to the three-day camp session with featured camp counselors Rudy Sarzo (Whitesnake, Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne), Mark Hudson (Aerosmith), Mark Farner (formerly of Grand Funk Railroad) to name a few with co-founder of The Allman Brothers, Dickey Betts, as head counselor; 2) two lunches as well as opening night cocktail party/dinner and a ticket to the final night concert; 3) a swag bag with surprise goodies inside; and 4) learning and playing along with their famous counselors. And there are few other extras too such as a DVD of the final concert (with you, the fan, in it performing on stage!), the opportunity to write and record an original song at a historic studio ...and plenty more. Rock-N-Roll Fantasy Camp is billed as what a "REAL" VIP package is like with the promise of true rock star interaction any fan can imagine.

SouthSide had the extreme privilege to sit down and interview ...more like chatting with an old friend, Rudy Sarzo, one of the many counselors scheduled to appear at Chicago's "Weekend Warrior" session to discuss RRFC as well as his career. Rudy Sarzo has an illustrious career performing as bassist for artists/bands like Ozzy Osbourne, DIO, Whitesnake, Blue Oyster Cult for over 20 years. However, ask him about RRFC and there's a certain twinkle in his eyes. According to him, RRFC also fulfills a fantasy "...of hanging with people from other bands he admires..." since he doesn't approach the camp session as a celebrity bassist. As you see, blogspot readers, fantasy camp not only makes ordinary rock fans' dreams come true but also the rock celebrities' dreams. Yet, he doesn't view himself as a "rock star" ...he's more of a rock fan. "Rock stars are those who live 24/7 doing their personal best," says Rudy. The bassist even considers the guy at his local Home Depot who knows the aisle where the nuts and bolts are located a rock star. But on the flipside to the rock star persona is the "rock casuality". "They," according to Rudy, "wonder when and where's the next party is happening." These people work so hard being focused on making it big that they don't have an idea on what to do next. "There's a time to party ...and a time for [real] life..." says Rudy ...and that, blogspot readers, is sage advice for all of us to follow.

Rudy believes there's a rock star inside everyone and that at Fantasy Camp, it's his pleasure to awaken and unleash it during the finale concert. He enjoys helping campers search for that next magical moment in their lives ...helping them discover that belief and faith in themselves as musicians. During the course of this conversation, SouthSide learned that the bulk of the campers are individuals successful at some level of their career. Whether it's being a mother (yes, motherhood is the world's toughest career, blogspot readers), attorney, CEO, etc., Rock-N-Roll Fantasy Camp attracts all walks of life from all over the world to its sessions. Yet, the difference between them and Rudy is that he was too focused on his dream ...never giving up. Please, realize, blogspot readers, this wasn't said in a negative tone because you must understand where he was about 30 years ago before becoming a world famous bassist. He shared with SouthSide about the time of his life back in 80s when he was literally sleeping on a sheet on the floor in which he did some soul searching ...even had an epiphany about his career and then was taken into the home of Ozzy and Sharon thus beginning his career.

According to Rudy, "...being a musician in a common denominator ..." since music is the universal language spoken by everyone whether its vocal and/or music. SouthSide and Rudy discussed passionately how music is also an universal form of communication. For example, most musicians cannot convey their thoughts/feelings easily with ordinary words but through their music/lyrics, they can convey the same thought/feeling to everyone listening. It merely takes a willing ear to listen to what the musician has to say. Another fine example, blogspot readers, is when Rudy's advising campers about performing covers. He tells them while performing a particular cover they should always consider the following thought "what does the song personally mean to them". That song has to mean somthing in order to perform it ...and not just played as it was originally recorded. Believe SouthSide, she has heard some horrible covers by artists/bands who didn't personalize the cover songs within their own style or music. Rudy did bring up a fine point about Mick Jagger (The Rolling Stones) and his classic hit, Satisfaction in which Mick will it differently during each show performed than it was originally covered because it might mean something to him now than then.

However, blogspot readers, as a Fantasy Camp counselor, Rudy, is all about bringing out the personal best in each camper. This is what has him coming back each year. According to him, camp takes individuals once as strangers and turns them into a band ...cohesive family jamming on stage together during the finale concert. And he relayed to this reviewer that many friendships form at camp doesn't end once the show is over ...campers, both male and female, do stay in touch with each other creating lasting friendships. What's Rudy's Rock-N-Roll Fantasy Camp fantasy? Well, blogspot readers, it's performing with other rock greats such as Mark Farner (formerly of Grand Funk Railroad) who in Rudy's opinion is singing better now than before, Kip Winger (Winger) an old friend and other wonderful people he finally gets that special chance to perform with while at camp.

SouthSide then asked Rudy if could give some in sight on what viewers will see during the VH1-Classic reality series about RRFC. Hoping for a scoop, she was told it was somewhat hush hush. Rudy did mention that the reality show is NOT scripted but with drama about the camp experience. However, in reality, RRFC sessions are actually drama-free, blogspot readers. The goal of RRFC is giving all campers the best rock-n-roll experience possible. And here's another fact about Fantasy Camp - all campers and counselor co-mingle ...counselors are accessible at all times of the day. How cool is that? So if you have a burning question at midnight or 11a, your counselor is there for you. But during the taping of the reality series, campers and counselors didn't co-mingle plus counselors weren't accessible to campers.

This reviewer had Rudy explain in more detail what the "Master Classes" are which take place during camp session. As a bassist, he accesses the skill level of the bassists within his group and then caters to their musical needs. Though it's a group setting, he's actually giving one-on-one individual help to each musician in the room. So while Rudy's teaching one person, the others in the group are also learning, following along and watching as well. For fun, this reviewer asked Rudy which artist and/or band would he like to have the opportunity to work with and why. He answered thoughtfully Jeff Beck (The Yardbirds) because his guitar playing scares him it (the guitar) talks to him. Also he mentioned Roger Daltrey (The Who) who will be at the New York Rock-N-Roll Fantasy Camp session.

Lastly, SouthSide asked him about what the motivation behind his book "Off the Rails - Aboard The Crazy Train in the Blizzard of Ozz". Spending a year and half writing it, the motivation came from fans who've always asked him "what's it like play with Ozzy and Randy Rhoads (the late guitar wizard of the Ozzy's band)". There are, blogspot readers, some amazing stories to tell that sometimes Rudy found himself forgetting to tell one story or two. Also it was his way of thanking Randy for giving Rudy his big break back in the 80s as well as saving their lives. Oh on a SouthSide personal note - this reviewer did get the REAL story behind the infamous bat rumor! Yes, blogspot readers, the bat was real because Rudy saw it land on stage but Ozzy thought it was a fake rubber one. Well, let's just say he (Ozzy) had to take a series of rabies shots after they couldn't find the bitten bat when it was tossed into the audience pit.

Final words by Rudy Sarzo - he LOVES Chicago! He say the city is clean ...way cleaner than New York, Los Angeles and even San Francisco ...loves the weather here but not during the wintertime ...and remembers working at [Original] Mother's back in the day (made SouthSide feel so young during that moment).

SouthSide would like to thank Rudy Sarzo for taking time out of his busy schedule for chatting and giving this reviewer the interview of a lifetime. Also she would like to thank David Fishof and Randy Alexander (of Randex PR) for setting this opportunity up.

For more information and details about Rock-N-Roll Fantasy Camp, visit or call 888-762-2263 X2. Who knows ...perhaps SouthSide will get to the chance to live out her rock-n-roll fantasy...

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

01 Sept 10

Hey, blogspot readers, it's another exciting edition of the Flabby Hoffman Cavalcade! Every first Wednesday of the month at The Exit (Chicago's original punk/biker bar who don't give two bits about their reputation)featutes a bit of everything packed into ONE fun show of music, comedy and uniquely unexpected. Chicago area blogspot readers can watch clips of the Cavalcade every Thursday night on CAN channel 19 from 11:30p to 12:30a or on YouTube. Tonight's musical lineup included performances by Flabby Hoffman Trio (with poetic Haiku by Sid Yiddish), Monk 9, Hail The Black Dragons, Aaron Morales Band and Orifice A. Each Cavalcade is hosted by funny man Sloop Biedermann in which you can find him at

Opening with Invocation (Sid Yiddish on ram horn), Flabby Hoffman Trio (usually never an actual trio) rocked out The Exit with an eclectic blast of music. The Trio featured a variety of instruments (keyboards, therman) and SouthSide's rockin' friend on guitar, Lizard (of Plain Ole Delicious). To the ears, Flabby's rock sound tend to be wild as well as chaotic however that, blogspot readers, would not be the case. Each member of the Trio are adding a piece of themselves into each song written and sung by the masked man himself. Believe or not - they do not even rehearse before performances! Don't ask how they can understand what to play or how each song should sound like ...that's the mysterious magic of Flabby Hoffman. It's his way of allowing the unique collection of rhythms and beats take on a life of its own especially during the instrumental. Performing such songs like Cornholing The Easter Bunny and Chest Set Made Out Of Hooker Scabs (yes, those are actual song titles), Flabby and the band had Sid recite a bit of pop culture Haiku between songs. This was an all-star jam session with poetry at its best. For more information, visit or

Recently rocking the stage at Elbo Room, this duo mysteriously named Monk 9 bursted into their set with a BANG! To SouthSide it was more like "wham-bam-gonna-hit-your-face" BAM of rockin' sound. She liked Monk's funky groove that featured 9 on electronic bass/guitar and Monk on percussion. Both musicians performed each song with energy and gusto which brought excitement to this Exit audience. This set had momentum that wouldn't quit. They rocked out their performance with a HOT KC & the Sunshine Band cover, Get Down Tonight. Though there was less disco, it had plenty of funk/rock sound for SouthSide to dance along with the band. She also highly suggests listening Leave Me Alone and Nasty Girl. For more information, visit or

If you want to hear epic-sounding space rock, then check out SouthSide's good friends, Hail The Black Dragons. These Dragons will definitely soak your ears with hardcore guitar riffs and electronica (by Android on keyboards) as well as glam by Aston (front man on vocals/guitar). This band prides itself in giving what its fans and audience demand - one heck of a rock show. And that's what happened tonight. Performing songs like Specto Labyrintho Pantheono(roughly translated Master Of The Mountain) and Female Archetype(listen for the "Batman" theme running off the guitar riff), HTBD also performed Cobrahead, a snake-like rock-n-roll song to chill your blood, blogspot readers, with venom (lots of angst and frustration). SouthSide suggest snagging their triple disc titled Space Phantom Machine Vampire for other rockin' songs like Shining, Monster Zero (SouthSide's song) and Wings of Hyperion (nearly sixteen minutes of epic-sounding space rock that clearly defines HTBD's sound). For more information, visit or

Sadly, blogspot readers, SouthSide honestly came to a juncture of the Cavalcade in which she honestly didn't like Aaron Morales Band. It was the music that she found fault with but the whole structure of the band itself. Never had she seen and/or heard a corporate-manufactured group of musicians who lacked stage presence (basically standing there not generating any excitement for the music performed). Plus this band butchered a Rolling Stones classic (and one of many SouthSide's favorites) Heartbreaker. It was certainly a heartbreaker watching a musician get overwhelmed and overpowered by the music in which no one could hear his vocals over the microphone. And don't get this reviewer started on the "fake" groupie chicks dancing and trying to air guitar along with the band - totally NOT necessary. The band as well as the music should be selling the band to the audience not the chicks dancing. Not only that, the documentary film crew and screaming "security" guy (loudly shouting to hype this band in SouthSide's ears) were truly a distraction. She has a couple of suggestions for Aaron - skip the groupie chicks, they weren't doing much but over inflating what wasn't really there. And stop rushing through the songs, allow the music to "breathe" for your audience to enjoy ...rock music is meant to be passionately played ...not rushed as if you're running a race.

Closing out this edition of Flabby Hoffman's Cavalcade was the energetic punk/screamo rock music of Orifice A. Angst and aggression as well as frantic chaos ruled this rockin' performance behind this band's wicked riffs and chords. And the energy felt - plenty of that abound that it had SouthSide's head banging to the metal beat. Plus Orifice won the "best band accessory of the night" award when Scotty Jam Jam rocked the stage in a plaid black-n-white bikini top! Yes, ladies, that Scotty can certainly work a bikini top while hopping on and off chairs. Though rockin' The Exit at the early hours of the morning, this band packed its set with heart-pounding, thundering guitar rock. This reviewer highly suggests listening to their songs Dead Hooker, The Goodness of Jim Jones and Don't Sit On My Bread. For more information, visit

Who know what fun and music holds at the next Flabby Hoffman Cavalcade ...just have to wair until October...

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, September 3, 2010

29 Aug 10

Hey, blogspot readers, after rockin' the I AM Fest, SouthSide's back on the beat. Tonight, she's enjoying a rather intimate acoustic performance with Aaron Zimmer (from NY).

A very intimate set, in fact, in which everyone knew each other's name before it was finished. According to Aaron that's what he's aiming for after each performance. He said he hopes "...the audience feels connected as friends ...not just with [his] music..." Actually that's what SouthSide felt during his acoustic set at the Elbo Room. Aaron was doing more that just singing his songs ...he was interacting personally with one of us via his music. This reviewer did enjoy how his recorded tracks off the "live wires" CD were beautifully translated acoustically. There was still vibrant music from the acoustic guitar yet it brought out the dynamic power as well emotions heard in his voice. At times, Aaron was very passionate and emotional that it indeed felt straight from his heart ...more like past (or present) personal experiences.

SouthSide asked him after his set which song has him feeling that rockin' vibe while performing live. Aaron responded with Get This Over With which is normally played with his full band. Also he added Change My Mind because it has lots of energy and "yelling" to rock out the audience. Tonight, SouthSide noticed it was his acoustic version of Buried Alive (her favorite song) that had him feeling that vibe. She felt it was one of the high points of his set while hearing this moving song about "...not dealing with problems which creates more problems..." Both live and recorded versions were equally good - it still captivated this reviewer's soul as well as the heart upon listening to the emotions behind the lyrics. SouthSide also recommends listening to If I Were You (plenty of raw emotions off his vocals in this one) and Well Enough (a deep rumbling voice that sent chills down SouthSide's spine). Another high point of Aaron's performance was his acoustic version of Howard Jones' Things Can Only Get Better, This classic 80s hit received the royal Aaron treatment though minus the pop sound, there was more emotional sentiment felt behind the lyrics the audience had their own special part during the chorus.

There was a special SouthSide moment during her sit down with Aaron in which she actually stumped the artist with one of her interview questions. Upon asking Aaron to describe his music in one or two words, he didn't know where to begin which was perfectly fine. Besides this being one of the hardest questions on her pad, Aaron did state that his roots are in rock-n-roll and that he really doesn't have the answer yet whether he's pop rock or rock pop. Don't despair, blogspot readers, there will an answer someday once he centers on what he wants his music to be. In the meantime, he did suggest listening to Honey Give Me A Hand off his upcoming album. According to Aaron, "'s dirtier and rawer ...not over-produced [but] more emotion..." This is him stepping out of the pop "norm" and moving closer towards the rock genre. Fans can find this song on Amazon or iTunes. And as a fun question, SouthSide wondered what's the "real" Aaron Zimmer like when he's not performing on stage. He simply replied that there's no separation perhaps more introverted. He enjoys being social and meeting people (he certainly wasn't shy about that throughout his performance) ...loves to entertain. Lastly, he hopes people like him in return.

Well, Aaron won't have that problem from SouthSide. She likes him and his music ...and highly recommends checking out this artist for the dynamic (and emotional) power of his vocals heard within his music. He does make you feel on a personal level by telling everyone a story full of heartache and pain as well as joy and happines ...these songs actually are the stories of our personal lives. Also snag a copy of his current CD, "live wires". For more information, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

28 Aug 10

...unity in diversity...

Hey, blogspot readers, music and art under roof's I AM Fest 2010! Held at the legendary House of Blues, this rockin' one-day festival featured a wide variety of what's happening in local music as well as the unique and colorful in the art community. Sponsored by elbo Room and presented by Livenation and House of Blues, SouthSide and her daughters enjoyed browsing through the many artwork displayed by Gabrielle Lizette DuBois, Corryn Jackson and Jennifer Cronin. This reviewer asked a couple of artists how did they like this concept of bringing art and music together. Rachel Farr (wife of Bambi Raptor's guitarist, Gary)thought it was a "...great opportunity ...not many local fests do this..." Plus Polina Z, who worked with Andrew Coate before on a similar fest like I AM Fest, said she loves it. Blogspot readers can view Rachel's unique crafts and art at as well as contact Polina Zionts about her art at

There was a minor change to this year's I AM Fest. Unlike last year which featured twenty-five live bands rockin' on two stages, 2010's featured a well-rounded lineup of ten bands. Two bands on the lineup were runner-up and winner of the recent battle of bands to be included in the fest. From alternative and instrumental/hardcore to dark electronica/rock and PB&J-making disco/pop, there was definitely something for everyone at the House of Blues. The Fest immediately got underway with a fiery bluesy/alternative rock performance by Eureka's own, The Bob Clymers ( SouthSide recommends listening to the haunting song Nightingale, in which the rhythms and instrumental will chill you to the bones. Next was this year's winner of the battle of bands, The Alaya Conscious ( They wowed SouthSide's oldest with their instrumental guitar rock sound. She enjoyed how the music took her from one extreme to the next sometimes happening within the same song. Meanwhile Digital Mindy ( or rocked this all-ages show by performing new as well as classic favorites such as Popular and Mr. Agiator. SouthSide personally loved their new song, F*ck the World - very dark and it rocked with plenty of electronica/hardcore energy. Her daughters are still gushing about meeting the two principle members of Mindy - Nick and Jon Santiago.

Kelsey Montanez ( a full band had a unique set in which three local artists created live art while she rocked the stage. This reviewer was impressed not only by her alternative/pop sound but her vocals. Check out her song, When I'm In Town that had this energetic feel to the music to get you dancing while listening to the lively rhythm. When the set was over, the artists created plenty of wow factor with their abstract works (SouthSide like the Venus with a boombox painting). Bambi Raptor ( or, on the other hand, took art to the next level by appearing on stage as artwork themselves. Sporting colorful swirls of art on their bodies (probably to fit each member's unique personality), they also had more local artists painting while they performed. Check out their songs Gunslinger (the angriest of most Bambi's songs) and Greenology (for the rockin' reggae/ska sound) as well as Cos Play. The abstract art created during their set was also a major wow factor for this crowd. SouthSide liked the interchangeable sun/moon portrait. Jack In Space ( mellowed things down a bit after Bambi's set with some cool instrumental music. Think of this band as the "calmer" side instrumental rock with a Pink Floyd-esque sound which will float your ears away into the dark side of the moon. Even while semi-acoustically, Jack rocked the crowd on all levels during their performance. Check out their tribute to Sam Rockwell cleverly titled Sam Rockwell.

The Flavor Savers gained a new fan on Saturday after their House of Blues performance - SouthSide's eight year old daughter. She loved their ultra-cool dance moves and their hip costumes. Plus she was rockin' along with them to their suave disco moves ...yes, blogspot readers, they were the best dancers of the I AM Fest. She (the eight year old) says "...they were fun..." This band brought a lot of sexiness back to the stage especially during the song Daffidillo. Also check out their songs Mustache Ride and People. Find these songs and many more at or One a personal note, Romeo won the National Air Guitar competition this year representing not only the US but Chicago in the international competition. Meanwhile, Laser Love with The Heated Heat ( or continued the party atmosphere with trampolines and Chef Love creating delicious PB&J sandwiches. Everything a fun band needed to rock out this audience as they performed songs Mr. Belevediere and You're So Gangsta. SouthSide enjoyed this set better than what she first experienced last year. Laser had a tighter performance and was more focused on the music. Also check out their hilarious song, Cap-Sac.

Backed by the band, Treaty of Paris, Ryan Powers ( or the stage with an alternative/pop performance. Compared to last year's acoustic set, SouthSide feels both musical sides to this artist are equally great. She enjoyed one particular song in which he dedicated to his Mom and Dad. It was very touching ...heartfel and perfect for the occasion like I AM Fest. SouthSide also suggests listening to Ryan's song The Juggler. Closing out this year's I AM Fest was Matthew Alfano and his band Mason's Case ( or His performance totally rocked out the House of Blues with lots of energy and guitar/alternative music. Whew, this artist certainly had the audience fired up even while taking the sound down to a semi-acoustic feel. Compared to his acoustic headlining show last year, SouthSide liked this headlining set better and hopes he brings the full band again for future shows. It was just that damn good, blogspot readers.

Overall, I AM Fest 2010 was (in one word) SPECTACULAR! SouthSide cannot wait to see who rocks the stage in 2011. In the meantime, she highly recommends checking out all of the bands mentioned in this review. The music and fun didn't end at the House of Blues either. There was also an afterparty held at Elbo Room which featured performances by Sutured Psyche, Sonic Pistol and Dr. Kevorkian and The Volunteers. Despite not attending this fun party, this reviewer heard it was a packed house and the bands rocked out the stage in style! Now that's definitely another successful I AM Fest ...see you next year...

Until next time, support your local scene,