Friday, October 29, 2010

28 Oct 10

Hey, blogspot readers, let's change your face for a worthy cause! Tonight, SouthSide joined other costumed guests who attended Project Exploration's annual "Change Your Face For Science" Masquerade event at Elbo Room. For over ten years, this non-profit education organization has been bringing science and scientists in related fields to inner city youth and girls to ensure personalized access and experiences. The programs at Project Exploration immerses the students into science which goes beyond standard classroom study ..they're doing tests/experiments and working alongside scientists out in the field. For example, this summer the All Girls Expedition featured a group of middle/high school students going to Yellowstone National Park for two weeks. This group before going had an intense week of classroom study and training in the fields of biology, chemistry and geology. Then while in Yellowstone, they spent their time doing things such as testing water samples to observing the wildlife. Other programs associated with Project Exploration include Junior Palentologists (a three-week summer experience into the world of palentology) and Dinosaur Giants (trained high school students serving as guides for the public during science exhibitions).

Recently, Project Exploration expanded into another branch of science - aviation and its science-related fields such as aero-engineering and dynamics called Mach 10. This program was designed by its new Programs Director, Christian Greer. Over the summer, this program took a group of African-American males (from the Southside and Westside) deep into the heart of the aviation field. Not only did they build and fly radio-controlled model helicopters but they also tested their flight skills on a simulator and went behind the scenes at Chicago's Air & Water show meeting Air Force pilots, etc. SouthSide spoke briefly with the new Programs Director to get a further incite in other exciting plans he has for Project Exploration. Mr. Greer stated he's revamping the programs to fit under his "new science matrix". What this entails having all of Project Exploration's programs merging together into three (3) engagement levels - Discovery, Explore and Pursue. The goal of the 1st level - Discovery - is to introduce and expose students to science; the goal of the 2nd level - Explore - is to keep them interested with more activities and programs; and the 3rd - Pursue - is to equip them with the necessary tools to pursue that science field of interest beyond Project Exploration. Mr. Greer also stated "...the three levels are designed to connect scientists with [our] youth since they both share a common trait - curiosity..." Also he's designing a youth science leadership council to put more student input at the center of Project Exploration programming. Likened to any school's student council, this leadership council will work closely with other directors by getting the students more involved in the organization as well as equipping them with workforce development and leadership skills.

The proceeds raised from advance/door ticket and raffle sales went to support Project Exploration's many programs. However this organization still needs your support, blogspot readers, visit for more information and donation details.

SouthSide would like to thank Christian Greer for spending a few moments of his time for a brief interview as well as the fine volunteers and people behind the scenes at Project Exploration for inviting this reviewer to their annual event.

Also happening downstairs at Elbo Room, The Lucas Cates Band was steaming up the stage with HOT rockin' alternative/country rock music. This band grooved the audience with plenty of energy and passionate momentum especially while adding some smokin' violin rhythms to liven up its sound. This music certainly had SouthSide's enjoying the hotness of Lucas' CD release show. She highly recommends getting your groove back with the sexy song titled Sexcerise - it will definitely light the fires in your romantic evening with its steamy lyrics and guitar riffs. Expect a full review on this band whenever and wherever The Lucas Cates Band's rockin' the stage again, blogspot readers. There's plenty of fun ...excitement and a whole lot of energy generated from this band. In the meanwhile, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, October 28, 2010

28 Oct 10 - Video

Hey, blogspot readers, in the spirit of Halloween, SouthSide asks you to check out this awesomely cool YouTube video by her friend Pinto and the Bean - Midnight Monsters.

Check it out here:

Want to know something - it was shot using a iPhone on a dollar store budget! How creative is that, blogspot readers?

Until next time, support your local scene,

27 Oct 10

Hey, blogspot readers, it's another star-studded week of fun! From now until Saturday, SouthSide will be busy rockin' the local beat with events and shows happening around town. She's on one ultimate non-party mission filled with Halloween spooks and surprises. Her first stop was at Angels & Kings to see Army of Monsters. The fun was already in full swing with DJ rockin' the club with lively remixes of popular hits from Nirvanna to Journey. Plus as a special pre-Halloween treat, Sony Music provided the crowd with promotional goodie bags for this Ryan Manno hosted show.

After a ferocious electronica whimper this local band bursted onto the stage with a rockin' BANG! SouthSide instantly felt the hard thundering rise of the guitars and synth merging together. This certainly had everyone feeling that heart-pumping vibe as heads banged to the dark electronica/rock sound. And yet this was simply Army of Monsters' opening intro. After adding haunting vocals (beautifully by Bianca), watch out, blogspot readers! She definitely captured the dark essence of Army's sound with the fire and passion heard in her voice. At times, her vocals did have the effect of being a siren's lull to the ears. Add her male counterpart on vocals (Ryan also on bass), and now there was pain and angst felt off the lyrics. However, there some difficulty hearing either on mic. It wasn't vocal power that was the problem - they both needed electrical power to be heard where SouthSide was standing (beside the DJ booth) and beyond.

This reviewer enjoyed Army's energetic momentum which kept this crowd excited during the short performance. She highly recommends listening to Back Of My Mind for its rockin' dark rock - lyrical hip hop mix. With Bianca's vocals and guest MC (sorry didn't catch his name) on lyrical verse, this wicked combination rocked not only the stage but the packed house as well. She did also enjoy the selection of cover songs which included Jay-Z's Empire State Of Mind however SouthSide wished this set's allotted time allowed more of Army's originals to be heard.

She highly suggests checking out this group of rockin' monsters ...only be afraid of their bite felt from the hardcore electronica/rock music and haunting vocals. For more information, visit Army of Monsters at or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

November 2010

Hey, blogspot readers, check out these rockin' show happening in November!

Nov 1 - SouthSide's rockin' the Elbo Room for a special performance by Brent Amaker & the Rodeo ...Dave (owner/bartender) assures SouthSide she'll have fun with these guys.

Nov 4 - Head to Double Door to see MN's Trampled by Turtles!

Nov 5 - Elbo Room proudly hosts Chicago Roots Collective Festival - over 75 Chicago musicians (and 20 singer/songwriters in the acoustic lounge upstairs) in ONE weekend! Friday's lineup features: Band Called Catch, The Shams Band, Goodbyehome, Molehill, and Jackpot Donnie. For more info, visit

Also at Metro - check out SouthSide's friends Camera as they share the stage with A Lull and Loyal Divide.

Nov 6 - Day 2 of Chicago Roots Collective Festival. The lineup features: How Far To Austin, Cobalt & The Hired Guns, Todd Kessler & The New Folk, Mike Mangione & the Union and The Future Laureates.

For Neil Diamond fans - check out SouthSide's friends Neil Diamond Philips as they wow and impress you with all of these classic faves (and perhaps new Diamond songs too) such as Cherry Cherry and Sweet Caroline. They will be rockin' Goose Island in Wrigleyville.

Nov 7 - Still Alive will make an appearance at Ronny's!

Nov 10 - Head to SPACE (in Evanston) with SouthSide to see The Miggs (FL) and Green River Ordinance (from Fort Worth, TX). This band, currently on tour promoting new CD - The Morning Passengers, penned the inspirational song Rise UP for the AT&T Team USA Winter Olympics compilation CD. They have opened for such bands Bon Jovi to Collective Soul and Sister Hazel. For more information, visit or

Nov 11 - rock with Mother Z during their record release show at Elbo Room!

Nov 13 - BAM! Yes, get branded with The Branded along with Mason's Case, Matthew Alfano and Kelsey Montanez on stage! Wild things will be happening...

Nov 14 - SO many shows happening in ONE night! Punkers head to Reggie's Rock Club for the Wrecking Ball Punk Fest featuring Modern Day Rippers. OR head to Metro for an all-ages show featuring Asking Alexandria on stage. OR head to Underground Lounge for Nate Z's free show!

Nov 16 - Jann Klose will be in town for a two-night show at Uncommon Ground. This artist has appeared in Broadway productions of The Who's Tommy and Jesus Christ Superstar. SouthSide recommends checking out the video for Doing Time at Reservations are being taken now - phone 773 929 3680. For more information, visit

Nov 17 - rockers Heart-set Self-destruct will be rockin' the stage at Cubby Bear!

Nov 19 - 21 - SouthSide's living out her fantasy at the Weekend Warrior session of Rock-N-Roll Fantasy Camp! Camp will be in session at House of Blues, Chicago.

Nov 21 - Check out France Jean-Baptiste at Elbo Room.

Nov 27 - after a long break of turkey, football and stuffing (not in that order), it's time to work off those extra pounds with Kali Ma at Elbo Room!

More show dates will be added...

Until next time, support your local scene,

24 Oct 10

Hey, blogspot readers, what a fun weekend! After partying with the Illys gals at a burlesque B-day bash and then more partyin' at Angels & Kings on Saturday night, SouthSide spent a relaxing yet rainy Sunday night at Elbo Room for another intimate performance featuring Adam Klein (from GA). However first, she highly recommends rockin' out to the vibrant pulse of the energetic instrumental psychedelia sounds of Dawn of Man. This band (from WI) had a wild trippy eclectic rock musically inspiring the mind, body and soul. This reviewer enjoyed the sweeping epic songs full of wicked guitar hooks which took the mind on a spiritual journey ...the psychedelia (off the keyboards/computer programming) rhythms had the body groovin' to the futuristic vibe ...and the soul was completely rocked by the explosive finishes at the end. It was a very orgasmic experience, blogspot readers, and that was simply from hearing a couple of Dawn's songs. Expect a full review when this band's rockin' the Chicago stage again. For more information, visit Dawn of Man at

Meanwhile upstairs, this reviewer enjoyed an intimate acoustic performance by Athens, GA singer/songwriter - Adam Klein. This artist didn;t just stand on stage and perform for SouthSide, blogspot readers. He regaled her with captivating ...fascinating stories done in the style which would be reminiscent of Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie. They weren't simply ordinary songs about ordinary stories or didn't have a "they live happily ever after" ending. No, these stories were real ...about real people and real true-life situations full of heartache and pain. Yes, at times, there was some joy and love (or love lost) too. More importantly, his songs had this sense of being more than mere words to be heard behind the guitar riffs. What made Adam's songwriting seem so personal ...deep and lifelike was the vocal intensity he put into the lyrics. The emotional depth of his voice and falsettos breathed life that added realism and imagery. Plus this reviewer enjoyed hearing the interesting backstories behind his songs - for example, he met a direct descendant of the famous American outlaw Jesse James while performing at Kent, Ohio.

There were so many stories heard that it's hard for SouthSide to pick a memorable moment or highlight of this show. For example, she heard about the true life legend of Cynthia Ann Parker (or Naduah - her Comanche name), a Texan woman kidnapped by a Comanche tribe and then found years later by the Texan Rangers after being "turned" and married to a warrior. Have you heard the Southern foklore about love and murder of Nomie Wise? Neither has SouthSide but found this heartwrenching ballad about John Lewis' obsession for a woman who didn't love him quite sad as well as interesting. She highly recommands checking out the tales of the high seas and the loneliness it brings for pirates and vagabonds in Of Pirates and Vagabonds (off his new CD - Wounded Electric Youth). Also check out Adam's love ballad beautifully written for someone special in Tired Afternoon (Out For Love) and Wayward Son (which SouthSide found to be likened to the parable about The Prodigal Son) - both can be found on his new CD. Expect a full CD review on Adam Klein's Wounded Electric Youth soon.

In you missed it, you can hear a podcast of Adam's appearance on Fearless Radio at For more information about Adam Klein and his music, visit http://www/ or

Until next time, support your lcoal scene,

Monday, October 25, 2010

22 Oct 10

Hey, blogspot readers, what do the following goats, professor and rockin' music have in common? SouthSide's latest On The Town adventure! After taking a much needed rest from the busy local scene, She returned to the beat attending a charity event where bands were rockin' the stage for goats (no they weren't staring at them) at LaSalle Power Co. Then she danced the night away under a cloud of an electronica/Euro pop-wave glow at Elbo Room. Oh what a fantastical night it was!

They were rockin' for a good cause. Empire State Express teamed up with Markit 8 and Tim Stop Trio for a free show to benefit Hands of Hope. Based on the audience draw, 100% of each band's proceeds would be used to purchase and donate goats (as well as chickens and wells) to underdeveloped African villages. The goal of this show was to raise awareness and enact a positive change via the gift of livestock and access to clean drinking water to families and schools there. According to Amber Grove, a volunteer and organizer for this charity organization, "...[it's] about communities building communities..." She also stated (via press release) that it might not seem much giving a goat or chicken but something simple like that can make a difference to a starving community. For more information about Hands of Hope and how to donate, visit

SouthSide highly suggests checking out the energetic alternative ..."neo classic" rock of Empire State Express. This local trio will tickle your ears with its lively guitar riffs and get you groovin' to its unique and fresh sound. And this band does encourage you to dance to the music. How can you not dance along with them? Empire had this rhythmic beat coupled with simplistic riffs and catchy hooks ...there's nothing complicated or overdone heard in their rock sound. It's just simple rock music, blogspot readers, that at times will have hints of ska or retro and country. There was even some bluegrass too. Empire covered a wide range of genres which kept this audience rockin' until the end. SouthSide had fun time dancing to their upbeat swing as well as feeling the heartfelt falsettos by Chris (front man on guitar/vocals). As a special treat, Empire closed out with a hot rendition of Ray Charles' What'd I Say. For more information about Empire State Express and where they're rockin' the stage again, visit or find them on Facebook.

Now it was time for SouthSide's lesson in electronica/Euro techno wave. And her teacher tonight was the one and only Professor Kliq, the wizard of the digital sound that's rockin' local club scene. This teacher had the class at Elbo Room groovin' and dancin' to his energetic vibe after an electronic burst of digital sound. His fast flying fingers on the computer controls and mixers kept everyone within the momentum of the music without missing a single beat. SouthSide enjoyed how the Professor mixed a little of the old and the new as well as dropping some world influences into his lively repetoire of funky rhythms and tracks. For example, check out his smokin' version of Sugarhill Gang's Apache (Jump On It) track in which this reviewer could see Carlton Banks definitely getting his groove on. It's the lively combinations of remixes and music like this example that sparked wild and frantic dancing under the club atmosphere wonderfully created by Brian (on sound) and Pep (lighting/fx). This was more than a performance, blogspot readers, but a Euro dance party. This audience rocked to his fast ...vibrant, heart-pounding club mixes until class was dismissed for the night. It was truly one of the Professor's best shows seen by this reviewer. SouthSide highly suggests checking out Professor Kliq whenever and wherever his class resumes again. For more information, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, October 18, 2010

14 Oct 10

Hey, blogspot readers, it's the perfect night for an intimate performance. Tonight, Elbo Room's acoustic lounge was rocked by a special set featuring Unknown Component from Iowa. Currently on tour, this singer/songwriter was asked why use a nom de plume instead of his real name (Keith Lynch) in which he replied "...sounds boring to release under [my] real name..." This reviewer can agree with that logic wholeheartedly. This artist went on to describe his music to be uniquely different from most acoustic shows SouthSide has reviewed. He stated that it's philosophical and can get quite contemplating ...devoid of any influences by certain genres and/or bands. His songs were more original that would get the audience to think more as well as enjoying what they hear. He hoped the audience during his performance tonight get what they wanted or didn't get what they wanted. It might sound confusing, blogspot readers, but this theory did actually work.

SouthSide, throughout Unknown's first half of his acoustic performance, found herself lost within deep meditative thought while reviewing this artist. Opening with I Can't Compete, this reviewer immediately noted how the lyrics came straight from the mind and heart sans any musical genre formula. In other words, it wouldn't be fair boxing this songwriter into one set genre or style - there's none to be found, blogspot readers. Unknown's voice at times emitted a sense of emotional tension while breathing life into his lyrics especially in this opening song. Yet he did add more of an upbeat tempo which pumped more emotions not only in his words but also into his guitar riffs. However SouthSide also noticed that his vocals needed to project more raw emotions into the lyrics to set the tone and mood of each song performed. For example, while singing Under The Gun, Unknown impressed this reviewer with his raspy voice for this downtempo song (highlighting the pain and angst heard) but during Into The Sun, something was missing to compliment the fire and gusto of the acoustic guitar sound in his vocals. SouthSide simply suggests adding more umph into the vocals and lyrics in order to make the songs more believable for the audience.

SouthSide enjoyed the fast energetic twittering riffs as well as the soothing lull and heartfelt lyrics heard in the ballad, Two For Two. Unknown highly suggests checking out the video for Electric Dissolution off new album - Infinite Definite. Despite not really liking this particular song, the singer/songwriter stated it's difficult selecting the one song that people should listen because right now he's in the middle of his transition stage where he wants his music to be. SouthSide on the other hand suggests listening to his song Trial And Error for its emotionally charged and depth heard within the music as well as his cover version of Knockin' On Heaven's Door in which this singer poured a bit of himself emotionally into the music and lyrics.

So what is the real person behind Unknown Component like? Good question, blogspot readers, even Unknown doesn't know himself. He could have given SouthSide a perception of what he truly is but who's to say that's honestly him. He merely answered the question with the following "...what you see is what you get..." However this reviewer was able to stump her interviewee with her final queation in which she had to reveal a secret about herself in return. Unknown revealed he actually doesn't know what people are thinking even when they think he knows what they are thinking. And what did SouthSide reveal about herself that no one else knows (besides Unknown)? Well, she's saving that tiny tidbit for when she scripts her tell-all novel, blogspot readers.

Check out Unknown Component (aka Keith Lynch) as he tours this Autumn. For more information and where he's rockin' the stage next, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

10 Oct 10

Hey, blogspot readers, rockin' fun on the Southside after Da Bears' win! SouthSide ended her busy weekend with her next On The Town adventure at Reggie's Music Joint. This popular Southside venue was the place for yummy eats (try their wings!) and music performances by Pictures Of Then (MN) and Once A Pawn (NE) with local rockers, Cat & Mouse Convention headlining.

If Pink Floyd and The Beatles ever had the chance to get married, this rockin' band from Minnesota would be their love child. And SouthSide was happy to finally getting the pleasure of reviewing Pictures Of Then and its melodic/experimetnal eclectic rock sound. This band's instrumental will expound well as expand the further regions of the imagination inside your mind with energetic tempo and guitar hooks via Pictues' epic song style. Basically that's merely just the tip of the iceberg about this band. It was a fantastical journey in which this reviewer enjoyed the catchy tunes and trippy/space rhythms off the bass. This lively trio also added some Beatles-esque rock songs which had the audience feeling that psychedelia sound. Pictures' sound was so diverse that no two songs were ever performed alike throughout this set. SouthSide highly recommends checking out this band at their next scheduled show. For more information about Pictures Of Then, visit or

There's more than wide open spaces and corn fields in Nebraska, blogspot readers. Tonight, SouthSide got a little taste of what's rockin' the local scene in Lincoln and surrounding areas from Once A Pawn's set. Currently on tour, this duo had a rockin' mix of alternative/punk featuring Eric on guitar and Catherine on drums and vocals. Don't expect this team to be passive or calm while performing on stage ...actually it's the direct opposite. Throughout this set, Eric and Catherine rocked Reggie's with plenty of fire and emotions in Pawn's music as well as lyrics. SouthSide liked the range of tempo (falling and rising crescendos ...upbeat and downtempo pace) and momentum heard in songs such as State Of Mine and Uh Oh. However this reviewer noted during the performance (in her opinion) that Catherine needed some backing vocals during certain songs like About A Girl just enought to give the lyrics more depth. SouthSide highly suggests snagging a copy of Pawn's current CD, Mission Accomplished or simply see them live at their next performance. For more information, visit or

SouthSide honestly tried her best in liking the very eclectic music and performance by Cat & Mouse Convention. However, sadly, blogspot readers, she couldn't. This all-female band had an interesting rock style featuring violin, keyboards and saxophone as well as guitars but it was difficult to hear the keyboards because the bass in the monitors was too loud. Then there was the direct opposite - the keyboards (once the bass was low) were unbearable because it was too loud. Plus it seems this band was trying to do so much that sometimes this reviewer was confused in which what type of band Cat wanted to be. She did like the haunting violin against the semi-acoustic music better than the songs in which had keyboard since the violin rhythm added more depth and meaning to the lyrics. She also noted that the usuage of a computerized drum program threw off Cat's orchestral feel to its songs. Without a live drummer with this band, the music sounded off key and out of time ...there were moments that the songs felt hurried. Yet not to worry, blogspot readers, the ladies are working hard on the task of finding a drummer. They did rock out Reggie's (with the help of Catherine from Once A Pawn on drums) with a lively Destiny's Child cover of Survivor. SouthSide see plenty of potential in this female-driven band after making some minor tweaks and work. For more information, visit Cat & Mouse Convention at http://www.catandmouseconvention.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

09 Oct 10

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide recommends rockin' to the two sides of PJ's My Cousin Too! Recently this band opened the Elbo Room's Saturday night lineup with the energetic sounds of its alternative/rock music. The first half of this performance featured a lively Americana vibe off two acoustic guitars while the other half had fiery momentum off its electric groove. The audience immediately felt that vibe as well as the dynamic power of Ryan's (PJ's front man on guitar) vocals full of falsettos and emotions pumped into the lyrics. Don't be fooled by the soft voice either (as heard in the new song For PJ), blogspot readers, this front man has a diverse vocal range in which he does get expressive on the mic. Check out his solo Tic Toc demonstrating the wow factor of his voice (without the band behind him) despite it being a quick short song.

On the flipside, SouthSide enjoyed the electric rock side of PJ that gave its alternative sound a hardcore edge. This band was more animated pumping more rockin' momentum for the audience to groove the front man was more vocal on lyrics. This reviewer liked this side to PJ better than the earlier featuring the high point of the night - Flatliners. This song truly allowed the band to show what they can do on stage and for its fans. She liked how the guitars got playful with its twittering chat to each other during the instrumental. Under the electrified side, you can say this band can get more intense than it would under the semi-acoustic music. This reviewer also suggests listening to Rooftop for its electrifying sound though having that alternative start.

For more information about PJ's My Cousin Too, visit or on

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

08 Oct 10

Hey, blogspot readers, the ghostly ghouls and goblins have found a home at Elbo Room! This popular Lakeview venue got into the Halloween spirit early with its decorative attire to welcome fans through its doors. Tonight, SouthSide was there to rock with the lineup featuring Bergamot (IN) and local rockers, Lophophora.

SouthSide highly recommends checking out Bergamot while currently on their national tour. This duo acoustically rocked the Elbo Room stage with a powerful yet soulful R&B/alternative performance. This set had everything, blogspot readers, spunk ...passion ...vibrant guitar rhythms and female vocals (Jillian) which completely stole the entire show. Accompanied by Nathan (on guitar) and his deep (sometimes low) voice during certain songs, SouthSide could feel Bergamot's storytelling lyrics coming to life inside her ears while grooving to the lively music. This reviewer was totally vibin' what was wafting from the stage as she observed Jillian "owning" the sage with her expressive body language and dancing. Plus she liked how Jillian and Nathan had this natural interaction going on with each other as if he was the Yang to her Ying or vice versa especially during the song But I Do. SouthSide at times found herself lost inside the vivid imagery of Bergamot's lyrics (as found in The Traveller or Haven, title track off their upcoming album) or feeling the heartfelt tenderness of emotions (as found in Hannah or You and Me, in which SouthSide dubbed as the wedding song). Blogspot readers can check out the video for You and Me on YouTube. There were fun moments hearing about Bergamot's wild experience at a party in On The Boulevard or enjoying the sigts at Newport Bay. This duo even rocked the stage with danceable yet soulful cover versions of B.B. King's classic Stand By Me (a lively upbeat swing inside a gentle downtempo pace) and Stevie Wonder's Superstition (which rocked out their performance). For more information about Bergamot and tour dates, visit or

SouthSide also highly recommends checking out the local rock band which has a little of everything woven inside its music - Lophophora. One minute, blogspot readers, this band might hit you with a lively Irish jig somewhere in its instrumental or some hardcore metal riffs in another wihout really breaking a sweat. Lophophora prides itself in giving the audience a variety show of music to rock their ears off - so don't expect to hear the same style or sound within their songs. Looking carefully at SouthSide's notes written on the set list from this performance, she got the distinct notion it was front man Anthony's secret iPod playlist or mood of the day. There's always a bit of suspense as well as surprise when it comes to Lophophora performing on stage. Tonight, they were celebrating an EP release of Right Side Up Again that included some magic and sexy ladies joining the band on stage. Kicking off the set with a rockin' Country/Bluegrass tone in Maybe Girl, this band was definitely in the party mood. Throughout this performance, fans were groovin' to vibrant rock music sometimes with an upbeat tempo and catchy guitar hooks. Plus more guitar solos to blast everyone's ears away as well as more of Anthony pouring a lot of himself emotionally and vocally into the lyrics (especially during Rattlin' Bones and Sakina). SouthSide did enjoy his slight of hand and seductive magic while performing Tragic Magic which featured some eye candy for the male audience members - a couple of sexy ladies (they also appeared during Red Hot Betty). However this reviewer suggests more dance and stage interaction practice with the band for the ladies ...she found them to be a little stiff while interacting with Anthony. SouthSide recommends listening to Freeway Mind (charismatic and sexy stage presence behind an energetic rock sound), Help Wanted (feel Anthony's raspy vocals within a deep falsetto) and Can't Stand It (hardcore guitar riffs and wicked hooks). For more information about Lophophora, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

07 Oct 10

Hey, blogspot readers, have you read any good books lately? Thursday night, it was all about supporting an organization that's trying to bridge the gap on adult illiteracy. HeaveMedia sponsored a fundraising event to help aid Book Bike and its founder, Gabriel Levison, with donations at Empty Bottle. Besides given an opportunity to take home a book or two, fans were treated to music performances by Sad Brad Smith, Adam Fitz and Stephen Paul Smoker. Portion of the night's proceeds from the door cover went to Book Bike. For more info about this organization and/or how to donate, visit

Though finding this band somewhat fascinating, SouthSide couldn't get passed the mesh of chaotic sound under a rockin' cloud of alternative/guitar rock. There were moments in which she had a difficult time understanding where Stephen Paul Smoker was coming or going due to the confusing guitar hooks and out of place keyboard rhythms. Hearing the lyrics above the guitar riffs was sometimes hard during a portion of this opening performance. This reviewer's not saying she didn't enjoy Stephen and the band despite never hearing them before now. SouthSide simply found the band quite too unuusual for her music enjoyment ...yet she still recommends blogspot readers to check out the eclectic music of Stephen Paul Smoker. She however liked the trippy psychedelia/space sound of Stephen's opening song as well as the "normal" number titled Sacrifice. For more information about Stephen and the band, visit or

Adam Fitz rocked the stage with deep emotion and raw natural falsettos coming from the heart during his Empty Bottle performance. SouthSide enjoyed the rockin' alternative sound which was performed vibrantly with lots of gusto and energy. Fans grooved to Adam's smoky style of funky R&B/Blues as well as lively classic stax guitar riffs and retro rock sound. This artist and the band kept the music very diverse and fun even while taking the tempo down to a semi-acoustic feel. The spunk and fire of Adam Fitz's songs had this reviewer dancing a bit to his rhythmic momentum that blends genres throughout the performance. It was soulful ...smokin' hot music on a cool night. For more information about Adam Fitz, visit

Closing out tonight's lineup for the Book Bike event was the rockin' Americana sound (with a touch of country-alternative mix) set by Sad Brad Smith & The Modern Limes. Not to worry, blogspot readers, the "sad" moniker doesn't begin to describe the lively, energetic sound in which Brad and the band performed for the audience. And though he did perform "sad" songs, there wasn't a depresssing ounce heard from his heartfelt vocals and music. For example, Take Me Home contained very descriptive storytelling lyrics within a rockin' downtempo beat ...lively enough for some to dance. Another example, Training For Love was a ballad which spotlighted Brad's "sad" vocals ...very emotional and heartfelt expressing personal thoughts to the someone it was specially intended. Or better yet groove to an energetic retro Americana rock sound heard in Sit Around. Way too much "sadness" for this music to sound so rockin' good to the ears, blogspot readers. For more information, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, October 7, 2010

05 Oct 10

...ready to get a little crazy... ~ Losing Scarlet

Hey, blogspot readers, once again it's another rockin' adventure at Double Door! SouthSide's spending her Tuesday night checking out the heavy metal side of the local scene. This free showcase featured performances by Illusions Fate, Losing Scarlet, Papa Jupiter and Jack In Space with Daylight Dawns opening the lineup.

With a subtle bang, Daylight Dawns' performance was full of thundering metal guitar riffs and vibrating hardcore sound. Unfortunately SouthSide wasn't "feeling" this band's energy and rock style wafting from its music. Not saying she didn't like or enjoy Daylight's rockin' set but she had a distinct feeling something was quite missing and/or needed to enhance this show. As the band progressed deeper into their set, SouthSide noticed a couple of things which hampered Daylight's performance. There were many repetitious drum rhythms and guitar hooks giving some Daylight songs a similar sound ...their image on stage didn't generate the notion that they were a metal band ...and sometimes the front man overworked himself getting the audience excited for their heavy metal music. She does suggests the following: try "lightening" up the heaviness of Daylight's dark playlist; try letting the music "work" for the band not overworking and overselling the band into exhaustion; and try projecting an image which states "we're a metal band". Despite this reviewer's criticisms and suggustions, she knows there's potential in this young band ...over time, blogspot readers, Daylight Dawns will be a metal band making huge noise in the local scene. For more information, visit

Illusions Fate rocked out the Double Door ...better than what SouthSide saw at Reggie's Rock Club four months ago! Tonight, she saw this melodic heavy metal band evolving closer towards the band's targeted plateau of where it wants to be. Though not quite reaching that point yet, Illusions put forth an excellent effort by wowing hardcore fans with a show that had more rockin' guitar riffs and stage presence. It was good to observe Joel (front man on vocals and guitar) getting more animated during each song performed especially while singing The Dying Anthem (SouthSide's favorite). This was one intense performance, blogspot readers, that even involved melodic pseudo-ballads inside heavy guitar hooks. SouthSide hopes this trend will continue with Illusions Fate continues at their next scheduled performance. For more information, visit

It's been over a year since SouthSide last reviewed this rockin' band on stage. Losing Scarlet easily continued where Illusions Fate ended with a set that was full of fiery energy and spunk. Even though not as hardcore like Illusions, Losing rocked the stage in the female power department on vocals (by Jodi) and bass rhythms (by Petra, also on backing vocals). Whew, these women (and guys) rock, blogspot readers! Jodi fired up the audience with passion and dynamic power of her voice on lyrics in which also fueled the band's momentum. This feeling wasn't solely contained to the stage but amongst the fans especially those in the front. They were excitedly feeling that metal energy while Losing performed new song, Dick Whiskey. It's suggested checking out Losing Scarlet's October 22nd show at The Rave (WI). For more information, visit

Want to rock to a punk/lyrical rap/reggae/metal/screamo beat ...sometimes within the same song? Then SouthSide highly suggests checking out this rockin' eclectic band known as Papa Jupiter. And be prepared to get your ears rocked out by their music. They're totally wild going from one extreme to the next that this reviewer had a fun time trying to keep up with their ever changing music mood swings. For example, Jupiter's opening song started with a furious punk sound before swinging into a rhythmic reggae groove (which caught SouthSide by surprise) then BAM - rockin' the audience with lyrical screamo/rap rock fusion before returning to that funky reggae and ending in the original punk sound. Whew, what a rock high, blogspot readers! This reviewer suggests listening to Keep Running (had the audience rocking to the energetic rock/reggae mix full of wicked guitar riffs and keyboards rhythms) to familiarize your ears to Jupiter's eclectic style. For more information, visit

SouthSide capped off her rockin' adventure with a trip into the outer regions of guitar rock with Jack In Space. Coming off an exciting stint during this year's I Am Fest, this reviewer found herself liking this performance better than any other she has previously reviewed them. There was a noticeable difference between then and now - more vibrant percussive sound from Jack's new drummer. His fiery spunk and style definitely lit the sparks of energy in which sometimes was missing in this band's psychedelia guitar rock sound. This reviewer was totally vibin' to what Jack was pumping into its performance ...more intense than I AM Fest yet keeping that melodic groove. And this "new" band feel had the audience wrapped deep inside the exciting momentum especially during the brief acoustic portion of Jack's set. They had everyone enthralled by the intensity of the guitar riffs and chords twittering throughout their songs in this rockin' headlining show. The best show SouthSide has ever seen from this band. For more information, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

02 Oct 10

Hey, blogspot readers, it's now time to rock! After partying at Chicago Sound Studio, SouthSide headed to Double Door for more rockin' fun. Even Saturday's drizzly weather couldn't stop fans from packing into this venue to see the hottest lineup featuring performances by Jonny Rumble, Blane Fonda and Oh My God. Plus there was plenty of remixed dance music between sets by Billy (and other DJs) at the controls.

SouthSide recommends checking out the funky yet eclectic alternative/rock style of Jonny Rumble hitting the local scene. During their opening Double Door set, fans immediately felt the energetic rhythms and vibe floating from the band's subtle tempos. There were times in which Jonny would hit them with a cool jazzy-like feel to their music or something more stylish in a pop/rock groove or a rockin' retro sound. It truly didn't matter what or how the music was coming from the stage it certainly kept this crowd deep within their swingin' rock beat. Performing songs off their JR CD, fans enjoyed the energy felt from BRZRKR, Courtney's Basement (the hot single off this album) and Handgun Blues. For more information, visit or

After that rockin' warm-up with Jonny Rumble, it was time do some serious dancing with Blane Fonda and its electric/pop rock music. This local band's sound crossed a wide range of music genres throughout this set so there's a little something for everyone to enjoy. Under the sparkling glow of the laser disco lights, Blane rocked the crowd with danceable rhythms that had the look and feel of an 80s pop/wave band. Mark (front man on vocals) was totally projecting that image to SouthSide while strutting around in his white attair and headband. This band pumped a lot of excitement and energy keeping fans within the fun momentum especially adding a lively trumpet sound to the certain songs. This reviewer recommends listening to Opportunity Rocks (a pseudo-disco number coupled with hardcore guitar riffs as Mark mingled amongst his audience in the front) as well as their ultra-suave Latin flavored song which had many doing a sultry rumba move along with the band. Blane's cover of Tear For Fears' Head Over Heels had this reviewer grooving and singing along to her favorite 80s Brit pop hit. For more information, visit or

The eccentricity of mixing poetic lyrics with eclectic rock music by Oh My God headlined tonight's lineup. SouthSide was quite surprised by this performance ...yet marvelling how melodic as well as heartfelt each was performed. She loved Billy's (front man on words and guitar) expressive but flowing body movement while animating the words for this very attentive crowd. In a nutshell, OMG rocked the Double Door stage with one unique performance art set - rarely seen from a rock band these days. This set consisted of high energy and music which kept the band's front man moving to the beat of his own drummer. This reviewer was fascinated by the unusualness as she felt each word within OMG's songs come to life through observing the way Billy expresed himself bodily and facially. Plus the rockin' instrumental vibe felt from songs such as Torture (a hot nonlyrical number in which she likened to a Mozart masterpiece) had her experiencing things that there are no words to describe because you simply had to be there to experience it yourself. Check out OMG's Bring Yourself, the animated video directed by Dan Bigelow, on YouTube. For more information, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

02 Oct 10 - Chicago Sound Studio

Hey, blogspot readers, record your music your way! That's the business motto of the new recording studio which officially opened its doors on Saturday afternoon. Local musicians representing bands such as The Branded, Kazy, A Friend Called Fire, Visionaire, The Root Cause etc as well as family and friends came out to show their support for Brad and Dave, owners and engineers of Chicago Sound Studio. This festive party featured the grand tour of the studio plus an exclusive acoustic performance by Lucid Ground performing a rare mix of original songs and covers to entertain invited guests.

Located at 3441 W. Grand (Grand and Trumbull), Chicago Sound Studio offers musicians/bands that rock star treatment and atmosphere by letting them record their music at fair and reasonable rates. It has a large enough room to host a private in-studio listening party (complete with bar, stage area to perform on and video screens) or simply to record the next great rock album. The acoustics inside this studio were excellent especially while Lucid Ground took the stage for its three separate acoustic acts. Step across the stage towards where the real magic happens - the engineering room. The leather seating, small grand piano and plush carpeting emits that rock star feel inside this room. This cozy room has the state of the art 24 track recording and mixers ...musicians/bands can do their pre and post productions and/or have tracks mastered here. And yes, Chicago Sound Studio is now accepting clients, blogspot readers. For more information, visit or email Brad Calderwood at

For over four years, SouthSide has watched this local band go from an opening act as mostly a Doors cover band to now - a premiere rock band within this vibrant music scene. So this reviewer felt very privileged to hear Lucid Ground not as their usual amplified rock band sound but more acoustically for their special Chicago Sound appearance. Though a bit tone down, the raw emotions woven inside Karl's raspy voice (which can melt the hardest of stone hearts) and their melodic rock style still remained, blogspot readers. Each set contained an energetic mix of Lucid's originals (a few off the upcoming album, Somatic, being produced by Brad) and favorite cover selections by CCR (Green River), The Beatles (Daytripper), and Pearl Jam ...even rocked the studio with an awesome acoustic version of Depeche Mode's Personal Jesus. This band wonderfully demonstrated to the listening audience how they could easily transition into this genre without diminishing that spunk or passion which Lucid's known for. Not only did this special performances feature the band but also a surprise set by Brian (bassist) performing a few of his own songs as well as a couple of covers. SouthSide simply advises that he projects more of his voice for everyone to heard the deep yet emotional side rarely seen while performing with the other Lucid members.

SouthSide highly recommeds checking out her good friends, Lucid Ground, at their next scheduled performance. Meanwhile, check out Karl's Lowlight Productions showcase featuring up and coming local talent rockin' the local scene at The Cubby Bear (Wrigleyville) this Saturday Oct 9th. The lineup will have performances by The Root Cause, Visionaire, Kelroy, Along The Parallel and Catatonic. There's a $10 cover and this 21 and over show begins 8p sharp!

For more information about Lucid Ground, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, October 4, 2010

01 Oct 10

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's gearing up for one all-star October of On The Town reviews! This reviewer will be hitting the streets from every point of the local scene covering what's happening in Chicago. From the stage at the hottest venues to charity`events, SouthSide shall be there. Tonight her month-long of adventures began at Bottom Lounge for Atari Teenage Riot with Caustic and Aluminum Girl opening.

It was a night full of angst and frustration rockin' the stage with a fusion of hardcore metal and electronica inside Bottom Lounge. When, SouthSide arrived, Caustic was already firing up this crowd with its energetic metal-rock sound. It had plenty of fist-pumping action music keeping many closest to the stage feeling that angered-tone vibe. Caustic music totally spoke to its target audience - the youth with lots of fast, furious rock songs. There were sporatic moments of moshing and slam dancing happening amongst the crowd. She highly recommends checking out this band at their next show. For more information, visit or also on Meanwhile, SouthSide felt the excitement and momentum gradully slipped to a lull during Aluminum Girl's set. Though having a cross between electronica/Euro disco wave, this reviewer instantly noticed the female vocalist had this autotuned voice mic for a high pitch J-Pop sound on lyrics. Unlike Caustic's set, the mood amongst the crowd seemed laidback despite generating bits of excitement with a few fans. SouthSide wasn't feeling this performance even though enjoying the rockin' vibe off the programmed rhythms and music.

Formed back in the early 90s, the German band, Atari Teenage Riot (or simply known as ATR amongst its hardcore fans) have been no stranger to controversy surrounding its music. Their anti-government and political views within the lyrics (literally) caused riots as well as having their 1997 album, Future of War, deemed a threat to German society. However, tonight the crowd of fans were excited to be amidst the long awaited reunion US tour as the stage went black to start ATR's headlining show. Chaotic atmosphere instantly erupted upon hearing the digital hardcore vibe to the opening theme song. SouthSide immediately loved how the lighting effects were timed in sync with each ATR song on the playlist throughout the performance. Besides giving the fans a dazzling light show, it also gave them that energetic momentum in a fast-paced tempo electronica rock sound that almost went out of control, blogspot readers. ATR thrived on that type of energy which wasn't solely contained to the stage but also within the crowd throughout the venue. There were bouts of stage diving as well as moshing/slam dancing while rocking under the wild excitement of hardcore/screamo angst and digital music.

Yet behind the rockin' digital sound, ATR laced its songs with fiery lyrics and/or political messages truly speaking the thoughts of today's generation like it did nearly twenty years ago. Their intense rock performance featured songs like 2000 Years Of Culture, Start The Riot, Sick To Death and Revolution Action. There was plenty of fist pumpin' action during Atari Teenage Riot (the song) in which the band made a political reference to President Obama and Get Out While You Can - ATR's message to those who don't want to be a part of the united front against government censorship and lies. The band even had a message to the world leaders - "...we are watching you ...we are united..." Their fans were definitely united on that same stance with the band until the very end. SouthSide highly recommends checking out the fast and ferocious ...anti-politics of Atari Teenage Riot while they're currently in the US touring. For more information, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,