Friday, December 30, 2011

So long 2011! - a year end review

2011 is officially over SouthSide's mind.

So, she would like to say "thanks for the fun memories!"

Well, blogspot readers, another successful On The Town year is history. During 2011, she met, reviewed and/or interviewed over 110 touring bands/artists nationally and internationally ...locally - too numerous to count but SouthSide did top last year's record by logging in 185 shows/events and more. Certainly a feat that may not happen again ...but who knows. Plus, she celebrated five magical years as her nom de plume, got tangled within some celebrity gossip (if you have heard one about her - it's probably not accurately true), made a few people in Hollywood cry, and survived snowmageddon as well as moved one step closer to finishing her top secret project - a full-length novel about the rise and fall of a fictional rock band. Yep, it has been one heck of year for this local scene queen/party gal/reviewer et al.

First SouthSide would like to take a moment of silence to remember those that left the music scene this year: Window Licker Records, Lophophora, Echoson, Buried By The Ocean, Gabba Gabba Hey, Waste (now known as Dashing Assassins), Digital Mindy (though in hiatus but now known as V Is For Villains), The Branded, Bumpus (now known as Dance Floor Plans), Danger Is My Middle Name, Chainwax, Girl Activity, Backyard Tire Fire (in hiatus), Lucid Ground, 72 Hrs, and Material Issue (performing their last show on New Year's Eve) ...and many more that this reviewer might have missed to name. These names may have left the scene but they won't be forgotten...

SouthSide did do some traveling this year and saw the world. Well, not exactly. The world came to Chicago and she was there for most of the touring shows that hit town during 2011 ...some from both sides of the US coast and others from various points of the world. She has either reviewed and/or interviewed the following lists...

Inbal Paz (Isreal); The Clean Boys (Denmark); Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit (Scotland); For A Minor Reflection (Iceland); Chateau Marmont (France); The Parlotones - twice (South Africa); Drawn From Bees, Strange Karma, Grayson (Australia); Diafanes, Eric Matern (Brazil); Dave Rave, Kid Koala, Front Line Assembly, Parallels (Canada); Acrassicauda (Iraq); Depeche Mode, Capelle (UK); Zoe (Mexico); and Lehnen (Austria)

Jesse Payne, Satan's Youth Ministers (AL); Blood On The Dance Floor (AZ); Jesselee Santos/Millennium Dance Complex, Tony Lucca, Gaelic Storm, Tower of Power, Gemini Syndrome, Rival Sons, Dismantled, Nikka Costa, Clandestine, Spineshank, honeyhoney, New Year's Day, adema, Burial At Sea, Kid Ink (CA); Oakhurst (CO); Seth Adam (CT); Honor By August (DC); Traverser, Pocket of Lollipops, Atom Smash (FL); Dick Delicious & The Tasty Testicles, Nashville Pussy (GA); Mike Milligan, We Are Hex, Kevin Crafton (IN); Darlingside, Mark Erelli, Lori McKenna (MA); Emilio Basa, Carrie Westbay, Raybirds, Mike Freer, Celldweller (MI); The Poor Nobodys, The Big Strong Men, Swallows, Phantom Tails (MN); Jameson and the Sordid Seeds (MT); Papadosio, Jonathan Scales (NC); Joshua James (NE); My Chemical Romance, Kosha Dillz (NJ); Riley Etheridge, Xylos, Apache Stone, Lake Street Dive - twice, Lady Gaga, Aaron Zimmer, C.J. Ramone, The World Famous Pontani Sisters, Angelspit, Donna the Buffalo, Designer Drugs, Hanzel Und Gretyl, DJ Maseo of De La Soul (NY); Mr. Gnome (OH); Ben Rector (OK); The Prids (OR); 28 North, Ryat, Mistallica (PA); Skytown Riot, Sound & Shape, The Great Barrier Reefs, Victor Wooten, Los Straitjackets (TN); White Ghost Shivers, The Von Ehrics, The Warm Guns (TX); Jared Finck (WA); Desert Noises (UT); Ian Olvera & The Sleepwalkers, Black Saints, Venus In Furs, The Fatty Acids, Esh The Singer (WI)

SouthSide hopes to see them rockin' a Chicago stage again in 2012.

Lastly but not least, SouthSide would like to say "thank you" to a LONG list of people, venues, and things that helped contribute to her exciting year. First and foremost to the biggest fans, her two daughters for putting up with Mom's late night antics, listening to her "horror" stories and busy schedule. Then to that special man in SouthSide's life ...without his ever-loving patience and well, she'll spare you the details about that but he's still getting used to the idea that his fiancee is a "celebrity". And now the following (in NO particular order, so don't get jealous, folks, if SouthSide doesn't mention you by name)... THANK YOU to Lidia (of Last Rites/The Abbey Pub), Tom (of Tag Publicity), Dennis (of Chicago Music Guide), Lori (of Double Double), August (of NoVo Arts Inc) as well as many other publicists/management agencies for keeping this reviewer's calendar constantly full with shows and review/interview opportunities during 2011 ...thanks to exposing her to some great new music too. She's looking forward to working with you again in 2012 Dave Cook, Brian Bender, Matt (that loveable door guy/bartender), Jesse, Sol, Joey, Dimitri, Kayla and the other colorful cast of Elbo Room - just a reminder you have more than three months to scheme on how to get SouthSide "drunk" on her birthday (i.e. April 21) Reggie's (both Rock Club and Music Joint), Cubby Bear, Beat Kitchen, Metro, Uncommon Ground, Elbo Room, Double Door, SubT, Debonair Social Club, House of Blues, LaSalle Power Company, Hard Rock Cafe, Angels & Kings, SPACE (in Evanston), Ultra Lounge, Empty Bottle, Lincoln Hall, Schuba's, Hideout, The Abbey Pub, Martyrs', Old Town School of Folk Music, Quenchers, The Mutiny, Bottom Lounge, Cobra Lounge, Congress Theatre, Evil Olive, Darkroom, Goose Island, and many, many more that SouthSide forgot to mention for another long rockin' year of live music performances - will be visiting you again soon in 2012 super cool guy Mayor Rahm Emanuel for checking out the local music scene around town - it's nice to see a Chicago mayor taking interest in what makes this city so great for live music Staples and Target for keeping this busy reviewer well-equipped with notepads and pens all year long all my local bands/artists friends, SouthSide wishes she could personally name each and every of you but she might forget someone in the process but THANK YOU for another year of rockin' music and shows your fans - THANKS for supporting your favorite band(s) all year long Project Exploration for another year of making science seem so much fun besides it being educational ...and to my blogspot readers near and far, seen and unseen - thanks for reading this blog. She hopes you enjoyed the adventures as much as she did (wait until the "tell-all" book comes out ...does she have some stories to tell!).

In closing, SouthSide has to give an extra special "thank you" to her guardian angel for keeping this reviewer safe and sound ...traveling around town alone can be dangerous especially when coming home late (sometimes 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning) on public transportation.


SouthSide hopes she didn't forget anyone...

Goodbye, 2011 ...hello 2012 ...hoping it's another rockin' year around town reviewing and supporting the local scene ...and she wishes everyone a safe and bright new year!

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

25 Dec 11 - The Muppets

****may conatain a tiny spoiler****

Believe it or not, SouthSide's a Muppet and Muppet show fan. She vividly remembers sitting in front to the television to watch the weekly CBS primetime program with her family. Her favorite Muppet Show moments would be when Vincent Price, Alice Cooper and The Star Wars cast (Mark Hamill, C3PO, R2D2 and Chewbaca) were special guest stars. And of course, who cannot forget the infamous Mah Na Mah Na song. Sing with SouthSide now "...mah na mah na..." However, she's not a HUGE fan of the Muppet characters like the two main characters of this new movie.

The Muppets take place sort of a direct sequel years later after The Muppets Take Manhattan movie in which the characters have moved on and drifted apart (Fozzie does a lounge act in Reno, NV and Animal is taking anger management classes, for example) ...going their own separate ways. The basic theme of this movie in the beginning - the world has moved on and have forgotten about them but they're not definitely forgotten especially not with their two BIGGEST fans - Walter (a muppet) and human brother Gary (Jason Segel of CBS' How I Met Your Mother, a television program that prides itself with nostalgia) of Smalltown, USA. Like SouthSide, they grew up watching the Muppets and Muppet Show and now as adults, they're taking a trip to Hollywood to tour the famous Muppet studio and theatre. Coming along with them is Gary's girlfriend of 10 years (now, you know there's a major snag in the relationiship if you still dating a guy for 10 years with no intention of marriage ...yet), Mary (Amy Adams) who's "excited" that brother Walter is tagging along on their anniversary trip. Yet like in any Muppet movie, there's a bad guy and/or a problem which involves the Muppet characters raising money to save their theatre from destruction. In this latest Disney-produced version movie, the baddie is a rich oil tycoon (a BP reference?) named Tex Richman (wonderfully played by Chris Cooper) who will own not only the studio but also the Muppet name if the loveable characters don't raise the necessary 10 million (yes, this time it's in the millions, folks) dollars by midnight (always by midnight with the Muppets) according to the ironclad contract Kermit signed long ago. So with the help of Walter and Gary, Kermit gets the old gang back together for one last show however not everyone (Miss Piggy) isn't on board at first. But, hey, this is the Muppet movie - everyone re-unites to help save their name and studio.

SouthSide liked the fact Disney cracked opened the vaults and re-united ALL of the muppets from The Muppet Show (including Beauregard the janitor, Sweetums - still working at the same used car dealership from the original Muppet Movie, Uncle Deadly - used when Vincent Price made his appearance on the show and more) for the making of this movie. Who knows when we'll ever see them on the big screen and on television agaion? Also like any Muppet-involved movie there's a long list of A-list celebrities with cameo or speaking appearances like Alan Arkin (the tour guide), Emily Blunt (as Miss Piggy's executive assistant), Mickey Rooney (as a Smalltown, USA resident) and some corny Muppet songs to fill the movie's run time such as Life Is Happy and Me Party of One songs. However also included within this soundtrack was few 80s hits like Jefferson Airplane's We Built This City and Gary Neuman's Car ...even AC/DC gets inside a muppet movie during a montage sequence. Yet, her favorite song from this movie would have to be Tex Richman's hilarious hiphop/rap ditty about himself ...she would like to dedicate it to her BP (executive) fiance. Plus there were other references from other Muppet movies of the past (i.e. Rainbow Connection and Together Again ...and other non-song references) intricately placed throughout the movie. And stick around during the credits for the Mah Na Mah Na song too.

What this reviewer liked about this new muppet movie was they aged the mupper characters a little (i.e. check out the graying on Fozzie's eyebrows) and it was nice to know that happy wedding endings don't last forever especially bewteen a frog and a pig. And this time, the Muppets don't technically win - they actually can lose graciously to the big evil oilman Richman even though the ending does suggest they've won. What she didn't likw about this movie - Disney re-manufactured the same muppet movie formula i.e. defeat the bad guy by putting on a show to raise the money necessary to save the theatre to play it safe with audiences. If the muppets can grow old, so can the tiresome formula. For the next movie - get more creative, writers, especially for this new millennial generation.

Overall, it's worth the price of the movie ticket to see all of the Muppets together again.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

25 Dec 11 - Hugo


SouthSide's faith in Hollywood was somewhat restored this afternoon when she saw Martin Scorsese's latest cinematic achievement delightfully titled - Hugo. This movie had everything she could ever want from a movie - a heartwarming story, romance, suspense, comedy, thrills and chills, a sense of wonderment and imagination and more - wrapped inside its nearly 3 hour running time. And if you're a vintage cinema aficionado like Scorsese, then you will very much appreciate the attention to cinematic detail from the vividness of Robert Richardson's cinematography to the Parisan period music of the 1930s as well as the homage to the early filmmakers and actors/actresses which include the works of Georges Melies within this movie's storyline.

Hugo, based on a book - The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, tells the story of an orphaned boy, Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield in his most powerful role thus far in his young career since The Boy In The Striped Pajamas), an automaton, its inventive creator Georges Melies (Sir Ben Kingsley - fine performance for this character actor) and a mystery that connects them together. Since the tragic death of his father (cameo by Jude Law), Hugo has lived and worked in keeping the clock of a Paris train station running on time with his drunkened Uncle Claude (Ray Winestone). Yet he mostly spends his time stealing food to survive while avoiding the ever watchful eye of the Station Inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen, a light comedic but dramatic role specially tailored for him) who's always on the hunt for orphans like Hugo with his sidekick, a dog named Maxilliman. He also spends the other half of his time hiding inside the clock observing the people whose daily lives encompass the station itself. This reviewer enjoyed how Scorsese and screenwriter John Logan delicately interwove the minor plot sequences (such as the budding romance between Lisette the flower woman [by Emily Mortimer] and Station Inspector) without overshadowing or overwhelming the entire main story itself even though majority of the movie's plot does take place inside this one particular station. We also meet other colorful characters who lives are part of this station directly or indirectly - like Isabelle (Chloe Grace Mortez), George Melies and Madame Jeanne's goddaughter who lives for adventure but only through the books she reads from Monsieur Labrisse's (Christopher Lee) bookshop/library until taken to see her first cinematic feature by Hugo, the Parisan band taht wonderfully provides the backdrop music for not only the train cafe but the entire movie itself and of course the mysterious Georges Melies who run a tiny toy shop where Hugo steals his gears and workings to fix the automaton safely hidden inside the clock tower. The automaton and the mysterry surrounding it does bring all of the major and minor characters gradually closer together especially during the film's conclusion - SORRY NO SPOILER ON HOW IT ENDS.

This reviewer fell absolutely in love with Hugo. It's beautiful imagery ...the splendid view of Paris in the 1930s (especially at night when you see it run like a fast moving clock) ...the splendor or this train station as well as the detailed gears and workings of the clocks - everything was simply breathtaking. She enjoyed the touch of history about silent filmmaking and how the early filmmakers created and at times invented the tools for filmmaking (still used today though by computer) seeing the vintage classic clips by Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks Sr to silent war footage and the masterpiece itself - Georges Melies' The Trip To The Moon (ah, still a cinematic achievement in its own right after nearly 100 years). If there's a moral within this movie, then Scorsese has said it loud and clear - preserve and treasure our vintage movies for future generations to come. SouthSide highly advises that you sit through the ending credits to view the list of silent movies (including nearly 80 of Georges Melies' works) used for Hugo. Director Martin Scorsese has truly re-invented the movie-going experience for this reviewer ...she was delightfully entertained with the sense of that she had taken an extraordinary adventure. And with screenwriter John Logan, they both created a story full of imagination and wonderment for SouthSide instilling in her a deep appreciation for the early filmmakers, directors, actors/actresses and etc than before.

Howard Shore's music told a better story and left a far better memorable impression than the Reznor-Ross composition for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Shore's music not only enhanced each scene but was also a character in itself throughout Hugo. You could say it was the only non-speaking silent character that vividly expressed the mood of a particular scene or enlightened the audience to dream along with Georges Melies while watching The Trip To The Moon. SouthSide cannot stop raving about Sacha Baron Cohen's role after seeing this movie. It was utterly amazing to see this actor in a serious/dramatic role instead of his outlandish over the top comedic stuff like Bruno and Borat. Though having a few comedic moments within Hugo (i.e. like when his leg brace would lock whenever approaching the fair Lisette), he wonderfully demonstrates a softer side to him in which this reviewer hopes to see more of. And Jude Law's and Asa Butterfield's characters during their short scenes together had this natural loving interaction as if they were truly father and son and not just playing one on the screen. The same could be said between Sir Ben Kingsley and Asa Butterfield during their screen time together. Also, try spotting Brian Selznick (not credited in the movie) for his cameo as well as other famous Paris residents like Salvador Dali (Ben Addis) and James Joyce (Robert Gill).

SouthSide highly recommends seeing this heartwarming Scorsese cinematic feature on the big screen before it hits the DVD/Blu-Ray sales. One of the VERY best of 2011.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

16 Dec 11

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's having some pre-holiday fun this weekend! She's rockin' around the holiday tree at Reggie's Music Joint for a very special performance by Misstallica (PA) featuring local band Heaven & Hell opening. Thought not big on reviewing cover/tribute bands, this reviwer does make a few exceptions to that rule and highly suggests getting your Ozzy Osbourne/Black Sabbath (as well as Dio and Rainbow) fix from this local band - Heaven & Hell ( There was no skimping on the rock experience, blogspot readers, nor were there any disappointed fans thoughout their set. Performing classic Sabbath hits like Fairies Wear Boots, Children of the Grave, War Pigs and Dio's - Holy Diver, the front man and his band definitely knew their Ozzy Osbourne fowards and backwards. Every riff ...chord ...changes and lyrics as well as Ozzy handclapping/tambourne mannerisms was captured and timely executed without a single mistake despite a couple of exceptions - no biting of a bat's head or wearing the infamous Ozzy white-fringed one-piece suit. Yet, that didn't matter to SouthSide who was rockin' out along with the Reggie's door/security team while feeling the metal excitement and head banging momentum especially during N.I.B. and Heaven & Hell.

SouthSide would like to make it clear - these rockin' chicks LOVE Metallica ...and no, fellas, they're not your average backstage groupies either. They're actually the world's only all female Metallica tribute band from Philadelphia known as Misstallica ...also formerly known as Misstallicunt and other name variations. First time in Chicago, this tribute band brought the raw head banging metal angst of Metallica and its fierce twitterpating riffs to the fans of this famed band. And that was merely the first two opening songs, blogspot readers, heard within this headlining performance. These rockin' ladies were tearin' up the Music Joint stage with a powerful force of music and sound that clearly demonstrated these rockers weren't going to skimp on the Metallica experience either. They did more than just thrill and wow this crowd. They rocked out the venue with a classic Metallica album in its entirity to the delight of cheers and screams since no one wanted to hear new Metallica material tonight. What SouthSide liked about Misstallica, besides knowing their Metallica material, blogspot readers, was the feminine vocals angst and spite that was pumped into the original lyrics of each song performed. It gave SouthSide as well as every hardcore fan a complete and different point of view than originally written with testosterone vocals. Lead vocalist Gina (also on guitar) thrilled this screaming crowd with her raw yet deep vocals spewing some of the most heated venom over the microphone amidst the gritty guitar sound. Misstallica's music by Metalallica was nothing to sneeze at either. These gals essentially captured the famed rock band's complicated and intricate guitar work and percussion rhythms. If you're a diehard Metallica fan, this performance was definitely for you. This reviewer highly suggests rockin' out with Misstallica at their next scheduled performance. Visit for more information and where Metallica will be featured on the stage again.

Until next time, support your local scene,

13 Dec 11

"...where do you want to perform next..."

Hey, blogspot readers, are you ready to experience a trip of the mind through music? SouthSide recently took such of an experience at Elbo Room when seeing her new friend, Trip Effect. This unique trip of musicians impressed this reviewer with a contemporary rock sound that was laced with heartfelt yet energizing music. The music alone had this certain kind of momentum unfortunately hard to describe in which each member immersed themselves into Trip's songs. Yet, that's barely the tip of the iceberg about this new band rising super fast within Chicago's music scene. Before their Elbo Room debut, SouthSide talked to Aaron (bassist) and Derek (front man and guitarist) of Trip Effect via telephone about the music, songwriting and plans of performing on the International Space Station after a "Bonnie and Clyde" style bank robbery (don't worry - not really happening).

SouthSide likes bands that bend the rules. So when asking Aaron and Derek to describe Trip's live performances in five words or less, she received not only five words but a full a paragraph, blogspot readers. Their answers ranged from "...powerful, raw, soulful, entertaining music and energetic..." to "...make you want to dance..." as well as "...captivates the moment..." Then the guys went on to add "...[we're] known to dance and become wild..." while rockin' the stage amazingly "...without misplacing our instruments..." "We don't stand like statues or jump around like a metal band..." But wht Trip does for their audience is trying " play so people can feel the music..." the same way "as we did while practicing..." And that's exactly how Trip Effect reacted to their own music the moment they hit Elbo Room stage ...they were totally vibin' and moving all over especially while performing Save Yourself Tonight and new song, Second Life (not on the current EP).

With a band name like Trip Effect, SouthSide wanted to know why such a name and what did it signify to them. Well, according to the band, they tried a couple of other names when forming however it was front man and guitarist Derek who came up with the name Trip Effect even though Aaron and Eric weren't completely sold. Derek says the name's signature tagline is "...divine imprint on the soul..." meaning "...the effect of life and journey we each take..." Trip's songs try to "...captivate the experiences [in which] we can all relate..." plus " can listen to them without skipping..." around the CD. And speaking of songs, Trip Effect advises fans to listen to Past At The Edge and The Rain because "...[the] lyrics are less straight forward..." since the band likes " keep people guessing..." what the songs are about. SouthSide, when hearing both songs live, did get the sense of how thought-provoking the words could be based on her own personal experiences. If you're also thinking this band has their own secret or political agendas hidden within their songs, you're totally wrong, blogspot readers. "If you had a life experience, these expereiences will fit [our] words..." says Trip. And the secret to this band's unique songwriting style - music is written first and then words are added. For Aaron, this was a different writing process than he's used to in which he likes not having to sit down and write songs. Derek, on the other hand, a former metal rocker who never though of playing acoustic rock before, handles that task by putting in some serious time and effort into each song he writes. He might spend 10 to 12 hours a day playing the guitar ...gradually putting together the melody line and everything else. This is quality time and hard work here - so you won't be hearing songs that Trip cranked out within five minutes time.

Trip Effect being such a young band, has accomplished much within a short amount of time, blogspot readers. Besides a mention in the December issue of Illinois Entertainer and an on-air interview at Fearless Radio, they opened for Sister Kill Cycle and Mechanical Animals (a Marilyn Manson tribute band) at Penny Road Pub. They even have a fan who resides in Isreal. So what do they attribute to their success thus far? Basically with Trip Effect, it's all about quality and producing really good music. While Derek writes " a tornado...", Aaron handles the administrative side of the band duties i.e. fan mail, answering emails, sending press releases, etc and their booking agent Monica does the rest. "...[a] perfect fusion..." for Trip Effect especially since Derek comes to practice every week with a new song "...if you want to get your band going, you have to put in the time and effort..." the band advises. Yet, despite the success rolling their way, they are very humbled and feel blessed. Derek and Aaron couldn't even begin to verbally describe what the journey has been like for them thus far however they do want it to be known that they're not doing this for the money - just to share music with everyone.

And speaking of music, Illinois Entertainer called Trip Effect - a power trio which according to Aaron, is a good description of the band. Meanwhile, someone at Elbo Room told Eric (Trip's drummer) that they sound like "...Dave Matthews on steriods...". This isn't the first time, blogspot readers. "People usually have two bands mixed together..." to desctibe Trip Effect's unique pop with a metal mix sound after attending a live performance. SouthSide asked them what could she expect to see and/or hear during their record release show. "We're just going to play our originals as many as we possibly can...[going] to hear diversity of music off the EP [Second Life]..." Yes, this band can truly rock a stage with a heavy power sound within less instrumentation. "...[we] make our sound big as possible with little as possible..." That power was definitely felt during Trip's acoustic jam session - improve style. The music electrified the stage amidst the lively rhythms and vibrant acoustic melodies in which you can clearly notice each Trip member zoning out to their rockin' sound.

Now that Trip Effect is a member of the music scene, SouthSide wanted to know their thoughts and opinions about popular (mainstream) music today. To Derek, "...pop music is somewhat disgusting...[a] money-making enterprise producing cookie-cutter songs..." adding "...[it's] not about artistry anymore..." Believe it or not, blogspot readers, classic rock bands like Led Zeppelin or The Beatles never had number 1 hits - only memorable songs and music that still stand the test of time even in the new millennium. Aaron loved this question. The bassist and producer of a hip hop artist had this to say "..Thank God for the internet...[it] gave indie scene a place to ship out music without having to bow down to big record companies..." adding "...if you have good music, people will find [you and] it..." Lastly, Trip Effect wants everyone to know all of their songs are downloadable off Facebook and Reverbnation ...and you can find them on December 30 at Chicago Loop's Sports Bar (located in Streamwood). This reviewer highly recommends checking out this hot rising band - Trip Effect mind-blowing experience.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

***THIS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS - sincerest apologies***

This is an open letter to Hollywood - STOP turing popularly artistic foreign films into your big budgeted, box office cash cows!


Simply because you have the tendency to add, flip, delete, re-arrange, water down, etc the original foreign material to fit the average American movie-going audience's intelligence and attention span. For example, Let The Right One In, a beautiful Swedish movie but horribly Americanized re-make with 30 minutes lopped off.

Now you have sunk your greedy fingers into another Swedish film - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Thank the blessed goodness that Stieg Larsson isn't alive to see what you have done to his book. You have flipped the original Swedish version - granted adding more details than the original HOWEVER by adding too much you have revealed a major secret and re-arranged the original ending (and more) that does NOT coincide with the book and/or Swedish film. If you have read the book and/or seen the Swedish original, SouthSide advises that you stop reading this review now ...or suffer the agony of what has been changed.

If you're currently reading the book before going to see the movie, she strongly advises that you stop immediately's not going to enhance what you have already read.

HOWEVER if you're among those who haven't seen the Swedish original and/or read the book, then this movie is simply tailored for you since you won't have a clue that the movie's original premise was designed around a mystery ...not solely on two main characters, Mikeal Blomkvist (Daniel Craig replacing Michael Nyqvist) and Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara replacing Noomi Rapace).

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo immerses the reader into an unsolved 40 year old mystery behind the disappearance of a 16 year old teen Harriet Vanger in which her uncle, Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) hires Blomkvist to find. Sadly this movie version surrounds the audience with more about Blomkvist and Salander than the mystery disappearance within this screenplay (by Steven Zaillian) giving off a horrid impression that the movie is about them. The way TGWTDT was filmed you would have thought Zaillian had studied the cliff note version of Stanley Kubrick's "guide to flipping a novel into a movie without the use of a script". This movie jumped around scene to scene like a hot Mexican jumping bean snagging bits and pieces thus smashing them together during the beginning to get the plot going which doesn't become fully understandable until half-way through the movie. And when it finally does slow down, it's too late realize the main focus isn't to the two main characters but the mystery of the missing Harriet and other women.


Plus if the rape scenes between Bjurman (Yorick Van Wageningen), Lisbeth's state appointed guardian, and Salander was meant to frighten or make the viewer feel a bit squeamish (or arouse SouthSide's kinky fetish side), it missed its mark. They played out like a very poorly made American porn - all fluff and no substance. There was no subtle seduction from Bjurman over the "vulnerable" Lisbeth forcing her to submit to his sick dominant and demented fantasies. And that anal rape scene looked more like forced vaginal from behind to this reviewer. That's when the other movie mistakes start popping into view. For example - the dragon tattoo's on the wrong body location ...and wasn't she suppose to tattoo the word "sadistic" on his chest too (to "I'm a rapist pig")? There were other noticeable mistakes running rampant throughout this Americanized version that it will have your heading spinning i.e. accent switching. This was The Prince of Persia Sands of Time all over again - when the accents switched from fake Swedish to British then American ...sometimes within the same scene! Daniel Craig was the biggest offender of this crime - in one minute when he went from Swedish to British to a combination of the two to American and generally stayed within that range for the rest of the movie. At least, Rooney Mara and Robin Wright (as Erica Berger, Blomkvist's lover and co-editor of Millennium) was able to stay in character with their accents.

Then, this version committed two major offenses which were never part of the book and the original Swedish film had this reviewer cringing in her seat during the screening. TWO HUGE mistakes that changed the outcome of the entire movie. All she can ask is WHY? Why change where Blomkvist finds the missing Harriet Vanger? Why have Salander REVEAL that one tiny secret about herself to Blomkvist? Also ...why change how Vanger Industries get controlling interest of Millennium magazine when it wasn't actually Martin and Henrik who approach Erica about the proposition ...why have Lisbeth visit and threaten Bjurman in the elevator when THAT doesn't really happen until the second book/film?!?! UGH! There are more mistakes however you would only recognize them if you have read the book and/or seen the Swedish version. *sighs* There's no point in making the sequels, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, because you already borrowed material from both books to fill in the ending of the movie.

Not only did they let the slip of the tongue fly, but also changed Lisbeth from an enigma into an open book ...and, believe SouthSide, she's not suppose to be an open book. Lisbeth Salander is this generation's Alex DeLarge that presence and persona is totally lost and gone - she's written for this movie as to easily and readily trust Blomkvist which actually isn't the case. She trusts no one except herself throughout the books (and Swedish movies) allowing him just enough room for trust but on her terms. Rooney Mara as Lisbeth may have been good a replacement to Noomi Rapace however she's not that good. Rapace will always be Lisbeth Salander for this reviewer. She was the perfect size and height in what Larsson wrote in his books ...Mara looked like an out of place bisexual emo chick trying to be goth/industrial or is that vice versa - a goth bisexual chick trying to be industrial but looking so emo with her shaved eyebrows, piercings and horrible haircut. Her award nominations should go to Rapace instead. Meanwhile, Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist was a bad choice for the role since it was played like a stale but older James Bond-like character. He was too busy trying to be mysterious while looking so hot ...especially when not the ideal "bodily ugly (i.e. a little pudgy in the stomach) yet still sexually attractive to women to sleep with" type of person that was wonderfully portrayed by Michael Nyqvist and written by Larsson. Craig was looking too hot to be ugly even while sporting those tight black (tiny as heck) briefs during the movie.

Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails want you back as front man! Rock music composition is your style ...that's what you do best. However movie music composition - well, you need to take more lessons from the following masters - Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, John Williams, Eric Serra and Chris Carter. Your usage of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song - um, why? What purpose did it serve for this movie? As SouthSide sat there watching the opening title credits, all she could say was huh? The music composed did nothing to enhance and/or heighten the action or scene ...sometimes it was too loud and boisterous (like attending one of your shows but in THX surround sound). OR sometimes when there was suppose to be music, there was none to accentuate the scene at all. And you are recently quoted that your music for TGWTDT was going to have the audience humming when they leave the theatre or get under their skin. HA! The music composed did neither SouthSide's still scratching her head on why you deserve a Golden Globe nomination for music was - to simply put it - horrible. There was no suspense ...or drama to get this reviewer deeply involved with the scene in which it was used. Your practice of composing before actual shooting failed horribly for this particular movie. And speaking of the opening title sequence - WTF was that?! It looked like something a graphic design student would use as their application to get into Flashpoint Academy ...and it wasn't a very good either. It was hard to decipher what the sexually suggested black oil images were suppose to represent while listening to a horrid cover of Led Zeppelin's classic rock song.


SouthSide highly recommends reading Eva Gabrielsson's book There Are Things I Want You To Know About Stieg Larsson. It's a fantastic as well as an interesting read about Eva and Stieg, how the Millennium triology came to be, who is the real Lisbeth Salander and more. As far as the Americanized version of The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo - save your money ...wait until it comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray. If you must see it to see what the fuss is all about - bring some aspirin with you.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

10 Dec 11

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide ends her weekend by rockin' with the so-called "1%"! She's went upscale (sort of) Saturday while at River North's tri-level nightspot, LaSalle Power Company to rock with gothic poets aching for love (The Walking Shadows) and social rockers with a focus (Social Focus). Also featured during this show was Polarcode ( and Furious Frank (

This reviewer recommends checking out this eclectic-sounding local band that combined one of the most weirdest music/genre mesh ever heard. And she's not being harsh in her description about Furious Frank, blogspot readers. This was one band with a set up that included a lively horn section (trumpet and trombone), guitars (bass, electric, mandolin, acoustic), keyboards and drums thus producing an energizing sound mix from folk to gyspy to Mexi-Americana-punk (try saying that fast three times) and more. Furious had a rhythmic tempo that got thisr reviewer's toes tappin' to their selected tunes featuring an Irish folk amidst a country/western feel for one song about Chicago and a Latin-flavor inspired Christmas tune with Czech lyrics. Meanwhile with Polarcode, SouthSide and friends (Ryan of Sutured Psyche and his friend) had a mixed reaction about this melodramatic rock band. This reviewer at first liked the energy and momentum that wafted throughout the third floor venue exciting the audience ...nearly drowning out the club scene downstairs happening on the second floor. However, somewhere in the middle of the set, that excitement, music and momentum was seriously replaced by dullness and boredom which gradually caused lost interest from its audience. Even SouthSide was losing interest due to the many back to back power ballads filling up their performance time that didn't have more rousing rock songs in between. That was Polarcode's main problem, blogspot readers, besides the unique stage set up that included a bass-keyboard melody combination and percussions. The music needed electric riffs to balance out the rhythms and put more powerful umph into the ballads. This reviewer suggests the band ease up a little on the "melo" part - you have that well taken care of and add more rock (electric riffs) into the drama to lift certain songs (like Deal Breaker) out of its moody mode. Polarcode can still be melodramatic while powerfully engaging its audience and fanbase more.

SouthSide must warn you - this is not your average Shakespeare love sonnet paired with with music, blogspot readers. The famous author of tragedies, comedies, et al probably wouldn't have foreseen dark lovelorn poetry/lyrics coupled with symphonic/rock music from a band like The Walking Shadows. This local band on the rise featured heartwrenching words (the kind that pricks from a sticky rose thorn), emotionally intense guitar riffs and dark symphonic electronica (off the keyboard set up) rolled into one exciting set. You're meant to feel besides hear the music and words, blogspot readers. Plus both (at the same time) can have that intensity to truly bring a few tears to the eyes as well as the heart upon feeling that emotional essence. After finally seeing a full performance, yes, The Walking Shadows can get overly melodramatic if that was the band's intention but truly it's not. There's the rock side to this band which keeps it from heading down that route. SouthSide enjoyed how the guitars add the right amount of intensity to balance out the symphonic sound and to also energize (as well as electrify) the moody music thus receiving the best of both genres at once. For example, check out Shadows' Crusader in which the guitar rock sound took front and center stage over the electronica keyboard rhythms (with enough symphonic melody to be heard). That's okay since it spotlighted Craig (front man on guitar) and his dynamic falsetto style within this particular song before blasting the ears with a hot instrumental bridge of intense music that featured twitterpating riffs and rhythms ...and a John drum solo too. Even while taking that said energy down a notch or two, one can still appreciate the emotional pain and heartache intricately woven inside the lyrics as Craig sings and Mark (his twin brother on keyboards/piano) backs him with the same emotional sentiments only musically. There's no other way to describe how dark emotions full of pain, heartache, etc was beautifully expressed tonight via The Walking Shadows ...even The Bard himself would definitely approve especially after listening to The Devil You Never Name (hearfelt romanticism in a dark yet intense way that deeply cuts like a razor sharp knife), Bullet Holes In Our Hearts (what can SouthSide say - we kill the one we love everyday), or Howl At The Moon (a bluesy switch that certainly surprised this reviewer which rocked down the stage) a couple of times. This reviewer highly recommends introducing yourself to the new style of Bard with The Walking Shadows at their next performance in 2012, blogspot readers. For more information about this band, visit or on Facebook.

Headlining this rockin' show was SouthSide's other good friend, Social Focus who were debutting a new member to the band - Alex on drums. And what a noticeable difference from last time to tonight, blogspot readers! Even after a long hiatus from the local scene and stage, this band totally bursted into their set with such a fierce force of music and presence that it blew this reviwer away. She had never seen them take to the stage like this before was an energizing vibe and momentum in which the audience was immediately sucked into their socially focused zone. Yes, the band was feeling it too especially as new member pumped them with exuberant percussion rhythm and youthful energy song after song. Adam, front man on vocals, was definitely rockin' the stage as well with more charismatic persona and presence thus pumping more vocal powress into the lyrics when Social Focus opened with Classical Man and What Are You Waiting For. It was nice to see him releasing his inner vocal demons tonight, blogspot readers, that the lyrics popped to life under that fierce vocal fire. Plus, SouthSide literally could see the energy flowing from the band's music as each member filled it with such instensity from the riffs to rhythms. For example, during Safe Word, this reviewer enjoyed how Social capitialized on the intense sound heard off the guitar riffs and Alex's drumming which had front man Adam really releasing some fiery spite into the microphone (which is usually a good lead-in to Merry-Go-Down but not heard tonight). However besides debutting a new member, Social also featured not just one but three new songs (perhaps a new album coming soon?) which included a ballad, By Your Side. The other two, Occupy Yourself and Solitaire, brought something new to the band's usual music and sound (as if they truly had one, blogspot readers), but fans will like the direction they're gradually moving towards that features more subtle rhythms and more of a harder guitar rock sound ...less powerpop rock in both songs. Though Solitaire did start off a little slow but not to worry the tempo did pick up its pace while highlighting Adam's dynamic voice before wowing the ears with the instrumental bridge. It was a little leaning towards the power ballad side (not much) ...still it had enough intense momentum to keep a few fans rockin' to the music. The song just might succede SouthSide's current favorite (Merry-Go-Down) as the new song featured on her iPod rotation list. She does suggest to Social on roughing out the edges to By Your Side - it's a stong yet powerful ballad but the bass was a little overpowering off the monitors when the band was in the downtempo pace. She found this particular song easy-listening on the contemporary side but still powerful enough not to be categorized as "melodramatic". Now a word about Alex - Social Focus, keep him! This drummer, though with the band a short time, naturally immersed himself right into the band's sound, music and style ...easily setting the tone and atmoshphere and never missing one excitable beat throughout the show. If the band was looking for that youthful energy to perk up their music, then they certainly found it with Alex. SouthSide looks forward to seeing more shows like this one, blogspot readers from Social Focus in 2012. For more information, visit or on Facebook.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, December 12, 2011

09 Dec 11

"...Makeshift's the shit, huh?" ~ Amrita

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's back on the beat this weekend! Tonight, she's rockin' a frosty Friday and full moon at Beat Kitchen to see longtime friends Amrita and Makeshift Prodigy. She highly recommends hitching a ride on an innerstellar craft and reach the outside the paradigm with the psychedelic/rock sounds of Amrita. What a rush too! This reviewer liked how this local band honed in as well as captured the 70s intergalatic rock sound and vibe yet with a millennial twist which was fast paced, full of Stax guitar riffs and melodic on the keyboards. Amrita pumped the growing crowd with bursting energy and momentum inside its wicked space fx - think of them as an indie version of Parliament Funkadelic (with Bernie Worrell on keys), Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd mixed together. Though the bass feedback (during the second song) was hard on the ears, Amrita's music at times took on a Zen-like appearance and atmosphere that highlighted the dynamic vocal energy of front man Aaron. What was totally missing from this opening set - an awesome lighting fx to highten the psychedelic experience and the band's rockin' music. Off the album - outside the paradigm, SouthSide highly recommends immersing the ears to sugar coated god phone, love then hate and the title track no particular order either. For more information about Amrita, visit

There are nights when a band could have a good or bad performance ...or something in between. This was one of those nights for SouthSide's good friend Makeshift Prodigy where they had a show that was neither good or bad - it was very mediocre. Usually this extraordinaire melodic rock band would takes its audience on a spiritual-awakening journey via sight (with its homemade stage lighting fx) and sound depending how the music affects the ears on a personal level, blogspot readers. However sadly for SouthSide there was no such journey with Makeshift due to a couple of reasons - one of which was no fault of the band. Opening with Mathematica (one of many favorite songs off the band's current album) and Alive, fans were certainly pumped from the powerfully inspirational lyrics and melodic energy. It's so amazing to observe how Makeshift's music positively would affect their diehard fans (as well as new listeners) on a deep personal level that would be totally different for each person attending. Yet, it was hard to enjoy her own personal experience because the sound was very overpowering (even with earplugs on) and totally distored Makeshift's electronic rhythms song after song except for Sirens - the only song this reviewer was able to tolerate. Besides performing other fan favorites like Sentimentalist and Blinding Lights, Makeshift debut new song A Way Out in which the energy was taken down a bit ...less ambient but more of a contemporary rock sound though sounding a little flat within a dull staccato melody. Another "dull" moment occurred during the solo acoustic performance by front man Anthony that had a good majority of their fans being unimpressed by his dynamic vocal demonstration and style thus nearly slowing down the set to a grinding halt. SouthSide does suggest to Makeshift into rethinking about using the bright stage lighting fx in a rather confined and small venue space like Beat Kitchen. Other venues like House of Blues, Metro or even Reggie's Rock Club would have been able to handle such of an fx without blinding most of the audience or causing light-sensitive headaches (as this reviewer experienced after the show). SouthSide does still recommend blogspot readers checking out her friend Makeshift Prodigy but hopes their next show is better than tonight's. For more information, visit or on Facebook.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

03 Dec 11

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's roaming around town spreading more seasonal cheer on a wet, rainy night. First, she made a brief appearance at Celebrity Salon (in Evanston, IL) to drop off her toy donation at the Toys For Tots charity event. This BYOB toy-raiser event helped raised a delightful array of toys for needy boys and girls to open on Christmas as well as rocked the packed tiny salon with a lively music lineup featuring SouthSide's friends The Telepaths and WhiteWolfSonicPrincess All-stars with Hannah Frank, Longbottom Leaf and many more. This reviewer was unable to stay for all of the fun and raffles because she had two other engagements scheduled to attend before the night was over. Her next stop was to the world famous Drake Hotel specifically Coq d'Or to see her good friend Jesse Charbonier.

Though missing the first set of his bi-monthly 4 hour long jazz performance, SouthSide arrived in time at this popular cocktail lounge/restuarant of Drake Hotel for two fun sets of Jesse's holiday show, blogspot readers. Flanked with Adrian (on piano) and Michael (on bass), this phenomenal jazz crooner/songwriter performed a variety of jazz standards as well as holiday favorites to a crowded audience. Yet there was something new added to his music repertoire which brought dancing couples to display their lovely moves throughout his sets. SouthSide enjoyed the addition of swing rhythms and tempo into certain songs that did more than make the music pop and couples dance. It gave Jesse and the band a fun opportunity to ad lib on the song's original jazz composition especially during the instrumental bridge. Opening his second set with a lively version if the Charles Schultz' Peanuts theme (aka Linus and Lucy by Vince Guaraldi) to get the crowded bar into the holiday spirit, Jesse once again wowed and impressed the listening audience with his dynamic style, bright smile and charismatic presence his crooner-jazz voice which made each song performed popped with a burst of life and excitement. Jesse has, what SouthSide would say, the right magic touch to make such classics by Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, and more feel so fresh and new again. For example, when performing Christmas Song ("...chestnuts roasting on an open fire..."), one of the most overplayed yet popular holiday songs, Jesse and his dynamic falsetto voice instead turned it into a classy jazz piece as well as playful with his own spin on the music and lyrics.

And speaking of music, let's not forget about the band behind Jesse, blogspot readers. To say Adrian and Michael are an intricate part of the show would be a gross understatement. These two musicians are very important of what makes a Jesse Charbonier show such a delight to behold ...and extra special if attending with the love of your life. In SouthSide's honest opinion, no other musician duo would be able to highlight well as spotlight Jesse's jazz style and music "mannerisms" as they did on Saturday. Even while in an instrumental bridge, whether it's a solo or performing together, Adrian and Michael also add their own little magic spin to the songs. Sometimes it would be a Jingle Bells bar at the end (like during Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas) or a touch of gentleness to a jazz ballad like Lover Come Back to Me or You've Changed. Watch out for Greshwin's Rhapsody In Blue to the end of What A Little Moonlight Can Do. Without these two specific musicians, Jesse wouldn't have that such fun camaraderie especially not really trying to flub on the song ending to All Or Nothing At All. Yet it was the best non-intentional flub seen by thie reviewer in which the singer had a good laugh when the set was over for a short break.

Besides music and Jesse, there's also audience fun and participation too, blogspot readers. Meet Millie (from the lovely city of Columbia, South Carolina). She had the dubious honor of joining Jesse and the band during a jazzy rendition of Frosty The Snowman on sleigh bells. As SouthSide experienced firsthad this summer, it's not easy performing in front of a room full of strangers. However, with a bright smiles and cheery presence, Millie was wonderful (though temporary) addition to Jesse's peformance. She seemed to have a great time rockin' the bells while staying in rhythm along with the band's lively jazz tempo (which is sometimes difficult to do, blogspot readers). Also meet Mike M. He and his lovely dance partner (as well as many other nameless couples) brightened up the Coq d'Or floor with their smooth dance movements consisting of a standard waltz or quick-paced swing steps during certain songs. Mike and his partner looked quite the romantic pair especially when Jesse performed Silver Bells and Johnny Mathis' classic Chances Are which was also dedicated to a nice couple visiting from Detroit. It was the perfect night for romance, blogspot readers, and dancing to Jesse's ultra smooth voice on other classics like All Of Me, L-O-V-E, Let's Get Lost and though not part of the holiday season but just as romantic anytime of the year - My Funny Valentine (always an absolute pleasure to hear).

SouthSide highly recommends spending your Christmas Eve night or pre-ringing the New Year (Dec 30) with Jesse Charbonier and his jazzy holiday show at the famous Coq d'Or lounge. The shows are FREE bring the love of your life and/or dance partner for a romantic evening of jazz but get there early - he does attract a crowd. For more information, visit or on Facebook.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, December 5, 2011

02 Dec 11

"...I love your hat's a very beautiful festive hat..."
Kevin Crafton to SouthSide during his Elbo Room performance

It's beginning to be a rockin' holiday season around town, blogspot readers! Friday night, SouthSide kicked off a busy weekend full of holiday-themed fun and music starting at Elbo Room. There she was spreading seasonal cheer to the management and staff while enjoying the Raptor antics and Bambi rock/pop sound on stage. Though this would be the band's last performance for a while, it was also a special show for her friend Bambi Ramptor debuting new songs (with one featuring Kenny on lead vocals) off their soon-to-be released third album. Before their set, this reviewer was told to expect something different during this outting ...something not their usual Bambi music and sound, blogspot readers. A little more artistic as well as creative and (perhaps bordering on the) contemporary side compared to their other hit songs like Cosplay, Greenology, Away We Go or FAQ from their two previous albums - Conception and Adolescene.

SouthSide highly suggests checking out singer/songwriter, Kevin Crafton (IN) and his new song Washington Promises (from his new album coming out soon). Written WAY before the Occupy whatever became a fashionable movement of the decade, this song definitely captured the 99%'s political views of what's currently happening inside Washington D.C. ...the very issues that's affecting everyong - no matter what side of the percentage point you are on which were passionately expressed within Kevin's falsetto voice off the lyrics. You clearly heard the raw frustration vented towards the politicians and their never fulfilled campaign promises of "change" amidst the vibrant acoustic sound. She also recommends rockin' your feet to his upbeat tune Alright Alright which pumped some excitable momentum as well as melodic retro rock feel inside the riffs wafting throughout the crowded basement lounge. That toe-tappin' rhythm was quite contagious, blogspot readers. Meanwhile upstairs, good friend Kelsey Montanez was rockin' the crowd as she opened for headliner A Thousand Julys. And though missing her acoustic performance, SouthSide highly recommends checking out this dynamic female singer/songwriter - one of two breakout artists within Chicago's local scene who can emit some powerful diva-tude of emotions from their songs. She will make you feel things that you never thought were there, blogspot readers. As this reviewer told Kelsey's stepmom, Liz, she sees a lot of wonderful things happening for this artist in 2012 watch out.

"...we've ALL seen the party room, Brian..."

If SouthSide had known it was a "formal" affair, she would have worn her (The Alley) tux t-shirt too to match with her friend Bambi Raptor, blogspot readers. This band was dressed to kill their loyal Raptor fans and audience with another rockin' performance that featured a few surprises and old favorites before taking a well-deserved hiatus from the dtage. Opening the show to FAQ and its energizing electro/pop sound, Roger (front man on vocals), Kenny (bass/vocals), Nick (drums), Gary (guitar) and Doug (guitars/effects) were ready and poised to rock out the main stage of Elbo Room with a momentous BANG! Bambi performed fan favorites such as Griffin (the Kenny emo screaming frustration in between Roger's calm falsetto voice on chorus ...also watch out for Nick's illuminating drumsticks) and Greenology (a fun ditty about nature within a pseudo reggae/ska guitar riff but not truly about that type of nature, blogspot readers). However, what really excited SouthSide tonight was the anticipation of hearing Kenny take on the role of lead vocals with the band during new song B.B's. This gave Roger a rare chance to amongst the audience while Kenny entertained the crowd with his unique yet monotone vocal style (with some screamo angst laced into chorus). His voice style totally worked this particular song amidst a sort of contemporary pop/rock music ...not the usual Bambi sound but this reviewer wholeheartedly enjoyed this new creative side to the "growing up" band. Other new songs featured in this performance included Alchemy and VPL (for some reason according to the band it's about Pinnochio ...who knows what lurked in the minds of these Raptors while penning this song). Plus there were surprises like a video shoot with working bubble machines for Border Patrol (which will be out in a couple of months) that totally energized their fans into a frenzy especially in front of the stage and a dedication to baby Jericho (the new Bambi Raptor coming soon to Gary and Rachel - Congrats, you two!) I'm Not Listening. And what would a Raptor show be without the fan sing along to Cosplay that features a small comedic bantar between Roger and Kenny. Yet the fun didn't end there until they were granted their first encore to which fans requested Alaska to close out this hot show. For more information about Bambi Raptor, visit or on Facebook.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, December 1, 2011

25 Nov 11

"...hip hop is nothing without the DJ..."
DJ Maseo of De La Soul

"...I tell them 'actions'/follow my belief..." ~ Notrydo.Sincere

Hip hop/rap take 2.

Hey, blogospot readers, SouthSide's giving the hiphop/rap scene another try. This time, she's rockin' the Northwest side at Abbey Pub for the final MTM GRP CHGO's Respect the Mic Vs Fresh Produce concert series of 2011. This Chicago-based hip hop events company has successfully ran a mixtape Mondays/Tuesdayz (an original paid open mic) in the past thus starting this concert series " influence and educate artists on creating their own lane..." Hosted by well-known producer Tony Baines (who has has produced music for known artists like Twista, Mic Terror and many more), every participating artist and producer that performed on stage also earned money during tonight's event. Besides performances and producer battles, the legendary DJ Maseo (of De La Soul) was scheduled as headliner with Chicago's own Notrydo.Sincere and others opening for him. However, due to time constraint, DJ Maseo was unable to perform, blogspot readers, but SouthSide was granted an exclusive interview with this artist in which she asked for his thoughts about the music industry (hip hop in general) today to whether or not De La Soul would have the success it did back in the 90s if entering the scene now ...and many more.

Many might know DJ Maseo as a man wearing many hats within the music industry. Besides being a rapper, producer, DJ, 1/3 of the ground-breaking hip hop trio known as De La Soul and the laugh behind Gorillaz's Feel Good Inc hit single, did you also know he's a father of four and very philosophical about the world (music and more included) around him in his own comedic way, blogspot readers? When asked to describe himself in five (5) words or less, DJ Maseo had plenty to say about himself to this reviewer by responding "...nostalgic fresh inspirational tenacious and loving ...that could be abusive..." You should add "...funny too ...when it don't cost..." to that list because during most of the interview he had SouthSide laughing so hard from his comedic wit and point views though being very blunt and truthful about what he had to say. " comedy is free donation to the world..." since he still had kids to feed. DJ Maseo did mention he was approached to do a reality television show in the past but turned down that offer (plus not stating whom or network that made the offer). This reviewer asked why to which he replied saying that he didn't want to expose his family to that kind of environment opting to keep them and their lives private. "...lose families that way..."

Despite insisting that his personal views about the music industry (mainly hip hop) would kill his career, DJ Maseo in his own philosophical way had plenty to say on the subject. When asked if De La Soul would have the same success today as it did back in the 90s, he said no because records don't sell today. He also stated by saying "...[we're] at the age when people like music but don't love it ...the era before us, music meant something ...made a difference.." DJ Maseo continued by adding music today "...[is] just business..." in which artists are fighting a "...creative war ...and we [the artists] lost..." He cited one more reason why De La Soul wouldn't be successful today. "You don't have to be quality just current..." says Maseo "...artists today are machines ...feed the people the same bullshit and they start thinking it's the shit..." Then SouthSide asked him how has the music industry and hip hop changed to which he responded "'s hip hop is good..." but personally cannot relate to the genre. It's his belief that " is impressionable on the youth..." using an example how his parents couldn't understand anything he listened to beyond Grandmaster Flash. "...Hip Hop [like rock] was rebel music ...rebelling against society..." says DJ Maseo " it's part of society and economic grain [hip hop] is watered down ...even rock is watered down..." Then he concluded by adding "'s not rock's rock with pop ...rock is not chaos anymore..."

Briefly, DJ Maseo discussed how he would like to see the right people educating the youth about hip hop. He said this because he had the opportunity to teach a college course on how to be a DJ/hip hop producer. "...soon you will need a piece of paper ...credentials [to work] in the music industry..." He believes that having credentials is another form of control "...teaching us on how to follow the rules throughout life..." SouthSide did agree with this artist when commenting that there's " outside of the box thinking..." especially in today's educational system. That being said, this reviewer wanted to know his thoughts aobut music in general to which he said hip hop/rap shows what's (truly) goes on in the world though "...we rely on it too much..." In his eyes, he sees music especially hip hop as entertainment and nothing more with its many varieties catering to select group of people such as Latino, stripper, gangsta, party, religious, etc. " [hip hop] has something to offer people of like minds..." Other genres, according to the philosophical mind of DJ Maseo, conjur fairy tales within music and unlike hip hop, cannot connect with individuals. "...hip hop has no generation gap ...unlike rock (i.e. classic and modern), there's more of an understanding and connection because hip hop is within its same genre..." Though believing " other genre of music can bridge the generation gap..." like hip hop can, DJ Maseo does see hip hop falling towards that sub-genre path as Rock did.

Before ending this philosophical interview, DJ Maseo encouraged everyone to follow him on Facebook and Twitter as well as join his 600,000 plus followers on his U-Stream channel. He was the first artist to use this medium to connect with a web audience and use all of the U-Stream's features and preferences for his webcasts. DJ Maseo broadcasts live from his house what he calls a "Wayne's World" like show that features him and special guest DJs/artists. While parting with "...I come from an era when everyone was a star based on creativity to me...", Chicago hip hop artist Notrydo.Sincere added his own personal thoughts about DJ Maseo into the conversation stating "...DJ Maseo is an icon..." He also commented how the artist and his music saved his life from the streets and gangs. To DJ Maseo, that was more rewarding to hear than any accolade or award received. For more information about DJ Maseo, visit

Before the main event of Respect the Mic which featured brief performances by Contagious, D Money, Rio and Notrydo.Sincere, DJ Maseo instilled some helpful advice to all of the performers in the audience that they can actually do this full-time without a big time contract backing them if they follow two simple steps: start it as a passion and then treat themselves and their craft as a business to make money. The opening acts presented a wide range of up-n-coming artists performing different styles of hip hop/rap on stage such as gangsta to party and some having a heavy bass or melodic sound. In SouthSide's opinion, there were a few hits and misses based on the audience's reactions even though each hip hop act had a few minutes to impress them with their tracks and stage presence. Sometimes it was the microphone used that was the main culprit during a performance from bad feedback to low volume that this reviewer couldn't hear a single word said. Or perhaps it was a combination of things (i.e. music, MC) which didn't generate much hype or energy at all. Mid-way through the show, there was producer battles in which producers pitted their best beat tracks against each other and the audience (by show of hands and cheers) voted for their favorite. These were fierce ..."take no prisoners" competitions for a cash prize, blogspot readers. SouthSide missed most of the battles because she was interviewing DJ Maseo however she did stay for the final rounds. Who were the top finalists of the night? Who won the cash prize? Keep reading this review to find out.

Notrydo.Sincere may sound like something Yoda would say to any Jedi apprentice when doubting their abilities in using the Force. however that's not actually the case, blogspot readers. This Chicago artist received this special moniker from his grandmother which now has become his own personal mantra in life. "...that any and all things must be done with the deepest level of passion and sincerity leads to the highest power associated with 'doing' versus the attempts of a mere 'try' ...all one seeks to pursue must be done 'sincerely'..." It's something this designer, songwriter, producer, keyboardist, and drummer tries to embody within his progressive music and style of hip hop that's known to be "...lyrically passionate and captivating..." Yet who is this artist really? When asked, he described his music to be "...cultured dignity powerful love that comes from an honest place..." It's meant to be inspiring and motivating but there's one thing that separates him from the rest, blogspot readers. He's the ONLY hip hop artist SouthSide knows with his own drumline. Incidentially, that was her first question to Notrydo.Sincere - what inspired him to incorporate a drumline with his act. He replied that he wanted to be different like The Roots whose music features live instruments (i.e. horns, percussions). He first met Jamie Poindexter (captain of the the drumline and who runs a program to keep troubled youth off the streets) while working on a marketing campaign for a client and soon the two performed together at Round Fest. That was four years ago. Notrydo said "...they [people] like it but feel intimidated at first we're getting a lot of press about it..." This artist and his drumline has appeared in festivals around town performing sixty shows (or more) a year.

Notrydo.Sincere and his drumline along with backing MC Kaotic rocked down the Abbey stage with an energizing percussion force and rhythmic momentum that kept this crowd hyped despite the shortness of his set. The live percussion sound against his DJ complemented each other giving every song performed that resounding umph of electricity (and more) as the music wafted throughout the lively venue. This reviewer not only saw the energy surging amongst the crowd as well as inciting them to react but also felt it immediately when this artist first hit the stage and during his cover of Tony Baines' Incredible. She asked him if there's a message that he's trying to convey within his hip hop to which Notrydo replied "...every time ...people need to understand it's a movement ...[something] way bigger than me..." This artist uses unconventional methods to get that message across to the masses like putting his entire album Robot on a 2 Gig flashdrive featuring more unconventional hip hop music. Currently, he's working on two projects one of which with producer Tony Baines that's a special tribute to Prince calling it the purple album. So SouthSide, had to know what inspires this unique hip hop artist's music and lyrical verses. Notrydo replied stating "...good music..." with a beaming smile which might surprise many that he doesn't listen to rap music per se but does listen to instrumental classics giving his recommendation to Pandora. And classic would be any genre. Whether it's rock, the legendary blues artist John Lee Hooker ...even A-Ha. What Notrydo is really into these days is Afro-beats and he did disclose to SouthSide of his plans to move to Africa one day having dual citizenships here and there. Who knows, blogspot readers, one day there might be an Afro-beat album by this phenomenial artist. Closing this interview, Notrydo.Sincere suggested blogspot readers listening to his track Let's Go "...wrote it in one take ...I love to be inspired be spontaneous ...that's why women love me..." Also Notrydo dedicated one of his favorite inspirational Fela track to this reviewer at the end of the show and she could absolutely hear why it would inspire and motivate him. The music within this particular track had a lively beat and energizing rhythm that instantly had her dancing to the melodic groove. For more information about Notrydo.Sincere, visit or

The two finalists in the producer battles were KI and Trackmatic however there only could be one winner and that producer was - Trackmatic.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

28 Nov 11

Hey, blogspot readers, do you want to be in a video? This local band, Unplugged and Reborn (an indie electronic trio) is currently searching for people to participate in an upcoming video shoot happening on Dec 17th.

They will be shooting a video for Khandi Kids off their debut album Promise Me This Day's FREE and open to all ages (though BYOB) starting 8p. They also ask that you dress retro, neon colors, underground rave themed clothing (if possible).

The house party will feature DJ sets by Sickboy, Rude Gentlemen, Blowclerk and Erok 69.

That's Saturday, December 17th, 8p at 4447 S. Karlov in Chicago.

For more information, visit Unplugged and Reborn at

HOWEVER, if unable to make the shoot, Unplugged and Reborn will be rockin' the stage at Beat Kitchen on Thursday, January 12th along with Cold Kid Blue, Videotape and Smoke & Magic at 17+ show. Admission $10.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Saturday, November 26, 2011

22 Nov 11 - Part 2

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's rockin' Wicker Park now! After a quick CTA ride ont he Red and Blue train lines, this roving party girl about town arrived in time at Double Door to welcome home her friend, Illusions Fate. Returning safely from their travels deep in the wilds of Michigan, this hot local band headlined this hip neighborhood venue's stage which also featured performances by friend Sutured Psyche and Conflux during this free pre-holiday show. Blogspot readers should be aware that Sutured Psyche will be rockin' the stage again (as well as with a bit of striptease by guitarist Ryan Reilly) on Dec 17 at Live Wire with Beneath The Stares and then at Elbo Room on Jan 28 for their anniversary show.

Intense primal industrialized metal music - the best way to sum up this Illusions Fate show, blogspot readers. Joel (front man on vocals and guitar) and the guys rocked out Double Door with such of an animalistic blood-curdling battle cry and sound that instantly attacked the senses. There was an energizing spirit and momentum felt during Illusions' opening song which stayed throughout the set that also included an encore - a first time for the guys. SouthSide literally could sense the primal nature and heat as Joel pumped venomous screamo fx especially while singing "...won't you die..." into the mix in between his natural falsetto voice. Yet while performing Stain, this particular song featured more of his natural vocals in which the audience clearly heard the emotions off the lyrics and less screamo. Another song, an Illusions Fate ballad, truly spotlighted Joel's voice within the "mellow" metal sound as the electric volume and tempo gradually increased towards the chorus until the end. Hardcore industrial and metal fans will thoroughly bang their heads to the intensity of Illusions' rockin' sound featuring wicked electric riffs, a melodic bass and thunderous percussion. Sometimes the band will also include a funky stax sound to crescendo-ing crash and bang song finishes to leave their fans hungry for more. SouthSide suggests rockin' the ears to Fear - not for its intense metal sound bur for the unexpected calming lull (nearly a minute though) before Joel pumps more rage and angst after the bridge and fan favorite Dying Anthem which had Mr. Agitator (of V Is For Villains) dancing along with other Illusions' fans. This reviewer also suggests checking out new song - Unborn (off new album comingo ut in March 2012) for the raw intensity coupled inside a metal sound and vengeful vocals on lyrics. A perfect head banging anthem with a blood-curdling sound ...definitely the next Illusions Fate hit single, blogspot readers. For more information about this band, visit or on Facebook.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, November 24, 2011

22 Nov 11 - Part 1

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide has officially lost an "On The Town" V-card! Her recent adventure on Tuesday night took this roving reviewer inside Chicago's hip hop/rap scene for the first time at Reggie's Rock Club. There, she attended an all-ages show presented by Wolf Ho Inc featuring up-n-coming hip hop/rap artists like Blackout Cliq and Kosha Dillz (and friends) with Kid Ink (CA) headlining.

However, SouthSide soon discovered something was terribly wrong with this particular Reggie's show upon her arrival. And mostly it was the audience, blogspot readers, as she observed them being nonresponsive especially during Blackout Cliq's performance. This reviewer doesn't think it was the music per se (mostly classic R&B/soul and DJing turntables) that caused this "dead" silent atmosphere amongst the all-ages crowd. Though noting there was energy and momentum felt from the MCs' lyrical verses, it wasn't enough to spark an instant cheer or anything when the song was over. They were simply overworking themselves into exhaustion trying to get this crowd hyped. Even being billed as "the only Jewish rapper in Korea town" didn't score any winning points for Kosha Dillz and his guest rap artists either. This listless atmosphere continued at the beginning of his (Kosha's) performance until he had to literally instruct the crowd on how to "behave" while attending a hip hop/rap show. Despite that slow start, this artist did finally win them over when performing a song about garage sales and then demonstrating his lyrical freestyle skills about ordinary objects such as a folder and mobile phone. SouthSide did like Kosha's Hebrew-Spanish-English mixed song but honestly felt it merely confused the crowd (since they had to respond by saying "Yes Yes" to his Hebrew-Spanish lyrics) more than entertained before rockin' out the set with a humorous tune about sweatpants.

Suddenly that - the listless atmosphere and the crowd's mood - seemed to change once headliner Kid Ink took control of the stage. POW! The mood and atmosphere immediately jumped to spontaneous life as this charismatic hip hop/rap artist burst into his opening song. It was the first time SouthSide had seen this crowd come to life without any prompted instructions. Kid Ink worked his magic by spinning fast lyrical verses amidst lively rhythms and fresh beats/music to which everyone from the front of the stage to the back began partying and rockin' to the music. You could literally feel the excitement being generated in the air, blogspot readers, by this artist ...he definitely had a commanding stage presence while keeping everyone hyped song after song. At times, you could also hear the some rapping along with him especially during the songs Blackout and Hannah Montana (not your Disney-friendly song about Mylie Cyrus). Kid Ink had this energizing as well as intense persona about him that couldn't be stopped. That's what this reviewer liked most about this artist besides his lyrical verse abilities and etc. He kept his performance moving continuously which in turn had the momentum flowing while he worked every inch of the Reggie's stage ...charming the ladies (plenty of eye candy when having his shirt off) and shaking hands with eager fans. For example, during one particular song, he had the crowd soaring high through the hip hop skies as they were on top of the world with him. Though unable to stay til the very end of Kid Ink's performance, SouthSide enjoy the exciting, highly intense Kid Ink performance, blogspot readers, and suggests hip hop/rap fans checking out this up-n-coming artist at his next show. For more information about Kid Ink, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

December 2011

Hey, blogspot readers, the busy holiday season is now upon us. However, in between the crowded mall shopping, fighting for that parking space or hot gift item of the year and parties, SouthSide highly suggests taking a break to attend one (or more) of the following shows/events rockin' Chicago's local scene.

Dec 1 @ Lincoln Hall 6:30p
Warm, Safe & Sound
SouthSide kicks off her December calendar by joining others in donating a coat or sweater for a good cause (besides getting a discounted door admission) in which Cornerstone Community Outreach will give all donations to the homeless and/or needy low income families.
Admission: $10 (or $5 w/sweater or coat donation)
Music performances by Hawley Shaffner and The Kickback along with friends The Bright White, Blane Fonda and The Steepwater Band.

@ Burlington Bar 9p
Friends Jon Drake & The Shakes and Chaperone will be rockin' the venue's new stage area.
Admission: $5

Dec 2 @ Elbo Room
Upstairs on the Acoustic stage - singer/songwriter Kelsey Montanez will be opening for A Thousand Julys.
Meanwhile downstairs on the Main stage - friend Bambi Raptor will be opening for The James Brown.

Dec 3 @ Celebrity Salon (located in Evanston) 7p
SouthSide will be attending this BYOB holiday Toys For Tots charity event. If attending, the organizers have asked that you bring an unwrapped toy - no stuffed toys or toy guns.
FREE adminission with donation.
Music performances by friends The Telepaths and WhiteWolfSonicPrincess All-Stars along with The Rut, Crocodile Children, Hannah Frank, Longbottom Leaf and Kavus.

@ Drake Hotel 9p
Join SouthSide afterwards for more holiday cheer with her friend Jesse Charbonier who will be performing a Jazz holiday show at Coq d' Or until 1a.

Dec 5 @ Nite Cap
It's Devil's Playground One Year Anniversary Party! Hosted by David Bates who will be spinning metal/rock/industrial/punk/Goth tunes all night long. PLUS Ms Ammunition will be performing a tempting burlesque show while Skinwalker performs on stage.

Dec 9 @ Beat Kitchen 8p
Friend Makeshift Prodigy will be rockin' the stage at this 17+ show, blogspot readers.
need to be 21+ to drink
Admission: $10

Dec 10 @ Elbo Room
It's The Andy Metz Explosion Live show! The band lineup will feature Seth Williams, B-Amp, and Magatron rockin' the stage with Andy. Also performing that same night, friend 20 Mark Helga.
Admission: $10

@ La Salle Power Company 8p
Friends Social Focus and The Walking Shadows will be rockin' the stage at this River North club.
Admission: $7

Dec 13 @ Elbo Room
SouthSide will be rockin' as well as reviewing Rockford's own Trip Effect.

Dec 15 @ Double Door
Friend Red City will be painting this stage bright red along with Board of Governors, Farewell Captain and The Melismatics.
Admission: $6

Dec 16 @ Reggie's Rock Club 10p
Misstallica! SouthSide will be attending this show featuring the world's only and greatest female tribute band to Metallica at this South Loop venue.
Admission: $10 advance / $12 door

Dec 18 @ Double Door 9p
SouthSide suggests joining her with Friend Akasha as they present Simmer Down Sunday featuring "The Graduate" and guest DJs spinning classic reggae at this FREE event.

Dec 22 @ Double Door 8:30p
It's a VERY Retar Christmas Holiday Extravaganza featuring Retar Crew at this FREE event.

SouthSide has yet to decide where she's ringing in the New Year stay tuned, blogspot readers.

Until next time, support your local holiday scene,

Monday, November 21, 2011

16 Nov 11

"...could you watch my purse..." ~ An "I Lost Control" fan

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's rockin' a FREE show tonight! Deep within the heart of the hip Wicker Park neighborhood, Double Door hosted an all-star lineup featuring friend, I Lost Control headlining its stage with The Beez Neez and Burial At Sea (CA) opening. This reviewer despite not truly enjoying the performance still recommends blogspot readers checking out the lively Americana/alternative sounds of The Beez Neez ( for its energizing tempo and dynamic male lead vocal falsetto. Though also enjoying the varying music of country/rock or bluegrass sometimes woven inside Beez songs, SouthSide felt the female backing vocalist lacked some hear, depth and soul as well as energy in her voice to compliment the male lead (on guitar) thus making the lyrics sound somewhat flat. This reviewer also had trouble feeling the sentimental emotions in the heartfelt ballad Lose Myself In You due to the overwhelming bass rhythms that drown out rhythm guitar performing as an electric violin.

A taste of Califormia surf amidst a hot powerpop/rock sound and energizing momentum set the Double Door stage ablaze during Burial At Sea's performance, blogspot readers. This rockin' trio instantly perked up the venue's atmosphere with its intense guitar work that at times featured dramatic pauses to conclude certain songs with an abrupt BANG for the audience. Such intensity did produce a lively melodic electro sound that definitely kept each Burial member animated of nonstop body movement while on stage. Even while taking the energy and guitar intensity down a bit, this reviewer still found herself deeply immersed inside the twitterpating riffs and dazzling sound to tickle the ears. Plus the music wonderfully (at this downtempo style) highlighted the male lead's (also on guitar) raspy yet soulfully heartfelt vocals. Burial's cover of Bruce Springteen's I'm On Fire featured more than an electro-pop sound but a change from the original composition of the 80s hit like turning the ballad into a slightly fast-paced rock song. This rockin' version perfectly spotlighted the lead's deep voice that sent shivers down SouthSide's back, blogspot readers. Another fine example of his voice style occurred while performing one of their own original ballads in which one could literally feeling the heartfelt emotions dripping off the lyrics. SouthSide highly recommends checking the electro California sound during Burial At Sea's next show. For more information, visit

SouthSide highly recommends losing control of your music sanity while rockin' out with friend I Lost Control, blogspot readers. This hot local quartet rocked the Double Door stage with a fast-paced, Brit pop/rock sound on this side of the pond. This reviewer immediately liked the lively tempo and intense guitar work which complimented front man Toby's vocal style of wit and humor off the lyrics (especially during opening song Hard To Get) and animated stage presence. Throughout Lost's performance, he reminded SouthSide a little bit of another animated yet charismatic front man, David Byrne of Talking Heads while performing Confliction. However there was another side to Toby when not behind the guitar. This reviewer enjoyed the "serious" side and tone of his voice which added more body movement and hand gestures to amplify his vibrant falsetto style (for example - Runaway Train). Listen out for The Doors' The End towards the end of this particular song that featured Toby hauntingly voicing Jim Morrison's spoken yet intense poetry. That "serious" act also wonderfully complimented the hardcore riffs as heard in Bloodline and Mathias (but with a slightly upped tempo to draw out more of his David Byrne-like voice). Not worry, blogspot readers, I Lost Control soon retained control once again when it returned to its energizing momentum within the electro-pop sound of Lawless and the two encores, Rockstar and Transmission. For more information about this local band, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

13 Nov 11

Hey, blogspot readers, it's another late show for this special On The Town review. SouthSide ended her LONG four-day weekend of party (and lack of sleep) at Lakeview's popular local venue, Elbo Room to see Adema rock out the Sunday lineup featuring a performance by old friend, Emiss.

She honestly would like to say that she did enjoy Adema's headlining set however not in the way she could have thoroughly enjoyed it. This reviewer knows that last statement sound a bit contradictory and probably confusing. Yet if you could have seen how exhausted the band appeared on stage, you would completely understand what she's saying. In her opinion, it was a good show but due their tired appearance, it wasn't definitely their best. Adema was still able to deliver their diehard Chicago fans a rock show full of instant thrilling excitement and head banging momentum amidst the shred-tastic guitar riffs and intense heavy metal music. She felt the excitable rush of the thundering metal sound and vibe during Kill The Headlights that vibrantly pulsated throughout this particular. This song had the music energy but it was starting to lack something else, blogspot readers, vocal energy. This reviewer liked the vocals pouring out the emotional angst and pain ...sort of heart-wrenching at times especially when lead vocalist cried " it trust..." during the third song. But that distinctive dynamic vocal style was only momentary as the energy began to wane considerably during other songs except for Do What You Want To Do in which the band not revitalized the music but voices too. Even added some intensified screamo in the mix to generate some fan response amongst the late night audience. Also this reviewer recommends listening to The Way You Love Me (for its awesome metal-tastic sound of shredding guitar riffs and hardcore vocal emotion poured into the lyrics that also started some in the audience to start singing along with Adema) and closer Give It Away (that featured original band member Mike on guitar ...generating wild momentum and excitement at last with shred-tastic riffs).

Those were the only good highlights of Adema's Chicago show, blogspot readers, but constantly hearing shouts for Freebird (at a metal show? seriously that joke is getting stale now) somewhat deminish the fun experience for this reviewer besides the lack of energy during certain points of the set. There wasn't much rockin' out to their own music ...basically the energy level was low. SouthSide supposes if the stage was a bit wider and longer perhaps the band would have the need to rock out the venue like the rockers they are. Though what the band lacked in some areas of its show, SouthSide does recommend catching Adema while currently on tour. For more information, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

12 Nov 11 - Afterparty

It seems SouthSide's "job" is never done when the show's over, blogspot readers! Surprisingly she still had enough strength and stamina left to party some more this time with the hip late night Reggie's club scene. This hot party hosted by good friend, Jason aka Magicks, featured DJ performances by White Collar Crime, Robot Ears, of course the mysterious Magicks himself and more. Though lasting almost til sunrise, SouthSide stayed for a couple of hours to soak in the music, vibe and Tron-like atmosphere thanks to a hefty supply of neon green glowsticks.

Judging by the hot music wafting throughout the venue, it looked to be another fun night sweatin' to the bumpin' sounds of electronica/dance again. As the late crowd arrived, the music was warmly inviting and entertaining to the ears which immediately hand many hitting the dance floor. SouthSide liked the blended mix of techno rhythms and beats intertwining with a world fusion sound. After tossing some neon green glowsticks into the crowded dance floor, soon Reggie's was aglow amidst the semi-darkness of club lighting and trance-like electronica music. What a sight seen from where SouthSide was ...bodies rhythmically moveing to the contagious beats and nonstop melodic wizardry vibe until White Collar Crime took center stage. His DJ set featured some mixes that had a hip hop feel but within a lively dance/electronica flare. Even though the tempo and energy changed to a slower pace, there was still enough energy and momentum being pumped to keep this party going as the two o'clock hour began.

The dancers were cheering ...chanting to the pulsating beats during one particular track before moving into an instrumental remix of the soul classic hit If You Don't Know Me featuring a wicked electronic rhythms. Dancing continued as the DJ switched between different variations of electronica mixed containing varying tempo speed and techno beat. This reviewer also dancing along enjoyed the track variations that kept the party scene alive and fresh especially when one had a Tron-like sound. The dancers were certainly fired up when Jason began dancing to the music while on stage. Everyone seemed to enjoy the Daft Punk-inspired sound containing ear popping, catchy hooks until gradually moving into Magicks' DJ set around 2:30a. Though taking the highly energizing sound down to a calming lull, this set included one special element besides the soothing music and rhythms. The ambient electronica music also featured Jason's quiet aria-like vocals intertwining with the pulsating sound and beats. There was a moment of a livelier tempo yet it retained a melodic vibe inside the music hypnotic at times, blogspot readers. However the "cool" down didn't last long when DJ Robot Ears took over. Suddenly the party jumped back to its original energizing atmosphere as the dancers returned to their nonstop fun amidst the heart-pounding, vibrant sound. The music was so contagious that it instantly had everyone including SouthSide dancing to the electronic vibe but sadly this rockin' party vampire had to get some sleep ...she had one more show to complete later that night...

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

12 Nov 11

" shiza..." ~ Hanzel Und Gretyl

Guten Tag, blogspot readers, frau SouthSide wants to know - who's ready for a Fukken Uber (Death) Party aboard the SS Deathstar Supergalatick? She hopes you are because that's what happened to her recently. The essence and spirit of Deutschland was definitely felt on Saturday especially inside South Loop's Reggie's Rock Club as hardcore industrial/metal fans packed the venue to attend the "More German Than German" show of Hanzel Und Gretyl (NY)! Besides being so excited to see this legendary duo rockin' the stage, this reviewer was also excited to see longtime friend Sinister Fate along with Control, Veritae and Strange Karma (Australia) opening. To keep everyone in the mood amidst the night's lineup theme, DJ Dominion spun a fantastic mix of industrial and metal songs before the show and in between sets.

SouthSide highly suggests checking out the melodic yet dramatic hardcore rock sound of Veritae, blogspot readers. This reviewer enjoyed the crescendoing energy and momentum as heard in the band's rhythms and guitar riffs thus setting up that heart-pounding drama in its head banging rock. Coupled with this music style was the powerfully dynamic falsetto vocals which truly added heartfelt emotions and passion into the lyrics of Veritae's songs. SouthSide does suggest to the band to work on smoothing out the finisheds on the first three songs - the abrupt ending after such dramatic melodies didn't fit inside the music style. For more information, visit Meanwhile, check out the rip-roaring, furiously fast combination of punk/metal sound of SouthSide's friend, Control. This quartet of rockin' musicians literally tore up the Rock Club stage with such heart-stopping energy, venomously primal female angst (Jen on guitar) and continuous flow of music that featured hard hitting riffs and thundering drum work. This reviewer liked Control's one-two punch of "wham bam" song presentations which kept the crowd in tuned to their intensified sound and momentum featured during this short set. She does recommend adding more mic power for the male vocalists in order to be heard above their own guitars especially during the song Raw With Alcohol. For more information, visit

They maybe from the land down under (Men At Work reference) ...desperately seeking Oprah (for a music guest appearance) but this Aussie band definitely knew how to rock the stage with twitterpating guitar riffs of AC/DC and epic songs (featuring some electronic piano) of RUSH. SouthSide highly recommends rockin' out with new friend Strange Karma while they're currently touring stateside before having to return home soon. Though a brief opening set, this reviwer enjoyed the gritty guitar sound full of metal riffs, thunderous drum rhythms (complete with gong - the drum set looked awesome) and intense vocals by front man Martin (also on piano and guitar). SouthSide was literally blown away by the head banging music that featured plenty of excitable momentum amongst the non-stop flow of rock music but watch out for Strange's sudden chord changes. They quickly took the ears (and mind) to another plateau whether the riffs called for were slow and steady or wickedly racing fast. This reviewer suggests listening to song Devil From The Moon (off Strange's debut album) ...not only did it have the best shred-tastic sound of hardcore riffs within the band's devilishly wicked guitar work but Martin while performing embodied a little of the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne with his stage presence. Plus this sinfully delicious song featured the electronic piano at the end that led straight into the epic closer, Dreams. This particular song wonderfully meshed classical (electronic) piano with metal guitars, blogspot readers, totally rocking out the stage with such a tour de force of energy and fiety conclusion of sound. SouthSide chatted with some of the members of Strange Karma after Sinister Fate's set and discovered they really love Chicago. They also love its rich history from Al Capone to President Barack Obama (according to the guys, he's the best US President to history) and of course Chicago's dining experience. Though disappointed that O (as in Oprah) has moved to California, they hoped the Queen of Chicago's Local Scene (aka SouthSide ...their words not hers) could give her a call about getting them a guest appearance on her network. *smiles* They're such charming flatters these Aussie guys. *blushing* But more importantly, they LOVE music especially Motown and its music greats, blogspot readers. For more information about Strange Karma, you can visit them on Facebook or


The last time SouthSide saw this longtime friend, front man David would make some kind of dramatic entrance to start Sinister Fate's shows. There was the time in which this reviewer received the shock of her life when he popped out of a body bag laying on the Metro stage. however that was then, blogspot readers. Time has changed this local band ...matured if you would say to its member lineup and music. SouthSide highly recommends checking out the "new" and "improved" Sinister Fate at the band's next scheduled show. It's still the same band (sort of) but this "new" Fate band had a tighter hardcore yet sinister music and intensified yet energizing momentum. One thing did remain - David's "surprise" entrance to kick off the band's opening song but not as dramatic as the body bag. Tonight, he delighted the crowd and reviewer with his German gestapho-theme look amidst the loud apocalpytic air raid sirens and creepy metal-tastic riffs. Compared to the past shows, this Fate performance had totally thrilled the crowd (especially those near the front of the stage) with shredded guitar riffs and thundrous drums rhythms. These angels (demons to others) took everyone on a Hellbound (plenty of head banging metal sound and David's horrifyingly raw vocals to terrorize and chill the soul a good way) journey and then to a Brave New World (twitterpating riffs and more raw vocals). Plus it wouldn't be an awesome Fate show if they didn't perform their favorite word (Fuck) song which included exploding metalworks (the best part of the show) that pumped a wild response and excitement amongst the crowd. Don't be surprised if David seemed a bit unstable when seeing him change into a straitjacket or caress one of the (plastic) heads on a spike before beating it to death on stage. One final word (not of caution) to live by - besides accepting your fate, blogspot readers, Sinister wants you to know that sin is in and give into temptation. Then and only then can you be reborn again with them. For more information about, you can visit or on Facebook.

"...thank you for not going to see Judas Priest..."

Billed as the "...greatest German band ever NOT from Germany...", Hanzel Und Gretyl rocked out this highly intense lineup with more intensity and aggression out of all the other bands before them within their industrialized metal show. With the aid of digital programming, this nonGerman duo (the lyrics were in fully in German) thoroughly impressed SouthSide as well as had her rockin' to the head banging guitar riffs and raw primal feminine angst (wonderfully done by Vas Kallas). She enjoyed the loud thunderous sound that accompanied many of Hanzel's anthem-like songs and use of vintage German/SS national anthems to keep the spirit of Da Fatherland going strong amongst its diehard fans. Now there's the matter of the theme represented in many of Hanzel Und Gretyl's songs which might offend some because if listening closely the duo do show their interest in the Third Reich. However that part didn't matter to SouthSide - she was there for a good time with this band. This reviewer immediately found herself rockin' along to songs like Hail To The Darkside (the most raw and animalistic female vocals ever witnessed and heard to pump such rage and angst at the same time amidst the shred-tastic guitar finish at the end) and Number #1 In Deutschland (this song totally fired up the crowd into a frenzy as everyone felt the rush throughout the super charged sound). Wearing boots is one thing, blogspot readers, but have you tried drinking beer out of one? Neither has this reviewer but if attending a Hanzel Und Gretyl show, it's highly recommended that you volunteer to be the lucky fan to drink beer out of another fan's boot while on stage with the band. Tonight's lucky fan was Eric and not only did he drink beer from the boot but Kaizer Von Loppy kept feeding him more beer throughout the song Das Boot. Hanzel Und Gretyl prided itself in keeping their audience in a constant state of frenzied motion song after song even while taking a beer break (they love their German brew, blogspot readers) on stage before continuing with other songs like Third Reich From The Sun (which included more exploding metalworks sparks on stage) and SouthSide's personal favorite SS Deathstar Supergalatick before ending the show on a high note with Fukken Uber Death Party. And, wow what an uber party it was! It was the most intense industrialized metal performance this reviewer has ever attended this year and she highly recommends rockin' out Hanzel Und Gretyl's next Fukken Uber (Death) Party soon. Be an honorary German like SouthSide! For more information about this band, visit and on Facebook (look for the official page).

Until next time, support your local scene,