Monday, February 28, 2011

25 Feb 11 - Project Exploration

Hey, blogspot readers, science comes to life at this annual dinner ...and this time SouthSide didn't play with the chemicals!

Tonight, this reviewer was honored to attend Project Exploration's Dinner With A Dinosaur XI which was more than an ordinary fundraising event. It gave guests, contributors, parents of Project Exploration participants and sponsors to partake a special opportunity of interacting and viewing science demonstrations. There were exhibits about what it's like being a fossil preparator to how to make cool tasty chemistry treats or what's the difference between thrust and lift. Also, friendly snakes and other modern "dinosaurs" including a rather calm crocodile made an appearance for everyone to meet up close and personal (if you dare). The host of WYCC's City Science - Mike Davis entertained guests of all ages with other fun science-related demonstrations featuring the ever-popular frozen marshmallows (yummy). See, blogspot readers, science can be a fun learning experience when its brough to life before your eyes.

During the cocktail hour, SouthSide visited a couple of exhibits starting with the High Flying Science which was presented by some of the students in the Men's Aeronautic Challenge (MACH-10). The knowledgeable young men expertly taught this reviewer there's no difference between an airplane and helicopter and without a tail rotor a helicopter will spin out of control. They also mentioned how they not only experience flying with models but on real fight simulators as well as meet the people working within the science of aviation including a trip behind the scenes of Chicago's Air and Water Show. Someday, blogspot readers, students like Nick Ramirez will be flying the next super jet for the US Air Force all because of this program offered by Project Exploration. Then, this reviewer visited the Chill Out Chemistry exhibit presented by Sisters4Science group in which they were demonstrating how chemistry can be used to make homemade treats. SouthSide saw a familiar face from last year's dinner there - Brittany of Prospective Middle Academy who showed how to make vanilla ice cream. This bubbly young lady was asked what she enjoyed the most about Project Exploration to which she replied "...that they take time out [like the annual dinner] to show what they [the students] learned..." She also enjoy interacting with other people to demonstrate hands-on science experiments. Most all of, she likes how "...Project Exploration brings different science programs together..." for her to explore and expand her curiosity.

SouthSide also met the other faces working in conjunction with Project Exploration and its commitment of bringing science to life. She met Laurie Parker, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Purdue University. Dr. Parker first partnered with Project Exploration in 2004 as part of an after-school program and now with a lab of her own, she's able to bring students like Gensis Galan (who spoke during a brief program about her Project Exploration experience) to work alongside with her graduate students. Here's what Dr. Parker had to say about Project Exploration and its science-related programs "...Project Exploration has a business plan that [actually] works ...[it] creates opportunities for kids who wouldn't otherwise have [them]..." Being the only young female scientist within her department, she highly encourages for more girls and minorities to change the face of science for more diversity. Dr. Parker was excited " see where Project Exploration goes in the coming year..." SouthSide saw the beaming glow within Dr. Parker's eyes while Ms Galan, a senior at Prospective Charter School, spoke about her experience working with grad students on projects such as testing mice cells containing alzheimer's. That same glow was also in the eyes of K'Maja Bell's mother, Kim, when SouthSide briefly spoke to her about her daughter, a freshman at Mother Mcauley who hopes to be an astrophysist one day. She had nothing but praise for Project Exploration and the internship opportunity K'Maja has been undertaking at Chicago State University with Dr. Kim Coble after joining 3 years ago. Here's what Ms Kim Bell had to say "...[it's] awesome ...[K'Maja] really loves it... been hooked on science ever since sixth grade..." To sum up her experience with Project Exploration thus far, blogspot readers, she would like to add "...amazing..."

For the last 11 years, Project Exploration, founded by Dr. Paul Sereno (palentologist at University of Chicago) and Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, has been bridging the gap between scientists and science-related fields with inner city students - particularly minorities and girls. How - you might ask, blogspot readers, by instilling the notion that science " something each and every [student] is capable of doing..." This non-profit organization offers FREE science education programs to minority youth and girls ensuring they have access and personalized experiences with scientists. Essentially, Project Exploration brings science out of the stuffy classroom setting into real life ...real world situations such as spending a summer at an actual fossil dig or lab with grad students. The science education programs offered also equips Project's student participants with just more than knowledge but hands-on skills and a path for future studies and other life experiences. And Project Exploration can successlly state that after a 10 year study (conducted by researchers at the University of California Berkeley - read the full report here that 95% (students 18yrs and older) have graduated or on track to graduate high school, 50% enrolled into a four-year college (or graduated) and 60% are pursuing higher education majored or majoring in STEM (Science Technical Engineering Medical)-related fields. Yes, blogspot readers, the numbers are very impressive however Project Exploration wants to do more in bringing science to life such as building a student youth science center as well as doubling the number of student participants to 500. Yet, they cannot achieve these goals (and more) without the wonderful support from sponsors like National Geographic, Pearson Foundation, University of Chicago, OAS Software Corporation as well as individual sponsors and donors. 100% of each dollar from sale of the raffle tickets and bids (during the live auction) goes directly to the programs offered by Project Exploration.

Still, this fine non-profit organization needs your support, blogspot readers, in helping to bring science to life to more students city-wide. Visit and discover more about Project Exploration as well as details on how you can be involved and/or donate.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

23 Feb 11 - March 2011 update

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide has more March shows in which she highly suggests checking out.

March 1 - VINO will be performing at Elbo Room's Acoustic Lounge (upstairs lounge) at 9p. Listen to song, Over Nebraska off the new EP - "Lay It Down". $5

March 12 - BRIGHT WHITE along with The Parlotones (from South Africa) will be performing at Schubas. For more information, visit

March 14 - DARLINGSIDE (from MA) will be making its Chicago debut at Elbo Room before heading to Austin, TX for SXSW. The show starts 8p / $7.

March 17 - SCYTHIAN will bring its unique blend of Celtic/Folk/World Music mixed with a lively punk-rock vibe at Peggy Kinnane's Irish Fest (located in Arlington Heights, IL). Show starts at 8p / tickets are $40
For more information, visit

Also SouthSide's good friends, Verona Red, will be on tour starting this Friday in Indianapolis, IN performing at Melody Inn in support of their new album, Pound. Other cities in this tour include stops in Nashville, Newport (KY), Pittsburgh and New York. Visit for more details.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

18 Feb 11

*carnival sideshow music by Steampunk DJs here*

Hurry! Hurry! Step right up and behold the exotic ...the extreme wonders of the unimaginable ...the unbelievable ever witnessed at The "big top" Abbey! Welcome, blogspot readers, to Clockwork Vaudeville: Gearbox Fantastique - a Steampunk Circus Extravaganza! See amazing feats of human strength bedazzled by sultry temptation (sorry, son, you're too young) terrifying acts of swordplay and other sharp weaponry (do not try this at home, kids!) ...beware of the untamed wild man as he escapes from tight restraints ...and much more! Oo and ah at Magician Michael Burke's slight of hand tricks or dance a lively jig to ragtime/Jazz music with The White Ghost Shivers (from Austin, TX) as well as peruse the finest selections of corsets (by The Artifixer -, vintage-style jewelry (by Urbex Archaeology - and more (by Highwind Steamworks - on Facebook). Your Master of Ceremonies, The Lord Baron and Hosts, The Ladies of Dieselpunk bid you welcome ...if you dare, blogspot readers.

SouthSide along with her very special guest, number one fan - Joe, attened the most extreme cirque du freakshow of their lives! There were exciting thrills and chills witnessed when The Mutiny Sideshow demonstrated gut-wrenching feats of strength as two human "trees" for a hammock (attached to their bare backs with hooks). Inside that said hammock was a girl who also amazed the crowd by suspending herself above stage by *insert drum roll here* HER KNEES! No optical illusions here, blogspot readers. Everything done by The Mutiny performers was 100% REAL. Still don't believe this reviewer - a volunteer from the audience (during Mutiny's second act) assisted putting a single 6-inch gauge hook into The Mutiny sideshow ringmaster's back. The hook - was indeed very real, pointy and sharp - was definitely inserted into his back before being suspended a few feet above stage.

The Squidling Brothers ( featured more extreme sideshow acts in which this reviewer cautions her blogspot readers not to attempt at home - these were professional performers. The audience was spellbound as Wild Man (from Berlin ...also known as The Illustrated Penguin) escaped from his tight restraint before being mesmerized by Miss Hallie Jane, the burlesque seductress. Next nervous tensions were running high while a guy stood, walked and jumped on broken pieces of glass. He even actually bathed ...washed his face as well as did a hard bellyflop before rolling front to back on the sharp shards. And that's not all, blogspot readers! While laying on his back, a spiked board (real pointed spikes, folks) was placed onto his stomach and then the lovely Betty Bloomerz stood on top of the board. Surprise - not a single drop of blood or injuries to his back or stomach!

If you thought that was too extreme or painful, try coming onto stage with clothespins attached to your face (other body parts below the waist) like Baron Von Geiger did. After a song by Mary Squeezebox (on accordion), Betty Bloomerz and Jellyboy The Clown wildly entertained the audience by shouting a rubber chicken off her arse before Playboy Bunny Savage performed the "Hand Job" song. Soon, The Illustrated Penguin returned to the stage with a squeamish act of pushing a (real) screwdriver towards the center of his skull (via his nose) while Betty Bloomerz shared her dietary skills of swallowing sharp daggars. The first part of The Squidling Brothers' performance ended with a contortionist act featuring Betty again twisted and tangled inside a box ...avoiding the dangerously blades (ten of them) which trapped her inside. SouthSide and her friend, Joe, went on stage as well as many others to view Betty in the box, blogspot readers.

The music portion of the Gearbox Fantastique featured a lively ragtime/Jazz ensemble from Austin, Texas, known as The White Ghost Shivers. This cast of costumed musicians (dressed in their best vintage finery spanning three decades within the turn of the 20th Century) entertained the crowd with songs that definitely fit the festive mood of the vaudeville scene yet with a slight modern twist (keyboard/piano). SouthSide enjoyed White's exuberant energy displayed while on stage which kept many in the crowd dancing throughout their performance. There was plenty of fan-band momentum inspired by the vintage ragtime sound heard in songs such as Girl From Chinatown, Malloy and Murder In The Big Top. The entire venue vibrantly popped to life as White concluded its performance with a rockin' Hoedown and Got 'Em (the band's theme) songs. SouthSide highly recommends checkingo ut this lively theatric cast of musicians at their next show. Visit White Ghost Shivers at or

After more slight of hand by Magician Michael Burke involving a banana and bandana, it was time for more extreme fun and thrills with The Squidling Brothers. Part two of this sideshow act opened with Jellyboy The Clown and some sexy male teasing as well as a dietary snack of rifle swallowing. Then, The Illustrated Penguin balanced himself on the sharp edge of a sword (without any injury to himself) before Miss Hallie Jane returned to erotically seduce the audience with her fantastique fan dancing a peacock temptress of vivid blue/violet feathers. Afterwards, it was a quick therapy session with Baron Von Geiger which involved (caution: STOP READING THIS PART AND SKIP AHEAD IF VERY SQUEAMISH) attaching two fishhooks to his eyelids ...lifting and swinging an iron side to side. The hard part, blogspot readers, was watching him take the hooks out! Then it was more Mary Squeezebox (Dance With The Devil song) and Playboy Bunny Savage time to entertain the late night audience.

Other Squidling Brothers acts included Bill climbing up a short flight of machete sword steps while playing a trombone barefooted, blogspot readers, and the lovely Betty Bloomerz teasing the audience with her self-puncturing of needles - long and small on various areas across her delicate body. Songs, Feelin' Good and Lionel Ritchie's Stuck On You, were the perfect choices for her act that ended with very little blood after pulling out the needles. Lastly the sideshow concluded with a rather stapling bang, blogspot readers. It was time to play a little game called "Staple The Clown" involving various willing (and daring) members of the audience stapling dollar amounts onto Jellyboy The Clown. As SouthSide mentioned earlier, this was NO illusion - real staples from a real staple gun popping onto Jelly's bare skin such as his chest, shoulders and stomach. Someone actually stapled five dollars onto his face!

And that, blogspot readers, ended a fun yet extremely festive night into Steampunk's Clockwork Vaudeville for SouthSide. It was a delightfully rockin' time ...but you don't have to take her word. Here's what Tracy said about the Gearbox Fantasique "...loved the bands and music ...liked the girl [Betty Bloomerz] who swallowed the blades..." however she felt the extreme suspension especially with the girl hanging from her knees was a bit too extreme for her. Overall, " was fun experience..." Her friend, Michele agreed by adding "...[it was] fantastic ...the kids should keep it up..." SouthSide's friend Joe had this to say as well "...I had fun tonight..." This reviewer highly recommends visiting for details when the next Gearbox Fantastique will happening again. She cannot wait for more extreme sideshow fun, blogspot readers!

Until next time, support your local scene,

17 Feb 11

...sometimes Father's do know best... ~ Riley Etheridge Jr

Hey, blogspot readers, it's a beautiful night for a special On The Town review. SouthSide's enjoying an intimate acoustic performance by Riley Etheridge Jr (from NY) at Uncommon Ground. Immediately she liked the warm and friendly atmosphere from the staff of this unique restaurant/venue that greeted her upon arriving. The rustic feel (complete with fireplace in the middle dining area) and painted water-colored portraits of Chicago's famous landmarks certainly added to the atmosphere for tonight's performance. And though not there to sample the menu, this reviewer does plan to return again for a special "date".

With Widdell Tilley accompanying him throughout his double Uncommon Double set, Riley Etheridge Jr created a magical music atmosphere never experienced by this reviewer. The intimacy of the surroundings had set the perfect stage for this artist while also creating that singer/songwriter tone for the audience. This was one of the best acoustic performances ever reviewed by SouthSide, thus far, in which Riley combined the rich sounds of Blues to Louisiana Zydeco and Country/Western with his acoustic music. The switch between genres throughout the set kept the audience attentively immersed within the lively acoustic sound ...this reviewer imagines it's probably even livelier with the full band backing him.

Performing his current album, Things I Used To Know, as well as upcoming new one, Powder Keg, SouthSide felt the lively energy buzzing all around the room from each song. There wasn't a single moment when her foot didn't stop tapping along to the rhythmic beat ...or basking in the glow of the interesting tales behind some of her favorite songs (i.e. Scene of the Crime, off Powder Keg album). She was thoroughly amazed how Riley's songs off the new album, Powder Keg (to be released March 8) translated quite well into an acoustic format. For example, the title track - Powder Keg, popped with life within the Zydeco feel in the music even though the recorded version featured a rockin' horn section adding some cajun spice to this song. It was the same way while performing Northeast Texas Women (his homage to Willis Alan Ramsey that might give you the urge to do a Texas two-step to this song) and She's Ready Already (SouthSide wholeheartedly believes this song was written especially for her since it perfectly describes the typical scene before hitting a long night around town).

Besides the music, SouthSide also enjoyed how Riley painted a vivid picture wonderfully expressed from the lyrics via his voice. She could visualize the images, for example, of the elderly couple dancing that mean salsa which in fact inspired Riley to write the song, Still Dance ...the tenderness of a woman's love for her man despite his flaws and mistakes heard in Nobody's Hero (off new album Powder Keg) ...or exposing ourselves without any barriers and egos in Nothing To Hide (also off Powder Keg). Riley's songs also tackled such other personal subjects like love/relationships (He Said She Said and Empty Hands - new song) as well as fatherly advice about accepting the choices we constantly make in life (Fork In The Road) and the folly of being so young and careless (Arrogance Of Youth). SouthSide had a fun "road trip" visitng King City (off Riley's first album, Things I Used To Know) with this artist. It was the way his voice would breathe life into the words thus making his songs pop with such realistic imagery which made them so enjoyable. This reviewer liked his profound cover of Tom Petty's Free Falling that brought out more heartfelt emotions from the words than it's original rock/alternative version. His Jimmy Reed blues cover was another fine example of Riley's versatility between genres featuring a much deeper vocal falsetto range for this particular song.

Overall, SouthSide had a delightful time experiencing the music vivid storytelling by Riley Ehteridge Jr that she hopes makes return visit to Chicago again ...soon. This reviewer highly recommends visiting or for information about this artist and when he's coming to a venue near you. Also on March 8, grab your copy of his new album Powder Keg!

SouthSide's night on the town included one more performance, blogspot readers, which took her downtown Chicago for Scott Hutchinson's acoustic performance. A member of Frightend Rabbit (from Scotland), this artist was in town performing at Vic Theatre with an extra performance at the "new" Angels & Kings. Despite arriving in time to catch the few remaining minutes of his set, SouthSide thoroughly enjoyed the dynamic power of his voice. He expressively pumped heartfelt emotions as well as passion into each song like I Feel Better and Living Colour thus fueling a lively and favorable response from the crowd. There was spontaneous energy ...excitement amidst his acoustic sound that had fans wanting more of Scott's enchanting falsetto storytelling style. This singer/songwriter did grant an encore by performing Keep Yourself Warm as many voices joined him until the very end, blogspot readers. Scott promised his loyal fans his return to Chicago with the band in the fall but in the meantime, visit Frightened Rabbit at or for more tour dates information and music.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Saturday, February 19, 2011

16 Feb 11

...[the] magic touch here, b**ches... ~ Illusion Fate

Hey, blogspot readers, it's really warming up within the local scene! Tonight, SouthSide's rockin' at Double Door for a rescheduled free show (due to Chicago's 20+ inches monster from Snow-maggedeon 2011). And these hot metal/industrial bands were ready to "destroy" the stage. The lineup featured performances by Bleed For The Fallen, Impale, Denial Machine and Illusions Fate with Disembodiment opening. First, this reviewer would like to do a "shoutout" to the rockin' guys of Sik Fiction for not only supporting the lineup performing on stage but for also poppin' cherries and Sprite. They will be rockin' the Double Door on March 13 - yes, it might be a Sunday night show but take a "Sik" day on that Monday, blogspot readers! Also another "shoutout" to Erik (of Beneath The Stares) and Ryan (SouthSide's newest "stalker" friend) for attending the show.

Thunderous roars of heart-pounding, raw primal screaming amidst an energetic metal sound - was how SouthSide would assess Disembodiment's performance tonight. It had instanteous vocal angst on the lyrics while the trio soaked the audience's ears with fast shredding of guitar riffs and percussion rhythms. What a rush SouthSide felt during the first two songs, Trapped and Ghetto (plenty of blood-curdling riffs amongst the chord changes to bang your head). Yet, while performing Broken Pill, this reviewer noticed Disembodiment wasn't using their rock sound to its fullest (and badest) potential. They seemed lacking in generating real excitement between them and the audience as in more "umph" into the music's energy. Also some of the song finishes needed a smoother ending but it was definitely releasing those inner metal demons which would have made Disembodiment'sset better, in SouthSide's honest opinion. She did, however, get her wish at the end of this band's performance when they played a hurried (due to time constraint) yet wicked instrumental piece. For more information, visit Disembodiment

Bleed For The Fallen had encaptured the entire Double Door venue with an electrifying aura of harsh metal sound which in fact literally made SouthSide's ears bleed. And believe her, blogspot readers, that was a good thing. This band had plenty of raw vocal power that made you feel Phil's (front man of this rockin' band) angst dripping from the lyrics. Then behind him was the main attraction - the rawness of thundering guitar riffs and rhythms totally fueling this audience's hunger for Bleed's hardcore sound. Everyone was energetically badass to the bone that SouthSide thoroughly enjoyed songs such as Pitiful Bitch (the best "kick the ex to the curb" song for 2011) and the closer, To Die Alone. Hopefully, Bleed will find a rockin' title for their (new) untitled song which featured a thunderous intro of electric riffs and melodic rhythms as well as ear-piercing shredding. Aw, pure metal joy here. For more information, visit Bleed For The Fallen at

It's been a while since SouthSide reviewed Denial Machine ...and her friends brought some surprises as well as changes to the Double Door stage tonight. Immediately, this reviewer liked the burst of energy instanteously wafting throughout the venue. Then she noticed there was more "umph" within Skube's (front man of Denial Machine) vocals and music. Denial, unlike the first two bands, had more of a melodic metal/rock vibe in which can be vibrant as well as passionately energetic. For instance, metal fans probably wouldn't be able to recognize a ballad when this band performs one because it still retains that metal sound but listen very closely, they can hear the angst/pain literally felt from Skube's voice. SouthSide was somewhat disappointed that he couldn't use the megaphone-like microphone to help accenuate the raw vocal sound for some deep screamo effect. Overall, it was good to see these rockers on stage again. For more information, visit Denial Machine at

Illusions Fate's last show (also at Double Door) was definitely a triumphant ... a spectacular performance of what this band can do while performing hard on stage. Though not quite as powerful as that show, still this rockin' trio did perform a hot energetic set which combined a mix of industrial and metal. Illusions, like their last show, wowed the audience with vibrant rock sound - vividly melodic at times but definitely hardcore which sometimes incites some fan moshing (amongst their diehard fans). Performing songs off their current album, The Ghost of Maya, Joel (front man on vocals and guitar) rocked the audience with pure lyrical angst on Overdose, Tear It Down and SouthSide's favorite, Dying Anthem. Fans can expect to see more of this rising band beyond Chicago's city limits as they plan weekend tours in the coming Spring/Summer months. For more information, visit Illusions Fate at

Despite not being able to stay for the entire headlining performance by Impale, SouthSide did sample a couple of songs by this Southside band. Metalheads, if you want to see how Chicago rocks wildly out of control ...ready to tear things down while performing hardcore metal rock, then you should check out this band! Impale was barely into its opening song when they began rockin' out the stage with such fierce energy that it had fans wildly feeling every ounce of what was pumped from Impale. This band had thundering epic instrumentals between the raw vocal screaming primal and animalistic that you could hear it from the back of the venue where SouthSide was standing. Plus she loved the thrilling chill felt from the metal guitar riffs and rhythms. She highly recommends checking out songs Tasteless Souls and Human Ribs For Dinner (sounds like good metal "eating" to her) as well as The Epic. Visit Impale at

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

16 Feb 11 - Bassist Wanted

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's good friend, Illusions Fate, is looking for a new bassist. The band's front man, Joel West, is searching for someone who's willing to work weekends (Fri / Sat / Sun) at out of town shows - traveling beyond the Chicago city limits and elsewhere. And he doesn't mind if you're part of another band.

For more details about the band and its music - check out Illusions Fate at

To contact Joel, email him at

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

March 2011

Hey, blogspot readers, Springtime fun arrives with some luck of the Irish and Mardi Gras cajun gumbo! SouthSide highly suggests dusting off the winter blues to check out the following shows rockin' Chicago's local scene (and elsewhere) during this month:

March 1 - singer/songwriter Tony Lucca performs at SPACE (located in Evanston, IL) with Jerad Finck. This reviewer recommends listening to Tony's current album, Rendezvous With The Angels. Visit for more details. Meanwhile ...SouthSide's friends, The Reptoids, will be at The Abbey sharing the stage with Weedeater and Zoroaster. Show starts at 8p / $15 / 21+. Touring together, Weedeater and Zoroaster will also be rockin' this year's SXSW in Austin, TX.

March 2 - the Flabby Hoffman Cavalcade invades The Exit for another month of music, comedy and MORE (21+ / FREE).

March 3 - SouthSide's friends, The Branded, competes Round 2 of a battle of the bands competition at Hard Rock Cafe (All-Ages / FREE).

March 4 - good friends, Strange Arrangement and Bumpus, will be rockin' the stage at Double Door. Meanwhile ...Helium Fuse and Spherical Banana will be performing at Elbo Room. Over at Reggie's Music Joint, her other friends, Green Room Rockers along with The Pinstripes and On Your Marx, will be performing there. However ...on the Rock Club side of Reggie's, check out Austria's Lehnen and local rockers Army Of Monsters along with Community College and The Crown and Two Chairmen. All shows are 21+ (except for the Rock Club 17+).

March 5 - Check out this rockin' lineup at Quencher's Saloon - The Handcuffs, The Maybenauts and The Wanton Looks. Meanwhile ...SouthSide's friends, Machinegun Mojo will be celebrating its CD release of Souvenir From The Other Of Here at Elbo Room with Blue Eyed Jesus. Fans can visit to download FREE tracks Hannah and Woman. Also, her other good friends, Gypsy Revival will be rockin' the stage at Goose Island. All shows are 21+.

March 6 - good friend, singer/songwriter Nate Z takes over the stage at Red Line Tap.

March 7 - come here a rather intimate acoustic performance by singer/songwriter Emilio Basa at Elbo Room. This reviewer suggests visiting his site and check out songs, Euphoria and Tomorrow Always Die (off his current album To The End).

March 8 - SouthSide's wild bunch, The Branded, will make their Double Door debut along with Trainwreck Symphony. Meanwhile ...check out this acoustic performance by Carrie Westbay (from MI) at Elbo Room. Check out this artist's music at

March 9 - the French are invading Chicago! Yes, that's right, blogspot readers, The Abbey plays host to the French Invasion 2011 featuring this rockin' band direct from France - Chateau Marmot along with Gemini Club and Tahiti 80 ( $15 / 21+ / 8p).

March 11 - Taproot will be rockin' the Warehouse (located in Valaprasio, IN). Meanwhile ...good friend, singer/songwriter Rob Nicholas will be performing at McDunna's (located 1505 W. Fullerton).

March 12 - good friends, Riot Inside, will be causing another riot at Elbo Room along with other friends, Arma and Echo Son.

March 13 - Visit the Double Door to Sik Fiction along with Seven Year Existence and Dying Eufora perform on stage. Meanwhile ...metalheads will be rockin' Mojoe's for the Slave To The Metal Music Festival featuring friends, Genus.

March 15 - Tune in at 6p (Chicago time) for good friends, Voice of Addiction as they make their Fearless Radio appearance at Meanwhile Dirtroom (Double Door's basement lounge), Sioum and Jackpot Tiger will be performing.

March 16 - Grammy-award winning bassist, Victor Wooten, will be performing with his band, The Victor Wooten Band, for performances at Viper Alley (located in Lincolnshire, IL). Visit for more information and other tour dates. Meanwhile ...attend the Violet Winter Ball with SouthSide that's happening at Double Door! The lineup features rockin' performances by Social Focus, Seratonin Telegram, Cyanotic and Violet Winter.

March 17 - celebrate St. Paddy's night on the town! Over at Reggie's it's the Wrecking Ball Punk Fest while at Kinetic Playground, groove to the funk/soul sound of Papadosio.

March 18 - At Peggy Kinnnanes Irish Fest (in Arlington Heights, IL), alternative rockers, Sister Hazel, will be rockin' the main stage. Visit for more information. Over at Empty Bottle, local rockers, Roommate, will be celebrating its album release - Guilty Rainbow. Limited edition LPs will be available for purchase. Visit for more details. Also ...good friends, Keith & The Complications will be putting on another stellar performance on the Elbo Room stage. PLUS - good friends, Losing Scarlet, will be partying at Montrose Room (located in Rosemont, IL) for the release of their new CD, Learning To Bleed (to be released on March 8th)! Visit for more information and performance dates.

March 19 - Cleveland blogspot readers should head to Now That's Class to check out SouthSide's friends, Voice Of Addiction otherwise known as V.O.A. rockin' the stage there along with Firecrackers and Singleton. Meanwhile ...local rockers City At Sea will be performing at Elbo Room.

March 20 - good friend, singer/songwriter Nate Z's back on stage performing at Double Door.

March 21 - SouthSide's good friend (who also works as Double Door door guy most nights), singer/songwriter Don Gibson will be performing a Dirtroom show ($5 / 21+ / 8p).

March 22 - check out this rockin' band from Australia - Drawn From Bees - as they rock the stage at Elbo Room.

March 26 - Heads up Cambridge, MA (and surrounding areas) - SouthSide's friends, The Grownup Noise, will be celebrating their CD release - This Time With Feeling - as headliner at Middle East Downstairs. They will be sharing the stage with Kingsley Flood, Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons and Spouse. Visit for more details.

March 29 - Lucrezio will be rockin' the stage at Elbo Room.

March 31 - good friend, singer/songwriter Aryk Crowder will be opening the lineup featuring Kick The Record and Origin of Animal at Double Door. Meanwhile ...good friends, Heart Set Self Destruct and Makeshift Prodigy, will be performing at Cubby Bear.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, February 14, 2011

09 Feb 11

Hey, blogspot readers, it's another two-fer of rockin' shows on a bitter Wednesday night. First, SouthSide's at Elbo Room for an intimate performance by Jesse Payne (from AL). Then she's off to The Exit for another Flabby Hoffman Cavalcade show featuring Monk 9.

It was a performance (and experience) like no other featuring the unique vocal style and mellow alternative music by Jesse Payne. For this reviewer, it was an intimate set in which songs from his current album, Nesting, were vividly and vibrantly brought to life. Compared to the recorded version of this artist's music, Jesse's songs perfectly fit the semi-acoustic feel of the stage while lyrically painting images through his words. The entire set had bursts of energy despite sounding very calming and relaxing ...the music itself was simplistic as its best. SouthSide was pleased that not much was needed to entice the audience's ears - Jesee's sweeping instrumentals and melodic rhythms were the right combination to grab everyone's attention. However, fans should also take notice of Jesse and his vocals which, in this reviewer's opinion, was the highlight and the main focal point of this performance. For example, in new song, Take Me (off upcoming new CD) the melodic sound helped add to the vividness of Jesse's voice while he sang. The words seemed to pop to life times, one could hear the wide range of emotions being expressed. SouthSide also suggests listening to the entire album but pay special notice to her favorites, Conversation and Wes Anderson (the live version of this song was beautifully expressive lyrically and musically). Visit or for more details and information about his music and tour dates.

After a couple of quick CTA bus rides, SouthSide arrived in time at The Exit for another exciting edition of the Flabby Hoffman Cavalcade show. Though without its famous masked host, funnyman Sloop Biedermann kept this variety show goind smoothly with a lively mix of comedy and music performances. Local music acts featured tonight were Orifice A and Cousin Bones (who combined music with comedy). Blogspot readers can find snippets of Flabby Hoffman and his variety shows on YouTube while Chicago residents can watch broadcasts every Thursday night on CAN channel 19 at 11:30p to 12:30a.

This popular duo known as Monk 9 made another stellar appearance as well as performance during the music portion of the Cavalcade. They rocked the upstairs of The Exit with its hardcore electro/funk rock groove which certainly had the audience mesmerized by the unique sound. Monk's music always performed under a vibrant guitar (electric/bass combined) riffs and percussion rhythms. SouthSide has seen this duo rock the stage more than twice ...and each time they add something new and/or different to their set. This time, Monk added a lively yet funkified soul sound to two Rolling Stones classics - Sympathy For The Devil and Heartbreaker. Both songs combined were done more reverently than originally intended but drawing out the soul/R&B sound without tainting its rock-n-roll roots. Plus it highlighted Monk's (the groovy guy on guitar) vocals within a soulful vibe ...hopefully there will be more moments like this one, blogspot readers, in which we see the soulful side to Monk 9 under an electric funk cloud. Everyone was Get(ting) Down Tonight (the duo's smokin' hot KC & the Sunshine Band cover) with them as they closed their performance with SouthSide's favorite, Nasty Girl. It's highly recommended that blogspot readers check out the electrifying modern version of the Jimi Hendrix-esque experience known as Monk 9. Visit or for more details and when they're rockin' the stage again.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, February 10, 2011

10 Feb 11 - Upcoming events

Hey, blogspot readers, need some weekend ideas during these cold wintry days? SouthSide highly recommends attending the following events happening this weekend and on February 20 at Double Door.

On Saturday Feb 12, head to Des Plaines for love, peace and music! Over 25 local bands will be rockin' threee stages from 2p to 2a at this all-ages Winter Peace Fest. Good friends Flabby Hoffman Trio will be performing as well as many other. This event will be held at Stage One Temple Arts. Visit for more details.

Need a unique and special Valentine's for that special someone in your life? On Sunday Feb 13, there will be crafts and more underneath the sparkling glow of a disco ball. The Urban Folk Circuit heads to Berlin Night Club for its monthly crafts and arts market featuring live performances by Joey Basketball, the Film Society, Rachel Katzman, Farr, Careful Q, and Tinders as well as over 20 crafters selling their handmade crafts. Though an all-ages evnts, for Moms and Dads there will be drink specials like $6 Bloody Marys. The event is located at 954 W. Belmont and is from 12p - 5p. Plus it's FREE!

If you cannot attend this month's Urban Folk Market, not worry, blogspot readers, will be others happening at The Abbey (March 19), at Grafton Pub (April 16) and Quenchers Saloon (May 21). Visit for more details.

On February 20 at Double Door, Coley Kennedy (of Welcome To Ashley) & The Warm Regards will be rockin' the stage for their CD Release show - The End of You Know Who. Visit to hear this 6-track album. SouthSide highly recommends listening to track 6 - Dark Moon as well as the tile track, The End of You Know Who. This show is 21/older with a $5 cover at the door. Show starts 9p with The Ragtones opening.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

07 Feb 11 - CD review

Hey, blogspot readers, two more CDs to keep you ears warms with hot music recommended for listening by SouthSide.


Hey, hardcore metalheads, ready for some "in your face" blast of rock music? Then, check out this 2-song sampler by local rockers, Genus, that featured deep, raw falsetto vocals (some screamo to wail into your ears) full of angst and frustration and shredding metal riffs off the guitars. SouthSide found herself rockin' to the epic instrumental arias during Emanate From The Core; meanwhile In Hate's Stead had heart-pounding percussion rhythm between the twitterpating riffs. Yet the vocals alone will strike fear as Ryan (front man) vents heated angst throughout both songs but more so during In Hate's Stead. Also during this song, watch out for sudden changes that will this song into new metal-tastic dimensions before ending with harsh screamo.

Social Focus

Moving towards the other end of the music spectrum, this reviewer enjoyed the energetic sound of electro/power pop by local rockers, Social Focus. This 3-song sampler featured vibrant vocal harmonies, digital wizardry off the guitars (and keyboards) and music that can have a mellow tone yet remain energetic. SouthSide enjoyed the ultra cool song, Merry-Go-Down in which a touch reminiscent of Beatles' Because for the vocal harmonies. Songs, Dreamcatcher and Note To Self, rocked the ears with a lively combination of alternative/pop music especially during the ballad - Note To Self. This song and its mellow tone highlighted the heartfelt vocals while projecting vivid imagery off the lyrics. Quite trippy and psychedelic at the instrumental bridge but watch out for the guitars bringing a bang of energy. SouthSide will have a chance to check out this band on March 16 at Double Doors along with her good friends, Violet Winter.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, February 7, 2011

05 Feb 11 - CD Review

Hey, blogspot readers, the winter might be frightful outside but cozy up with the following recommend CDs that kept SouthSide warm during those long cold nights.

The Clean Boys & Sid Yiddish Safari Freakshow Adventure
Sid Yiddish with The Clean Boys (Denmark)

A unique "live recording" (recorded via Skype between Illinois and Denmark) featuring the eclectic poetry and Haiku humor by Sid Yiddish and the eclectic hardcore punk rock by The Clean Boys. This merge of poetry and rock throughout this 5-track album will fill the ears (as well as the mind) with sounds of orgasmic insanity (track 3 - It's All In Your Head) or ultra cool jazz-like poetry reading (track 2- 75000 Miles). The highlight of this CD is the two-part Haiku where there's music snippets of crazy yet electrifying guitar rock sound while Sid does his Haiku reading such as "...biting a mint/Pow!/right in the kisser..." or "...Hallelujah!/I'm a bum/eating burgers and fries..." (part 1). Part 2 may be a longer version, blogspot readers, but no pop culture icon can escape Sid's infamous Haiku ranting (or raving, depending on how your mind and ears perceive his words). For example, "...John Lennon saying give 'peace a chance'/Yoko Ono took a chance/and got a piece..." ...he even pokes fun at other such icons like Buddy Holly and Elvis/Nikon combined.

My Own Way
Inbal Paz

Recorded in TN at the famous Quad Studios as well as Tel Aviv, Isreal, this 11-track debut CD features more than beautifully expressive vocals by Inbal Paz and a wide range of alternative to folk music but also 4 tracks in which she sings in Hebrew. SouthSide thoroughly enjoyed how this artist is not only inspirational but inserted personal/past experiences from her own life so listeners can draw inspiration off the song lyrics. For example, listen to Track 4 - The Sun Will Come Out Again as Inbal emits her own fears and hopes as well as reflections of experiencing pain and sorrow yet finding the inspiration to move on. Coincidentially this song is dedicated to the memory of her deceased parents. Another fine example, track 6 (also sung in Hebrew on track 11) Guiding Light where SouthSide found it to be a song of encouragement ...inspiring the listener to find strength to move forward to happier days. A beautiful song of gratitude to the person who probably was Inbal's rock and inspiration when she needed him/her the most in her life. SouthSide especially enjoyed track 1 - Inside Out (for the artist's declaration of taking charge of her life towards a new direction under a lively alternative/folk sound) and track 5 - Open Your Eyes (this reviewer found herself relating to the sentiments expressed within Inbal's lyrics). She also recommends listening to track 2 - Oceans of Expectations for this artist's vibrant yet passionate vocals vividly expressing herself in Hebrew.

Jesse Payne

For SouthSide, listening to this CD was a preview what she'll be hearing on February 9 when Jesse performs at Elbo Room. This 8-track CD features a unique vocal as well as music style but it's Jesse's voice that is the main focus throughout Nesting. At one point, he projects heartfelt emotions and vibrant warmth under a calming alternative rock sound (track 1 - Manhattan Project) while in track 3 - Yards of Paint, Jesse wows the ears with strong vocal power behind the melodic sounds of natural music (very little guitar rhythms and percussions) but in track 5 - Wes Anderson, the semi-acoustic song compliments Jesse's storytelling lyrical style. The music also deserves special attention for the way a downtempo rhythm could still have burst of energy as heard in track 2 - Scripting Carolina meanwhile in track 4 - Conversations (SouthSide's favorite song) had a fresh airy-feel amongs the perfect amount of guitar sound ...any more or less would haver ruined the tone of the song.

Powder Keg
Riley Etheridge Jr

This is an exclusive sneak preview of Riley Etheridge's upcoming release of his new album, Powder Keg, just for you, blogspot readers. Due out in March 2011, this CD vividly bursts with an actual powder keg of rockin' alternative music coupled by other genres such as Country to Blues and Funk/Soul. This reviewer had a hard time picking which song(s) to spotlight for this review because each song had its own unique music vibe and rhythm different from the other. For example, listen to track 2 - Scene of the Crime which rocked the ears with an ultra cool yet smokin' hot alternative/Blues sound and an energetic horn section that adds the right amount of fire during the song. Meanwhile in track 4 - Pilgrim's Dream had a soothing semi-acoustic sound for this downtempo Country ballad that vividly spotlights Riley's heartfelt vocals. However in track 5 - Look at the State We're In, there's a vibrant soulful sound full of R&B/Funk rhythms off the guitars and horn section while in track 6 - Northeast Texas Women had some Western sound within the folk/Americana tone. SouthSide feels the jewel of this 10-track album is Track 9 - Cadillac for its heartfelt sound under a soft piano with acoustic guitar and violin to match Riley's vocal style. Riley Etheridge Jr. will be in town on February 17 to perform a set at Uncommon Ground

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

29 Jan 11

Hey, blogspot readers, hope you're ready to rock your Saturday night with SouthSide! She's hitting the local scene in full force covering two hot shows in one incredible night. First, this reviewer's checking out the rockin' action at an all-ages Metro show featuring good friends, The Lifeline and Lucid Ground. Then, she's making a mad dash to Elbo Room in time to see Sutured Psyche rock the stage before ending her night around town with a brief "hello" at the "new" Angels & Kings. SouthSide sadly regrets missing the opening performance by Curbside however does highly suggests listening to songs Some Days and an acoustic version of MGMT's Kids (both recorded live from Metro can be found on youtube) as well as Stranger and All Just A Dream (found on their reverbnation page). Visit or for more information and where they're rockin' the stage in February. Meanwhile, she also highly suggests checking out the energetic guitar rock with a poppy feel of Kirkland. What impressed this reviewer the most was the vocal edge of emotions heard from the lead female vocalist. She pumped a lot of dynamic energy out of her voice sparking fierce band and fan momentum song after song. Also Kirkland prided itself with quick attention-grabbing introductions as well as thunderous instrumental bridges that kept many heads banging to the rhythmic beats. For more information, visit Kirkland at or

SouthSide has watched this one particular local band grow over the last four years. They went from a tribute/cover band to a solid figure within Chicago's music scene. And tonight, this reviewer was extremely excited to witness the continuing rise of Lucid Ground performing one of their best shows seen thus far. What blogspot reasers will notice about this band is the heartfelt yet raw emotions heard from front man Karl, the poetic imagery found inside the lyrics from personal/past experiences, and the melodic rock sound within Lucid's music. Sometimes there's usually more melodies and rhythms were the hardcore guitar sound should be off the three guitars rockin' the stage. Performing some songs off upcoming new CD - Somatic (there's a slight delay in its release due to a fire at Chicago Sound Studio), this band absolutely shined in front of a near soldout crowd wowing them with Shaken Crown (SouthSide's favorite in which the melody and Karl's dynamic vocals combine for one emotional rock song), Left Alone (a downtempo ballad with a hot funky rock finish) and Further Down (where Lucid's melodic sound and poetic lyrics meet within a vibrant hardcore guitar riffs). As a Lucid extra, Karl and the guys performed anothr SouthSide favorite - their rendition of Duran Duran's Come Undone (done without any female vocals accompanying Karl's deep falsettos gives that raw emotion to the song told from a male's pov). Visit Lucid Ground at or

It's been a very long time since SouthSide last reviewed this unique rock band performing live on stage she was in for a special treat. Tonight, The Lifeline were premiering the live version of their new CD - Reflections of Hope which featured a different yet more dynamic tone and sound within this band's music. And SouthSide thoroughly enjoyed hearing the darker side of The Lifeline that gave Rebecca's violin more a vibrant presence this time (especially during her solo which totally fired up the crowd's enthusiasm). After a thunderous crescendo intro to Why So Serious (think Christopher Nolan's Joker using this as his theme song with plenty of razor sharp violin rhythms and guitar rock sound to sink your teeth into), The Lifeline was ready to rock their CD show in front of a packed house. This reviewer was consumed by the dark melodies that drenched the ears with haunting rhythms (especially during Never Enough) and dynamic vocal angst (by front man Ryan) that made you feel the words dripping poetically off the lyrics. Plus as an added bonus, The Lifeline even mixed a little hardcore guitar sound with the darkness heard in the song, Hellboy of few very dramatically intense moments, blogspot readers. Another intense moment happened when band added parts of Pink Floyd's The Wall Part 3 into the lyrics of another particular song which absolutely had Ryan venting his deepest and darkest emotions on stage. Shivers. SouthSide suggests listening to Forgive But Don't Forget and The Alchemist (don't let the subtle intro fool your ears - haunting rhythms are delicately woven into the vibrant sound). Yet the true star of the night besides hearing the live version of their new CD was the band and crowd coming together to rock out Metro with an awesome rendition of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. You simply had to be there to witness voices in unison singing word for word along with The Lifeline ...yes, this band was able to recreate this famous song in its own image (even without the ending gong) - Freddie Mercury would have been proud. Visit for more information about this band and how to snag yourself a copy of their latest CD - Reflections of Hope.

After the mad dash from Metro to Elbo Room (in record CTA "L" train timing), SouthSide arrived just in time to see good friends, Sutured Psyche rock the stage with one of their best shows seen. This band, within a short time, has made quite of impression rockin' the stages with plenty of hardcore guitar riffs and dynamic vocal passion (by front man William). Except tonight there was more - more vocalized falsetto emotion in the voice ...more dynamic hard-hitting guitar riffs ...simply more of everything that kept their fans and crowd rockin' to the metalastic yet melodic rhythms which Sutured is becoming known for. After opening strong with Adolescent Nightmare, SouthSide enjoyed feeling the shredding of steel strings and shivering from the Joker laughter heard within her favorite song, Trickster. The ears were meant to hear the gut-wrenching angst and frustration as Sutured's leader poured a lot of himself emotionally and lyrically during 50th Percentile, Stephen and Ma Gavte La Nada (whew - William certainly had SouthSide feeling raw emotions during that song). Yet, this band was a pleasure to watch as each member visibly put a piece of themself not only into the music but the show as well. Take Ryan, for instance, this heartthrob provided the ladies a little eyecandy in the form of his usual striptease ...whenever he rocks hard the shirt and tie will come off. This and more generated wild fandom amongst the crowd and thanks to Brian Bender (on sound) and Pep (on lights) - this hardworking duo gave Sutured that stadium show feel for their performance. Blogspot readers are highly encouraged to check out good friends Sutured Psyche at their next scheduled show prepared literally to rock and sweat your arse off with this band. Visit or for more information and where the band will be rockin' again.

Until next time, support your local scene,