Thursday, June 30, 2011

25 Jun 11

Welcome, blogspot readers, to the largest picnic in the park! It's that time of the year again when all diet rules are broken during the annual run of Taste of Chicago. Until July 3rd, hundreds of thousands will have consumed large quantities of pizza, ribs, corn on the cob, ice cream, bbq turkey drumsticks and more. However, there's more to do at the Taste than eating. There's daily cooking classes featuring guest chefs, family fun activities and of course - FREE live music. This year, the organizers did something different by giving Celtic, Country/Western and other music fests their own special featured days at the famous Petrillo Music Shell as well as live local acts like Yeah Dude, Empires and Funkadesi at the Illinois Lottery stage. On this day, SouthSide was in attendance to see her friends, Don Drake & The Shakes rockin' and shakin' things between bites of delicious pizza.

They're Chicago's only organic local rockers with an orchestral feel and look while performing under a lively mix of Americana/pop/folk/alternative sound ...full of high energy, melodic rhythms and dynamic emotionally charged falsettos. SouthSide's speaking about her friends, Don Drake & The Shakes and their rockin' hour long set at this year's Taste on the Illinois Lottery stage. She met this group of musicians last year when they entertained a crowd of Taste goers. Again, they rocked and shaked a larger crowd (under a delightful cooling summer breeze) with vibrant yet soulful music which would please all ears from classically infused to folk. The music itself had a certain but unique sound that breathes a fresh wave of life during each of The Shakes' songs thus creating a rhythmic groove that had some dancing in front of the stage. Try listening to Rattles and Snakes if you want to shake along with The Shakes, blogspot readers, that featured plenty of rockin' Americana/folk music and high energy. That's what this band was all about - having fun while rockin' the stage in the summer sun. Even while in a downtempo sound, fans will be able to hear how vibrant the music can be under a slight upbeat rhythmic melody and tempo in which also wonderfully highlights Jon's intense falsetto range within heartfelt words - for example, listen to Elizabeth Johnston and Margie.

SouthSide highly suggests visiting or for more music and information on when and where this band will be shakin' things up again on stage.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

24 Jun 11

It's Friday ...and it's time to rock the weekend, blogspot readers, with SouthSide! Tonight, this reviewer's rockin' Lakeview's hot spot for live local music - Elbo Room, to see and hear an eclectic mix of performances happening on the acoustic and main stages. Upstairs, she enjoyed the high energy acoustic set by local rocker, Kriz Toffer ( and his heartfelt yet emotionally charged vocal falsettos. Meanwhile, downstairs, she took in the final few songs by a lively high-strung yet very eclectic non-Russian poet band known as Velikovsky ( SouthSide enjoyed their cover from a Tom & Jerry cartoon, Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby done in an upbeat but downtempo jazz rhythm with the chorus in a fast paced punk style. Fans should also check out Velikovsky's take on "something's out there" theme found in the song, Aliens. However this reviewer suggests seeing it performed live because it includes (at mid-point of the song) some feats of magic tricks by Magician Kex Lang while explaining how our perception of what's real or not might fool us. SouthSide also recommends listening to Trail of Bread Crumbs (infused rhythmic pop/alternative with cool breeze of saxophone sound) and Song For a Deaf Man (in which the band hopes he can hear it).

SouthSide had a rockin' time hanging out with longtime friends, The Infamous Ashley St Ives, and their gritty hardcore punk/guitar rock sound tearing up the Elbo Room stage. Music like theirs burned like hot fiery hot coals as well as thundered at lightning speed throughout this set of high energy and fast pace guitar riffs that fueled this hot bloodied sensation in SouthSide's veins. Besides rockin' to the dazzling effects of the twitterpating sound, there also lead vocalist/drummer, John and his emotionally charged yet cool falsetto vocal style on lyrics amidst this steamy rock music. And that, blogspot readers, was merely the prelude of things to come with this band when Ashley opened their set. Performing other songs like Gemini (a classic rock sound with amplified energetic momentum blasting the ears) and The Stooge (bad to the bone thunderous guitar riffs with plenty of rollercoaster loops and twists), this band did take the tempo and energy down a notch (though retaining some of that fire) to spotlight the high emotions heard in John's voice before kicking up the rock sound in Makin' Machines. SouthSide highly suggests checking out these local rockers at their next show by visiting their page for more details.

Check out music that stems beyond the country/country rock realm, blogspot readers, vibrantly rocked the stage throughout Sound And Shape's performance. Hailing from Nashville (TN), this trio of rockers piqued SouthSide's music interest with their unique blend of 60s psychedelia vibe and a hint of Queens of the Stone Age guitar riffs intricately woven inside their songs. This combination totally caught her off guard by the melodic-driven rhythms that encompassed the flowing poetic, imagery-filled lyrics amidst the high falsetto vocals by guitarist Ryan. It's a rare combination to hear soft falsettos from a man while intertwining with a hardcore psychedelia rock sound ...and believe it or not, blogspot readers, it will have you instantly liking this unique mix. Despite having some distorted reverb from the monitors, SouthSide enjoyed hearing the high energetic tempo cleverly penned within Sound's eclectic sound even while in a downtempo speed to highlight how dynamic as well as intense his voice could get inside the moving lyrics of one particular song. Sound had definitely kept this late night audience entranced within its rock groove during the intro of another particular song that allowed every ounce of the twitterpating riffs and hot epic music soak the ears before adding the vocals. SouthSide highly recommends catching the free flowing harmony and melody combined by Sound And Shape's eclectic rock blend featuring John's soft yet dynamic falsettos that will keep you enthralled amongst the image-popping lyrics. Visit for more details and music.

Until next time, support your local scene,

23 Jun 11 - Interview with Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad

"...You kids don't know Grand Funk Railroad? The wild shirtless lyrics of Mark Farmer? The bong-rattling bass of Mel Schacher? The competent drumwork of Don Brewer? Oh, man!"
Homer Simpson

Since the early 70s, this legendary rock band has been comin' to your town, blogspot readers, to help you party down because they're the American band who can known as Grand Funk Railroad. And soon the Railroad five-piece band, featuring two of the original founding members - Don Brewer (vocals/drums/writer and singer of the hit song, We're An American Band) and Mel Schacher (bass), will be making a special stop at Naperville's Ribfest ( - show approximate time is 8:30p) on July 3rd. Helping Don and Mel recreate that famous Grand Funk are a group of legendary all-stars Max Carl (singer, 38 Special), Bruce Kulick (lead guitarist, 12 years with KISS), and Tim Cashion (keyboardist, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Robert Palmer). Recently SouthSide had the extreme pleasure to chat with Don Brewer (via telephone) about the band's early years to his thoughts about the music industry today as well as the inspiration behind Grand Funk's mega hit, We're An American Band.

While doing some intense research on Grand Funk Railroad for this interview, SouthSide found a distinct discrepancy on the band's originating birth year. Some say "...found in 1968..." but on the flipside others have it as "...found in 1969..." in which Don Brewer kindly set the record straight for her, blogspot readers. Grand Funk Railroad was founded in Flint, Michigan in 1969 out of its former incarnation, Terry Knight & The Pack. With that mixup cleared, SouthSide then asked Don when was the moment that Grand Funk felt they achieved recognition. Because they weren't being accepted in Michigan as Terry Knight & The Pack, Terry, lead vocalist then turned band manager, renamed the band after a well-known Michigan rail line called Grand Trunk Western Railroad but changing a word and a couple of letters. Don stated the moment happened when Grand Funk first appeared on stage at the 1969 Atlanta Pop Festival as an unknown band however finished with an ovation (the band was asked to perform during the rest of the festival). "...for three guys from Flint, Michigan, we were like whoa..." Soon the band was playing at over top venues like Madison Square Garden and Shea Stadium in which they topped the record held by The Beatles for selling out the stadium.

SouthSide also noted another interesting fact about Grand Funk Railroad, blogspot readers, that had her asking Don why the critics were so negative despite the band being popular with fans. Don replied saying "...Terry wouldn't let us [the band] talk to the press..." eventually rubbing them the wrong way i.e. bad concert reviews that they (critics) never attended as well as disfavorable album reviews. " was a political thing..." since Terry acted as Grand Funk's svengali with the theory "...that any publicity (good or bad) is good publicity..." Yet with Terry's finesse in marketing, Grand Funk created its own popular rock style and sold more albums than any other American group. SouthSide asked Don what was the inspiration behind the famous rock anthem - We're An American Band. Don said the inspiration came from Terry suing Grand Funk in every city/town they were playing. The lyrics "...we're comin' to your town to help you party down..." was the first to be written while the rest of the song was gradually pieced together through Grand Funk's experiences on the road touring (with some literary embellishment), blogspot readers. Don also cleared up some misconceptions about the song for SouthSide stating it's not about rallying behind the American flag or a fight they had with some English band either. On a personal note, she wanted to know Don's favorite Grand Funk song and/or album besides We're An American Band which coincidentally is his favorite titled track off the album. He replied saying "...E Pluribus Funk..." (1971) because it "...has foot-stompin' music..." This particular album celebrated Grand Funk's Shea Stadium concert featuring a die-cut depiction of the stadium on the reverse side of the album cover.

Having paved the way for other bands like KISS, Foreigner, Van Halen and Bon Jovi during the course of their 40 plus years within the music industry, SouthSide wanted Don's opinion about how it has changed. Don said he has noticed "...major changes ...don't recognized it anymore..." adding it doesn't have that recording company-band-radio relationship like it used to "'s virutally gone..." She asked as a side question if he saw the old "dinosaurs" (i.e. record companies) disappearing with the independent scene on the rise. He didn't see them going away but in time, they will if people continue to download the music they want to hear instead of purchasing CDs/albums. Speaking of technological advances effecting the music industry, she asked if that has changed the way Grand Funk connects with its fans. Don replied saying "...other than the website in which fans can access for upcoming shows [and more] ...not really using Twitter or YouTube..." He however noted how the internet has changed the way people search and access music. Don personally has seen four generations of Grand Funk fans (including younger fans who weren't even born) attending Grand Funk Railroad shows as well as singing the word to their songs. This response led to SouthSide asking him how it felt beng immortalized by television's iconic superfan, Homer Simpson. He felt it was great adding "...a terrific way to introduce this generation of kids to classic rockers like Grand Funk...", blogspot readers. During the 7th season episode titled Homerpalooza, fans will hear the song, Shinin' On being played in which Don Brewer co-wrote with Mark Farmer. Yet that wasn't the only time Grand Funk's presence was felt in The Simpsons' universe - in the 12th season, Homer gives a list of songs to The Who to play during the episode, Tale of Two Springfields however they're actually Grand Funk Railroad songs and in the 18th season, Otto the bus driver ignores Lisa when complaining about Bart not sharing his seat with her by singing We're An American Band.

So what's the final word amongst the diehard fans about the "new" Grand Funk Railroad band lineup? Don said "'s a mix bag..." because some are stuck on the "old" Grand Funk originals while many others, according to him, like and follow the "new" American band. Currently, the band does about 30 to 40 shows a year reproducing the classic Grand Funk records as well as performing some newer material. Though never having a chance to see them perform live (as of yet), SouthSide wondered what she would hear and see during their performance. Don merely summed it up in six simple words for her "...high energy, all hits Grand Funk Railroad..." show. In other words, blogspot readers, "...a pretty much straight forward..." rock concert without any flash, pyro techniques or glam. On another personal note, this reviewer finally stumped her interviewee. SouthSide asked Don if there was one artist and/or band Grand Funk would like to rock out the stage with. He answered saying they (Grand Funk) has toured with greats like the Doobie Brothers and Lover Boy because they like their music and vice versa. However the one band he would like to see Grand Funk rockin' the stage with is - (after a few minutes of thinking of an answer) - The Beatles. What a rock concert that would have been. Before officially ending this interview, she asked Don for his final thoughts or comments to disclose about Grand Funk Railroad. He had only this to say - "...Chicago, be ready to sweat and smile..."

Rock fan of all ages should head to the Ribfest in Naperville this weekend especially on July 3rd to see the legendary American band, Grand Funk Railroad and sing along to other songs like I'm Your Captain/Closer to Home (one of SouthSide's favorite classic rock songs), Footstompin' Music, Some Kind of Wonderful (one of SouthSide's favorite classic rock songs), Loco-motion and many more. For more information about Grand Funk Railroad and where they will be partyin' down next after Naperville, visit

SouthSide wishes to thank Don Brewer taking time out of his busy schedule for this interview and Anne Leighton of Leighton Media for setting it up.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, June 27, 2011

23 Jun 11

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's out of her usual rock "norm" for this On The Town review. This reviewer returned to the area of her youthful roots, Noble Square, to attend a RAW showcase at one of the most unique hot spots in Chicago - Evil Olive. Fashionably dressed to impress nightcrawlers head to this club for its Chicken and Porn Mondays or Candy Shop (on Sundays) or just be to seen with others until closing time. Though feeling out of place, this rock chic was open to new experiences within her rockin' adventures especially tonight.

RAW (natural born artists as duly noted on the flyer) is an indie organization in which they pick and feature indie artists from visual art to film and fashion as well as music and much more. Its mission is " provide up and coming artists of all creative realms with tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity..." Plus RAW "...educates, connects and exposes artists in 22 artistic communities nationwide..." besides Chicago in other cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, and Houston with showcase events every month. For more information about RAW and how to be a part of this movement, visit

Chicago's RAW showcase began with a film screening before a long night of fashion show breaks and live music performance by Bassel & The Supernaturals. Also there were a couple of vendors selling the latest and hottest styles in hats and jewelry. SouthSide wasn't particularly interested in the fashion show however did note organizers shoud have utilize the entire main floor as the catwalk so those on the balcony could see instead ending the runway underneath it. In between shows, DJs kept attendees in the party mood with a lively selection of golden club classics (twenty odd years old) which never seem to grow old or get outdated.

Rockin' on a seeminly unsafe balcony/stage area across from where SouthSide stood (on the other balcony), Bassel & The Supernaturals entertained the RAW showcase attendees with a lively alternative/folk/pop set. This local band certainly had this reviewer fooled with a band name like theirs when featuring a vibrant blend of rhythms (from saxophone and electric piano), high energy under a cool sound and dynamic falsetto vocals by Bassel Al-Madani. Fans will find themselves grooving to Bassel's soulful R&B/alternative vibe during one particular song titled My World (off upcoming album due this fall) that had an upbeat tempo swing while Bassel (also on acoustic guitar) demonstrated a little dynamic vocal power and some lyrical improvisation skills. There was another particular song in which SouthSide enjoyed how a gentle downtempo rhythm created the perfect mood for the romantic ballad within the unique mix of soul/alternative pop sound. Enjoying Bassel & The Supernaturals' performance that also included an intense version of a classic cover was one thing, blogspot readers, truly enjoying was another even though it wasn't really the band's fault. The Evil Olive's sound system wasn't properly equipped to handle live music show thus creating moments where SouthSide couldn't hear the entire band and/or vocals. She was amazed that anyone could hear anything especially on the main floor throughout this short set. Still this reviewer recommends checking out Bassel & The Supernaturals at their next scheduled performance. For more information about the band and music, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Saturday, June 25, 2011

July 2011

Hey, blogspot readers, the local scene during the month of July will be rockin' a firecrackin' bang! SouthSide highly suggests attending one or more of these upcoming events

July 1 - SouthSide kicks off her countdown to show #100 (at the time of this post, she has completed her 90th show on Jun 24) with a performance by Parallels (featuring Cameron Findlay of Crystal Castles) at The Abbey. Along with this electronic/pop duo, Pyro Fighter ("tron-pop" sound), Ghosthouse (electro/funk/synth) and Pocket of Lollipops will be performing as well as the Lady herself, DJ Scary Lady Sarah. The Abbey promises this show to be one of the most memorable, unique experiences ever ...SouthSide cannot wait.
Doors - 8p / Show - 8:30P
21+ older (sorry, kiddies)
$10 adv / $12 door
for tickets:

Also, SouthSide's friends Our Name Is Jonas (a Weezer tribute band) will be rockin' Durty Nellie's Palatine 180 N. Smith, Palatine, IL
with Second Hand Smoke (Sublime tribute) 8:00 PM - 2:00 AM. Visit for more details.

July 2 - SouthSide will continue her rockin' weekend at Elbo Room to see Jonathan Scales (NC) and his unique jazz/rock Steel Pan show to the stage. This artist is currently on tour promoting his Character Farm & Other Short Stories album. Visit for more information and details.

Also performing that night, SouthSide's friend from NY, Jess Godwin will be at Mayne Stage (located near the Morse CTA Redline stop in Rogers Park). PLUS she will be working on a musical theatre project in the fall - more details when they become available. Tickets for her Mayne Stage show are $10 / $15 (seats). Heard she sold out last time your tickets now at

July 3 - while munching on ribs at the annual Ribfest in Naperville, Grand Funk Railroad will be rockin' the stage. SouthSide recently had the extreme pleasure of interviewing Don Brewer, the man who wrote and sung the rock anthem - We're An American Band. Tentative show time 8:30p. Visit - for more information.

July 4 - Holiday (and SouthSide will probably be resting)

July 6 - Head out to Reggie's to see Cyanotic, The Prep School Tragedy faculty and staff along with Celldweller (currently on tour) rockin' the stage.

Also good friends, Maddog Madden will be at Elbo Room.

July 7 - SouthSide will be at Elbo Room for the Great Barrier Reefs (TN) and their steel pan jazz/funk performance in support of their first CD - Finding Time. For more information and videos by the band, visit them at

Also touring, KJ Denhert ( will be performing at the Underground Wonderbar, 650 N. Dearborn Street, in Chicago, on July 7, at 8 PM. Admission is $8. For more information, visit

July 8 - SouthSide will be at Hideout to see Roommate, a Chicago-based indie-electronica group led by singer/songwriter Kent Lambert. The group's latest album - Guilty Rainbow, was released on Chicago label Antephonic back in April. If you miss this show, Roommate will be performing again on July 28 at Quenchers. For more information, visit

Also, Empire State Express will be rockin' Double Door. 21+ show

Also, SouthSide's friends, Jackpot Donnie will be rockin' the stage at House of Blues featuring Animate Objects and Mathien.

Also, SouthSide's friends, the amazing Phantom-maestro and muse known as The Loneliest Monk will be at Reggie's in support of their CD release!

ALSO, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and their hits Tuff Enuff and Wrap It Up will be in town! And they will be performing at the Rockin' Ribfest, located in Sunset Park, 5200 Miller Road, in Lake in the Hills, IL, on July 8. The Ribfest runs July 7-10. Admission is $5 for those ages 12 and over. Folks under 12 get in for free. The festival web site is for more information and details on how to get there.

July 9 - SouthSide ends this four-night "work" week at The Abbey again to see The Big Strong Men (MN) performance along with her friends, Wally Dogger and Gidgets Ga Ga. Visit for more information and music.

July 12 - Head to the Caminos De Michoacan Bar (located 1659 W. Cullerton St) for this rockin' lineup - Illustrations (TX), Wolfmuth (MO), Fools Rush (OR) IAttack, Cenobites (CD Release) and Por Mi Culpa ...all this for a mere $3 donation!

July 14 - SouthSide friends, Voice Of Addiction will be tearing up the stage at Quenchers.

July 15 - SouthSide will be rockin' and rollin' with Andy Metz (and friends) at Elbo Room

July 16 - at Reggie's, the 5th Annual Metal Mergence will rockin' the stage.

Also, Our Name Is Jonas will be at Viper Alley Lincolnshire
275 Parkway, Lincolnshire, IL
8:00 PM - 2:00AM.

July 17 - Our Name Is Jonas will be at Windy City Rib Festival
Lawrence & Broadway, Chicago,IL
12:30PM - 2:00PM

Also, Chicago Chiptune Alliance will be rockin' Elbo Room. show 7:30pm / $7 / 21+ and will feature Saskrotch, Disasterpeace, Br1ght Pr1mate, Environmental Sound Collapse, NOM STAR, i am noun,
and visuals by pixelseed. SouthSide's tentatively planning to cover that show.

July 21 - performing upstairs on the Elbo Room acoustic stage will be Misha, The Lonely Bass Player. Visit for more details and music.

July 22 - There will be an extra special performance by at the Hideout SouthSide's friends Akasha as they drop a mixtape in tribute to Gregory Issacs. This show will feature JT & the Clouds and DJ R.C.

July 28 - 29 - Milwaukee Arts Fest

July 28 - Last Rites at The Abbey proudly presents Jesse W Johnson (of Jet W Lee) debuting songs from his tentatively titled solo album - Western Nightmare on stage along with The Canoes, The Single Helix and Zach Benkowski. Visit for more details and music.

Also Virtual Boy, ILL-Esha, Super Dee will be rockin' Kinetic Playground.

July 29 - Dame-Nation 2011 will be at Reggie's meanwhile new friends, Chatty Cathy will be rockin' Quenchers.

July 30 - Cenobites, The Bumpus Hounds, Afraid of Dave and City @ Sea will be rockin' The Mutiny!

Also heads up, blogspot readers in Florida, Robbie Hazen and The Riot will be invading a venue near you during this month! After their July 3rd show in Granville, OH, they will be hitting cities like Orlando, West Palm Beach, and Clearwater. Visit for tour details and much more!

Wow - what an exciting month this space for updated information.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, June 24, 2011

22 Jun 11 - CD Review

Hey, blgospot readers, check out the following four recommended CDs recently sent to SouthSide's desk in this review!

This Time Next Year
Aaron Zimmer (NY)

SouthSide had the extreme pleasure of reviewing as well as interviewing this singer/songwriter last year when he rocked the Elbo Room stage with a vibrant acoustic performance. Aaron Zimmer is back, blogspot readers ...and this time he's rockin' his latest CD - This Time Next Year with vibrant high energy tempos featured within a pop/rock alternative sound as heard in Track 2, That Girl. SouthSide enjoyed how this artist could dynamically immerse his vocals into each song emitting some of the strongest feelings of frustration (track 3 - Broken Records) to heartfelt apologies (track 5 - Cab Fare) ever heard amongst his lyrics about relationships and the problem that sometimes occurs within them. SouthSide also liked the diverse music selection represented inside this 7-track CD - Aaron adds a little rock (track 4 - Honey, Give Me A Hand), a little country (Cab Fare) and a little R&B (track 7 - Conspiracy Theorist ...listen out for Aaron's lively horn section and cool flute rhtyhms). Tracks 1 and 7 (cleverly titled Elephant in the Room) feature a tiny sample of a completely different side to this artist as he briefly (and quickly) fills the ear with a touch of electro/pop. Perhaps it's a preview of more things to come by Aaron Zimmer ...perhaps this time next year?

Fun With a Purpose
The Injured Parties

This local band, reviewed during this year's International Pop Overthrow showcase, had SouthSide enjoying their observational views into the mundane, ordinary slices of human life. If you really want to hear how mundane and ordinary everyday people can be, this reviewer suggests snagging a copy of The Injured Parties' Fun With a Purpose CD. It contains 13 tracks of humor-filled lyrics about non-fantasical lives of us (they could be singing about you, your friends, family ...even SouthSide) from driving down the open road in a huge hummer and watching foreign news (in languages you don't understand) on the satellite tv (track 1 - American Comfort) to finding love at first deli sandwich at Zingerman's Deli (track 3) to a woman transcending (or transforming ...who really knows) while On Her Way To Becoming Something Else (track 10) and everything else in between. Injured even makes a dogwalker's daily routine sound so "exciting" in track 4 - Dogwalker. However she was shocked to hear mid-way through this CD two "romantic" observational views (track 5 - If You're Gonna Break My Heart and track 6 - What We Talk About When We Talk About Love) about relationships falling out of love before meeting a woman name Linda Florentino (track 7) at grocery store who's great at picking fruit. SouthSide also liked the "serious" side (though retaining some humor) in Injured's Been There Done That (track 2) - a realistic point of view within the gap between the "haves" and "have nots" plus listen out for pop culture references and Be My Jesus (track 11) - she doesn't know what inspired Injured to poke fun at this country's pseudo-religious values yet justify using it while at "war" but it's very good commentary, blogspot readers.

remixes 2 81 - 11
Depeche Mode (UK)

SouthSide is a LONGtime Depeche Mode fan ...she was there for their Master and Servant, Everything Counts, Stripped and Violator (album) days (which still gets plenty of airplay on the stereo because the test audience loves it too). She has admired how this English trio (DM was quartet featuring Vince Clarke and Alan Wilder before they left the group) pioneered and paved the way within their magical electrontic wizardry for many of today's electro/powerpop rock bands. In SouthSide's opinion, no other band has yet to top Depeche's melodic synth and guitar rock sound as well as match the emotionally-charged vocal style of Dave Gahan, blogspot readers. That being said, she was very excited to pick up Depeche Mode's newest CD - remixes 2 81 -11 recently which features 13 tracks (more if you snag the double disc CD) of re-arranged DM hits. Artists like Jacques Lu Cont, DJ Mattew "bushwhackal" B. and Eric Prydz have transformed over 30 years of classic as well as current favorites into extended dance/techno/electronica tracks. SouthSide's stereo (and iPod) has been blowing up nonstop listening to track 2 - Personal Jesus (the stargate remix), track 4 - John The Revelator (UNKLE.reconstruction) and track 8 - Never Let Me Down Again(eric prydz remix) others like Tora Tora Tora, Wrong and Dream On. She also highly suggests checking out the Depeche's Personal Jesus (the stargate remix) video currently on their Vevo channel.

Hands & Teeth Sampler
Chatty Cathy

Local (guy) rockers, recently performing at Kristenpalooza Birthday/BBQ party on the roof, impressed SouthSide with their uniquely eclectic blend of soulful R&B/Funk amidst a psychedelia vibe - totally cool for summertime listening too. Chatty Cathy instantly had this reviewer while listening to this 3-track sampler groovin' to the soothing soundwave and enjoying the vivid lyrical (almost poetic) imagery portrayed as heard in each song. She recommends listening to track 2 - When The Coats Push Back for its harmonizing vocals complimenting front man/guitarist Kortland's emotionally charged falsetto that popped the words to life under such a dynamic voice. The downtempo beat of this particular song was very melodic as well as rhythmically upbeat in which SouthSide suggests letting go while riding the cosmic soundwaves. She also enjoyed track 1 - Archer and track 3 - Hearsay. Chatty Cathy will be rockin' Quenchers on July 29 - it's a FREE 21+ show featuring Slow Witch, Canyons of Static and Mayor for Life.

Also, blogspot readers, SouthSide highly suggests checking out the following list of CDs featured in recent live show blog reviews:

Black Bridge's Lucky 7

Dogs of Fortune's 3 Old Tricks
See them live on July 15 at Viaduct Theater

The Warm Guns (from TX) and their newest CD - Something In The Night

Gag Order's self titled 5-track CD

Plus search on YouTube for SouthSide's friends, Pinto and The Bean, to watch their latest video entitled - Robot Wars. Visit this local duo at

And lastly, good friend, Sid Yiddish after his stellar appearance on America's Got Talent television show, has a link he wants to share with you, blogspot readers. Click on and download once his 3 tracks on it:
Mykel Board Weasel Squeezer (W/$2 Cockroach)
Flow!Er!Pow!Er! (W/Vitawrapmand-from Denmark)
Solo For Throat And Spitstream (W/Rich Xperience on flute)


Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

19 Jun 11

After spending a lovely afternoon in the park at Peace Fest 2011, it was time for SouthSide rock out her evening at two special performances, blogspot readers. First, it was to witness The Rift making their official induction into Chicago's local scene on the Elbo Room stage. Then, she had to make her famous "mad dash" to Double Door to catch South Africa's The Parlotones rockin' the stage.

SouthSide personally met with the five young adult members of The Rift recently however she was more excited to finally see a live performance by them. And she highly suggests you do the same whenever they're rockin' the stage again. This band (and don't think of these multi-talented musician youth as a "school of rock" band when seeing them perform) had this reviewer immediately liking the organic feel and tone of their music which vividly incorporated haunting violin rhythms, acoustic (as well as electric) riffs, piano/keys and the inventive use of a bucket (to serve as percussions). Yet what truly stood out about The Rift's performance was the dynamic vocal style by Lily. Though seeming a little shy at first, this vocalist didn't have any shyness in demonstrating how soulfully as well as emotionally dramatic her voice could get in a wink of your eye ...especially during My Canvas. She wonderfully conveyed the sentiments and mood of this particular popping the lyrics to life while making your heart weep to the piano accompanying her. And with the full band backing her, her voice can suddenly became a chanteuse-like siren luring your deeper into The Rift's melodic sound thus making the music itself more vibrant to listen and enjoy. This reviewer enjoyed how The Rift incorporated rhythms that were quite simplistic ...nothing too overpowering to captivate your ears into listening to the organic/alternative flow. It was, in the best of terms, beautifully orchestrated music coupled with vocals will make you tear up. SouthSide wishes she could have stayed for The Rift's entire debut show but she does recommend listening to songs Fading Fleeting Sound, Awake My Soul and new one, Tango. For more information about The Rift, visit

The last time this reviewer saw this particular band, she was literally blown away ...and she had the same feeling again when The Parlotones (South Africa) rocked the Double Door stage recently. Compared to their Schubas show back in March and now, this reviewer enjoyed their Double Door one better for a few reasons. The band had more room to breathe without being squished so close together and for Kahn (as well as the other band members) to be more animated with his stage presence. He was certainly taking full advantage of that extra space to express himself more lyrically and bodily (in gestures) than while on the Schubas stage. The Parlotones dynamic front man/guitarist truly displayed some raw emotions within his highly charged falsettos, blogspot readers, that seemed to breathe such realism into the words sung. The lyrics felt more heartfelt and deeply personal to not only him especially during the song Dream Lover but also amongst The Parlotones fans as well when you could hear voices singing along to songs like Life Design and Welcome to the Weekend (SouthSide's favorite). Plus, the band was given the chance (as a whole) to express themselves musically which included more high energy in the guitar riffs, upbeat rhythms (sometimes from a harmonica) and dramatic electronica keys/snyths sound while keeping the epic-sounding melodies in their songs. Performing other songs like The Stars Fall Down, The Brighter Side and Should We Fight Back, this reviewer was still moved by The Parlotones and their unique blend of rock sound amidst the inspirational lyrics beautifully heard. If you missed this show, they did promise to return to Chicago (for a fourth time) in October. Visit for tour information and details.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

18 Jun 11

...don't get drunk ...there's reviewer here...

Come join SouthSide on the roof, blogspot readers, to attend this one of a kind On The Town reviews ever! And she literally means rockin' on actual rooftop! After having some fun at Peace Fest 2011, she headed to Wicker Park for more fun, good company and of course - music at Kristenpalooza 2011. This birthday/bbq party was hosted at the apartment of Andy in which he has a rooftop access where bands and partygoers could rock out until the early evening hours. Don't worry, no one fell off the roof ...not with a great Chicago skyline view of downtown amidst the perfect summertime weather. Kristenpalooza featured a unique lineup of music with special performances by Chatty Cathy ( - they will be rockin' Quenchers on July 29, Foreign Powder ( - they will be rockin' Elbo Room on July 7 and SouthSide will have a full review on that band, and her new friends, Gag Order headlining.

Though they feel it wasn't one of their best "professional" shows, their house party appearance rocked and it was good enough to get SouthSide introduced to the rockin' electro/punk sounds of Gag Order. And she highly suggests getting to know this band and its high energy amidst melodic tempo with vocalist Elaine pumping a unique yet dynamic voice combination on lyrics. At first it might seem her vocal style wouldn't fit within Gag's dirty rock music or electro vibe but watch out, blogspot readers, that soft voice will pack one powerful punch when the song or moment calls for it. This reviewer had fun movin' to the vibrant electro rhythms (off the synths) and gritty feel of the guitars which kept this rooftop crowd excited for more. While performing Late Night Train Ride, an actual CTA train going towards O'Hare rolled by and right on cue as the band was ending the song. SouthSide suggests checking out Glass Wall and Band R.I.P. off the self-titled CD but she's looking forward in reviewing one of Gag's "professional" shows in the near future. For more information about Gag Order, visit

Oh one small note about the quote - this reviewer was told a story about how Elaine told her drummer, Andy (and host of the apartment party), not to get drunk before their show because "a reviewer was coming". Now she understands why he was eating noodles before they went on "stage".

Until next time, support your local scene,

18 & 19 Jun 11 - Peace Fest 2011

...the whole world is watching...

It may not have been the actual Woodstock Music Festival, blogspot readers, but it certainly had the essence and free-love spirit for hundreds (or close to thousands) gathered at Chicago Peace Fest 2011! This three-day music, arts and more festival embodied the following main principles - love, free speech, peace, happiness and of course - the right to smoke weed within the heart of Lincoln Park. From the Baby Boomer hippies to Xers as well as Gen-Y and Millennials, everyone kept alive the vibrant spirit of the flower power youth while helping promote peace for all humankind.

Supporting free speech and local music at this longest running one of a kind festival, General Patton (of General Patton & His Privates) along with his staff organizers rocked out the park with one of the most colorful of all summertime fests happening in Chicago. And it was FREE for all who attended, blogspot readers. There were vendors selling organic/veggie eats and treats (i.e. Heartland Cafe from Rogers Park), bubbles guns to tie-dyed shirts as well as bongs and pipes ...rasta hats, jewelry, hula hoops (with free lessons) and a whole lot more amidst the ever flowing scent of weed (among other things) in the air. Don't worry, SouthSide pulled a "Bill Clinton" while attending the Peace Fest ...she didn't smoke just inhaled. Plus supporters for Ron Paul 2012 and Illinois NORML made their political presence known as well as many religious groups respresenting Jews For Jesus, Hare Krishnas and others congregating in the park this weekend.

And what's a fest without rockin' music to put you in the hippie free love mood? Throughout this three-day weekend, Chicago Peace Fest boasted some of the best within the local underground scene performing on stage. The lineup featured a wide variety of acts and music from reggae/ska to fusion/experimental, psychedelia rock and acoustic by Papa G, School of Rock, Environmental Encroachment and General Patton & His Privates. On Saturday, SouthSide rocked the fest to Flabby Hoffman Trio and its wickedly wild psychedelia/experiemental (and other eclectic rhythms) rock sound. Though not really a "Trio" per se, this lively band features a random cast of characters performing with the local masked legend known as Flabby Hoffman such as Sid Yiddish (yes, the one and only Sid Yiddish from America's Got Talent television show), Lizard, and Riff Raff (a teen phenom guitarist). Flabby's uniquely strange and unusual music stemmed from four guitars (two basses and electrics), keyboards, thermin, percussions, harmonica, saxophone and much more. In other words, blogspot readers, this crowd was rocked by Chicago's only psychedelically organic rock orchestra that totally fit the scene of the day. This band created a dynamic experience which included Sid Yiddish and his famous out of this world Pop Culture hiakus between songs.

During this hour long set (which didn't feel like an hour had passed when it was over), Flabby's music attracted a wide variety of listeners of all ages as well as expert hoopers and dancers groovin' and vibin' to the wild guitar riffs and psychedelia soundwave. Believe it or not, the Flabby Hoffman Trio doesn't really "practice" their show performances beforehand like most bands ...and that's the beauty of what makes the music (and experience) so magically unique. Flabby and the band simply "practice" on stage letting the spirit and vibe of the sound itself flow continuously which in turn took them and the crowd to wherever the charts unknown ended. Rocking the stage with songs like Naval Inscented Bong Loads and Tina Turner (yes, those are actual song titles, blogspot readers), one could appreciate the melodic rises and falls from the music that (sometimes) made no literal sense yet jammed to a tune reminiscent of the late 60s where you merely immerse yourself into the intense Flabby opus-sounding rock epics. Another thing to know about this artist's whacky and weird song titles - they contain a double meaning but are mostly political/socio commentaries like in the song Tina Turner, it's not about the legendary rock icon but about not belonging in a world of the bastards occupying the corner offices. If you truly wanted to hear something strange and incredibly groovy on the weird meter, listen to the Flabby Hoffman Trio version of the H.R. Puff-n-Stuff theme song which ended his rockin' set featuring H.R. himself (though he couldn't sing the words to his own song) and Rockasaurus! For more information about Flabby Hoffman and where his jam session band will be rockin' again, visit

On Sunday, SouthSide rocked part of the afternoon at the final day of Chicago Peace Fest 2011 beginning with her good friends, Monk 9 ( who kicked off the long lineup of hot local music. This rockin' costumed duo performed another electrifying set of space experimental/psychedelia music featuring songs like Down With Me and Nasty Girl in which this reviewer highly suggests checking out their YouTube hit about Charlie Sheen (it's nose candy, blogspot readers) and their Neil Diamond cover of Love On The Rocks. This reviewer also suggests checking out one of Chicago's oldest punk/rock band, Dead Steel Mill ( however do not under any circumstances refer to its charismatic front man, Cornorator, as "old", blogspot readers. Yes, kiddies, this Boomer could definitely teach you a thing or two on how to truly rock a stage ...and he certainly did as if he was still in his twenties or even thirties. He tore up the stage with his lively jig-like dance moves while venting the most heated punk angst ever heard over the mic by this reviewer. And believe it or not, his young counterparts rockin' Dead's hardcore punk sound easily matched their leader's high energy note for note. Performing songs like Republicat (dedicated to our world leaders) and Ain't No Problems (the most venomous fervor ever witnessed), Dead Steel Mill rocked out their peformance with a classic Ramones' Blitzkrieg Bop before ending with three extra encores.

Good friend, Phillip Morris ( was also there rockin' the Peace Fest with a lively performance featuring his own style of lyrical hiphop/rap infused with programmed music set amidst his political/socio words. SouthSide has long enjoyed this local artist and his use of spotlighting the ills of society as well as the government though negative but trying to accenuate the postive as a way to "educate" the masses into action for change. Yet, this being Father's Day, his set had an extra special surprise when his son, Malik, joined him for the closing song (and SouthSide's favorite) It's A Nightmare. Next to perform was the lively alternative/rock band known as Poverty Tax ( Despite having a few technical difficulties (mostly mic issues), this band rocked out its performance with an extended drum-percussion circle jam session featuring members of Strange Ranger, General Patton and others keeping the happy dancers and crowd intuned to the rhythmic beats. It was one rockin' drum session that didn't want to quit as more musicians and happy dancers joined in the festival fun in front of the stage. Then it was another lively yet eclectic performance of the unusual by SouthSide's good friends, Strange Ranger ( featuring DJ I-Rock at the turntables/mixers. Jackson and his cast of characters rocked the stage with songs like Taboo, Take Some Acid - nice pelvic action too, and Popcorn & Watermelon (let's just say, they have funky eating habits in this band) as well as the ever popular Pork Chop "...greasy greasy ...spank that booty ...easy easy" song. Plus SouthSide along with General Patton received a huge shout out before Ranger performed the Facts Of Life theme song. Sadly this reviewer had to end her day at Peace Fest 2011 during her friend's Wally Dogger ( performance due to her impending evening shows at Elbo Room and Double Door.

If you have never partaken in Chicago's Peace Fest (and you don't have to be stoner to attend), this reviewer highly suggests blogspot readers signing up for the Peace Fest Campout which will feature 30+ bands rockin' two stages! For two days and nights, peace loving hippie campers will converge at Vasa Park in Elgin, IL on July 29 thru 31 - admission is $40. Visit for more information and tickets.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, June 20, 2011

17 Jun 11

Welcome to one hot rockin' weekend, blogspot readers, with SouthSide! Join her on many travels around town for the next three days for fun, good company and of course - music! Whew, what an adventure you'll have as she covers what's rockin' the local scene from a peaceful outdoor fest to a rooftop house party (and she literally means roof top, too!) and everything else in between at Elbo Room and Double Door. Tonight, she kicked off the LONG weekend of fun (and little sleep) at Elbo Room to see local artist Michael Laechel (featuring good friend Justin Lane) and rockers Black Bridge on stage.

Though missing a part of their set, SouthSide was still able to enjoy this dynamic duo's acoustic performance that featured two unique vocal styles amidst a lively yet upbeat acoustic tempo. Singer/songwriter Michael Laechel with special guest Justin Lane graced their presence on the Elbo Room stage with a lively mix of songs in which some were performed by Justin. SouthSide enjoyed how both artists though completely different vocal-wise complimented each other during certain songs. Michael exhibted more of an emotionally charged vocal range in which the lyrics popped much sentimental fervor while on the other hand Justin took on more of romantic troubadour-style within his deep falsetto voice especially during the song Loving Waters in which this reviewer certainly felt the love off the lyrics. There was one particular song that had SouthSide feeling the emotions from Michael (sorry didn't catch the song title in time)while performing under a downtempo rhythmic feel as Justin played quietly in the background. What she enjoyed most about this song was how the artist "slowed" things down so the audience could musically soak themselves into the riffs during the instrumental bridge. Yet this performance also featured a "crazy" side to this singer/songwriter too, blogspot readers. She highly suggests checking out the song, I Really Don't Think You Care if you want to hear some super-charged emotional angst and frustration melting the microphone as well as off the guitar riffs that vibrantly matched his vocals though wanting more anger being pumped into the lyrics at the chorus. In her opinion, she felt he was holding back a little. Also recommends for listening - Welcome to Planet What The Fuck and Mud ...and if you truly want more of Michael's vocal frustration style try listening to Leave Me Be and I'm A Jerk. For more information about Michael Laechel, visit him at or

These local rockers combined the intensity of the standard rock-n-roll sound with a bit of blues, R&B (from the organ) and lots of soul. That's how SouthSide would accurately describe Black Bridge's rockin' Elbo Room performance, blogspot readers, that featured vibrantly sounding music. It definitely created one hot vibe throughout for the fans. Yet what really caught her immediate attention was front man/guitarist Sean and the way he used his low but rapsy falsetto voice to pump some raw emotionally charged vocals which continuously popped the words to life when opening with Fortune and Fame (track 5 off Black's Lucky 7 CD). Two other fine examples of his unique style include The One (track 4) where Sean's voice was soulfully heartfelt amidst the soft organ rhythms playing in the background which almost gave this particular song an R&B/gospel tone; meanwhile in Doesn't Matter, his voice went a little deeper yet was more emotionally dynamic that SouthSide literally felt the sentiments dripping from the words especially while singing "...doesn't matter anyway...". Besides being enthralled by the vocals, she also liked Black's unique rock sound which offered a variety of genres wonderfully mixed within their songs. For instance, during Take What You Need, she enjoyed how the organ had more a soulfully vivid presence amongst the three guitars while in a downtempo melodic rhythm while on the other hand, This Place of Mine, Black rocked the stage with a lively sound combining acoustic/R&B/rock ...the organ did also play an important role bringing out the (heart and) melodically soul of its rhythms in this particular song. SouthSide did notice one other unique thing about Black Bridge - there's no long instrumental bridges during certain songs. The brief breaks between chorus and verse was just enough to spotlight the rockin' music and Sean's vocals without oversaturating the ears. Other songs recommended for listening would be their country/western sound in Deserted, the rockin' upbeat alternative sound Picking Up the Pieces and Screaming Night Hog Life. For more information about Black Bridge, visit or on Facebook.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, June 17, 2011

15 Jun 11

Hey, blogspot readers, even a rainy night in Chicago can't stop this reviewer from rockin' the local scene! Tonight, the music and fun was at The Abbey (check out the newly re-decorated Green Room) where up and coming rock band, Rival Sons (CA), hit the stage before taking off for their European summer tour which will begin in Balbo, Spain later this month. PLUS they'll be rockin' the stage with the one and only Judas Priest and QUEENSRYCHE during the late July UK tour! Also sharing the stage with Rival Sons was SouthSide's good friends HEMI and Dogs of Fortune in which this reviewer highly recommends checking out all bands mentioned in this review. And also while at The Abbey, sample some of the new eats on the menu like the Rock-n-Roll Nachos and Sticky Chicken Wings with the yummy Guinness glaze.

Billed as the "Tall Shakin' Rock", Dogs of Fortune opened the lineup with an opus blast of energetic Southern dirty rock sound heard in song Trains Gone By (off their 3 Old Tricks Ep) in which had SouthSide enjoying the unique melodic saxophone rhythms accompanying it. However she was absolutely blown away by this band's continuous yet spontaneous bouts of energizer bunny style of stage presence and performance that kept their momentum flowing song after song without break. Amidst the vibrant Dogs' electrifying sound, fans will also enjoy hearing the dynamic yet emotionally charged vocals by front man/guitarist Myrrick melting the mic. The powerful combination of music and vocals had SouthSide rockin' to the groove during Dogs' 224U and Breath To Breathe (both also off the Ep) as well as their Them Crooked Vultures cover. This performance also featured bassist Nick taking lead vocals at one point that immediately caught this reviewer's attention for its soulful R&B/rock sound (plenty of wicked riffs and cool sax rhythms jamming during the instrumental). This particular song and their cover of Sweet's Ballroom Blitz fired up The Abbey with such excitement and energy. Dogs of Fortune will be rockin' Viaduct Theatre in July for their Big Bone release. Visit or for more details.

SouthSide won't reveal when was the last time she saw this hot metal band known as HEMI on stage however she was excited to (finally) see them again. She was ready to immerse herself into this band's heated fire of hardcore metal-tastic rock and raspy yet raw venomous sounds of vocal angst by front man/bassist Trent continuously pumping through her veins. Throughout HEMI's performance, there was plenty of twitterpating riffs as well as energy to keep your head banging to such songs The Leash and Driven to Kill. SouthSide suggests rockin' out to Dust to Dust but watch out for HEMI's wicked sudden riff/chord changes amidst the emotionally charged angst, Fire in the Sky (one of her HEMI favorites off their first album) for its dazzlingly wicked guitar riffs (featuring Ryan of PJs My Cousin Too and Dave on guitars) and Drown which is HEMI's version of "slowing" things down though keeping alive that headbanging metal sound. She also recommends getting a full metal blast from the band's rock opus, Battle of Britain which closed out this hot set thus also warming up the audience for Rival Sons. Visit or for more information about this band.

Rival Sons' performance - in a nutshell - one HOT damn show ...kick arse electric riffs amidst a gritty Southern/blues rock sound (or think Led Zeppelin but kicked up two notches on the rock meter) that literally blew away this reviewer. This band brought with them (from California) such vibrant energy that it instantly had this audience sucked into the rockin' momentum and never letting them go until Rival rocked their headlinging set with not one but two encores. That's how the "wow" factor was felt by this band, blogspot readers. This was amazingly serious classic rock shaking the rafters at The Abbey ...totally electrifying song after song that Rival didn't leave you any time in between to rest just only wanting more. The music itself was full of heart-pounding electric and bass rhythms rockin' and rollin' hard for the diehard fans while feeling front man Jay and his dynamically vocal power over the mic. SouthSide too felt the same excitement as their fans did from Rival Sons which is why she said they have captured the essence of Led but truly creating their own legendary image. This reviewer could go on and on about how their 1st Chicago show contained spontaneous bursts of riffs to match his vocal style or how they had this audience wrapped inside their contagious energy all night long. That would only take away your own personal experience with Rival Sons when they perform at a venue near you. Her recommendation (especially to her loyal European readers) is to catch this rockin' band when they cross the pond for their summer Euro tour. Visit or for more details.

Until next time, support your local scene,

14 Jun 11

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's rockin' the work week with another exclusive performance by Ricky Stein from Austin, TX. Last year, this reviewer met and reviewed this talened singer/songwriter while on his acoustic solo tour at Elbo Room. Tonight, this artist returned bringing a trio of musicians with him jamming on stage as The Warm Guns in support of their CD releas - Something in the Night. This performance featured a vibrant rock sound mix with blues to country/western as well as some lively Southern rock backing Ricky's dynamic vocal style. SouthSide highly recommends checking out this artist along with his new band while they're on tour.

Opening the set with a rockin' blast of energy, The Warm Guns had SouthSide enjoying the intense rock sound which also incoporated some organic percussions such as shakers, tambourine and harmonica ...each adding its own personal rhythmic touch to the band's rock momentum. Performing songs off Something in the Night CD, this reviewer liked the feel of The Warm Guns beat which will keep your ears vibin' to the upbeat music whether it had a country tone (All for a Song) or melodic within an electric downtempo sound (Bitter). This reviewer liked how Ricky totally immersed himself vocally into the lyrics of this particular song, Bitter, giving his voice the opportunity to display such raw emotional power especially when singing "...I give it up..." - so heartbreaking with the lapsteel/dobro sound playing in the background. If blogspot readers want to hear another fine example of this, SouthSide suggests listening to No Tomorrow (track 5 off the CD). Also heard during The Warm Guns' set was a lively country/rock tune that featured a hint of bluesy harmonic rhythms electric/alternative sound from new song World's Away and SouthSide's favorite, Ricky's traveling song - both songs mentioned painted vivid images from the lyrics. Meltdown (also another new song) showed a completely different side to Ricky in which he literally melted the Elbo Room stage with a dynamic display of emotionally charged vocals under a fierce fireball of electric momentum as The Warm Guns closed out their performance.

For more information about The Warm Guns and its tour schedule, visit or befriend them on Facebook.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

11 Jun 11

The Villains are now in control of this review, blogspot readers! Hordes of them were running rampant at Bottom Lounge on Saturday for the exciting debut of new band, V Is For Villains featuring the dynamic duo, Mr. Agitator and Fallon Flynn with Ava Vice and Foster Von Troxx. Also rockin' the same stage with these Villains was Paragon, The Branded and Hail The Horizon with Exempt opening the lineup during this Chicago Acoustic (actually Electric) Underground showcase. SouthSide ...oops - not tonight, it was Villain Eva Trix who rocked the all night long to hot electrifying as well as intense performances full of wicked guitar riffs and sound.

Rockin' their last show before heading to the recording studio, Exempt opened the night with a mix of covers as well as their own originals - some new and old for the Bottom Lounge audience. This band was somewhat on fire having plenty of momentous guitar rock for this reviewer to enjoy however she was expecting more vocal angst to fully charge up the emotions felt off the lyrics. Even while covering songs by Rise Against the Machine and Foo Fighters (the new song by them in which was one of two Exempt moments the band had to restart due to mistakes and miscues), SouthSide didn't hear any vocal excitement or energy to pop the words to life. It didn't really generate any type of enjoyment effect she was hoping from the way this band rocked the stage. She did enjoy Exempt's melodic (though sounding a little distorted) electric riffs intricately woven in the song, The Truth, as well as the vibrant hardcore with a melodic psychedelia sound in Brain Surgery. There was a highlight of this opening set but after messing up one minute into the song, this reviewer concluded Exempt didn't prepare well enough for tonight's performance. It was very sloppy ...lacking excitement vocally and musically despite putting on a halfway decent show. Visit or find them on Facebook for more information about this band.

...thank you, Double Door, for having us...

What an interesting shout out to kick off this rockin' set since that's where SouthSide first met Paragon six months ago. This band once again rocked the stage with a spontaneous fireball of energy amidst its melodic metal-tastic music especially during the opening song which featured sounds of reggae/ska. There's plenty of headbanging rock for you metalheads to sink your teeth into its twitterpating riffs while hearing front man/guitarist Nate's emotionally charged vocals heard in songs No Reply and Fire Inside (literally melted the mic during this particular song). Paragon kept its fans and audience within the rockin' momentum without slowing down one bit between songs in order to encompass them with their rhtyhmic vibe. And what a vibe it was, blogspot readers. At times Paragon seemed quite intense as well as ferocious amidst the hardcore metal sound meanwhile in others, this band rocked the stage with a downtempo sound that wonderfully highlighted Nate's dynamic falsetto style. SouthSide highly suggests visiting or for more information about this local band and when they're rockin' the stage again.

...everybody hates me...

No, Villains, there's much for you from Eva Trix (SouthSide's alter villain ego) after witnessing your ultra intense steampunk/industrial debut performance tonight. She certainly felt the excitement before you, Mr. Agitator, and your villainous crew - Fallon Flynn, Ava Vice and Foster Von Troxx, hit the stage when Papa Villain (Carlos Santiago) rocked the stage while helping set up for the show. The fan reception was at an all-time high as most (including Eva Trix) came fashionably dressed to impress in their best villain-wear. Overall, Eva says - it's definitely nothing like no other show ever reviewed even while in your Digital Mindy stage days. V Is For Villains was a complete turnaround pounding the stage with such spectacular lighting effects (sometimes running in sync with a pulsating heartbeat to Villains' songs), ferocious energy and hardcore techno sound that this reviewer missed a few details happening because there was SO much happening all at once. And she loved that the most about your Villains' debut. The entire band had immersed itself into their villain characters and hardcore steampunk/industrial vibe featuring two guitars and keyboards - no drummer would ever be able to match that intense energy and sound felt and heard from the stage. Performing songs like All About The Flesh and Rise Above as well as favorite Evolve or Die (all off Villains' 4-song demo), the villainous throng of fans rocked along to the same momentum wafting over the stage while feeling Mr Agitator's dynamic (sometimes angsty) vocals featuring Ava Vice's feminine touch on backing. Eva Trix wishes to thank you for performing the non-Disney friendly version of Pink Elephants on Parade - under the new sound it's even creepier than before. Eva highly suggests visiting V Is For Villains at or find them on Facebook for when these villains of the local scene will perform again ...dressing up in costume is recommend.

...I like the little devil horns over there ...reminds me of my childhood...

Over the course of one year (yes, they're only a year old as a band), The Branded has made a significant dent within the local scene here and elsewhere - rockin' two tours which included performing at this year's SXSW in Austin, TX. This reviewer has rocked with the band over seven times and each time, the show itself was nothing like the previous one seen (except the set list in which SouthSide suggests tweaking the song order a little). After an intro by Chicago Acoustic Underground's Michael Teach, The Branded immediately forgave everyone of their sins during Jesus Christ with a rockin' blast of hardcore riffs (by SouthSide's other "boyfriend" Mike on guitar and Shen on bass) and front man Brian's intense screamo (just for vocal effect)-vocal mix. This charismatic leader of The Branded (also sometimes sound guy, talent buyer for Elbo Room and more) truly worked the stage with his boundless energy on this stage ...enough room for one of his famous flying karate kicks. Despite having some technical problems with two of the four screens (used to display a montage of video clips from movies like The Fifth Element, Kill Bill vol 1, Sin City, Falling Down, Natural Born Killers, The Matrix - to name a few), fans enjoyed rockin' to The Branded songs Mother Got No Mercy For Ya, First Move (dedicated to all of the ladies, hot moms looking sexy and those wearing bras as clothes), Too Kool (the douchebag song) and Get Down (according to guitarist Mike, it's about blow jobs) as well as fan favorite the Merch Booth commercial (always a crowd pleaser). SouthSide highly suggests visiting or for when and where this band will be rockin' the stage again.

Opening with a digitalized crescendo of symphonic sound, Hail The Horizon did more than blast the ears with electrifying guitar riffs, blogspot readers. This band literally shredded SouthSide's face off while she listened to the intense ...ferocious twitterpating guitars mixed with hardcore screamo vocals that rocked the stage especially during Hail's opening song. How intense, you might ask ...let's just say the vocals emitted a raw venomous feel to the lyrics as the band melting the monitors with some of the hardest metal-tastic sound this reviewer has ever heard ...and it's the only way she could describe it without giving too much away, blogspot readers. Hail literally screamed, thrashed and everything else in between during their headlining performance that it can get their diehard fans to react wildly near the stage - so watch out for the moshers and slam dancers around you. This local band rocked the stage with songs like Conscience Calls (plenty of headbanging action during this song and others ...loved the venomous screamo vocals on the lyrics and band energy), Mind Over Matter (this was where Hail boasts its "melt your face" metal sound even with an electrifying downtempo rhythm) and The Hooker, The Highway and My Knife (watch out for the many chord/riff changes as the band takes down that dangerous road trip with them). SouthSide also recommends listening to new song (still untitled by cleverly titled as Brandon's Big Foor Stick) as front man John screamed down the stage amidst the vibrant thrash metal sound which certainly had their fans going extremely wild, Mirrors (another new song) - don't let that "calm" intro fool you, blogspot readers, plent of metal-tastic sound to get your head banging and Not Good Enough - though "slowing" things down a bit, John truly showed how dynamic his vocals can get sans the screamo for a moment. If you're looking for that "melt your face ...lose your hearing" metal-tastic sound, this reviewer highly recommends visiting or find them on Facebook for more information on when and where Hail The Horizon will be rockin' the stage again.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, June 10, 2011

08 Jun 11

It was some enchanted evening, blogspot readers, as well as a change of music pace for SouthSide. Tonight, she alongwith her super fan and sidekick, Joe, travelled back in time where supper clubs were all the rage in the dining scene and crooners like Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra entertained dining guests. Well, that essence is still alive and well here in Chicago at Rumba Supper Club (located in the River North area) in which SouthSide highly recommends taking such a trip back into nostalgia for one evening (or two). What an incredible (and unique) experience this was for SouthSide and Joe. It's perfect if you want to have an intimate dinner for two by candlelight or a group outting on the town. The ambience and decor had a classic Casablanca theme but with a Latin flare ...the food (suggests Pork Chops Al Pastor with a spicy pineapple sauce and Buffalo Chicken Salad) was tasty with the right amount of spiciness and service was very friendly as well as prompt. And since Rumba is a supper club, there's also (free) entertainment of the Latin variety most nights each week however tonight's show was completely different for the club. It became a lively jazz club featuring a marvellous double performance by Jesse Charbonier and a 4-piece band that also included choreographed dancing by Jarrett and Nikki. Coincidentally, this performance was Jarrett's last before leaving for the bright lights of Las Vegas to appear in the Lion King production there for the next six months.

As SouthSide mentioned earlier, tonight's featured entertainment was a double set of familiar (and rarely heard) standards performed by an amazing and talented local artist, Jesse Charbonier who was accompanied by upbeat and swinging jazz music. Dressed like a dapper Don Draper, Jesse entertained the audience with such debonair and style while bringing the esteem classic works by Billie Holiday to Elvis (yes, even the King performed a somewhat standard song heard in the movie Viva Las Vegas ...and it's not the famous movie song either) and even some Bill Withers to life through his voice. It was, blogspot readers, actually the way his vocal style, so ultra cool and smoothly suave, captured the tender sentiments or romanticism - the good and bad, off the lyrics. SouthSide has heard crooner standards performed before but nothing like the way Jesse dynamically worked the stage while charming the audience with his warm personality and smile. Yep, this reviewer has fallen hopelessly in love with a crooner and his voice. And before she moves onward about his show and songs performed, she would like to take a moment or two to highlight the band behind the singer. This 4-piece band (also looking so dapper in their matching clothes) rocked the stage throughout the show with such lively enthusiasm and upbeat sound heard in their jazz music. The band perfectly captured the mood and tempo of each song thus not only assisting Jesse with his vocal arrangement and style but also spotlighting the originator's musical composition. And jazz wasn't their sole main focus during this performance, blogspot readers. They even got soulfully down and funky while performing a rarely heard Bill Withers' tune and Ray Charles' I Believe (one of two times in which Jesse had the audience to sing along amidst a lively jazz/funk sound).

The show itself encompassed favorite classics like Billie Holiday's All Of Me, God Bless the Child, Nat King Cole's L-O-V-E (Jesse had some of the audience sing along ...lyrics provided if you didn't know this famous wedding song), Chet Baker's Let's Get Lost (another rarely heard classic) and My Funny Valentine. Picking a single Jesse moment to spotlight for this review was very hard to do, blogspot readers, because each moment during this double performance owned the spotlight. Jesse wowed this reviewer when performing the haunting song, Don't Explain after letting the band take an instrumental lead first (and he was right - they do play this particular song beautifully). His voice powerfully brought the emotional sadness heard (and felt) in the lyrics to life with the trumpet acting as his "backing vocal". This artist also captured that same sentiment and more during Billie Holiday's You've Changed in which he beautifully as well dynamically ended the song with an amazing burst of falsetto vocals. Yet it wasn't just Jesse and band all night long either. The audience was treated to a video adaptation and dance interpretion (by Jarrett) during Nat King Cole's Nature Boy (the lyrics were inspired by the tale, The Little Prince). Then to kick off the second half of his performance, Jesse premiered his video, Let's Not Discuss It (SouthSide highly recommends checking out it on YouTube) and Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit done in an animated cartoon-like movie - still a powerful yet fitting message (condemning racism) even in the new millennium. Jarrett did return this time with his dancing partner, the lovely Nikki, to perform a jazzy tribute to the late great jazz dancer/choreographer Bob Fosse. SouthSide wished there was another Fosse-inspired dance tribute as well as more of Jesse singing classic tunes since it didn't truly feel like two hours had passed by. Though performing two extra songs that included his Goodbye Song, SouthSide still wanted more.

Rumba Supper Club has plans of making live jazz entertainment a weekly spot that will feature dinner and drink specials associated with the featured artist of the night for a low special price, blogspot readers. SouthSide highly recommends jazz music lovers young and old making reservations now for July 5th that's when Jesse Charbonier returns to the stage for another enchanted evening of classic and rarely heard standards. Don't pass up a unique dining/entertainment experience like this, blogspot readers.

For more information about Rumba Supper Club, visit

For more information about Jesse Charbonier, visit him at

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, June 9, 2011

09 Jun 11 - CD Review

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide has more CDs exclusively previewed for your summertime music enjoyment (and there's more arriving to her desk!). She highly recommends checking out each band/artist mentioned in this review.

Avant Gold & RYAT "avant gold" Remixed

The band - modern day, multi-talented, multi-performing instrumentalists.
The music - from the distant generational future to be heard and enjoyed now.

Basically this how SouthSide can sum up RYAT (pronounced "riot") and it's music after thoroughly listening to the vibrant ambient sound within an ultra-progressive/electronica (sometimes organically techno) music. Both CDs definitely as well as wonderfully demonstrates what music migh be hundreds of years from this date however seeing this rockin' duo live to actually feel, hear and soak in RYAT's fantasical energetic sound is recommended too. These artists, Christina and Tim, create a sound that's truly eclectic and unique but so fresh that it would be very difficult to copy what they do while performing a live set. Off "Avant Gold" Remixed, SouthSide recommends checking out her favorite song, track 3 - Time Worn (A.D. Six remix) in which there's a flowing vibe of meditatively ambient sound amidst Christina's mantra chant-like vocals. The CD also features remixed versions of Bells (Mikronesia), Not For This Lifetime (DJ Statik) and The Gaze (Pretzl coat) which give these mentioned as well as the others more depth and energy into RYAT's originals. Off Avant Gold, this reviewer had a hard time choosing since each song deserves a wothy mentions but suggests listening to track 3 - The Fish That Lived Out of Water (for its child-like fantasy sound), track 6 - We Walk Slow But As Fast As They Rush (lyrics inspired by Walt Whitman's poem - I Sing The Body Electric), and track 9 -Equipoise (a lullaby of gentle sounds yet very sad in the lyrical sense).

With Nothing Left
Nate Z

This one-man band/singer-songwriter and one of SouthSide's many longtime friends rocks the local scene with such fierce intensity not only from his emotionally charged vocals but from his guitar playing (usally on electric with an amplified bass sound). However on this 15-track CD, it's a rockin' combination of electric guitar combined with other instruments (i.e. harmonica) to amplify the already intense music this local artist, Nate Z, is known for. SouthSide suggests listening to Nate's ballad, My Queen (track 3) for its gentle calmness heard within the riffs off the acoustic guitar in which he soaks the lyrics with plenty of fiery emotions ...On The Train to Chicago (track 4) liking the live version better, this reviewer recommends checking out this song for that Blues tone in the music, ...and Love Me Hate Me (track 7) though needing more vocal angst/frustrations in the lyrics, this song also deserves a mention because you can feel such anger off the words. The rest of the CD is okay yet SouthSide could some of Nate's song (for example, track 11 - Down The Drain) having an extra guitar (or other instruments) to perk up the vibrant acoustic energy and highlight his fiery vocals.

It Takes A Major Label To Hold Us Back

Before becoming very active in their work keeping the local indie art and music scene alive and "safe" from the evil clutches of the pending passage of Chicago's Promoters Ordinance, this rockin' duo, Gary and Toby aka Sir Real and MOFO, kept the sounds of funk alive with such hit songs like Bump That Ass, Bust A Nut and Seven Second Delay off their There's One Born Every Minute album. Now, JaGoFF is back, blogspot readers, in full force stronger and funkier than ever with this 17-track CD which means more funky, sexually deviant and suggested theme songs to get your dirty funk groove on. Paying homage to the original Funk Masters (i.e. Bootsie Collins, Bernie Worrell, George Clinton, et al), this duo's lively funk-tastic sound will have you hot and sweaty (among other things which SouthSide cannot mention here) from dancing too hard (more like funkin' down) to their songs like BDSM, Never Met A Girl Like You and Get Your Ass Up. However with the central them being about the major record labels and the industry itself which tries to keep the indie scene down, JaGoFF does make fun of them with the title track (funk meets digital-pop within this anthem), track 5 - The Record Industry in which the guys ask random people for their thoughts about the record industry mixed with a funky groove sound and of course, track 7 - DIY or DIE which most of us are these days within the indie scene are DIY-ers. Also recommended listening is track 14 - American Idle that pokes fun at our obsession of the reality music competition television show.

V Is For Villains

The duo known as Digital Mindy, after having "grown up" to adulthood, recently went through villainized makeover and added two more members to their "criminal" anti-hero fold, Ava Vice and Foster Von Trox. Now as V Is For Villains, this quartet rocks their 4-track demo with an adult sound that's very different from the Digital Mindy teenage angst days. It features a vibrant hardcore/industrial-steampunk/techno digitalized sound (without a drummer) and more vocal assistance (by Ava Vice) adding some feminine spice to Mr Agitator's emotionally charged vocal tone especially during track 2 - Everybody Hates Me and track 4 - Evolve or Die. Though just a mere sample, expect a full review from Villains' first live show from Bottom Lounge happening this Saturday, June 11. If going, it's highly recommended that you come dressed (as your villain character) to party along with the band.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

07 Jun 11 - CD Review

Danger Days, The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
My Chemical Romance

...shut up and let me see your jazz hands...

note: this review is dedicated to the "sad man" now "bad man", Korse...

It's set in a futuristic location where the inhabitants of Battery City, after surviving the catastrophic effects of a bio-chemical germ war, reside in a totaliterian life controlled by Better Living Industries. However, out in the desert wastelands, there's a group of anti-hero freedom fighters rebelling against the evil corporation and it's George Orwellan way of life enforced by Korse and his Draculoid (human) bots. And with the help of one special little girl, these "heroes" know it's not an easy battle that will be won but are determined to fight until Battery City is free. This is their story, blogspot readers.

SouthSide highly suggests snagging a copy of My Chemical Romance's latest CD - Danger Days, The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, a total far cry from their dark, rebellious, angsty teenage emo days as heard in The Black Parade and Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge. The guys are still rebellious and angsty (that will probably never change) however in this new album, each member has immersed himself into a comic book like anti-hero character known as Party Poison (Gerard), Jet Star (Ray), Kid Cobra (Mikey) and Fun Ghoul (Frank). The Killjoys fight a neverending battle against the evil unjustice of Better Living Industries (actually the band's poking fun at their own record company as well as the industry itself) and its head henchman named Korse. Though he's actually a misunderstood character (and has some direct link to Party Poison - the band will never confirm or deny SouthSide's theory ...yet), Korse is the best evil villain since Star War's Darth Vader and James Bond's Ernst Starvo Blofeld.

Danger Day's 15 track CD rocks an intricate tale of The Killjoys' "fabulous" life on the run as underground freedom fighters yet in SouthSide's opinion, the order of the tracks are slightly off. She suggests listening to track 4 - Sing (and for the love of GOD, stay FAR away from the Glee version unless you like an inspirational rock anthem turned into a dull pop song) because it's the prelude to the entire Killjoy backstory of why they're on the run from Better Living Industries and its totaliterian corporate rule. Tracks 1 and 2 - Look Alive Sunshine and Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na) is the where the story picks up where Party Poison and the gang fight against Korse and the Draculoid (human) bots with a featured traffic report on Kid Cobra and Jet Star (track 7). Tracks 6 (The Only Hope For Me Is You) and 9 (Save Yourself, I'll Hold Them Back) is about the little girl who travels with The Killjoys in which SouthSide believes is the key to saving Battery City (and perhaps the world) from BLI's George Orwell's 1984 lifestyle (listen to track 10 - S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W to unlock this corporation's evil plot). The ending to Danger Days remains uncertain though this reviewer (as well as many other MCR fans) have suggested to the band about turning this story concept into a full length movie ...or at least a sequel album to really complete The Killjoys' story.

Until next time, support your local scene,

06 Jun 11 - CD Review

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's been very busy previewing new CDs circulating the local music scene near and far. And more are expected to arrive to her desk soon as bands release new material during the long hot summer months. She highly recommends checking out the artists/bands mentioned in this review.

Lake Street Dive (NY)

This self-titled CD features 13 tracks (plus an extra hidden bonus one) of soulfully vibrant jazz-tone music wrapped inside a lively pop/alternative sound and danceable rhythms. Also, there's plenty of R&B as well as a hint of country rock (heard in track 7 - Elijah which boasts a gospel feel off the lyrics) and even Brit invasion sound (think early Beatles when listening to track 3 - Henriette). Lake Street's CD rocks the ears with dynamic vocal power by Rachael in which SouthSide suggests listening to track 6 - Miss Disregard (fiery feminine angst within a downtempo groove) and track 10 - Got Me Fooled (a good example of how emotionally charged her vocals can get amidst lively organ rhythms in this version however the live Elbo Room version rocked out the stage). Also SouthSide suggests listening to her favorite song, track 9 - Neighbor Song - based on actual events about noisy but amorous neighbors that the person wishes she had the same kind of relationship herself.

Something's Missing
Eric Matern (Brazil)

Nothing is missing from this electrifying rockin' instrumental guitar rock with some electronic (keyboard) rhythms by Eric Matern. This multi-talented artist/songwriter had this reviewer reeling from the dazzling riffs and shredded chords ripping between her ears. She thoroughly enjoyed listening to Eric's emotionally charged "vocals" off the furious yet ferocious played music - perfect for headbanging metalheads. His mastery is quite phenominal, blogspot readers, especially since he plays each and every instruments throughout this CD. Eric adds depth as well as definition to every of his songs ...sometimes there's the tenderest of feelings in a ballad (listen to track 3 - Paper Thin Hearts) ...vivid imagery from his creative mind (listen to track 4 - Daydreams) ...or hardcore angst and frustration (listen to track 2 - Wanna Bet? or track 5 - Knock It Off!). Each track flows right into the next without losing a single moment of hearing his energetically vibrant momentum while enjoying this particular CD.

A Thousand Novels
Paper Thick Walls

The Americana/folk genre and scene is definitely alive and very well full of rockin' sound and lively tempo (sometimes with an organic feel) by local rockers, Paper Thick Walls. While listening to this CD, this reviewer did get the sense she was actually "reading" a compilation of stories ...some happy or sad while others quite romantic as well as personal from the dynamic vocal duo - Eric and Kate. Whether singer together as lead or backing each other, his deep falsetto and her melodic alto wonderfully compliment each other especially during track 1 - Old Weathered Wooden Dock and track 3 - Orange Tree (a Bonnie-Clyde type of story under danceable rhythms). Yet take a listen at Paper's darker-tone songs like track 6 - Desolate Place (a ghostly yet haunting tale with gentle lullaby sounds) and track 10 - Infinite (almost angelically sound for a song about losing a love). SouthSide also recommends listening to the title track for its catchy rhythmic hooks and melodic vibe within the central tale of the entire CD and track 8 - Masters of the Sea for its "Old Man and The Sea" like theme in which one can actually feel the crashing waves within this haunting tale.

The Lights
Greg Gibbs

As an added bonus, SouthSide's good friend, August Forte of Novo Arts, Inc. asked her to check out this 20-track CD of progressive/electro pop by local rocker (and Chicago Bagel Auhority owner), Greg Gibbs. This singer/songwriter rocked SouthSide's ears with an eclectic collection of tales and personal experiences as well as a blended mix of instrumentally melodic tracks. Picking a song to highlight, blogspot readers, was no easy task since she enjoyed Greg's lyrical wit and seriousness (sometimes) found within this artist's songs. For example, check out track 7 - Come Undone and receive some doctorly advice on how to live a healthy and moral life or track 9 - The Universe Is Fine - that's the message according the "alien" visitor to the inhabitants of this big blue marble. SouthSide also recommends listening to Greg's food themed songs like track 13 - Target Sauce (a short and sweet-n-spicy intrumental song) and track 15 - Food Tastes Fine (a humorous look at people who have interesting dietary restrictions/preferences). SouthSide also recommends listening to track 3 - Wasted Plans (might remind you of that famous lyrical line from Pink Floyd's Time), track 4 - Slow Down (instead of The Eagles' Life in the Fast Lane, this is life on the slow yet spontaneous lane) and track 8 - Most Guitars Are Made of Trees.

Seth Adam (CT)

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide recommends checking out this 10-track CD of electric/country folk rock that rocks by Seth Adam and his band (featuring Gerry on electric and lapsteel, Anthony on drums and Gerard on bass)! She enjoyed the energy felt as well as heard especially during track 1 - Suicide War while fooling her ears into thinking she was hearing a young Tom Petty on vocals. Hailing from CT, this singer/songwriter truly captures the electric side of his songs after having recently reviewing his acoustic show at Elbo Room. Blogspot readers will notice how Seth's natural vocal style perfectly embodies the essence of his lyrics thus popping the words to vivid life as heard in track 3 - Apologize and track 4 - Not Sad To See You Leave (in which Seth's vocals seriously became so emotionally charged you do feel the tempered heat of his frustration especially when singing "...not sad to see you leave ...goodbye..." Yet if you want to hear the "softer" side to Seth's music, this reviewer suggests listening to track 5 - The Last One (sentimental amidst a downtempo folk sound). Also recommended for listening is track 9 - Stealing in which Seth and the guys get a little soulfully funkyy under an R&B sound. Perhaps, it's a tiny preview of what might be featured in his next album, blogspot readers.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Saturday, June 4, 2011

04 Jun 11 - Road Trip!

*edited to reflect two more bands rockin' the road this summer*

Hey, blogspot readers, summer has arrived and many of SouthSide's friends are travelling to venues and/or fests near you! She highly recommends checking out the following bands/artists rockin' the road during their upcoming tours.

Paper Thick Walls will be heading up north for Canada's North By Northwest performing on Thursday, June 16th at The Painted Lady (218 Ossington, M6J 2Z9) with Ketch Harbour Wolves and Young Doctors in Love. Then the band will be heading to Summerfest 2011 in Milwaukee where they will be performing on the Cascio Interstate Music Groove Stage (w/ Onion/AV Club Milwaukee & 91.7FM) at 3PM on Sunday, July 3rd. Visit for more tour details.

Meanwhile friend Jamie Kent kicked off his summertime tour yesterday at Brattleboro VT, for the Strolling of the Heifers Dairy Festival with another performance scheduled for today with an evening show at Shelburne Falls MA, Mocha Mayas,w/ Julia Josephine Slone. Visit for more tour dates and details.

And friend Mark Erelli also kicked off his summertime tour yesterday with a performance at Ingraham House located in Bristol CT. Tonight, he'll be rockin' the Strawberry Bluegrass Festival in Preston, CT with The Haymakers on the Folk Stage. Dates also include June 10th at Gypsy Joynt and June 11th at Vanilla Bean including a stop at Club Passim on June 23. Visit for more tour dates and details.

My good friends The Nod just notified SouthSide of their summer road trip! They will be rockin' Summerfest as well on June 29 at 3p sharp on the Cascio Interstate Stage alongwith Big Strong Men (MN) and Meatloaf. Then there will be The Nod Farewell and CD Release show happening on July 29 at Memorial Union Terrace in Madison (WI) with Tiny Riots and Flatfoot 56. Visit for summerfest and CD release show details.

Also hitting the road this summer - new friends Celldweller (from Detroit, MI) and they will be rockin' the stage at Reggie's Rock Club on July 6th during their Wish On A Blackstar tour! The band's publicist says they put on an amazing show, blogspot readers, so expect a full SouthSide On The Town review on them as well as the rest of the lineup. This band will also be rockin' Key Club in West Hollywood, The Masquerade(Club Hell) in Atlanta and Florida Supercon in Miami. Visit for tour details and more.

Until next time, support your local (touring) scene,