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 "...to 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 http://www.rawartists.org.
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party mood with a lively selection of golden club classics (twenty odd years old) which never seem to grow old or get outdated.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 http://www.myspace.com/bassel.
Until next time, support your local scene,