When beginning this fantastical adventure as "SouthSide" on Sept 12, 2006, I never imagined what an impact "she" would have on Chicago's vibrantly growing music scene. It's truly amazing what "she" and her reviews have accomplished (thus far) for MANY local (including national and interational) bands and artists as well as nonprofit organizations, festivals and venues too. Her love and support for the indie scene has led others (many of them celebrities, publicists, management, promoters, music lovers, etc) outside Chicago's boundaries to take notice what's happening and rockin' the local stages. For me, personally, it's a startling realization as I celebrate 5 fun wonderful years as my nom de plume.
And honestly, I seriously thought this "SouthSide" gig wouldn't survive beyond year one.
After 5 years, over 600 shows logged (so far), nearly 2000 bands/artists and countless hours of being a partying rock chick, boy was I dead wrong!
It takes a lot of heart, soul and dedication in being any band's head cheerleader, girlfriend, groupie or whatever you want to label SouthSide besides music reviewer/critic. It's not easy either when you also have a private life such as a mother of two music-inclined daughters and fiancee to a wonderful yet busy corporate guy ...but it's also fun exposing them and close friends to the wonders of Chicago's rockin' local scene. And as SouthSide, I've seen and had so many memorable as well as not so memorable adventures that someday I should pen a "tell all" book about the places, bands/artists, shocking secrets and fans (this includes my tangling with a few celebs) one day. Who knows ...it could probably be a New York Times best seller. I did have some wild and crazy "behind the scenes" adventures that don't get published in SouthSide's On The Town reviews.
Yet, I'm very humbled by this experience ...and no, that's not an understatement. Those who know the real me behind this name can tell you that I don't like being called a "celebrity" ...that I'm flattered as well as embarrassed even though many view SouthSide as "Chicago's local scene queen". Personally, I view SouthSide as a rock star. I mean it when I say the bands/artists on stage featured in my reviews are the true celebrities. I merely give them that well-deserved, center stage spotlight. Still, I'm not chest-thumping about SouthSide's many accomplishments. There's so much I have yet to achieve and want to accomplish within my next five ...ten and beyond like attending SXSW or taking SouthSide on the road and maybe across the pond. There are SO many bands I've befriended on Myspace, Facebook, and elsewhere on the vast social networking internet world that I would like to meet and review. Plus there's also finally finishing SouthSide's secret project that she's been writing for over a couple years now (not the "tell all" book) but will disclose more details when the mansucript is officially completed. However I can tell you - the book is about the rise and fall of band.
Then there's one other SouthSide goal which may take longer to complete but will definitely happen one day. I would like to open a venue/museum/bar or something to that effect that will feature all of the posters (taken off the walls of venues around town), buttons, song lists, stickers, CDs and whatnot collected over the years (you should see my apartment) on display with my pride and joy - an autographed acoustic guitar - in a glass case. This would be a place for musicians to reminisce, fans to bask in their band's moment under the spotlight again and music lovers to appreciate how vast and eclectic Chicago's local scene was (and still is). Believe me, I've (mostly) seen and heard it all ...from the wild dark theatrics of a Metal/Goth show to glam/electronica rock with some two-steppin' Country/Western, steampunk villainy and everything else in between. It might be a lofty goal at the moment with the economy as it is now but I'm determined to make this dream real ...when SouthSide's ready to hang up the pad and pen and retire from the music scene. Yet everyone knows, there's no retiring from the music scene ...look at the Rolling Stones. They'll probably still be rocking on stage in wheelchairs.
There are so many "thank you" that need to be said and shared with those who made the "SouthSide" experience and adventure possible. It's not an easy thing to do when you're a DIY (do it yourself) blogger/media person. It requires risk factor as well as good networking and people skills, building long-lasting contacts and business relationships and more. You really have to put yourself out there ...sometimes 3 to 4 nights a week ...in all kinds of weather just to keep that promise of reviewing a band's set (unless there's an emergency). From the bottom of my heart, this "thank you" goes out to all of the people I've met and been in contact over the years - bands/artists, management, publicists and venue owners ...this includes street teams and fans. I would like to name each and every person but I might forget a name or two. And there's a special "thank you" to my blogspot readers for reading this blog in which I share my many adventures with you. Hope you've enjoyed reading the ups and downs as much I've experienced them and finding new bands/artists to check out.
Well, blogspot readers, time to rock into SouthSide's next year and beyond.
Are you ready because I promise you it's going to be an even wilder time around this town than the first five years...
Until next time, support your local scene,