Thursday, July 28, 2011

27 Jul 11 - CD Review

Hey, blogspot readers, new music keeps arriving to SouthSide's home office this week! And there's more on the way for review. In the meantime, she higly suggests checking out the following CDs.

Home To Roast
Jesse W. Johnson

Front man and guitarist of hard rockin' Jet W Lee band embarks on a solo project that completely demonstrates a completely different side of himself and the band, Jet W Lee as he shows off his skills as a storytelling singer/songwriter. And what insteresting yet realistically somber tales does this artist weaves throughout his debut CD - Home To Roast, blogspot readers. Don't expect pretty or flowery prose, this is little slices of life at its darkest moments of despair amidst upbeat tempos (at times) and vibrant sounds of Americana/folk rock which highlights Jesse's dynamic vocal tone. This ten-track CD features tales of sadness and depression while suppressing pain deep within one's self in Jennifer Green (track 3 - "...with a smile on her lips/a syringe in her fingertips/Jennifer Green/she's got blood in her eyes/she keeps it all so well..." to chemical dependancy with suicidal thoughts in The Pills (track 6) and cold-blooded murder in Forty Below (track 8). This reviewer enjoyed how each track carefully brought a different range of emotions heard in Jesse's falsetto voice especially during the title track (track 5) and The Pills featuring Yoo Soo Kim on back vocals. SouthSide also recomends checking out the rockin' hint of acoustic country heard in track 7 - My Moonshine Shoes. She'll be reviewing Jesse W. Johnson when he performs live on stage July 28 at The Abbey Pub.

It's All A Show
The Prep School Tragedy

School is now back in session, blogspot readers, at this rockin' prep school of hardcore industrial/electronic music. Come attend class with the lyrical MC faculty, cheer squad, students and of course Wolfie of The Prep School Tragedy while listening to their debut CD - It's All A Show. This twelve-track CD features two of SouthSide's favorite songs Sedqution (pronounced "seduction" - track 2) and Thought I Toldja (track 8). Though not really featuring the entire band on this album, this CD still rocks with its two main members Tran Q (Benn Guy) and Ignited (Michael Hodes) but TPST live shows certainly have rocked the local stages around town with the painted zombified students (the band behind the metal-tastic hardcore sound and music) and cheer squad. Real school was never "fun" with tracks like 5 - What Have I Become (featuring hardcore metal riffs within the energized industrial sound) and 6 - Smokin' That Genius (Sippin' That Bird and 10 - Tearing Me Apart (both tracks featuring hardcore hiphop/lyrical rap with a metal twist). Screamo/metal fans will enjoy listening to track 9 - Watcha Wanna Do.

2011 I AM Fest Official Compilation CD
Various Artists

A local festival featuring independent artists (photography, videography, abstract, modern, et al) and music - hence the I AM Fest name - is the brainchild of Brian Bender (The Branded's front man, Elbo Room's Talent Buyer and Sound Guy, Jack of all Trades) and the original Chicago Noise Machine bands in which the first show featured 25 musicians/bands on two rockin' stages at Congress Theatre in June 2009. Now returning to House of Blues again for its third anniversary show which will feature eight main bands plus the two winners of this year's Battle of the Bands as well as local artisans and crafters during this one-day all ages show. The 2011 Compilation CD gives the listener a tiny two-track sample by each of the eight main bands such as Finley Knight (experimental/ambient rock), Workout Music (pop/alernative), Jip Jop (Soul/funk/jazz rock fusion) and On Your Marx (contemporary reggae/ska) ... a variety mix of what's rockin' Chicago's local scene (and SouthSide's adventures) around town. This fee compilation CD will be available during I AM Fest (happening Saturday Aug 27 at 2p) and at Elbo Room afterwards.

Grayson (Australia)

Currently in the middle of his "66 Days on Route 66" tour, Aussie singer/songwriter Grayson recently rocked the Elbo Room acoustic stage with a few songs off his latest CD - Chronology. Blogspot readers can read the interview/review here - This thirteen-track CD features the amplified side to songs The Rock 'n' (track 1), The Runway (track 12) and Time Machine (track 13) while introducing her to others like Better (track 4) and Hurry Up November (track 11) in which SouthSide couldn't wait for that month to come when she listened to it during last's weeks heat wave. Grayson's song also feature upbeat tempo and energetic rhythms within catchy pop/alternative sound however the three songs mentioned earlier sound better (in her opinion) in their acoustic form since his falsetto vocals emotionally expressed the words behind the lyrics. Still, within the recorded version, this artist does retain that sense of sincerity and believability in his voice especially during Ship (track 5) as well as a sense of romantic tenderness in Don't Just Close Your Eyes (track 9). Visit his Facebook page dedicated to his Route 66 tour for the latests news about his American travels at

SouthSide has more CD reviews on the way, blogspot readers. So stay tune...

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

27 Jul 11 - CJ Ramone preview

Hey, blogspot readers, here's another exciting show rockin' The Abbey Pub next month in which SouthSide will be there reviewing for the blog. Punk Rock legend, CJ Ramone, best known as bassist for The Ramones, will be performing an all- Ramones set on August 5!

Also rockin' the stage with him will be Ramones producer Daniel Rey. Expect to hear such classic Ramone songs like Rock and Roll High School, Sheena Is A Punk Rocker, I Wanna Be Sedated (SouthSide's all-time favorite Ramones' song) and I Don't Want To Grow Up (another one of SouthSide's favorites). Hearing them again (and the first time live for this reviewer) will bring back a lot of teen memories for SouthSide as well as for a lot of Ramones fans.

Plus the lineup will feature hardcore metal punk artist Johnny Vomit, rebel/punk band Vortis, local punk band Spare Change and Kobanes. One hot exciting lineup that should rival Lollapalooza's opening night, blogspot readers.

Doors for this 21+ show will open at 8p / show starts 9p

Tickets are $12 advance / $15 door

For more information about this show, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

26 Jul 11 - The Dead Superheroes Orchestra preview

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's has an exclusive preview of a band just for you. Actually's not really a band. More like a thirty piece Gothic rock orchestra known as The Dead Superheroes Orchestra and they (along with a Russian folk choir and other vocalists) will be headlining The Abbey Pub this Friday July 29. Last night, this reviewer attended one of Dead's final rehearsals before the big night meeting composer/guitarist/vocalist Mark and drummer John. With the rest of the orchestra practicing elsewhere, this gave SouthSide an intimate look and feel of the orchestra acoustically as well as a sneak peek of what will be featured during the 75 minute set. And after hearing the semi-acoustic version of The Dead Superheroes Orchestra, she cannot wait to see the full production rockin' the stage and balcony (where the choir and vocalists will be stationed) of The Abbey.

You see, blogspot readers, this Orchestra (given its name) isn't like your ordinary phillharmonic or Chicago Symphony Orchestra though it does contain certain elements such as a stringed quartet and epic-sounding compositions full of melodies, staccatos, clips and a classical vocalist. What sets this Orchestra apart from all others is the Gothic nature and dark themes of death and grief hauntingly written as a musical. And composer, Mark Winton has beautifully captured it within his music. Before practice, she asked what inspired him to began an orchestra of this unique magnitude to which he stated his time studying music composition at University of Chicago and for a year with a reknown Polish composer ...also he wrote a narrative ballet however he's more into dark rock and Gothic music in the style of HIM, Vast and Rasputina (coincidentially The Dead Superheroes Orchestra opened for them last year at The Abbey, blogspot readers).

Mark and John then performed a few song selections for SouthSide giving her a tiny acoustic sampe of Dead's music and sound. She enjoyed the mythological themes (channeling Greek and a hint of Dante) within the melodic The Dream but on the flipside, That Sunday featured a harder but intense rock tone. Both songs are off Dead's first CD - I'll Spend My Nights in the Graveyard. This reviewer easily picked on the elements of Dead's storytelling musical when Mark sang in third person or as the character as heard in The Year Before I Turned 13 (off the new CD - The Last Superhero). Plus they also performed a song from Mark's next musical composition which has a Mary Shelly's Frankenstein-like theme about a man who loses his daughter due to a fire and tries to rebuild her body part by body part. The song from this composition, Vex, featured some heart-wrenching emotions of grief, sadness and the sense of not being able to find comfort after a tragic loss heard within Mark's intense vocal style. He was recently awarded a Community Arts Assistance Program (CAAP) from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs that will be used to record and produce the full length (12 tracks) version of his Frankenstein story (with a pending release date for December), blogspot readers. After listening to the zany side of Dead Superheroes in its Overture to The Last Superhero, this reviewer was looking forward to the full scale performance happening Friday with the rest of orchestra and choir.

SouthSide highly suggests grabbing a copy of Dead Superheroes' current CD titled I'll Spend My Nights in the Graveyard (grey CD) and picking up the new one, The Last Superhero (red CD). However, when listening to both, you might get the sense the story (or song order) is incorrect ...and you would be right. Yet playing the new CD in the reverse order (3, 2, and 1) and then listening to current CD in this order 3, 1 and 2, you'll hear the story of The Last Superhero. Or better yet, head to The Abbey Friday to witness the entire 1st Act of The Dead Superheroes Orchestra's live production with SouthSide.

For more information about The Dead Superheroes Orchestra, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

25 Jul 11

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's rockin' around town on a Monday night at Lakeview's popular venue for local music. At Elbo Room, she's groovin' to the cool island breeze reggae/ska sounds with an eclectic twist by Jameson & the Sordid Seeds (MT). What made this band's reggae different from what this reviewer has seen and heard? They added an element of guitar rock riff within the core vibe of the reggae/ska music thus giving it an edgier sound at certain moments inside each song. Plus that same edgier sound gave Jameson's upbeat reggae tempo more definition as well as melodic rock riffs off the dirty electric chords.

This reviewer thoroughly enjoyed groovin' to the danceable beats amidst the vibrant sound especially when the rock elements were tossed in the mix. It certainly took Jameson's sound and vibe to another level of enjoyment. For example, listen to Brotherman which rocked down the stage with its intense dirty chords within the ska sound. Yet there was also a funky reggae side to this Montana band too. Check out Jameson's homage to the godfather of soul, James Brown. Also this band featured dynamic but deep falsetto vocals by front man Brent and the way he vividly popped the words inside the lyrics. At times he wowed the ears with a powerful display of an emotionally charged voice especially heard in Brother Man. Even while the band played in a downtempo ska groove, his vocals were allowed to take the spotlight totally melting the microphone with emotionally charged falsettos as heard in I Got Soul (What Ya Got West Coast) and closer, Suicide Mission.

SouthSide highly suggests catching this reggae/ska-rock soundwave by Jameson and the Sordid Seeds while they're currently on tour, blogspot readers. Though remotely far from the nearest Caribbean island, this band has vividly captured the lively upbeat reggae/ska sound with an added spice of rock. Visit or for more information and music.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, July 25, 2011

August 2011

Hey, blogspot readers, the dog days of summer has arrived along with First Day of School for an unhappy SouthSide kid at home. Plus there's more happening around town than the annual big-ticketed Lolla festival in which this reviewer highly suggests you check out.

Aug 1 - Aug 4: SouthSide's "disappearing" for a few days with's a secret.

Aug 5 - 7 - Beatles fans unite! There's a fest exclusively just for you happening at Hyatt Regency O'Hare (9300 Bryn Mawr, Rosemont, IL - off the Rosemont CTA Blue Line stop) featuring Henry McCullough (legendary guitarsit who played with Wings, Joe Cocker), Peter Asher, Joey Molland, and Mark Hudson. Admission for all three days are $96. One day rate for Friday, August 5 is $30, Saturday or Sunday's admission is $45. Other pricings, including combo days and for children, can be found on the web site, For more information on The Fest, please call 866-THE-FEST between 8 and 4PM Chicago time.

Aug 5 - Want to attend a really rockin' Lolla afterparty? Then head to Cubby Bear (Wrigleyville) for its Unofficially Official Lolla Afterparty to see SouthSide's friends The Branded and V Is For Villains rock the stage.
21+ show

Aug 7 - Lolla maybe winding down at the lakefront but SouthSide will be rockin' with The Prids from Portland, OR at Darkroom (West Town neighborhood). They're currently on tour in support of the latest album - Chronosynclastic featuring songs like Waste Our Time and Fragile. Visit for more music and tour details.

Aug 11 - Friends, River James will be in town rockin' Panchos (located near the California CTA Blue line stop) meanwhile over at The Abbey, friends Gag Order will be partying during their CD release show featuring Daemon Familiar, Deadlands, and The Day Lewis.

Aug 12 - 14 - There will be a revolution but it won't be televised, blogspot readers. The Local Music Revolution will be in control during this three-day weekend at Metro featuring bands like The Last Vegas, Blackbox, The Frantic and AM Taxi (on Aug 12), Makeshift Prodigy, Bambi Raptor and Trainwreck Symphony (on Aug 13 - all ages show) and Five Oh First, Third Times A Charm and The Employees (on Aug 14). Also happening on Aug 13, there will be an open forum about the status local music in Chicago which starts at 12p. SouthSide promises to cover as much of this revolution as she possibly can. For tickets and other information, visit

Aug 18 - SouthSide will be rockin' The Abbey with her friends, The Polkaholics and MC Frontalot, the godfather of nerdcore rap, in support of his new album - Solved. Also appearing on stage will be Brandon Patton. show starts at 8:30p / 21+ / $10 adv/$12 door.

Aug 19 - The Beat Kitchen is the place to be seen and to rock with SouthSide's friends Bassel & The Supernaturals along with The Future Laureates, The Hand Grenades and Tree. 21+ show / $8.

Aug 20 - SouthSide completes this fun weekend with a punk rock show at The Bottom Lounge when she attends The Dwarves 25th Anniversary show. It's billed as a celebration "...of the most bizarre and misunderstood
punk rock band of all time..." This band will also be making stops in Austin, Dallas, St. Louis (just to name of few tour cities) before coming to Chicago in support of new CD The Dwarves Are Born Again that features favorite heroes from the Dwarves long and twisted saga - Blag the Ripper, HeWhoCanNotBeNamed, Rex Everything and a cast of thousands return to crush the ears of a desperate public. Sounds like a rockin' fun time, blogspot readers. Visit for more tour information.

Aug 25 - Check out SouthSide's friends Modern Day Rippers with Something Fierce and The Cute Lepers rockin' the Beat Kitchen stage.

Aug 27 - SouthSide (and special guests) will be attending the 3rd Annual I AM (Independent Arts and Music) Festival rockin' House Of Blues from 2p - 10:30p. The lineup for this all ages show will feature friends Workout Music, Finley Knight, Mason's Case, On Your Marx, and Kelsey Montanez (just to name a few) as well as the two winners of the I AM Fest Battle of the Bands (in which this reviewer heard had some fierce competition this year). Tickets are now available through ticketmaster. Visit for more details.

Plus afterwards, SouthSide will be partying at Elbo Room for the I AM Fest Afterparty.

Aug 28 - Friend Jamie Kent will be dropping a compilation album - Valley Rising during an epic performance at The Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton MA (7pm). It will showcase all 12 artists and two of their best songs featured on the compilation. Visit for more details. Also he's on tour during the month of August too, blogspot readers. Visit

Also happening this month, Urban Folk Circuit (details as they come to SouthSide).

Until next time, support your local scene,

22 Jul 11

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's in shape to handle one busy HOT night of music around town. And this has never been attempted before. She's going for the record - covering not two but three shows! Her first stop of the evening will take her to a free music concert at Horner Park (located Montrose and California) before dashing away for one love, peace and harmony at The Hideout then ending the night at Elbo Room for some raunchy music and stormy fun. Busy night indeed ...however will she be able to do all three shows? Read on and find out...

It was a beautiful evening to partake good company and rockin' music in the park, blogspot readers. SouthSide highly suggests spending your summer nights under the starry glow of the Summer Concert Series 2011 sponsored by the Horner Park Advisory Council. Through the months of June, July and August, these all-ages shows at Ravenswood Manor and Horner Parks have introduced neighborhood residents to a variety of local music for nearly 20yrs. For example, tonight's lineup featured melodic guitar rock by The Second and vibrant Brit pop/rock by The Bright White. In August, the series moves back to Ravenswood Manor Park on Sundays featuring more music by Bossa Tres and Midwest Young Artists. For more information, visit

"...we just want to say 'hi' to the dancing baby..." ~ The Second

Open with a rockin' yet lively tempo to put the audience in the mood for melodic music, The Second ( popped with a refreshing cool sound and wowed the ears with sincerity heard in front man's (Barry) vocals. This band had the park groovin' to the tune of its three guitars providing danceable rhtyhms under melodies that had vibrant energy and high momentum even while in a downtempo pace as heard within their third song or during Golden. SouthSide felt the dynamic falsetto range off the lyrics especially during We Can Be Warm in which he vividly brought the poetic words to life. Or when he was being expressive with his emotions were meant to feel the words dripping from his mouth not just hear them. Also recommended for listening Effort for April and The Curtain Fall (off The Second's upcoming 1st album).

Meanwhile, SouthSide was only able to stay for a couple of songs by her friends, The Bright White before having to head for the show at The Hideout. However, from the little she heard (despite some sound difficulties), the park concertgoers were in for a special treat. This band's known for its homage to Brit pop/rock but with more of modern American twist featuring lively rhythms and dynamically powerful vocals by front man, Matthew, who brought the heartfelt lyrics to life. Only hearing one of her favorite songs, Refugees, SouthSide also suggests listening to We Are More Than Animals and Upon The Wall off Bright's Until Then album. This reviewer will have a chance to fully review this rockin' band again in September. More details as they come, blogspot readers, but in the meantime visit for more music and information.

"...this is a stick up ...we're holding this stage hostage..."

It's SouthSide's famous 3 1/2 mile (give or take) mad dash across town to North River Industrial Park where The Hideout is located. There, the party was already in full swing with DJRC spinning hot yet soulfully funky classics and new funk/soul sounds to put the entire venue in the mood for tonight's hot lineup featuring good friends, Akasha, and JT & the Clouds. This reviewer, sadly, wasn't able to stick around for JT's headlining set however she might be able to catch his Northcenter performance happening next month.

It was an extra special Akasha performance, blogspot readers, at The Hideout. Tonight, this local reggae/ska band paid tribute to the life and work of Gregory Issacs (July 1951 - October 2010) during their The Cool Ruler Overture mixtape release set. Throughout this one of a kind show, many instantly felt the rollin' waves of the ocean from Akasha's lively yet funky sound that drifted endlessly thoughout the venue. With its lively tempo and Cosmos' expressiveness (bodily and vocally) on lyrics, you could definitely sense the seeds of a spiritual revolution being planted tonight. Akasha's songs and music, though inspiring a dance revolution near the front of the stage, instilled the basic message of life to the crowd - love, peace, harmony, and freedom. This show also featured their cover versions of Issacs' songs like Material Man and Rumours (off the bew Overture album) as well as fan favorites like Hammer (the perfect time to observe Cosmos being at his expressive best as he imitates hammering motion while singing) and Warm My Bones (one of many instances in which he's lyrically expressive wowing the crowd with a dynamic vocal display. Without breaking the constant flow of their reggae/ska momentum, time seemed to fly by fast when you're too busy dancing and enjoying Akasha's melodic vibe and rhythmic island beat. This band certainly kept every mind, body and soul occupied with happy thoughts and inspiration especially during the closing song, Save Your Grace - "...there's truth in all..." Visit for when this band and its revolutionizing reggae sound will be rockin' a venue again. Also head to the Double Door starting this Sunday (July 31) for Simmer Down Sundays featuring Akasha. It's a FREE show however 21+ only.

Well, blogspot readers, SouthSide was victorious! After leaving The Hideout, it was another mad dash across town to Lakeview for her final stop of the night. Elbo Room was already rockin' upstairs with A Thousand Julys' ( performance meanwhile downstairs SouthSide's good friends, Your Little Ponies ( were re-united for a special acoustic set. Despite missing most of their performance, she did get there in time to hear the closing song but she's probably certain they entertained the crowd with favorites such as Dude, Chocolate Cake, One Finger and Pangea. Oops, SouthSide forgot to warn you - if you haven't seen or heard YLP's live performances or music, then you might need some earplugs ...especially young kids. This band tends to lean heavily on the sexually explicit side of rock within their lyrics which could make any virgin and religious person blush in both places. Also adding her own spin to the late night raunchy theme of the night was headliner Leigh Evin McCullough & the Low Down ( who claimed she slept each member of the YLP to get the show. She's only kidding, blogspot readers. She rocked out the basement lounge with her fan favorite, Masturbating as well as Forget About It and Fire on a Rope plus premiering new song - Grace.

Wow, what a night...

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, July 22, 2011

21 Jul 11 - Calendar Updates & Tour News

Hey, blogspot readers, summer is NOT over yet until the last guitar riff fades into memory. There's plenty of life rockin' the music scene near and far in which SouthSide wants you to be aware of. Check some of the following bands/artists heading your way soon...

If you're not doing anything on July 27, then head to Lincoln Hall (near Lincoln and Fullerton in Lincoln Park) for this show featuring former members of Catfish Haven and Scotland Yard Gospel Choir now known as The Damn Choir with Good Evening and Little Tybee (from Atlanta, GA) headlining. The show starts at 9p / $8 / 18+.

Also on July 29 rockin' Fitzgerald's (in Berwyn, IL) will be Honeytribe, a blues-rock trio based in St. Louis, and their songs from the latest album - Space Age Blues which was recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis. Besides the trio, Devon Allman, George Potsos, and Gabriel Strange, this album also features some well-known musicians such as Huey Lewis (on harmonica), Bobby Yang (on violin) and Rick Steff (on keyboards).
For more information about the show, visit

Gaelic Storm is blowing their way with another fantastical tour across the US (and France) this July, August and September. After rockin' the stage at this year's Summerfest in Milwaukee and the Irish American Center in Chicago, this group will be heading to The Vogue (in Cleveland on July 28th) and Dayton Celtic Festival (in Dayton to close out the month) as well as performing in Kalamazoo, MI, Dublin, OH and Paimpol, France - just to name a few in August and Omaha, NE, Pittsburgh, PA and Boothbay Harbor, ME in September.

ALSO, you can sail away with Gaelic Storm on Rombello from September 29 to October 3, 2011. For more information about the tour and the cruise, visit

Heads up, my east coast blogspot readers, SouthSide's good friends, Umphrey's McGee, will be touring your way this September starting with 2 two shows at 9:30 Club (in Washington D.C.) Sept 2 and 3. Other tour cities include Brooklyn, NY, Hancock, NY and Northampton, MA before ending at Wilmington, NC in support of their Death By Stereo album (debuting on Sept 13). For more information about the tour, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

16 Jul 11

"...we're just bastards..." ~ Dashing Assassins

Hey, blogspot readers, it's another HOT weekend around town. With so many festivals and event rockin' the scene, SouthSide took a break from the heat inside Double Door to rock out with Hail The Black Dragons and Dashing Assassins featuring Moses Gun and Skinwalker. Sadly, SouthSide was unable to stay for Skinwalker's headlining performance but will catch them soon another show for review.

The set by Moses Gun had its thrills and chills especially during its opening instrumental piece, Ashley, to kick off tonight's lineup. However that's all it basically had, blogspot readers, since the vocals didn't really match the fierceness and intensity of the music heard. SouthSide was looking to hear some angst/frustration from its front man, Rick (also on guitar) to make the lyrics expressively pop to life ...more dynamic to make the ears bleeds while listening to the words. This reviewer found none of that throughout Moses' set. Yes, she did enjoy the hardcore melodic vibe of their rock sound ...the intense rises and falls within the heart-pounding tempos. None of that was lacking during, Phlox, Crumble Away and closer Walk It Off. Moses made sure the audience was completely immersed into its rock music. Yet, it was the vocals where it truly mattered to vividly express the sentiments written inside the lyrics in which she felt the vocalist was holding back his truest, deepest feelings. This reviewer suggests getting more in tuned to the words to draw out the emotions. For more information about Moses Gun, visit

What does Lizard, Dragons and space rock have in common? Well, if you were at Double Door, you would have seen SouthSide's good friends, Hail The Black Dragons rockin' the stage featuring guitarist extraordinare, Lizard (who also sometimes jams with The Flabby Hoffman Trio). This band and its charismatic front man/guitarist, Aston, had fans immersed into the Dragons hardcore space rock sound though minus the space fx that usually accompanies the music which SouthSide misses terribly. Yet, fans will enjoy the metal-tastic trio (sometimes quartet if adding Aston after certain songs) of guitars dazzling the mind and ears with some intense and fierce sound ...plenty of chord/riff changes (especially during Spectro, Labyrintho, Pantheono that features part of Wings of Hyperion within the song). Much of the Dragons' sound as well as music is epic. So expect to hear long extended instrumental bridges or recognizable themes (i.e. a Batman-like guitar riff in Female Archetype). Besides performing fan favorites like Radio to Mission Control and Systema Nova (another epic rock song to blast you away to the nether reaches of a distant rock universe), SouthSide enjoyed hearing the elecrtic rock side of this band when they performed By The Light of the Electric Moon (or Elektra according to the Dragons' set list). She liked how Aston's vocals gave off that faraway distant feeling of listening to a recorded message from deep space amidst the straight guitar rock sound. Or check out Blues - their electric/blues rock song. However tonight it was a rarity to hear them perform a cover in which the Dragons paid homage to Ziggy Stardust performing Moonage Daydream. This classic David Bowie song was truly the highlight for SouthSide that spotlighted Dragons' rock style as well as Aston's multi-vocal talent. For more information about Hail The Black Dragons, visit

SouthSide's sad to inform you, blogspot readers, that the band known as WASTE is no more but don't despair. Another arose like the phoenix making its debut on the Double Door stage as Dashing Assassins. If expecting the former band incarnation and sound within the new band, then you're only going to get one half of that equation. Dashing features former members of WASTE, Trading Brains, Misguided Youth and Humboldt Lagoon but with more a harder guitar rock sound and energy edgier vibe off the riffs and Roberto (on lead vocals) being more expressive within the lyrics. This quartet definitely as well as instensely rocked the stage in front of a crowd of loyal fans and supporters. SouthSide enjoyed the new look (all looking so dashing in their matching black attire) and feel of Dashing yet there were moments in which the feedback during the 3rd song was a little strong on the ears and backing vocals were somewhat off. Still that was esily overshadowed by the twitterpating guitar riffs ...sometimes having that gritty sound as heard in Boneyard and High Society. And amidst this new sound was Roberto giving his vocals a workout like SouthSide has never heard him do before. She could vividly hear the angst/frustration now than what he did during WASTE which sparked bouts of band-fan momentum during this set. Even while performing a "mellow" song titled The Lost, one should listen out for the intense falsetto range within Roberto's voice while the band's in a downtempo alternative rock sound (though not being able to hear the backing vocals). Overall, blogspot readers, Dashing Assassins is a keeper for its diverse yet raw intense guitar rock and dynamic vocals. SouthSide highly recommends getting to know them at their next show. For more information and music, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

SouthSide Exclusive Interview with Sid Yiddish

Sid Yiddish ...the other masked man of the local scene, honorary son of Denmark, America's Got Talent contestant and pirate? Yes, blogspot readers, he's a pirate too. This "celebrity" throat singer has left a sizable imprint in recent months though he contends that he's "...observant, faithful, intense, beyond comprehension and [at times] methodical..." Sounds like his online profile - just kidding. Yet in so many words, it's only Sid being modest about himself. To be honest, SouthSide barely peeled through the many layers that truly defines her friend, Sid Yiddish. Recently this reviewer traveled to Evanston, IL to discover more about her friend from how did he get started and his love for Denmark to life beyond his America's Got Talent appearance a whole lot more never revealed until now.

After a mini tour of downtown Evanston which included a small trip down memory lane into Sid's young life, SouthSide instantly jumped into her first question - who is Sid Yiddish? He simply answered he "...could be your worst nightmare..." who's "...not always listening to what you want to hear..." but "...wants you to think about what you're doing, thinking, saying, et al..." On the flipside, Sid has his ways of being complicated man who likes to challenge people and in turn, be challenged. And don't be surprised if you see a man holding an intense conversation with himself riding the "L" (elevated) train next to you - that might be Sid Yiddish. Sid says he "...blends in like everyday people ...[I'm] an 'average' guy sort of..." despite constantly being recognized on the street after his America's Got Talent stint (more about that later on). Still he thinks of himself as "...plain and simple ...[somewhat] complez with many layers..." as well as "...[an] open-minded individual ...thinking outside of the box..." Yes, blogspot readers, Sid's really out there ...sometimes.

Now that SouthSide got a glimpse of who is Sid Yiddish, she wanted to know how the Sid character get its start. However, first she had to swear to keep a few things off record which included her interviewee's real name. Even masked men (i.e. The Lone Ranger, Flabby Hoffman, Sid...) need to keep their real identities private but this reviewer was granted a peek of Sid's driver's license. Sid, named after his middle name - Sidney, before becoming the Sid Yiddish we now know him was a performer under his real name for approximately 10 to 15yrs. He did acts which incorporated music with his spoken word poetry (though that wasn't really new back in 1995) sometimes adding whacky things every so often until he was banned. For seven years, the Bucktown Arts Fair barred Sid from performing after deeming his poem "Performance" sexually offensive for a family event. According to Sid, there was nothing sexually offensive about it. Today, you can hear part of that poem within his longer piece titled "Coming Up For Air".

Fast forward, blogspot readers, to June 4, 2004 - that date means something special to Sid ...the actual day when the Sid Yiddish character was "born". By this time, he was doing experimental art at open mic shows and testing his "new" craft that would have included an audience member holding a tape measure or a piece of string from a ball of yarn while he recited poetry. The audience's reaction to his eccentricism while being amidst his eclectic art was what he was seeking. He truly moved deeper into his craft when performing at Caribou Coffee (in Arlington Heights) in which he hosted a game called "Pin The Quote On (Ronald) Reagan's Mouth". The prizes - Reagan bumper sticker and a Roosevelt dime (as consolation prize since the government was thinking about replacing Roosevelt with Reagan's face on the ten-cent piece). However, it didn't bode well for Sid since he was amongst the heart of Republican country once again, he was banned from performing there even though the audience liked the game. Don't despair, blogspot readers, there's a silver lining to this story. He did get the chance to perform the game again this time at No Exit during its Be Here Now show with new prizes - canisters of Zoloft-flavored Jelly Bellies. The game faired well with the audience with it ending in a tie between two contestants Sid asked them a tie-breaking question for the win - what was Paul McCartney's middle name? (Hint - If you haven't figured it out, then re-read the question again). Yet why move from straight poetry to something more outrageously eclectic? Sid answered "...was sick of the poetry circuit I retired from the scene until Mykel Board dragged me out of retirement..." And the rest, they say, is history.

So what makes Sid Yiddish unique and different? Well, the most obvious would be his costume yet there's more to that answer, blogspot readers, "...[It's] the approach to people ...that I'm not afraid to perform what I perform..." replied Sid. He thinks of his Sid character as a modern age vaudevillian even though he's not but a "...master of all trades [ie singer, dancer, et al]..." Sid enjoys working with people on a personal level "...getting everyone and everything involved and react to what he does..." during a performance. Basically, Sid Yiddish likes pushing the envelope to shock and awe you, blogspot readers however currently those "shock and awe" days are long gone.

After a quick feeding the parking meter break, SouthSide was curious about how Sid Yiddish and the other masked man of the local scene, Flabby Hoffman, met. Well, there's the unabridged version where they met in a dark alley somewhere in Chicago. Then there's the abridged version in which Sid doesn't really remember the entire story but here's what he remembers. They met back in 2002 at Phyllis' Musical Inn (located in Wicker Park) when he (Sid) was still performing under his real name. The two kept running into each other here and there at different performances until finally joining The Flabby Hoffman Trio full-time. According to Sid, their "true hollywood" story of the historic meeting " has to be legendary...". However he did recall a show in which Flabby asked him to do featuring his shofar and a bunch of Furbys (fuzzy mechanical toys that moved to sound) called "The Suite for Furbys on Shofar in D Minor". Funny thing about this performance - everyone remembers it because Sid was on his stomach blowing into his shofar to make the Furbys move (on a personal note, Sid has a collection of them - 21 in all ...only 14 are workable). Also here's another interesting fact about Sid Yiddish. He attracts the ladies according proud members of The Flabby Hoffman Trio. "...I feel I don't because I'm not really trying..." says Sid humbly. Truth be told, blogspot readers, SouthSide has seen Sid in action during her review of The Flabby Hoffman Trio and he does attract the ladies ...the recent Peace Fest in Lincoln Park is good example.

Besides the mask and costume, Sid Yiddish is well-known for his pop culture Haikus which are recited in between songs during a Flabby Hoffman Trio performance. SouthSide asked him two questions about his Haikus - where does he get the inspiration and has he written one about himself. Before answering her questions, this reviewer was privied to an exclusive secret about his Haikus ...sorry, it was said off record and will not be revealed here. Sid did mention that his Haikus are "...meant to provoke the listener a little bit make you think about the possibilities..." adding they're "...meant to perspire ...or maybe expire ...and yes, some are sexual in nature..." Even Sid gets a kick out of them while his Haiku poetry before and during a performance "...they're funny ...out of whack..." due some of the titles used. Sid thinks there's one about himself in his many Haikus written however he didn't say which one, blogspot readers. SouthSide suppose that will remain a mystery ...for now.

SouthSide did wonder if there's any controversal subject (albeit religion, race, sex, etc) that Sid Yiddish will not touch in his Haikus. Ha! There's nothing kept untouched in his pop culture poetry ...he covers EVERYTHING, blogspot readers, and EVERYBODY. She asked him if he was trying to inform the masses through his political satirism. "...Yes and no ...both ...trying to inform and trying to get people to think..." says Sid. Finally, SouthSide wondered if he'll ever write one about President Obama and/or the state of the US economy. At first, there was no comment from Sid Yiddish but he then replied "...anything is possible ...time will tell..." stating "...honestly, he's [President Obama] doing everything he can to fix the economy..." This led SouthSide to ask Sid if he thinks his pop culture Haikus are anti-American which is quite favorable in certain European countries. "...Of course, everything is anti-American ...Americans are really rude..." answers Sid, "...if you have an opportunity, they'll take it from you..." It's probably the reason why Sid loves Europe especially his native "homeland", Denmark where he has found an appreciation for his craft and what he does as a performer. Sid has fondness for Denmark ...loves the country and its people even on July 4, he felt more like a Dane than an American. "...once outside your [border], you discover it's crap..."

Speaking of Denmark, blogspot readers, believe or not, Sid does have a HUGE following over there. So how did Sid and this country (actually The Clean Boys) get joined at the hip? Back in 2007, a musician named Pedro Da Palma (lead singer/bassist of The Clean Boys) was searching on YouTube for Mykel Board and came across Sid Yiddish within a video. After posting a comment, they communicated with each other until hooking up over Skype for the Chicago Calling Festival featuring Sid and The Clean Boys (7 hour time difference between Chicago and Denmark)despite having some technical problems. Fast forward to 2009 when Sid and The Clean Boys hooked up again in which the band scored the music to his poetry "...they're able to understand what I wanted over Skype ...they really studied the Sid Yiddish character..." Though having some technical complications, they were able to do another Chicago Calling show. During another performance, the Clean Boys were projected onto a screen behind Sid as if they were there in person with him on stage. It led to a Sid Yiddish & The Clean Boys Safari Freakshow Adventure tour, blogspot readers, where he traveled to Korsor, Denmark after recording an album with the Danish band. This was the part of the interview in which SouthSide wished she had videotaped because he had SO many tales to tell about his travels in Denmark (i.e. the long train journey from Copenhagen to Korsor to Aarhus) and Germany (his visit to Hamburg) ...the wonderful people he met and so much more.

Now it's time for SouthSide to tell a tale of how Sid Yiddish got an appearance on America's Got Talent. She reviewed one of Flabby Hoffman's Caravan show which featured Sid Yiddish and his pop culture Haikus as well as his infamous talent for throat singing. The review caught the attention of the executives and producers at America's Got Talent and one, Shannon, requested SouthSide's help in contacting him (and a few others mentioned in the review) to audition. So what has been life like since his AGT stint recently aired on television for Sid Yiddish? "...CRAZY..." says Sid "'s been unbelieveable ...NUTS..." He was able to see two previews before the actual air date of the episode featuring him yet he had a performance on the day when it shown on tv. Like Sid, SouthSide missed seeing it too because she was covering a show. He showed her the saved text messages from friends and those who saw the episode and said that when he went online, there were so many messages waiting for him "...propelled me to the outer stratosphere..." Since that appearance, Sid's Facebook friendships has jumped considerably while he's adjusting to the new found "celebrity" status though he likes to stay in the background. Believe it or not, blogspot readers, Sid Yiddish is a shy person. So will he try out for another AGT appearance? Perhaps ...his biggest supporters, Tom Repetny (of Monk 9 and Flabby Hoffman think he should meanwhile the fans have told him that he should have been picked to go to Las Vegas. Sid stated the audition was hard especially when there's (over) one thousand people jeering and booing at him " was very frightening ...I wanted to give it all up..." and he didn't want to do another performance because he was "...afraid of getting heckled again..." However with a little encouragement and help from his friends, Sid returned to the stage ...stronger and better than ever, blogspot readers.

To wrap up this extraordinary interview, SouthSide and Sid briefly discussed his thoughts about the local scene (i.e. music, art, et al) in which he described it to be a "vegetable garden" because we're our own farmers adding a piece into the community in our own way. To him, this isn't a "scene" pre se, blogspot readers. "...are we good? yes, when we come together collectively ...when we get rid of the exclusivity (i.e. cliques)'s the fights that kills the scene..." In his opinion, Chicago is conservative - we don't follow any set trends like they do in New York and Los Angeles "...we do our own thing..." Then he gave SouthSide an exclusive about the next Sid Yiddish adventure in which it will be a cultural exchange with his friend Vagn Remme from Denmark. Though it's still in the planning stages, he disclosed that Vagn will come here to perform while Sid will go to Denmark to do the same however he did say there's a possibility that he won't return. That's how much he loves Denmark. Plus there's in the works a Danish/English book of poetry to be published. Then there's his AGT-like talent show happening soon, blogspot readers, featuring Aaron Morales and Mark Pervrye as judges with a special 3rd judge not revealed at the time of this interview. Of course, Sid will be hosting in full costume as bands compete for a five hundred dollar ($500) prize. And that's not all ...Sid has a band, The Candystore Henchmen and two new CDs coming out soon.

Wow! What an interview, blogspot readers, longest one to date (over 4 hours at Panera Bread). After thanking SouthSide for the honor of being interviewed and her 100th scheduled event, Sid ended with some parting advice for all "...don't give into pressure ...follow your passions and make yourself into something..."

For more information about Sid Yiddish and where he will be spouting his pop culture Haikus, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, July 18, 2011

15 Jul 11 - Produce

...I got "weird" for one night... ~ SouthSide

Now, performing next for your music pleasure, blogpot readers, please welcome to the stage ...SouthSide! On Friday evening, this reviewer had the chance to view life from the other side of the stage as a member of Sid Yiddish's Candystore Henchmen. Before mentioning the instruments she played with her fellow Henchmen, you need to understand first that this debut didn't happen on any ordinary "stage" or performance featuring dance and music. Well, blogspot readers, you could say everyone (the audience, musicians and dancers) were part of an innovative experiment in which anyone can expect a spontaneous unexpected occurrence to happen during the show known as Produce.

This unique experimental production combing music with dance and vice versa pit the artists (dancers and musicians - collectively as a whole or individually) "...into peformance situations they might not ordinarily choose..." in front of the audience. In other words, our producers Timothy Russell and Lauren Warnecke, for example could ask a pair of dancers to perform part of their piece to the music of a band and see how both could interpret each other's creative process artistically. That's basically what SouthSide's experience as part of the Henchmen while performing the second out of four series of Produce. "...This dance and music experiment [would] take you inside the creative process and introduce you to seven Midwestern contemporary artists like you've never seen [or heard] them before..." And the amazing thing about this one of a kind production, you actaully didn't know beforehand where it (music, dance or both together) might lead the audience. Everything was spontaneously planned on the producers' end even though most artists had the Produce sets rehearsed.

Tonight's edition of Produce, though a brief early performance, featured dance by Chloe of Fayth Caruso as well as dancers from Jenna Dillon and Drop Shift Dance while on the music side, Existential Pilot, Sam Hertz, The Exponential and Sid Yiddish & His Candystore Henchmen. SouthSide as honorary Henchmen (the first Henchwoman), performed (and sang - a little) with the band on small percussions (shaker bells, maraca) and windshield wipers (yes, actual windshield wipers as drumsticks against the metal bench). What really made this contemporary art experience very different and special from others this reviewer has seen was the audience discussion in between each segments to share thoughts/opinions about the performances. For example after a mini Sid Yiddish hand movement demonstration with the audience and a taste of the music incorporated with the movements, the producers asked the audience for feedback about the music and why some didn't participate. In another example, after the combined dance performance Jenna Dillon's dancers with music featuring Claire DiVizio of Existential Pilot (reading the lyrics written for Jenna's dancers) and Existential Pilot and SouthSide (on windshield wipers), the audience was asked for their opinions about the performance then and prior.

SouthSide (when not performing) thoroughly enjoyed the entire Produce production. She liked the fine examples of modern yet contemporary dance piences by Chloe (though liking the Billie Holliday original track for her dance than The Venetian Snares track used originially) and Jenna Dillon's piece which delved into the emotional side of angst and frustration vividly expressed through the dance movements. Plus the music quite unique in itself featured different vocal tones (vibrato soprano by Claire), rhythms (percussive instruments of all kinds) and melodies that filled the small auditorium-like venue, blogspot readers. What a rush felt when Producer Timothy had all of us (musicians and dancers) performing at the same time truly upping the audience experience to the next level as they traveled an incredible journey via sight and sound for a few minutes.

SouthSide highly recommends spending part of your Friday night this July enjoying the unusually eclectic performances of contemporary music and dance. Produce will run until July 29th at The Drucker Center (1535 N. Dayton) - showtime is at 8p. Admission is between $6 to $8. For more information, visit It's a fun way to introduce youself to the unique side of the contemporary arts, blogspot readers.

Final thoughts - personally SouthSide had a profound experience being on the other of the stage. Participating with Candystore Henchmen was exhilerating while performing solo was somewhat nerve-wrecking at first (since she had to follow the music played while interpreting the dance movements) yet fun. You're probably wondering if SouthSide would perform live again ...perhaps even though performing in front of people (first time in MANY years) isn't easy as it looks...

Until next time, support your local scene,

14 Jul 11

"...get your kicks on Route 66..."

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's rockin' down a historic piece of Americanna along with her new friend, Grayson, from Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. This Aussie singer/songwriter's undertaking an extraordinaary tour across America following the original motorway from Chicago to Los Angeles known as Route 66. His "66 Days on Route 66" tour will be more than just performing gigs at each of his scheduled stops but help promote a different side of the US to Australians ...perhaps inspiring some to "...take the road less traveled..." and see other places besides New York (in which Grayson likens to Sydney).

Though in the beginning stages of his tour, Grayson has so far visited Rockford, IL and Bloomington, IN (as well as downstate Champaign, IL) after spending a couple of days in Chicago which included performances at Red Line Tap (located in Rogers Park) and Elbo Room. When interviewing this artist at Elbo Room, SouthSide asked him to describe his road trip thus far. He replied "...[it's] really cool ...I'm doing all of the driving..." stating he loves Chicago and "...the friendly people..." For him, this tour is almost like going back in time to discover the historic sites and places as well as meeting people (like SouthSide) and hearing their stories along the way. Plus Grayson views it (the tour) as a "...rite of passage..." that he says "...[the] journey will live with me forever..."

During the course of the interview, SouthSide asked Grayson what was the one song should fans listen if unfamiliar with his music. His answer - track 1 off the Chronology album - The Rock 'n' because it's " with catchy hooks and [rhythms] ...can get into your head..." The song, blogspot readers, is about "...compromising..." to which he says "'s something a musician ...everyone can relate to..." the lyrics. The live version of this single, already getting airplay in Australia, featured a powerful display of Grayson's vocals sung in acapella range during his short Elbo Room set. Also performed were songs The Runway (track 12) and Time Machine (track 13) that showed off his take on the American folk/rock genre as well as his smooth falsetto style that pumped emotionally charged vocals into his songs. Grayson's voice has a way of making the lyrics move beyond as mere words to be sung ...they became so sincere and believeable to the ears while within the acoustic surroundings. He does touch on the heart strings at times especially when performing the song Listen - one could clearly hear a bit of vocal angst and frustration while giving off that general feeling everyone should just shut up for a second and listen. Also recommended for listening is his song Fed Up - expressing the heartfelt lyrics amidst a lively tempo yet played very vigorously.

SouthSide then wondered what he hoped to gain from this extraordinary tour experience. Grayson stated it would introduce the American public to a bit of Australia and its musicians especially him since he has a goal in mind. This talented singer/songwriter wants to a piece of that American dream, blogspot readers, and make it here as a professional songwriter. Being very curious what's happening in the music world beyond Chicago's boundaries, SouthSide asked him what's the local scene like in Newcastle to which Grayson answered "...Newcastle has the most musicians in Australia music every night however they're cover bands..." also adding that "...Sydney and Perth has good local scenes too..." One of these days, this reviewer will have to make the journey down under and visit all of her Aussie friends as well as check out the music/art scene too.

Grayson is documenting via video his "66 Days on Route 66" (in which include footage of SouthSide's interview with the artist) in hopes of being picked up by a major or community network. Fans wishing to know or keep up on the latest news as he travels should visit

For more information about Grayson and his music, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

09 Jul 11

"...we're Gidgets Ga Ga ...the other white meat..."

Hey, blogspot readers, this rockin' "work" week concluded with a steamy Saturday outting at The Abbey. SouthSide sought relief from the heat inside the warm Green Room where she chatted briefly with longtime friends, Gidgets Ga Ga and their guests. They were part of the lineup that also featured The Big Strong Men (MN) and local rockers, Wally Dogger with The Westerns opening the show.

Rockin' the stage with lively tempos within a classic English rock sound, SouthSide was excited to see her friends Gidgets Ga Ga - the original Ga Ga before it became monster famous. These trio of rockers somehow managed to put on an energetic rock show which included a rare acoustic moment (due to minor technical difficulties) despite the steamy atmosphere felt inside the venue. In this reviewer's opinion this impromptu moment of performing Angel highlighted the dynamic the vocal power of Mike (Gidgets front man and guitarist) and his raspy falsetto voice while in an acoustically downtempo electric tone. There were other instances in which the audience was treated to his vocal style especially during The Sorry Song where he projected a bit of emotional sincerity thus making the words sound so believeable when singing "...I am truly sorry/yes, I am..." Or listen to Bomb where one could literally feel (besides hear) the frustration dripping from his voice however Gidgets wasn't able to complete the live version of this particular song due to tech difficulties. Yet, that didn't stop or slow down these rockers. They stilll rocked out the stage with other lively tunes such as Belmont (highly charged allegro tempo), Offer Can't Refuse (think The Replacements when listening to this soulful English blues rock song) and closer Hit By A Train (an upbeat tempo featuring catchy guitar hooks though a little serious on the lyrical side but still fun). SouthSide highly suggests checking out her friends Gidgets Ga Ga at their next show. For more information, visit or

From the land of thousand lakes, this rockin' musically diverse group of men brought their wild and planking act to Chicago, blogspot readers, that also included some push-ups too. Oh, Southside should warn you about The Big Strong Men (MN) and their show - expect the unexpected to happen while they rock the stage as well as listening to their songs. You're probably wondering why she would say that about them. Well, let's just say, these Men came out of the gates charging with high strung energy that everyone was instantly hooked onto their music groove in a sense they literally did take control of the show (a nice play on their second song We've Taken Control featuring front man Ben and his pushups). They kept their audience on their toes throughout the performance switching from funky energy to a soulful downtempo R&B sound (She's Gone featuring Ben dynamically wowing the audience with his vocals ...he melted the microphone during his Ray Charles-like tone) to Americana rock (World Get You Down) and a melodic example of English blues rock (Can't Get In). And that's just a tiny sample of what was heard during The Men's set. There was also the funny side to these rockers that featured a humorous tune about soap operas and the things we do for love in Crimes Of Passion or try the latest YouTube sensation with them called "planking" (laying on the ground or object on your stomach) during Still July. What SouthSide liked most about these Big Men was how they rocked the stage with vigorous intensity that at times she didn't know where they were coming or going ...or sometimes a little of both at the same time. That was the basis of their entire set, blogspot readers, which made it fun and very enjoyable with plenty of danceable swing-time music. If you want some of The Big Strong Men in your life, SouthSide highly suggests rockin' with these men at their next scheduled performance ...and bring along your planking moves too. Visit or for more information and music.

After that rousing performance, blogspot readers, SouthSide was ready for rockin' fun with her other trio of friends, Wally Dogger who enjoy being humorous inside their serious lyrics. She recently enjoyed their outdoor show at this year's Peace Fest however for their headlining performance at The Abbey, they did things a little differently. Not really having a ready-made set list for the night, Wally in a fun way winged it by asking the audience song suggestions while performing some of their fan favorites like Tramp Stamp (one jailbait teen you certainly don't want be caught with, fellas) or get a giggle (or not) from the Inside Jokes. Yet if you listen very closely, you shall hear the cruel seriousness as well as some true behind the lyrical meanings while poking fun at life especially during the song Take Your Shit and Leave. During this song, Pauly (front man on bass/keys) vividly emitted plenty of vocal frustration which was also heard off the twitterpating guitar riffs (also listen to You Only Like Me When I'm Leaving). Though it wasn't performed, SouthSide also recommends listening to Alphabet Soup and IT is For Rock Stars. Yet the highlight out of the entire evening came when Wally rocked out the stage with a rousing version of Mott The Hoople's All of The Young Dudes to close out their show had fierce guitar intensity that had SouthSide and audience singing along with the band. This reviewer highly recommends checking out Wally Dogger at their next scheduled performance. Visit or for more information and music

Monday, July 11, 2011

08 Jul 11

It's day three, blogspot readers, and SouthSide's spending part of her Friday night on the off-beaten track for live music. Tonight, she was at The Hideout to see and hear local rockers Roommate seriously perform for a rather mature adult audience. Though not her usual norm of rock or audience, SouthSide highly suggests checking out this band at their next performance happening July 28 at Quenchers.

Featuring a "serious" yet mature tone to their rock/alternative genre, SouthSide had a difficult time entering the complicated music world of Roommate despite performing a lively rhyhmic beat in which she enjoyed. The seriousness of the music was perfectly paired with front man Kent (also on synths and electronic) and his dynamic vocal style. Within his vocals, one could vividly hear the heartfelt emotions behind some of the sentimental meaning (or personal life satire) intricately woven into the lyrics thus making them feel and sound believeable to the ears. He had a unique way of immersing the audience deeper into the experiences or painted imagery he was singing about while passionately voicing such lyrics like "...Jesus save the Jesus freaks..." or "...can't understand why kittens purr/why people cry/no one understands why..."

Yet, it wasn't so "serious" as one would have thought the entire Roommate show to be, blogspot readers. There were a few moments during this opening set in which the band rocked the stage with pockets of "super fun" energetic momentum and melodies despite keeping the lyrics on a tad serious side. However there were also moments when the music (especially on Luther's or Kent's end) overpowered as well as overshadowed the entire band ...not just Kent's vocals due to bad feedback off the monitors. But, the music in its strange way did get the audience to think and care for the hidden, metaphoric double meaning than dancing to the beat while flooding the ears with flowing tones and twinkling sounds.

SouthSide personally couldn't handle the seriousness felt from Roommate's music and lyrics on such a good night to party however she knows there are fans who would enjoy the "mature" older adult rock content. Visit or for more information and music.

Until next time, support your local scene,

07 Jul 11

Hey, blogspot readers, it's day two of this rockin' adventure around town and SouthSide's at Lakeview's hot spot for live local music - Elbo Room. Tonight, this venue featured an eclectic lineup of music performances from a fusion of steel pan/jazz to rock alternative and punk pop. This reviewer was excited to welcome back friends, Honor By August (DC) to the stage as well as meet new friends The Great Barrier Reefs (TN). Though now staying for their entire performance, SouthSide highly suggests checking out the roof top rockers of Kristenpalooza 2011 - Foreign Powder. This energetic quartet rocked the stage with their brand of punk pop rock sound which had a touch of "violent" feel heard in Kirsten's "don't mess with me" vocals. Never had this reviewer's ears heard such venomous spite within a female's voice, blogspot readers ...a voice of frustrated angst that could start riots or even spark a revolution. And tonight, she was the voice of the people who were fed up with things in general. For example, during Power, one could feel her angst permeating throughout the room especially when singing "...can you see me..." meanwhile in Paralyzed Inside, she definitely shined highlighting her dynamic vocal style by emitting the emotions behind the words. Let's not forget the band and the music behind these vocals that perfectly matched her venomous feminine power with some of the hardest punk sound tearing down the stage. As SouthSide mentioned earlier, it was "violent" yet rockin' amidst such fiery energy that you can see as well as hear. Foreign Powder will be bringing their rock sound and vibe to Beat Kitchen on Aug 21 for their CD release show. Visit them at for more information.

Something wondrously in jazzy funk sound is rockin' Nashville's local scene ...and it's definitely not what you expect to hear from the country capital of the world, blogspot readers. The Great Barrier Reefs (TN) rocked the Elbo Room stage following on the heels of another exciting steel pan performance by Jonathan Scales (NC) who by the way is good friends with The Reefs. Unlike Jonathan's fusion of steel pan and rock, this band leaned more on the side of steel pan-jazz fusion and what a fusion it was. The Reefs sound combined a cool island breeze of pan rhythms with the lively groove of jazz that had everyone in the audience hooked onto the energetic melodies wafting throughout the basement lounge. And just like Jonathan, they also had SouthSide enjoying the spirited compositions of unspoken "lyrics" in which she found herself listening closely to the shared "vocal" banter between the steep pan and saxophone with the rest of the band as "backing vocals". This reviewer also liked how The Reefs continuously kept the good vibrations flowing without breaking the contagious music momentum surrounding its audience. This reviewer suggests listening to Gratitude for its downtempo vibe that's perfect for a "steppers" set due to its tinge of R&B within the jazz rhythms (off steel pan and saxophone combined) and Body Language - again taking the energy and tempo down that featured the saxophone on lead "vocals" while the steel pan takes more of a "backing vocal" presence yet becoming a very steamy and quite passionate instrumental piece as well as the title track to The Reef's current CD - Finding Time and Matt's Birthday. This reviewer highly recommends planning to party under the cool jazz-pan sounds by The Great Barrier Reefs this summer especially when they travel to Atlanta in the coming weeks. For more information, visit or

"...drink more, we sound better..."

Coming off their rockin' appearance at this year's Summerfest in Milwaukee, friends Honor By August graced the Elbo Room stage with a return appearance, blogspot readers. However in SouthSide's opinion, this performance was slightly different from last year's when they shared the stage with The Ruse (CA) ...something she didn't quite see and hear last year. What she heard (and saw) was Michael (front man/guitarist) inserting more of himself vocally into Honor's lyrics which not only brought out his dynamic falsetto voice but made also the words seem so realistcally believeable to listen. He totally surprised this reviewer with the power of his vocal range that pumped emotional fierceness thus creating a sense the songs meant something personal to him as his voice touched the sentiments and mood in the right places. For example, during Johnny (Pass Me Another One), Michael truly immersed himself into the lyrics highlighting how powerfully emotional his vocals could get that SouthSide felt the words not just heard them. And being amidst a downtempo melody featuring keys/piano rhythms, she was easily able to read beyond the heartfelt vocal tone and watch his facial movements expressing the tone as he allowed the words to effect him dynamically. Performing other songs like Found (track 1 off Honor's 2nd CD in which one will inspiring words of encouragement within the catchy alternative hooks) and Unbreakable (an upbeat tempo within a steady energetic tone where Michael first had the audience feeling his vocals), Honor didn't forget to wow this audience with its hard-hitting rock side when Evan (guitarist/keys/backing vocals) took center stage to lead off the band in Good Enough. SouthSide highly suggests rockin' to the contemporary/alternative rock sounds by Honor By August. Visit or for more music and details.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Saturday, July 9, 2011

07 Jul 11 - Calendar Event Update

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide highly recommends attending one of the upcoming events rockin' Chicago's hot local scene.

On Wednesday Jul 20, Centro Chicago (located 3819 N. Ashland) will be hosting the ELEM/Youth in Distress in Isreal benefit show from 6p to 8p (tickets for this all-ages event is $30). Enjoy an open bar (beer/wine), appetizers, a raffle and live music by Todd Kessler ( and DBP (

All proceeds will benefit ELEM's programs for at-risk teens in Israel.

For 29 years ELEM ( has pioneered innovative and effective methods of helping distressed youth; today the ELEM network of professionals and volunteers extends to over 30 cities and villages throughout the country and reaches more than 50,000 youth annually. ELEM provides a continuum of care, including preventative treatment and referral services at counseling centers, rehabilitation interventions in residential or day treatment, vocational training and mentoring, and mobile humanitarian services via nightly vans. ELEM offers a safe haven, a sympathetic ear, and a voice to the largely invisible troubled youth of Israel.

For more information about this event, email Stacy Cohen at OR Lindsay Stein Cohen at or phone 312.526.3759

If attending, it's recommended you RSVP asap!

SouthSide's good friends, Verona Red will be hosting their very own Red's Summergasm! And they claim it's WAY better than your ordinary orgasm, blogspot readers.

Every Saturday from Jul 23 to Aug 27, these local rockers will be rockin' Ace Bar (located 1505 W. Fullerton) featuring special band guests like PJ's My Cousin Too, Machinegun Mojo, Mr. Russia, My My My, The Bright White and many more as Verona performs 5 different movie soundtracks each week. On Jul 23, they will be performing Anchorman (starring Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Steve Carell). Other movie soundtracks include Saturday Night Fever, Purple Rain, and The Wedding Singer.

PLUS there is a drink special ($20 which includes admission and 3hr open bar)!

All of this (and probably more) for a very, very low admission price of $5!

Sorry, kids, this is a 21+ older show.

For more information, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

06 Jul 11

Hey, blogspot readers, it's a busy 4-day "work" week for SouthSide! She's spending her long summer nights covering 4 different hot spots for local music around town. Tonight, she's on her native Southside land to rock out Reggie's with her good friends, the staff and cheerleaders of The Prep School Tragedy and Cyanotic. Included on this lineup of hardcore industrial/electronic performances were local rockers The Dead Room and Polyfuse with Celldweller (MI) headlining.

Opening with a sultry yet steamy example of kinky fetish foreplay, The Dead Room totally brought everyone's sexual fantasies to life with three female performers gyrating to the music. The music itself was only thing that SouthSide enjoyed, blogspot readers ...she'll get to the part about why she didn't like the "tease" performance in a minute. This reviewer liked how Dead's vibrant rhythm of the electronica and industrial combined provided the right atmosphere for tonight's lineup. It was deliciously wicked hearing (and feeling) the music flowing in her veins however it didn't do anything to arouse her kinky fantasies with the female performers acting out pseudo-bondage/S&M scenes. That's where Dead's opening set fail hopelessly flat. After "nailing" the victim to the cross (actually she was tied at the wrists to simulate Christ hanging on the cross), the other two female had paddle and flogger in hand for some pretending of light punishment. It would have been better for SouthSide (a well as most of the audience polled after the set) to see them actually perform the spanking and flogging instead of teasing the audience with such deviant acts. If teasing was all it was designed to be for The Dead Room's opening set, then they highly succeeded on that part alone but arousing the mind and sense with their rhythmic gyrating to the music while doing pseudo-spanking ...well, they failed in SouthSide's book. For more information about The Dead Room, visit

Being amidst the glow of the neon lighting does something wonderful for this reviewer, blogspot readers, especially when it's vibranting pulsating to the music. Plus said neon glow was also in sync with the visuals displayed on the screen during Polyfuse's performance. With the elaborate setup of complicated wires, tables, digital mixers and more, this trio of local electronic rockers instantly had this crowd moving to the electric rhtythms and sound. SouthSide enjoyed the intensity as well as the fierceness of the vigorous Polyfuse's electronic vibe while being mesmerized at the same time by the lights and images. A simple change of tempo or sound of an instrumental piece (for example - Falling, Failing, Flying, Dying) also changed the way the lights pulsated to the new beat as the images randomly bombarding your mind. There's plenty of head banging industrial ...high energy to get you moving (at times) to the super hyprfast or the dizzying space effect sounds by Polyfuse. This reviewer highly suggests getting lost in the neon glow and music of this local band whenever they're performing next. Visit or for more information.

Have you taken your meds today, blogspot readers? It's okay if you haven't ...SouthSide's good friends, Cyanotic, will leave with that feeling after you've seen and heard their rockin' performance. Coming off a long tour, these local rockers rocked out the hometown crowd with their metal-tastic combination of electronic/industrial/punk rock music in which the entire main floor lit up with life. SouthSide recently saw Cyanotic at The Abbey where they performed with Front Line Assembly (Canada) however compared to that show, she enjoyed their Reggie's set better. For example when performing SouthSide's favorite Cyanotic song, an extended version of alt_machines, the main floor went into wild mosh dancing throughout the song. Plus Reggie's sound wonderfully captured the aggressiveness heard within Sean's deep falsetto/screamo voice. There was also more (Order out of) Chaos (which is a good thing) happening during Cyanotic's homage to old school industrial/electronic music that had mostly everyone relishing within its intense raw sound. Also performing other songs such as Fashion Victims (another one of SouthSide's favorites) and Sensory Overload, SouthSide was happy to see Cyanotic finally releasing their inner rock demons during this show ...nothing was held back for this crowd. It was one of their best performances to date. Though they didn't perform it, SouthSide highly recommends listening to another one of her favorite Cyanotic songs, Comadose, for its calming yet soothing "meds have taken over your mind and body" loopy side effect. For more information about Cyanotic and when they're performing again, visit

Grab a seat, blogspot reades, because school's about to begin especially if you're attending this rockin' prep school. It was great to be back in class with the faculty and cheerleaders of The Prep School Tragedy in which included a hot new looks for the band. These local rockers combined the fierce energy of lyrical verse/rap with the aggressivenes of electronic/industrial rock thus creating one exciting yet intense performance for this crowd of Prep students. SouthSide liked how the band retained the zombified clown makeup (including loveable Wolfie on hype and megaphone) and the sexy squad (in new uniforms) while boosting its front men image, Tran Q and Ignited - made them look more professional without the makeup. Opening with Tragedy Is Born, TPST wasted in no time generating such high intense energy with other songs like Seduqtion and Thought I Toldja (SouthSide's personal favorites) as well as new songs off their It's A Show album - Hate Everything I Do, Phoenix in the Sky and Whatchu Wanna Do. They kept the classroom (crowd) hyped from start to finish though inserting some "saddness" with a slight downtempo rhythm for song, Tearing Me Apart featuring plenty of energetic momentum flowing across the stage. Overall, blogspot readers, being back in school with The Prep School Tragedy gang was exceptionally wonderful. She truly liked the new look and feel of the band compared to watch she saw last year at Bottom Lounge when they performed with Kung Fu Vampire (CA). This reviewer highly recommends attending class with her good friends by visiting or on Facebook for details when and where they're holding sessions again. And remember, cutting class is not allowed.

SouthSide, when receiving the press release, was told that this band puts on an electrifying energetic intense performance, blogspot readers. Of course, this reviewer had her doubts but loves a good challenge when a publicist hypes a band coming to town as a way to entice her to attend the show. And after seeing Celldweller, what does SouthSide think about this band? Two words - AWESOMELY AMAZING! It actually goes beyond those two words yet it's how she could describe such intensity wafting throughout Reggie's Rock Club amongst Cell's fans without giving too much away. How the energy felt from this band that was totally phenomanal ...the way this duo certainly not only electrified the stage with their rockin' combination of electronic/industrial rock but also the main floor into wild dance movements. She thought of them as the indie version of Daft Punk and "TRON" amidst the neon glow of their instruments and pulsating videos running on the screens around the stage. The lively rhythms of heart-pounding sound would automatically have you showing off your best industrial moves on the dance floor which was happening on the main floor, blogspot readers. With music so contagious and intense like Celldweller's how could one not feel the urge to move along with the band? There was so much to see and hear that SouthSide might have missed a few things while writing but she did stop when Cell performed against Hans Zimmer's theme to The Dark Knight that included video and soundbites from the movie. Another key moment of the performance came when they did electrifying cover of Queen's We Will Rock You featuring vintage Queen video footage and electro/industrial wizardry. Yet, what really caught her attention was the emotionally charged vocals and energetic charisma by Klayton ...amidst the electric glow of Celldweller, he did bring some drama to the show. During one point of the performance, he had her entranced by his vocal aria amongst the electro intro as well as when he pumped some aggressive screamo that had the crowd responding along with him especially during the song Actions Speak Louder Than Words. SouthSide has never attended a show like this before and judging by the way her heart was beating when it was all over, she was left wanting more by Celldweller as many of the fans were. This reviewer knows she didn't fully capture the entire Celldweller performance in this review however it wouldn't be fair to reveall all of the magic experienced and witnessed during their Chicago show. She highly recommends attending their next show to garner your own memorable Celldwellwer experience by visiting or for details when they'll be performing again.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

03 Jul 11

They rocked the stage so night, blogspot readers, SouthSide got the chance to see them twice! Tonight's extra special On The Town review took place at Memories bar (located in the Portage Park neighborhood) to rock with her English friends, Capelle - Sam (Aussie front man/guitar), Nic (and his smile on vocals/rhythm guitar), Eddie (and his curly hair on bass) and Matteo (the cute Italian on drums), one last time before they head east to conclude their US tour. This show sponsored by MP Shows also featured other performances by Kudu Fang and The Hollywood Nightmares before Capelle rocked out the lineup as headliner. SouthSide recommends checking out the eclectically unusual (which is always a good thing with SouthSide) featuring some ballet positions amidst the vibrant sounds of electro/pop rock (and some lyrical verse/rap) by the duo known as Bullied by Strings. She enjoyed the unique blend of sounds (part of which were digitalized playback) and rhythms as well as the fiery stage vocals and antics by Bullied's female vocalist, Kristen, who truly steamed up the stage with her sultry moves especially during their Mid-Eastern influenced instrumental song. Visit Bullied By Strings at or on Facebook for when and where this duo's rockin' the stage again.

Ah the perils of traveling on the road, blogspot readers, but with some help of another musician's amp, Capelle was able to rock out their final Chicago show in style. After seeing them twenty-four hours prior (the first band to actually to get back to back reviews), this reviewer faced the difficult task of choosing which performance she liked best - Elbo Room or Memories. Overall, both show were equally great yet she was able to enjoy their Memories' set more because of already knowing what to expect from the band. However, the guys did do a slight set list change in hopes of fooling SouthSide in which they closed with the song, Give It All Away instead of Louder and encore like they did at Elbo Room. The Memories audience, like the Elbo Room audience, were taken on an incredible journey towards Capelle's electro/dance side after literally wowing them with their energetically vibrant rock side. Even the Memories sound guy (who could be Iggy Pop's long lost twin, blogspot readers) was digging the rockin' UK sound. This reviewer had a chance to dance along to her favorite song, Midnight, as well as Jux, So Lonely, and Louder (which seems to get the most response from both Elbo Room and Memories audiences) before closing with Give It All Away. If you missed their Chicago debut, not to worry - Capelle promises to return next year but east coast blogspot readers, killjoys and lil Gaga monsters, these English rockers are poised and ready to invade your shores before returning across the pond for home. Visit or for their tour schedule.

Until next time, support your local scene,

02 Jul 11

Hey, blogspot readers, the rockin' party moved from The Abbey to Elbo Room! Tonight, she's checking out the unique combination of steel drum percussion rhythms with a jazz-rock blend by Jonathan Scales (NC) and then later, a Brit invasion of rock/electro/dance music by Capelle (UK). In between sets, SouthSide was upstairs rockin' to Amanda Farmer and her Big Lebowski themed show which included viewing the movie and drinking White Russians.

This artist combined the best of two music worlds - the ultra smooth sounds of jazz rhythms and vibrant energy of rock with the cool taste of the Caribbean into a deliciously sounding performance. This unique attraction not only captivated this reviewer's attention but the entire audience as well. Steel pannist Jonathan Scales brought his rockin' Fourchestra band (however it was a trio for his Elbo Room appearance) and its rockin' music that featured intricately woven melodies and notes off his steel drums and the lively momentum of rock and jazz together. Throughout the opening set, this oddly mesh of sounds and rhythms retained a pleasurable vibe as well as a danceable groove for anyone adventurous enough to do so. SouthSide thoroughly enjoyed hearing such creative floetry within Jonathan's epic yet poetic compositions in which, if listened closely, one could hear the fierce intensity (and at times, emotionally charged) "vocals" within the lyrics even though there weren't any actual lyrics to be hunmanly sung. That was, in SouthSide's opinion, the beauty of this artist's music. It was an awe-inspiring experience for this reviewer to hear the "lyrics" spoken directly (and indirectly) amongst the instruments during certain points of his songs. For example, during one particular song, she could vividly hear the fiery "spoken" words between the drum kit versus the steel drums and bass combined and then vice versa drums (steel and percussion) versus bass. She also enjoyed another particular song featuring an interesting combination of sudden/abrupt dramatic bursts and pauses that grabbed her immediate attention. Jonathan's rhythmic island/jazz/rock sound was dazzling ...spellbounding that no one in the basement lounge dared move a muscle until the performance concluded. SouthSide highly recommends spending your warm summer nights amidst the cool rockin' sounds of this island-jazz breeze by Jonathan Scales. And just a small reminder, blogspot readers, he doesn't do Jimmy Buffet songs. Visit for more information and music by this artist and his Fourchestra.

It was a Brit invasion that reclaimed a colonial venue, blogspot readers!Her Majesty would have been so proud too. This quartet of energetic English rockers known as Capelle stormed the Elbo Room stage with their rock/electro music. Closing out the downstairs lineup, they made a huge splash on these shores entertaining the late night audience with their high energy, vibrant rock sound and gradual climb from rock to electro/dance during their set. This band wasted no time conquering its American listeners by bursting onto the stage under such intense ear-popping rock and excitement as hear in the opening song, Killa. Yet, fans should pay special attention to Capelle's charismatic, dancing machine on guitar and front man, Sam and his unique vocal style besides listening to the band's rockin' music. SouthSide immediately noticed how he had three distinct syles for each progressive stage of Capelle's climb towards their electro/dance side which happens near the end of their set. For instance, during the first part of the performance (opening to third or fourth song), he wowed the ears with his deep yet dynamic falsetto vocal range meanwhile during the middle (fifth and sixth song) he switched to something more emotionally charged. When it was over, she heard a fantastic demonstration of Sam combining the two styles while in his dance machine mode. Performing other songs like Midnight (SouthSide's personal favorite) and Time Better, Capelle had this audience dancing the rest of the night other other rockin' songs like Jux, Muscle Car and Louder along with them. SouthSide highly recommends checking out these English rockers as they wind down their 1st US tour in New Jersey and New York after a stop in Detroit, MI on July 7th. For more information, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

01 Jul 11

Hey, blogspot readers, it's another firecrackin' weekend with SouthSide! Inching ever so closer to that magical #100th On The Town show to be reviewed, this reviewer rocked her Friday night at The Abbey under the vibrant neon dance glow and electro "TRON" like sounds performing on stage. The lineup featured the Miami, FL duo Pocket of Lollipops, local rockers Ghosthouse and Pyro Fighter, and Canadians Parallels (featuring drummer Cameron Findlay formerly of Crystal Castles). Before and after the show as well as in between sets, her ladyship DJ Scary Lady Sarah kept the audience in a party mood with her lively mix of electro/industrial music. Blogspot readers are highly encouraged to rock with her ladyship again on Saturday July 9 for her Nocturna show ...dressing your finest Goth/Industrial/Punk/Fetish wear is recommended to impress. For more information, visit

Opening the night was an eclectic mix of punk rock and B'52s sounding vibe wonderfully smashed and trashed together though feeling a bit off key and distorted at first. Yet, in a strange way, this duo known as Pocket of Lollipops and their "odd" off balance sound had SouthSide hooked. She enjoyed the unique fiery feminine vocals (by Maitejosume) amidst an energetic bass punk rhythm and the poppish 80s theme and percussion beats (by Tony). Plus she enjoyed the simplistic vibe of Pocket's two/four count melodic rhythm clearly heard which didn't over complicate the audience's listening pleasure. It was virtually basic leaving the ears enough room to appreciate the eclectic soundwave especially during Pocket's quick yet brief instrumental bridges. SouthSide didn't even begin an attempt to decipher Pocket of Lollipops' rhyme and reason, blogspot readers, within their music because the music jumped from one point to another (sometimes within the same song) amongst the many chord changes. This reviewer suggests keeping an open mind when listening to Pocket while immersed in their Underland effect throughout the performance. This rabbit hole came with a rockin' yet eclectically unusual sound that she's sure you'll enjoy. For more information, visit

Whether you like it or not, blogspot readers, the 80s are never going away ...especially if you're rockin' with this local band, Ghosthouse. This lively group combined the digital pop/funk sound with plenty of that 80s themed rhythms and style. Or simply think of them as a crossover of Morris Day and the Time with Cameo on vocals which was the only way SouthSide could vividly describe their music and performance. Even Ghosthouse's stage presence accurately depicted how much they love this iconic era's iconic fashion influence from each band member on stage featuring the stiff "Robert Palmer" backing vocal girls, the "Corey Hart" and his I Wear My Sunglasses At Night look on keyboards and vocals, and the "Jimmy Jam" at keyboards (also on backing vocals) and guitar. Wow - what a look! Now, honestly, SouthSide tried her best to enjoy this high strung, energetic, fast-paced set however she couldn't get passed re-living the recycled themes and throwback sound. Having personally lived and experienced the Miami Vice and Like A Virgin Madonna days herself, this reviewer didn't hear anything fresh or with a modernized spin on the poppish sound even though this group did an excellent job re-creating the style through their songs, I'm Not Your (Stepping Stone), Private Dancer (not the Tina Turner hit), and Analog Man. She somewhat did enjoy the interesting take on her wedding song - Billy Idol's White Wedding in which Ghosthouse steadily upped the tempo by the second to a fast-pace tempo but it was sorely lacking that Billy angst in the vocals (way too poppish, in SouthSide's opinion) and fist pumping action. The cover lost it's rock anthem vibe for a more of Glee-cast recording. For those wanting to experience and/or re-live their favorite 80s moment, visit Ghosthouse at

If you like the Daft Punk/TRON-esque vibe found in today's electro/pop rock music, then check out these local rockers known as Pyro Fighter. Featuring live percussions, an energetic momentum, and mind-trippin' electro sound, this reviewer instantly liked as well as felt this band's intense burst of music from the very beginning. Plus lead vocalist Dany impressed SouthSide with her dynamic style (though needing more mic power) on lyrics which pumped plenty of that Pryo fire song after song for the audience especially while working every square inch of her stage area. Throughout this set, The Abbey was immersed within the electrifying sound amidst the vibrant digitalized prorgramming yet such music did pose a major problem for Pyro. The music as intense and rockin' as it was overshadowed its female vocalist that she was barely audible over the monitors (and this reviewer was sitting a few away from the stage). Despite that "minor" technical problem with the sound, this reviewer suggests blogspot readers rockin' with Pyro Fighter at their next live performance. Their electric fiery glow will grab you. Visit for more information.

Closing out this hot show, the duo, Parallels, rocked out the venus with a lively mix of electro/rock music that also featured sweeping digitalized orchestral sound. This unique combination truly electrified the stage despite needing more mic power for both vocalists at the beginning. And almost being similar to Pyro Fighter, Parallels' performance had pockets of intense momentum amidst the flowing melodies and vibrant rhythms in which was sparked by the duo's unique vocal style. Holly, though soft in the voice, powerfully demonstrated a dynamic as well as emotionally charged vocal range on the lyrics while Cameron dabbled between a deep falsetto and digitalized backing voice to compliment Holly's haunting sound. Yet together, watch out, blogspot readers, the Parallels duo certainly lit up the stage with a vivid sense of passion intricately woved inside the words ...almost poetic while listening to the electro music in the background. To really enjoy this performance, SouthSide spent a moment or two with eyes closed and ears opened soaking in the rhythmic flow of the electronic melodies wrapped inside the rock percussion beats. It was beautifully electrifying especially when performing the debut single, Ultralight, to close out this amazing set. Visit for details of when and where they will be rockin' the stage again.

Until next time, support your local scene,