Hey, blogspot readers, the local scene's exploding with new and undiscovered acts! Tonight, SouthSide's taking a break from her regular schedule to check out a local music showcase at Cubby Bear (Wrigleyville location). Presented by 312 and hosted by friend Mer, this weekly FREE event allows up and coming talent to briefly rock out this stage whether it was acoustic or something you can't really box into one specific genre. The lineup on this particular evening featured acoustic performances by Mer and Stephen Leonard both whom wowed the Wednesday night audience with powerful as well as dynamic display of vocal powress. Mer at one point performed an intense Latin-driven sound which not only matched the fiery tone and spirit of his fingerwork on the strings but also his voice before performing Bulletproof (off his upcoming new album). This hot-tempered song offered calm words of inspiration if listened closely yet this reviewer enjoyed the fast-flying fingering that made his music pop with life. Meanwhile, Stephen Leonard regaled the audience with a few bars to the iconic song Somewhere Over The Rainbow however this version wasn't like he was trying to imitate Judy Garland but rather put his own spin and heartfelt vocals into the famous lyrics before moving into his original song. After mellowing out a bit with Like A Dog, this singer/songwriter closed out the acoustic portion of this showcase with a spirited ballad set to a downtempo rhythm that showed off how amazingly dynamic (besides heartfelt) his voice could get, blogspot readers. Though not able to catch the song title, it had emotional warmth coupled with energetic momentum for that dramatic umph heard within Stephen's vocal projection. Both artists are highly suggests in checking out at their next show.
Get ready to jam with this next band, blogspot readers, because they're about to rock you with a little bit of Southern blues rock on superly charged high octane gasoline. Or think of them as a local version of ZZ Top (without the long beards) that can never get enough of energy. No matter how SouthSide says it, Jimmy Nick and Don't Tell Momma rocked her ears off with an electrifying, intense performance. This mini performance had everything from heart-pounding thunder of percussion rhythms to fast paced guitar riffs that could set the stage on fire packed within their allotted time slot. And if given the opportunity, Nick and his band would have rocked longer than 30 minutes. It that kind of set - lots of head banging, booty-shaking music to make you groove, jump, jive and perhaps wail like you have never done before with this band. From their opening song to Sex Slave, this band wasted no time in making sure everyone within the listening distance (inside as well as outside) of the Cubby Bear feel and hear the intense electricity of their blues/guitar rock sound. As a hot rockin' trio, Nick and the guys definitely popped this reviewer's earplugs with enough sound and rip-roaring riffs as if they were a five-piece band. Even while taking that same energy down for a moment to hit the excited audience with its funky yet gritty rock, watch out, blogspot readers, you're going to need a shower or two after feeling the sexually-driven raw rock sound. Not your parents Motown funk/rock fusion electrifying the stage tonight but it will leave you a whole lot funkier than when you first entered this set. Another word of caution for the single ladies - Nick does shake the hips while on stage for that added sex appeal. For more information, visit http://www.jimmynick.com.
This next band is "weird" ...but in a good way, blogspot readers. Yet as SouthSide observed this particular band, she noticed one distinct thing - they didn't sound like anyone she had seen or reviewed before. That's why Top Shelf Lickers is the latest bunch of "weirdos" to make a sizable dent in Chicago's music scene in recent months. This reviewer has heard the "nasty" rumors about this band and she has to admit some of them are true though not confirming or denying about getting "licked" by the bands' members. That's WAY too much information to be broadcasting on this blog, blogspot readers. SouthSide does have a solid reputation to uphold and maintain but more about that later in her scandalous tell-all novel... ANYWAY, Top Shelf Lickers is definitely a band you have never seed or quite heard because the members have created it to sound unique and not be like everyone else who uses a "cookie cutter" rock format. So, yes in a way being the "weirdos" of the local scene does have its advantage since you cannot really box their core sound and/or music into one genre or category. SouthSide tried but gave up after their third song , I'll See You Then (a strange yet eclectic song about a bad trip from eating the shrooms). Oh before this reviewer forgets - those who know and/or worked with Shawn Kellner (on keyboards) - he does have a voice. Top Shelf during this performance zigged then zagged covering a wide range of genres from punk to retro rockabilly and also some pseudo ska (as heard I Don't Remember). This band covered it (mostly) all. Still what this reviewer enjoyed about Top Shelf (besides getting "licked" by the sound and upbeat tempo) was the differing sound presented in each song featuring either a melodic vibe within a downtempo rhythm or intense guitar-driven rock. And as an added bonus, they rocked the stage with a Top Shelf cover of Bush's No One Knows. Discover Top Shelf Lickers at their next performance ...perhaps they'll "lick" you too. For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/topshelflickers.
Until next time, support your local scene,