Monday, October 29, 2012

From the Desk of SouthSide

Hey, blogspot readers, musicians, artists, SouthSide has received some news that you might be able to use!

Elbo Room (located here in Chicago) is now booking for 2013! Check out the details below:

The ELBO ROOM  is seeking bands for January and February of 2013! E-Mail for main room inquiries. If interested in the lounge, please e-mail

Below are open dates for the remainder of 2012 for the COCKTAIL LOUNGE:
11/1 9p-12a

11/7 9p-12a

11/21 9p-12a

11/25 9p-12a

11/27 9p-12a

11/29 9p-12a

12/2 9p-12a

12/5 9p-12a

12/6 9p-12a

12/9 9p-12a

12/12 9p-12a

12/13 9p-12a

12/16 9p-12a

12/19 9p-12a

12/22 9p-12a

12/23 9p-12a

12/26 9p-12a

12/27 9p-12a

12/28 9p-12a

12/29 9p-12a

12/30 9p-12a

12/31 9p-12a

The cocktail lounge is open to acoustic acts, DJ's, album release parties, birthday parties, and any band looking to do an acoustic set.

Please contact for further information.     Until next time, support your local scene, SouthSide

23 Oct 12 - Rah Rah

Hey, blogspot readers, the fun never stops when rockin' around town with SouthSide. Tonight, she was suppose to be reviewing the Canadian band Rah Rah at Double Door. However, she missed hit. HOWEVER, she made up for it by snagging an impromptu interview with Marshall Burns (guitarist/vocalist) of Rah Rah to discuss about their live performances to what's the local scene like in Toronto, Canada.

SouthSide: In five (5) words or less, please describe Rah Rah to my blogspot readers.
Marshall: "...having fun and playing rock-n-roll..."

SouthSide: What makes Rah Rah's live performances fun and interesting that it brings your fans back to another performance?
Marshall:  " thing we started to do kinda fun with theactrics and robot cats ...big balloons that spell out our name ...confetti cannons [which was apparently used during their Double Door performance] and sometimes a candy-filled pinatas ...[We] sort of rotate through the fun to create a party atmosphere and try not to take ourselves seriously ...the songs are somewhat serious ...after waiting all day to play for 30 [or 45] minutes, we must maket the most of it..."

SouthSide: In Toronto, Canada, what's the local scene like? And is there fairly good amount of fan as well as other band/artist support?
Marshall: "...[It's] very supportive in the arts where we're from ...Toronto is like the size of Montana with small towns around it ...there's bands and clubs ...people are very supportive.."

SouthSide: What genre of music is quite big or happening in Toronto these days?
Marshall: "...there's a lot of punk, metal, indie ... a little bit of everyting ...[SouthSide asked if he saw an American influence on Canadian music music at this point] ...yes, there's some American influence in Canadian music ...I like city of Chicago and the band Wilco..."

SouthSide: Is it easier for an indie Canadian band to get their music heard on radio?
Marshall: "...yes, because we have Canada-only as well as college radio which makes it easier for bands like Rah Rah to get heard compared to probably here in United States..."

[At this point, SouthSide did ask Marshall if there was some way they could take back Justin Bieber. Marshall said he feels for us.]

SouthSide: In your travels thus far, what is your impression of the American indie/local music scene?
Marshall:  "...our New York shows went really well ...feel encouraged by the good responses ...we're going to tour the Midwest before going home for shows in Canada then hitting LA [by the end of November at Bootleg Bar]..."

SouthSide: Which selection of Rah Rah songs should my blospot readers particularly listen to first?
Marshall: "...the new record [The Poet's Dead] because it's fancy and new ...we're proud of it's the first one we put a lot more time [and effort] and it shows ...there are three [3] other albums out there but start with the new one and work your way back through the previous ones..."

SouthSide: Do you have a wild and/or funny road trip story about your tour thus far?
Marshall: [He didn't remember one but said the other members of the band probably have one] "...Steve Earle [singer/songwriter, actor, producer] walked by me in New York ...didn't meet him..."

SouthSide: If given the opportunity, which artist/band (indie/mainstream living or dead) would like to collaborate with? And why? Which song would you work on together?
Marshall: "...Bob Dylan because he's the best songwriter I've heard ...wouldn't want to touch any of his songs but would like to get a couple of tips from him..."

SouthSide: Any last words or final thoughts about Rah Rah and its music that you would like to tell my blospot readers?
Marshall: "...the new record came out today ...hope people check it out..."

And off that new record, SouthSide recommends listening to Prairie Girl and Art and A Wife as well as visit their YouTube page to see the funny little 1:30  video called My Guarantee featuring fun with paper robots and birds.

Heads up, blogspot readers in Seattle, WA, Rah Rah will be performing on Tuesday Oct 30th at High Dive along with James Coate and Jess Grant Conspiracy. For more information, visit Rah Rah at or on Facebook.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, October 26, 2012

November 2012

Hey, blogspot readers, November may have 30 days but it's full of exciting events and shows rockin' not only in Chicago and Chicago area but elsewhere including Presov, Slovakia! This reviewer highly recommends that you spend your chilly fall nights warming up to some of these hot shows happening soon.

Please remember - all are 21+ unless noted.

Nov 1:
Be Here Now (Muncie, IN) - Model Stranger will kick off it's Fall East Coast tour before heading back to the studio to work on their next album! Strangeloves (ie Model Stranger fans) are also encouraged (if they want to) travel and party with the band. For more information about the Fall Tour and band, visit

Winston’s (San Diego, CA) – Donna The Buffalo will begin the November and December portion of the band’s tour Visit for more details.

Tonic Room – starting tonight (and every Thursday night) Great Divide will begin its residency at this venue featuring a couple of acts from Nashville – Cole De Genova & The Peoples Republic with DJRC to Daniel & The Lion, Foreign Fields with DJRC (Nov 15). Visit for more details. SouthSide will be reviewing the Nov 1 show

Goose Island (Wrigleyville location) – Goose Unplugged featuring Vino, Matt Alfano (of Mason’s Case) and All & Ira

Nov 2:
Double Door – Jess Godwin’s EP Release with Living In Pretend, Julian Bell, Funky Hot Grits featuring DJ Sgnik
8:30p / $10

Reggie’s Rock Club – The Scene Is Dead Tour featuring Davey Suicide, Blood On The Dance Floor, Jefferee Stak and New Year’s Day. SouthSide will be reviewing as well as interviewing Davey Suicide.
All Ages

Smart Bar (located at Metro) – Pantha Du Prince (aka Hendrik Weber) will be featuring material from his most recent release – Black Noise

Quencher’s Saloon – Phantom Note Production presents Killer Moon with Elixir on Mute, Destroyer or Liberator and We Killed The Lion

Ace Bar – Polarizer with The Jesus Rehab, New World Ancients, and Julia Massey and the Five Finger Discount

Hard Rock Café – Adora will be performing

Nov 3:
Uncharted Books (Logan Square neighborhood) – Congrats On Your Success. A FREE B.Y.O.B. comedy show

Occult Bookstore’s Lock-In / Sleepover

Brauer House (Lombard, IL) – Helium Fuse will be performing

Subterranean – Aryk Crowder will be performing

Evenflow (Geneva, IL) – check out Paragon and The Employees

Aquabelly (Presov, Slovakia) – Mayo the Guitarist will be performing there

Nov 4:
Beat Kitchen – Concerts for Kids! The lineup will feature Apples, Peaches and Lemonade
For other Concerts for Kids! lineup and dates, visit or check the Facebook page at Kidsshows Chicago
$6 / Noon (12p)

Double Door – Cypress Hill with Action Bronson
$25 / 9p

Nov 5:
Red Line Tap – celebrate Ike Turner’s birthday

Nov 6:
Ace Bar – skip the shindig planned at McCormick Place. Attend this election event – Election Night Ball featuring Sheriff Scabs, Dana Lynn & The Dirty Creeps, The Plaster Saints and The Laffing Hyenas

Nov. 7:
Matey’s Irish Pub (Crown Point, IN) – it’s acoustic Fresh Hops Wednesday!

The Exit – Tribute to Black Sabbath

Elbo Room – Every Wednesday night, it’s FREE Local Music Jam Showcase!

Nov 8:
Elbo Room – Without Return with Spence, Room of Voices, Chris Wilson and Planet Earth, Item 9 & The Mad Hatters

Nov 9:
Double Door – Supersuckers with The Handcuffs and The Dead On
$12 / 9p

Elbo Room – Always The Villain with Waiting For Signal, The Great Whiskey Project and Vintage Blue

Empty Bottle – Wine From The Moon presents The Damn Choir with Communist Daughter and Quiet Corral

Goose Island (Wrigleyville location) – check out Hero Monster Zero as part of the Swizzle Benefit for Brian Hirsh

Harte’s Saloon (Evergreen Park, IL) – Joe Marcinek Band will be performing

Nov 10:
Double Door – Shoeshine Boy presents Workout Music with The Pimps, Polarcode, Mason’s Case and MG Bailey
$7 adv / $10 dos / 8p

Elbo Room – Kali Ma, after a long hiatus, returns to the stage! The band will be performing 3 to 4 songs off the upcoming new album, Mogambo. All Kali Ma proceeds will be donated to Black Bear Academy.

Bottom Lounge – The Action Blast featuring Madina Lake

Underground Wonder Bar – Whitewolfsonicprincess rocks the stage

Ace Bar – Black Bridge CD release party

McHenry, IL – at Blacklit Arena be a part of this Zombies Vs Skeletons’ event –World of Ravecraft, a massive Nerf war!

Q4 / Multi Kulti – The Scorpion Kings: John Ibarra and Phillip Morris B-day show.

Nov 11:
Double Door – The Retar Crew performs a FREE show
Nov 12:
Double Door – Swearwords with Brave Ulysses and Two Houses
$5 / 8p

Nov 13:
Sulzer Library – learn about weaving with Julianna during this live demonstration of tapestry weaving followed by questions. Plus meet other creative people and view some beautiful artwork.
FREE / 2:30p

Double Door – presents 30 Seconds Over Chicago. It’s all-city advertising competition that’s crossed between Mad Men and American Idol. 30 Participating businesses (mostly from the Wicker Park area) wrote a creative brief in which both professional and amateur filmmakers and copywriters will convert into pitches for 30-second commercials. For more information, visit
$10 / 9p

Nov 15:
Hotel Café (Los Angeles, CA) – Sofia Talvik will be performing an intimate show as a wrap up to her year of touring
Double Door – RAW Natural Born Artists presents RAWARDS. For more information and tickets, visit

Nov 16 – 17:
Beat Kitchen – 4th Annual Chicago Roots Collective Festival! This two-day music event will feature some of SouthSide’s friends rockin’ the stage such as The Future Laureates, Band Called Catch Molehill, Cobalt & The Hired Guns, Goodbyehome, Jackpot Donnie, Tree and many more. SouthSide will be reviewing the opening night fun

Nov 17:
Bottom Lounge – Wylls & The Will To Live, Zmick, and Digeometric will be rockin’ the stage

Reggie’s – The Socialists will be performing

Elbo Room (Acoustic Lounge) – Me In Radio makes its Chicago debut featuring Ritchie Versace – the one-man acoustic piano
$5 / 10p

Penny Road Pub (Barrington Hills, IL) – Pat Travers performs there

The Valarium & CiderHouse (Knoxville, TN) – Skytown Riot will be there

Brauer House – Perversions return to the stage

Nov 18:
JBTV studios – SouthSide along with her daughter will join others to this special ALL AGES taping featuring I:Scintilla!
Free / 3:30p

Nov 20:
Double Door – The Luck of Eden with Exit Ghost, The Violet Lies and Parallels and Lies
$7 / 8p

Nov 21:
Park West – Strange Arrangement’s last show before taking a winter/spring hiatus to recharge their music batteries. Featuring Greensky Bluegrass.

Martyrs’ – Flabby Hoffman Trio’s Coup De Ta-Ta’s album release show ...expect the unexpected to happen

Hard Rock Cafe - Villains Company will be rockin' the stage there ...and SouthSide will be reviewing as well as interviewing the band

Nov 23:
Portage Theater – Peace Fest Harvest

Miramar Theatre (Milwaukee, WI) – iHeartSource featuring Will Bailey

Nov 24:
Double Door – Ultraviolet Hippopotamus with Genome and Jib-n-Jab (featuring the members of The Coop)
$8 adv / $10 dos / 8:45p

Ace Bar – Jet W Lee with The Dyes and Sink Tapes (NJ)

The Brat Shop – check out Spyderbone and The Mob Rules

Nov 29:
Reggie’s – World Inferno, Friendship Society and O’Death will be rockin’ the stage

Nov 30:
Double Door – Benefit for The Renee Family featuring performances by Earthen Grave, Red Rebel County, Skank, The Root Cause, and Billuraduk
$10 adv / $13 dos / 8p

Papa Pete’s Pizza – grab a slice and watch Indigo Sun featuring Digeometric rock the stage
Congress Theatre – rock out with Lamb of God with In Flames and Hellyeah

Until next time, support your local scene,

20 Oct 12 - Kasim Sulton


"...gotta play the martyr when playing at Martyrs'..."

Good evening, blogspot readers, it's an extra special edition of SouthSide On The Town just for you! Tonight, SouthSide enjoyed a rather intimate singer/songwriter acoustic performance by the legendary Kasim Sulton. His name should ring many bells since this bassist/keyboardist's name is attached to many well-known bands / artists such at Todd Rundgren, Meatloaf (on vocals - Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell), Utopia, Joan Jett (member of the backing band - The Blackhearts), Cherry Vanilla, Blue Oyster Cult, Yellow Matter Custard (a Beatles tribute supergroup) - just to name a few. In his vast career, spanning decades, he has toured with other acts such as Hall & Oates, Cheap Trick and Richie Sambora and performed as studio musician alongside artists like Patti Smith, The Indigo Girls, and Steve Stevens. Also, Kasim has sang lead on Utopia's only top 40 hit Set Me Free (1980) and hit the Canadian Top 40 with Don't Break My Heart (1982). 

So, after looking at a brief summary of this artist, one should get the feeling why SouthSide was excited to be part of this unique opportunity. It was more than just hearing music being brought to life amidst such heartfelt vocal falsetto, lively acoustic rhythms and touching yet inspirational lyrics. It was also about the stories Kasim shared with his audience ...little intimate details not noted on any CD or album cover about a particular song to life as a single dad with his son in Staten Island to which he emphatically stated that "...single parenting is not for the faint of heart...", blogspot readers. For the fans who attended this special early Martyrs' show, it was a chance for them to relive their Kasim Sulton memories through the particular songs performed. There were moments when this reviewer heard a few shouted requests (one in particular - Utopia's The Martyr even though he really didn't know all of the lyrics but did improvised a little). This audience was totally basking in Kasim's warmth and friendliness as well as compassion for the music during certain songs like Utopia's Lysistrata (which was a part of a CD giveaway where fans had to name the song after a few chords played). This particular did resonate very well with some members of the audience due to its peace activism.
"...How may here want to hear a Lorne Greene song?" That question had many suggesting Patches however Kasim lovingly soothed the tempered requests and the audience's music soul with another filling the peaceful venue to the command of his heartfelt falsetto which wonderfully captured the emotion and tone of the ballad performed. While not observing Kasim working his magic on stage, this reviewer also noted some the audience singing along with him from time to time to other songs like 15 Minutes (off his upcoming album) that perfectly captures everyone's desire of having their "15 seconds" of fame under a rather spirited tempo and upbeat rhythm though the lyrics do have a serious tone and meaning when he sings. Or check out the unlikely song (meaning unlike what he normally writes) titled Stand Up in which he wowed the audience with something he had never done before - performing an allegro (upbeat) acoustic tempo song that he just wrote. According to Kasim - it's about him but the preverbial "him". This particular song, blogspot readers, was quite motivational as well as inspirational that encourages everyone to "stand up" for themselves and be something. SouthSide enjoyed it for the heartfelt falsetto and the bridge where you defintely felt his motivational words speaking loudly through his voice. Kasim hopes to add this song to the new album.


Besides being a singer/songwriter, Kasim is also a wonderful storyteller. He regaled the audience with tales about his days performing at Durty Nellies with a Beatles-like band to his busy multitasking lifestyle in which he's between touring with Blue Oyster Cult, being a single parent, and recording the new album. Yet, his eyes would light up the entire room espeically when he told the story about his son who was suppose to be home doing homework and walking the dog not over his girlfriend's house that weekend. He did passionately speak about his involvement with the Band of Brothers project and Rockers In Recovery until getting somewhat heckled by an audience member to which he told him " see the show is not about you's about me..." This project puts together 12 soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan who have been diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and are given instruments. So far, blogspot readers, there have been 5 or 6 webisodes in which you can see at  And in one of the webisodes, the opening theme used was Watching The World Go By that you truly get the sense that every Kasim song expressed a sort of "every man (or woman)" sentiments inside the lyrics. He wonderfully captures what real people are thinking and/or experiencing in their lives whether it's love and relationship to socio-political ideals as heard in the closing song One World. During this particular, his assistant used his pivot head glasses to record everyone for his YouTube page.

However, the audience was saddened that he had to go. But before he did leave, we had a choice of hearing his version of Puff The Magic Dragon or the Bikini song. Someone wanted to hear Martyrs again as others were shouting their favorites to be heard and sung. To appease the audience one last time with his presence, Kasim closed out this special show with Baby, Don't Hold Back. It was truly a magical evening spent with this singer/songwriter and this reviewer highly suggests attending his next performance.


For more information about Kasim Sulton, his music and career, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

19 Oct 12


"'s so hard to say good-bye..."

Hey, blogspot readers, did you know that bastards aren't born but made? And local band, Sutured Psyche, was proof of that as they did their final romp (and strip) on stage tonight at Elbo Room. SouthSide knew sending this band off in style wasn't going to be easy. These Bastards (and please don't take offense of this reviewer calling them "bastards") had a Valhalla send-off in which their Bastard Nation (ie fans) would never forget. Helping Sutured with this final performance was Cheer Up Moon Cat (, The Ferber Method and Koplant No (from Iowa -  The lineup (somewhat eclectic) was just right to assist Sutured in their last hurrah as a band ...full of memories, sweaty tears and drinks as the guys aka Bastards celebrated where it mostly began two years ago.

Photo0199 Photo0205

Though missing opener The Ferber Method, this reviewer was able to catch rest of Cheer Up Moon Cat's electrifying blues/rock performance that had her digging the hardcore yet funkified, hip-shaking sound amidst a highly intense as well as energetic vibe, blogspot readers. This was one band you shouldn't expect a pre-written set list because these guys came to jam all night long pumping exuberant amounts of rockin' guitar riffs and furious rhythms into each song performed. The set, though featuring songs like Doghouse Blues and Heavy Ready (off Moon Cat's upcoming record), also contained a pseudo ballad, Know, that amazingly showed off the heartfelt emotions of angst and pain by front man Steve within his vocals. It wasn't that you just heard the pain literally felt it while he breathed the emotions of the lyrics into the mic. During this particular song, it was definitely one for the broken hearted despite having that passion and energy off the guitars. Meanwhile in another song, Lord Rascal, SouthSide like the Stray Cat-like sound amidst a smokey blues/rock feel which totally highlighted Steve's high-pitched falsetto voice and also his flamboyantly charismatic side for the ladies. Moon Cat comes with a swingin' groove, blogspot readers, so be prepared to shake your hips to the blues rock or punk/80s pop style at their next peformance.

Photo0209 Photo0213

On the flip side, SouthSide felt Koplant No was musically out of place for tonight's lineup. Well, honestly, it wasn't the right kind of venue to perform an eclectic-sounding neo-jazz fusion after listening to Moon Cat's set. Koplant's music, though vibrant in texture and melodic in rhythms, would have been more suited to opening other genre likeminded groups such as Chris Greene or Human Spirit rather than being before the headliner of hardcore guitar rock. Still this reviewer did enjoyo the digital wizardry (off the synths) and electronic sampling that gave this band a futuristic sound and feel to certain songs performed. She wished she had seen them under better circumstances and audience, blogspot readers, but does recommend checking out this jazz band at their next performance.

"...not yet, people, you'll see enough of me tonight..." ~ William of Sutured Psyche


How does one say "good-bye" to a bunch of Bastards especially if they're the fun rockin' (and occasionally the strippin') kind of bastards? Yes, it's true all good things must come to an end (including bands) ...nothing like ones who have made their mark as being the bastards of the local scene. No tears, blogpot readers, while sending Sutured Psyche off to great rock gig in the sky for they will be remembered for delivering one of their best performances tonight. And SouthSide was there to bid the Bastard Nation a fond farewell and good riddance to bad rubbish (just kidding, guys) as they rocked the Elbo Room dragging their fans down that road for one final time. Performing songs like Ma Gavte La Nata to Steven and Trickster (SouthSide's favorites) in their finest black and red attire, Sutured's finale contained more than just rockin' memories of beloved songs in which many of their bastardized fans sang along to but also featured guests to join the band on stage one last time as well as a couple of covers like male's point of view version of Alanis Morissette's You Oughta Know (William truly displayed some powerful vocal powress on the lyrics that brought out hardcore yet emotionally sentiments in his voice while Ryan's stripping roused excitement from the audience) and Flock of Seagulls' I Ran to close out the performance. In between, there was Adrian joining William on SouthSide's favorite - Steven that added more powerful angst and emotional pain on the lyrics to which this reviewer loved the fierceness and energy coming from the guitars and vocalists combined. Then Jake joined the band on drums during Trickster (another SouthSide favorite) that really gave Sutured its rockin' momentum thus bringing the audience to life before performing Inherit The Earth and The Bridgeport Gay Man's Choir. As far as final performances go, SouthSide did note there were moment where the audience wasn't truly feeling the band's hardcore, heavy head banging sound to her is very understandable. No one wants to see their favorite band riding off to the sunset Sutured Psyche's case - in the early morning dawn. She can truly say - this band did leave a sizeable mark within the local scene and it will be hard for another to replace these original "bastards".

R.I.P. Sutured Psyche...

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, October 15, 2012

12 Oct 12

"...I would do anything for love but not Meatloaf..." ~ Mr. Les Flattery aka Mr. Bones

Cabaret, blogspot readers, is defined as "...a form of entertainment featuring music, song, dance, comedy recitation or drama [and] ... it is mainly distinguished by the performance venue..." However, on Friday night, SouthSide was treated to a special outting at the Greenhouse Theatre Centre by her number #1 fan/stalker, Joe, to see Kiss Kiss Cabaret. Now, if you haven't been to a cabaret show, there are some rules you must live by.  Please remember this isn't The Admiral or The Gentlemen's Club where you get to sit and ogle the pretty dancing ladies as they strip, twirl around the pole or whatever. Yes, there are pretty ladies dancing during a Kiss Kiss Cabaret performance however the dances or in this case burlesque are merely to tease, entice and certainly awaken your sexual senses while performing theactric like skits to music. Also, as the definition states, there are music to juggling and magic acts (and more) to entertain you in between watching the lovely dancers, blogspot readers.

SouthSide has attended cabaret shows before but nothing like she had seen at Greenhouse Theatre Centre which was decked out in its spookiest Halloween decor for tonight's Kiss Kiss Cabaret performance. Besides featuring The Kiss Kiss Coquettes, Mr. Les Flattery as our Master of Ceremonies, The Claptrap Family Orchestra, there were special guests performing like Brad French (the "original" 50 shades of grey inside his Ultraman costume), comedian Adam Burke, and The Amazing Tomas (the magican) with Prince as part of the in-between acts. Plus - there were special appearances by Ray Ray Sunshine, Bella Canto, Lady India De Minuitt (with her awsomely handsome tall partner Drake) and SouthSide's Ms. Ammunition performing their signature cabaret acts. And not only you get a show but there's also a moment you get to be a part of the show and win fabulous prizes! For a two hour, which by the way didn't feel like an actual two hour show, blogspot readers, you're definitely getting your money's worth for an evening out on the town within the amount spent on reasonably priced tickets.

Though missing the opening act by The Kiss Kiss Coquettes, SouthSide and Joe did arrive in time to catch Mr. Bones (aka Mr Les Flattery) explaining the rules and procedures while watching a Kiss Kiss performance (he does a mean pseudo strip act too, ladies) and Ms Titi Touche's act in which truly got the audience's sexual imagination going before it was magic time. The Amazing Tomas and Prince had some of the audience (SouthSide included) in shuffling a deck of cards and then choosing whether the cards were black or red. Another act featured them in silent pantomime (with the help of a script written on a flip board) where they chose a member of the audience to pick a card, memorize it and show it to others before returning it the deck. Well, without going into long details, both magicans did guess correctly as well as had the exact card in their mouths! Next was Ramona Mourir making her first solo Cabaret debut on the Kiss Kiss stage. This world premiere featured a Halloween-theme country line, Texas-two style burlesque  to the song Honky Tonk Halloween. Afterwards, SouthSide spoke with Romana to congratulate her on a successful performance noting that she looked like a natural than nervous (according to Romana) while performing her burlesque act. Then it was Werner's, the patriach of the Claptrap Family Orchestra, turn to entertain the audience with his rendition of the ever-popular Monster Mash song. Complete with vocal sound effects, this daper vampire-looking musician had the audience singing along with him at the chorus.

And what Halloween-themed show would be without a fond tribute to the longest-running movie about a "sweet transvestite" from Transexual Transylvania? Special performer Bella Canto wowed the audience with her burlesque act set to tunes - Creature of the Night and Time Warp montage before another Halloween-themed appeared on stage by Lady India and Drake. This duo act had the profound essence of a suspenseful Victorian-style opening to a Dracula-like story but then it suddenly turned into one sensually steamy belly dancing act, blogspot readers. The way Lady India's body movements seductively teased and enticed as she moved across the stage SouthSide's certain that she had a few hypnotized under her vampiric spell besides Drake in the end. After that hot number, it was definitely a good time for a (beer) intermission, bathroom break, and game show at Kiss Kiss Cabaret. If you have seen the Bozo show as kid like this reviewer, then you know all about the Grand Prize Game! Yet in this Kiss Kiss version instead of winning fabulous toys, a new bike or that fifty dollar bill (in bucket number 6!) there was a free beer if you get bucket number 1 and then other prizes for reaching buckets 2 through 6. Tonightt's contestant, birthday girl Hazel was able to reach bucket 2 to claim her free beer and a lovely coffee mug to say that she got from the Bahamas!

Now, the second half of the show featured comedian Adam Burke to which SouthSide loved his rant about people who tease and laugh at those who have seasonal allergies. She hopes they do get reincarnated as bees and not be able to pollinate. Then Ray Ray Sunshine had the audience feeling the pulse of her heart-stopping burlesque act before Frad "Ultraman" French appeared on stage with jokes, juggling (with his neon glow in the dark balls) and more. And there a little Ultraman fighting the ugly monster of the night too. Now, if you like power tools, guys (and this reviewer knows many of you do), then you should check out Ms Ammunition whenever she performs her electrifying burlesque act again. Oh the things this performer can do with a steel sander including bending at the waist and letting the spark fly between her legs! Sorry, no pictures, blogspot readers. SouthSide doesn't want to have a restraining order set against her. Yet, you could definitely smell the sensuality of sizzling metal throughout the theatre and stage. Ms Ammunition once again electrified another stage with her metal-tastic act. Sadly, it came time for Kiss Kiss Cabaret to end its weekly performance for the night but NOT before having the lovely Kiss Kiss Coquettes do a show-stopping finale to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' Red Right Hand (yes, SouthSide's an x-phile too). The quartet of Kiss Kiss lovelies in an orange neon-glow wigs seductively danced while lathering themselves and each other with matching body paint which truly had this audience (in their best behavior) cheering these girls on.

BUT the fun doesn't stop there, blogspot readers!  After the show, you can actually meet and hang out with the performers of Kiss Kiss Cabaret at Kelsey's - the official bar of Kiss Kiss Cabaret until closing time (or tonight, getting kicked out before closing time). SouthSide was able to chat briefly with Mr. Les Flattery about her thoughts over tonight's peformance and he in turned shared some secrets with her. His monologue - it's not planned. unlike a comedian and there were some minor flubs in tonight's show yet SouthSide nor Joe noticed anything wrong. Oh, yeah Drake - he's about 6 ft 10inches, ladies ...yes, it was quite seductive being towered over a man that tall.

Being billed as "...Chicago's Finest Weekly Vaudeville and Burlesque Carabet show...", SouthSide ranks it at a 5-star rating and  highly recommends checking out the next Kiss Kiss Carabet performance which will feature special performances by Ellie Rioux, Bella Canto, Stella Cheeks and Pearl Pistol on Oct 19th and Ray Ray Sunshine, Stella Cheeks and Shirley Knot on Oct 26th. For more information, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, October 12, 2012

08 Oct. 12

Photo0185A "...we might play if you gather around..." ~ Pet Peeve

Hey, blogspot readers, come gather around the fire and let's spin a few gyspy tales from the old country! Tonight, SouthSide discovered her inner gyspy persona during her trip to Wicker Park's hip rock venue, Double Door, to review Chicago's own Pet Peeve rockin' the stage. This local band featuring a lively yet spirited combination of Americana folk, Klezmer, and rock alternative invited a few friends to join them on stage - Small Houses (an indie folk band from MI) and Goldenboy (dreampop from CA). SouthSide arrived in time to catch the remaining set time of this quartet from Los Angeles, CA as they rocked the audience with melodic tones and vibrations of their upbeat rhythmic tempo coupled with vibrant sparks of guitar and dynamic vocals (by Shon and Nicole - both on guitars and keys) off the new album The New Familiar. Don't expect to easily defined this CA band's core sound, blogspot readers, because it's somewhat too intricate and complicated to box into one category. Yet, this four-member group of musicians definitely impressed SouthSide by their eclectic borrowing from other genres. Within one particular song, this reviewer enjoyed the simplistic tiny xylephone-tone sounds (by bassist Katy) while the hard hitting wails of the electric guitar riffs surrounded the venue amongst its intense sound. From there, Goldenboy brought the stage to life with a rousing clash of twitterpating guitars and pounding cymbals that ended in a huge momentus band of music despite the sound (not the band's fault, blogspot readers) being a little too loud.  Check out the podcast of their appearance on Fearless Radio ( as well as visit


Believe it or not, blogspot readers, there is a gyspy in all of us. And tonight, SouthSide so discovered that after spending a fun lively hour being lost within the haunting magic and spell of Pet Peeve. After entreating the audience to crowd around the stage, this reviewer instantly felt the hypnotizing magic of this band's gypsy-style folk/pop alternative rock to which there was no escaping from. The fierce intensity of each instrument gradually beckoned her away from the balcony until she had joined the others on the main floor ...some were locked in dance circles as if they were dancing around a bomfire while others were dancing to the seductiveness of the haunting violin rhythms. At one point, Pet Peeve charmed the audience with a spicy yet seductive passion of Latin/flamenco folk music within their gypsy sound during Maria in which one could feel the hot tempered rhythms wafting throughout the venue. Within this particular song's tempo there was fire (from the guitars and violin) and ice (from the saxophone) that created more intense steaminess inside the rhythms. It may be hard to picture in your mind from SouthSide's brief description but when feeling music like Pet's burning your soul or coursing through your veins - it does become very difficult to describe in mere words. However while observing the people dancing to each song like "Untitled" and Made In USA, she could plainly see how they were effected by the rousing spirit of this type of music. Song after song espeically after the intense fire and passion felt in the climax of the closer Tango, Pet Peeve left their fans wanting more. Lorian did oblige the fans just one more song acoustic folk/gyspy song to which still left them wanting more, blogspot readers. Who knew local Chicago music fans are also gyspies at heart too? SouthSide highly suggests discovering your inner gyspy and dance around the bomfire at the next Pet Peeve performance. For more information, visit


Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, October 8, 2012

08 Oct 12

Hey, blogspot readers, just to inform you on two pieces of mail that was sent to SouthSide's attention. Check them out...

Mr. Gnome fans - the band will be starting its Fall/Winter 2012 tour soon. Here are the dates and places which features a stop at Chicago's Beat Kitchen on Dec 14th!

10/24 Louisville KY @ Zazoo's

10/25 Indianapolis IN @ White Rabbit

10/26 Grand Rapids MI @ Pyramid Scheme

10/27 Madison WI @ Frequency

10/29 Kansas City MO @ Riot Room

10/30 Denver CO @ Hi-Dive

10/31 Salt Lake City UT @ The Bar Deluxe

11/01 Boise ID @ Red Room

11/02 Seattle WA @ Sunset Tavern

11/03 Portland OR @ Star Theater

11/06 San Francisco CA @ Thee Parkside

11/07 Los Angeles CA @ Bootleg Theater

11/08 San Diego CA @ Soda Bar

11/09 Tucson AZ @ Plush

11/10 Albuquerque NM @ The Launchpad

11/13 Oklahoma City OK @ The Conservatory

11/14 Dallas TX @ LaGrange

11/15 Austin TX @ Stubb's Jr.

11/16 Houston TX @ Rudyard's British Pub

11/17 Pensacola FL @ Handlebar

11/29 Lexington KY @ Cosmic Charlies

11/30 Cincinnati OH @ MOTR Pub

12/01 Columbus OH @ Woodlands Tavern

12/04 Chapel Hill NC @ Local 506

12/05 Jacksonville FL @ Jack Rabbits

12/06 Orlando FL @ Will's Pub

12/07 Atlanta GA @ The Drunken Unicorn

12/08 Nashville TN @ Exit/In

12/13 Dayton OH @ Blind Bob's

12/14 Chicago IL @ The Beat Kitchen

12/15 St Louis MO @ Firebird

12/21 Toledo OH @ Ottawa Tavern

12/22 Cleveland OH @ Beachland Ballroom  

For more information, visit    

ALSO - tickets are still available for Last Rites presents - An Evening With Kasim Sulton, singer, songwriter and band member of Todd Rundgren, Meatloaf, Utopia, Joan Jett and more! The show at Martyrs' on Saturday Oct 20th  - get tickets now at or at ticketfly. Hope to see you there, blogspot readers.    

Until next time, support your local scene, SouthSide

06 Oct 12

Hey, blogspot reades, feel that autumn chill in the air. And this reviewer is all dolled up for a special evening out on the town. Tonight, she's ditching the rock scene for a swingin' time at two of Chicago's hot spots for Jazz entertainment. First, SouthSide graced her presence at the legendary Andy's Jazz Club to check out the final two-day performance by Human Spirit (from Seattle, WA). Then she headed to another legendary place - Coq d'Or (located inside The Drake Hotel) to see her friend, Jesse Charbonier charm the audience down memory lane with his fine selections of Billie Holiday, Chet Baker, Johnny Mathis, Ethel Waters (and more) rarities and hits. Yes, blogspot readers, this was definitely the perfect night to relax with your favorite cocktail or wine while listening to some great music.

It was a full house when SouthSide arrived at Andy's Jazz Club hosting the last night Chicagoans could relish within the west coast Jazz swing of the trio known as Human Spirit featuring local musicians Chip Stephens (on piano) and Matt Ulrey (on bass). This jazz band incoporated the essence elements of the classic jazz sound but with some of that west coast swing (think Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, etc) just to spice and or liven up the beat to a rhythmic groove. SouthSide got plenty of goosepimples running down her music spine whenever she heard that the upbeat combination of hot trumpet (Thomas Marriott) and cool saxophone (Mark Taylor) tickling the ears with their vibrant melodic bursts of energy. Then she was left feeling breathless from piano-percussion instensity in the tempo which held up Human's rhythm section thus making certain every note was fused together to create that one floetry of momentus sound, blogspot readers. And judging by the audience's enthusiastic applause between trumpet, saxophone and back band solos during each piece performed, they were definitely feeling (besides enjoying) the luscious music heard.

It wasn't too difficult either not to feel each member of Human Spirit adding a bit of himself into the notes being played (especially during the solos). To SouthSide, they were doing more than just playing a song with a series of complicated notes within a scale but allowing you to feel what the composer felt at the time of composition. For example, take the piece 148 Lexington Ave (off Human Spirit's current album Dialogue), this reviewer got the sense she was part of a Mad Men episode while listening to the picturesque every day of life from this particular piece from the way the Thomas on trumpet and Mark on saxophone would perform as a duo and then sololy. She found herself getting "lost" within vibrantly strong yet gentle lull of the staccato tempo and melody to which kept the music flowing in an expressively dramatic tempo setting. There was intense passion as well as heartfelt emotions and gentleness wrapped around the notes played, blogspot readers. It was quite beautiful to feel the fierce crescendo gradually rising to the heart-stopping bursts of saxophone and trumpet joined together as one to pop the music with energizing momentum. This particular piece had a story to tell and each section of Human Spirit told a different piece through music to its audience.

Or take the band's cover of Sam Rivers' Beatrice (which kicked off the 2nd set of the performance). This 1950s classic though keeping the original composition in tact received a slight modernized update from Human Spirit. This particular rendition featured more than just a floetry of rhythms and melodies but also an upbeat swing within vibrant tones of hot passion from both trumpet and saxophone wonderfully expressing the composer's sentiments for the subject. SouthSide was totally enamored by how even while in a downtempo rhythm each member still brought to the stage that passion for the music to the audience whether it was the lively "chatting" done between trumpet and saxophone or the piano and bass (the fastest flying fingers ever seen) and their intense moments. Those moments and more were simply hot as well as energizing that this reviewer had to stop writing and enjoy the wondrous sound flowing around this restuarant/bar venue. It was certainly a delight to their fans too. SouthSide highly recommends attending Human Spirit's next performance and be prepared to not be amazed but be astound by the energy you'll leave with after the show is over. For more information, visit

To cap off her evening about town, SouthSide took in some relaxing moments inside the legendary The Drake Hotel's Coq d'Or where Jesse Charbonier was busily working the crowded room of football fans and wedding guests as well as his "regulars" during another performance of classic music and memories. With Nils popping on drums, Adrian tickling the ivories and Michael rockin' the bass, this hot room was jumpin' and jivin' to the cool selections of Chet Baker, Nat King Cole, and even a Ethel Waters 1930s classic - Mean To Me which had many taking to the dance floor despite no reall room to dance between the wait staff servicing patrons. L-O-V-E was definitely in the air tonight, blogspot readers, as couples reminisce and romanced to lovely magical voice of Jesse Charbonier that you might catch grown men shedding a tear or two while he's performing a particular song. It's true that this reviewer has seen and reviewed this local Jazz singer since his debut last year yet each show is quite different the last. And depending on the mood of his audience, Jesse might even re-arrange his setlist just to accommodate what he feels (as well as observes) from his audience. And the word of the night was "love". There was a special kind of glow surrounding the Coq d'Or as many as six couples took the floor during Chet Baker's Just Friends and Let's Get Lost and Billie Holiday's All Of Me as the "swing shift" began arriving at the bar for late night drinks and dinners.

SouthSide highly recommends checking out Jesse Charbonier whenever he's performing at Coq d'Or however on Oct 20th at Henry's (on Broadway at 105th St in New York), he will be making his NYC debut with two performances - one being a brunch and the other a late night performance. If in NYC or the surrounding area, blogspot readers are strongly encouraged to make reservations now for this only one-day, two-show performance before he heads back to Chicago. Experience the magic and relive memories as SouthSide's friend sings your favorite songs as well as hear a few that are rarely heard. For more information about Jesse Charbonier and his performances, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, October 5, 2012

01 Oct 12

Hey, blogspot readers, fall has certainly arrived. And with that brings touring bands rockin' the local scene around town. Tonight was no exception at Elbo Room where Fairhaven (from Providence, RI) made a special detour as part of their Plan A tour to entertain the Monday night regulars (while competing against Bears football) featuring performances of semi-acoustic and piano pop/alternative rock music within an  hour-long set. SouthSide in her research about this trio has been receiving buzz from music critics in which they are being compared to as" of the top up an coming bands" to  "Coldplay meets Kings of Leon" for their "...polished songwriting and catchy vocals..." They have shared the stage with other national acts like Neon Trees, OK Go, The Doobie Brothers and many others as well as can be heard on the airwaves on New England radio stations. Recently, they released their second album - Plan A, a follow up to their debut titled Origins.

And judging from the audience (in between spectacular Bear plays on the big screen) and their warm reception to Fairhaven's live semi-acoustic performance, SouthSide highly recommends checking out this band at their next show (visit for tour dates and details). To say, this reviewer was floored by everything she had read (as well as heard off their page) would be a general understatement, blogspot readers. Words cannot begin to describe how the combination of harmonizing vocals (by Alan on guitar, Trevor on piano and Brian on drums) and powerful yet dynamic piano-driven rhythms fused together into one moving music floetry made this reviewer feel and reacted to such heartfelt lyrics and sound. It was simply amazing as well as refreshing to hear clear and crisp songwriting that was truly spoken from the heart and soul of its creator. You could literally feel the energy rising and then crescending into one fierce momentum of energy during Fairhaven's semi-acoustic version of Firefly. SouthSide liked how the trio of vocal harmonies brought to life the powerful meaning behind the words thus nicely matching the intensity and power of the music composed around them.

Or check out the band's song Hollow, blogspot readers, it was - in one word - breathtaking. Both music and lyrics seem to pop continuously throughout amidst the melodic rhythms and tone. Even with the piano being not the central focus of Fairhaven's sound, this trio still managed to make their acoustic sound pop vibrantly to match the vocals and music intensity under one accord especially during one particular song labeled as "a work in progress" but to SouthSide's ear's it had the sense of being the band's next hit. They knew how and when to bring the energy to the ears for dramatic emphasis as well as when to bring the intensity down to a calm to numb the heartfelt senses and/or bring you to tears. If this reviewer didn't know any better, there's a certain kind of magic within Fairhaven's music to which some (like local guys Makeshift Prodigy, The Loneliest Monk and a couple of others) can tap into and move the depths of your soul actually feel or be inspired from what you've heard ...very heartfelt yet emotionally expressive.

That's what SouthSide left with after seeing Fairhaven's performance, blogspot readers. If you don't believe her, listen to the band's cover version of Beatles' Oh! Darling or Elton John's Rocket Man and not be moved by the strong vocals being poured into the microphone. They just might make you cry a little...

Until next time, support your local scene,

28 Sept 12

Photo0164 ~Private Instigators

Hey, blogspot readers, she's back! Yes, after some rest and relaxation, you simply can't keep this local scene queen reviewer away from the Chicago's vibrant music beat. Plus bands begin to worry. Yet never fear, fans, SouthSide was ready party at Lakeview's rock venue where Michael Laechel and Private Instigators were set to rock out the main stage. Alas two things also occurred on this night - traffic was horrible on the way there and she got carded at the door. It's never a dull moment within this reviewer's adventures around town. And though missing majority of this singer/songwriter's opening set, she was able to catch the "dueling" guitars during the finale of his closing song. Visit his site at for more information and music as well as featured videos from Elbo Room.

This trio were locked, cocked and smokin' with both barrels ready to rock out this main stage, blogspot readers, amidst such fierce intensity of that classic rock-n-roll sound with a little modern twist to it from the guitars. To say, the Private Instigators and their set blew SouthSide away is somewhat a gross understatement even though the band produced a fury of music which had her (and everyone else) swingin' to the upbeat twitterpating guitar riffs and thundering percussion rhythms. And by the time they reached the end of their second song, Lise The Tease, Private was running hot on high octane petrol. This band literally seized the audience by its rock balls ...held onto them and didn't let go until (abruptly) after the last riff had died into oblivion. Now that was definitely a rock show, blogspot readers. Private Instigators thrilled and chilled everyone with an exhilerating touch of the past and modern wrapping it as one hot fusion of rock music that's simply in it's purest form without any sub category fillers.


The performance itself had a swingin' mixture of slow ballads, heart-racing fast songs and a couple of classic covers featuring Misfits and Billy Joel. For example, take Private's song What's A Girl Supposed To Do (dedicated to anyone who was a teenage girl), you couldn't help be swayed by that classic late 50s slow downtempo groove while feeling that upbeat modern guitar rock in the back rhythms which wonderful highlighted Keith (front man on bass) and his falsetto vocals. This reviewer couldn't help think early Beatles when they were rising up in the music scene with a Brit blues rock sound. On the other hand, an earlier song - It Happened Last Night, wasn't your average love ballad, blogspot readers, though it was in reality a love ballad. Private Instigators retained some of that sentimental feeling of being happy in love but gave it more of an lively energetic rush of emotions of when you first meet that dream guy or girl from across the room. The rush was that intense and well felt off the guitar riffs despite the vocals being seriously overshadowed by the band's music. Oh for those who shout Freebird or Sweet Home Alabama - you're definitely at the wrong show. There won't be any Lynyrd Skynyrd at a Private Instigators show but you just might hear a rockin' cover of Billy Joel's Still Rock N Roll which featured a pepped up tempo (compared to the laid-back original 80s version) and a brief homage to Chuck Berry and his famous "duck" walk during the instrumental. Or if you're lucky, you might also hear early Misfits' Astro Zombies to which Keith seductively charmed the audience with the full effect of his falsetto voice while (just for the moment) the music didn't overshadow him.


Other noteworthy songs by Private Instigators blogspot readers should check out would include Don't You Know My Love Is Free (for those who have a "birthday girl got drunk" story to tell), You're A Creep! and Wasting My Time for not only the interesting song titles but this reviewer is certain there are equally funny stories behind them. Overall, blogspot readers, this trio licensed and bonded to rock your bobby socks off will be performing again at House of Blues on November 5th. opening for - Misfits. For more information about Private Instigators, visit

Unitl next time, support your local scene,