Friday, August 31, 2012

24 Aug 12 part 2

***Warning: some material mentioned may be offensive to certain readers***

"...we have to pray to Krom first..." ~ Your Little Ponies
Besides attending the premieres of Cafe Kremlin and Lucid Ground video, SouthSide was also at Elbo Room for a reunion show featuring Chicago's rudest, crudest and bearded ponies she has ever met in the local scene. That's right, blogspot readers, Your Little Ponies returned to the stage for a special one-night only performance at the Elbo Room's main lounge. But before their sexually perverted show began, 24th Star Project was rockin' hard in front of the audience. This eclectic band was comprised of members from other prominent local bands such as Chris Shen on bass from Red Mercury Sky, Ian on guitar from Polarizer, Rick on vocals of Legendary Liars and David Suycott on drums as well as Elbo Room regular Tony on guitar. Together, they created music full of spirited tempos and energy mixed inside a hip psychedelic sound and contrary to what Tony told SouthSide, this reviewer enjoyed what she heard especially during their dark guitar rock version of Depeche Mode's Halo. Blogspot readers can expect a full review on this band at their next performance.

They're rude, crude with the world's filthiest mouths to rock the mic around town. And if you're the purest virgin prude to ever walk on this planet, then SouthSide warns you to stay away or you might be having a piece of Chocolate Cake or Vagina Sandwich. However, it's all good fun about the content Your Little Ponies sing about, blogspot readers. Let's face it ...we're all adults here and like sex so no one should be embarrassed when the guys touch on subjects like having a threesome and stuffing things up your vagina to being the most awesome fuckin' dude in the world or a MILF with dirty secrets.  Welcome to the world of these local Ponies. No subject is held back as seen Friday night while performing in front a pack crowd of long time as well as new fans. There was excitement in the air among many because it has been over twelve months since their last reunion show and when they get together, strange things were bound to happen. This year it was having minor technical difficulties throughout the set. But that didn't stop them from rockin' out the fans with their favorite Ponies song. SouthSide's favorite is the Dude Song - it has how first met this raunchy group over five years ago during their Silvies' CD release show. Opening with a little prehistoric lesson about Pangea (complete with primal animalistic catcalls), YLP had fun giving the crowd what they came for - lewd sexually suggested lyrics,  pop/alternative music, energy and as always fun times trippin' down memory lane song after song. Watching the faces of some within the crowd, you could easily tell between a seasoned fan or a newbie whenever the Ponies hit that button (some were blushing bright red in the cheeks) while singing and dancing along with the band. The crowd totally came to life during the Dude song (especially with the many F-bombs being dropped left and right) and Two Fingers (yes, they did go there about mastrubation and more). The Ponies also entertained the crowd with a little ditty about things buried in the backyard ...and trust SouthSide, you don't want to know what's buried in there. If you're looking some (sexual) fun with your clothes on, blogspot readers, this reviewer highly suggests checking out the music by her friend, Your Little Ponies. Visit them at

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, August 30, 2012

24 Aug 12 part 1

Oh no!

Watch out!

Be careful because something sinister and deadly is about to go down especially when deep inside the seedy word of underground gambling. Sometimes're either dealt a bad hand or not playing by the house rules. And if you want to know more, SouthSide then highly suggests blogspot readers tuning in at every Friday night at 8p (CST) for next installment of Cafe Kremlin from now until Oct 5th.

On Friday night, this reviewer attended a party held at Elbo Room for the premiere screening of Cafe Kremlin episode one in which was followed by a sneak peek of episode two and then the world premiere of Lucid Ground's new video, "All To You". In a nutshell, this web-based series is about two friends, Michael (Jon Kasunic) and Banks (Ariel Grigas)  living dangerously on the edge within the underground grambling world where they enjoy taking suckers for a ride during their "fixed" games of high stakes poker. Plus, they're also two partners in a quick rich, money-making scheme by placing online bets for their clients that now includes a suspicious new player.

What and why does this character make him so suspicious? Tune in to episode three, "Knocking A Zero Off" and beyond to find out, blogspot readers.

Filmed entirely in Chicago, Cafe Kremlin weaves more intrigue and suspense into the plot by the end of the second episode because you get the distinct feeling the two main characters are about to head into treacherous waters due their new partnership and association with this particular Russian character named Sergei (protrayed by Vernon A. Hintt III) . Strong focus on the "Russian" here. This reviewer won't give too much away about episode two "Weird KGB Vibe", blogspot readers, but you'll definitely feel that vibe someone's about to get doublecrossed when it's over and this reviewer is betting it won't be the "soft spoken" Russian either.   
Still there's nothing glamorous or lavish when you're brought inseid the world of Cafe Kremilin. The production and design teams did a good job scouting and choosing locations around Chicago that would depict what the underground gambling world would be and feel like. No one's living in Gold Coast mansions or penthouses as playing poker in some secret hidden Capone backroom, blogspot readers. Try any ordinary apartment or row townhouse and neighborhood bar for Kremlin's scenery. The cast (seen thus far in the first two episodes) offered a sense of realism to their characters they portrayed from Michael's cociane-snorthing girlfriend, Alyssa to Sergei and his silent group henchmen. There are other characters that you'll meet such as Carmine (played by Harry W. Walters), Lisa (played by Rachel Joy Mazza), Jake, Michael's older brother (played by Jordan Miczek)and Chicago's own World Ranked Super Middle Weight Contender Don "Da Bomb" George as himself.

Besides the Chicago's rarely filmed locales and cast, Cafe Kremlin also featured music by local bands especially in the first two episodes by Lucid Ground and 72 Hours. Songs used in episode one was Lucid Ground's Shaken Crown and 72 Hours' The Elephant Song meanwhile in episode two it was all Lucid Ground and their Breaking Point and Learn to Speak songs. And speaking of Lucid Ground, it was time to view the band's new video, "All To You" after watching episode two, blogspot readers. This video featured random shots of the band members before, during and after their recent performance at the House of Blues ...even with candid shots of them backstage and dressing rooms. For more information about this band, visit

  Until next time, support your local scene, SouthSide

Monday, August 27, 2012

September 2012

Hey, blogspot readers, summertime fun is winding down fast. However don't let the chill of early fall stop you from checking out the following hot shows/events rockin' the music scene locally as well as in other places.

Please note all shows/events are 21+ unless otherwise noted.

Aug 30:
Jackal and Hyde (Cape Town, South Africa) - Brett Newski and The Corruption will begin their South African tour. For other tour dates and cities, visit

Aug 30 - Sept 9:
Chicago Fringe Fest! For schedule and ticket information, visit

Sept 1:
Beat Kitchen - Pop'stache and Machine Dream Records presents Polarizer with Deanna Devore, Isle of Rhodes and Dead Sheriff will be rockin' the stage.

Hideout - Blane Fonda and Panda Riot will sharing the bill together.

Harte's Saloon - the unofficial North Coast Afterparty will be happening featuring JMB and Janis Wallin

Livewire Lounge - [Product] and The Dead Room live on stage.

Reggie's Rock Club - I Lost Control featuring Kali Ra, Control and Jet Driver rockin' the stage.

Elbo Room - it's Patti Rain rockin' the stage.

Sept 2:
Neo - come out as this underground club celebrates its 33rd anniversary of rockin' the locl underground industrial scene with DJs Jeff Moyer and Razer X spinning.

Sept 5:
House of Blues - Singer/Songwriter Max Schneider will be making an appearance alongwith his band opening for Victoria Justice. Doors 6p / Show 7p

Elbo Room - Coles Whalen returns to Chicago to perform.

Mojoes - Paragon and Bobaflex will be sharing the stage.

Guitar Center (Lakeview/Lincoln Park location) - Music Industry Workshop's FREE Ableton Performance / Production Clinic. 6p - 9p
Sept 6:
The Canopy Club (Urbana, IL) - Strange Arrangement featuring Sonny Struble and Roster McCabe performing.

Late Bar - Shimmer ...Chicago's only dance party dedicated to shoegaze / dreampop music.

Sept 7:
Martyrs' - Train Company will be rockin' the stage.

Reggie's Rock Club - Primordial, While Heaven Wept and Cormorant will be rockin' the stage at this 17+ show presented by Dot To Dot Management. Tix $15 adv / $25 dos / $35 VIP (includes early sound check access, seating and custom poster).

Ace Bar - On Your Marx will be rockin' the stage.

Graham Central Station (Odessa, TX) - Green River Ordinance will be kicking off their Fall Tour 2012 supported by Josh Abbott Band. For more Sept tour dates and cities, visit
Chicago GRO fans, the band will be rockin' Lincoln Hall on Nov 4th.

Durty Nellie's - Model Stranger along with Local H and Trigger Fish will be performing. Tix $13 adv / $15 dos.

Elbo Room - The Real Jane Martin will be performing their Back To School Jam at Acoustic Lounge (upstairs bar area) / $5

Sept 8:
House of Blues - Villains of the world unite! V Is For Villains will be taking over this legendary venue at this 17+ show featuring Punch Cabbie and Psychopathic Daze. Tix $10 / $15 DOS

Congress Theater - Amon Tobin will be performing at this All-Ages show.

Double Door - The Dirty Rooks will be performing along with Jon Langford & Skull Orchard, The O Mys and Otis.

Willaimsburg Park - RIOT Fest Brooklyn featuring performances by Gogol Bordello, Descendents, Screaming Females, The Menzingers. Tix on sale now! 
For more information

Penny Road Pub - Blue Eyed Jesus will be performing at the All Day-Wounded Warrior Benefit Concert. Show begins at 2p.

Metro - Nocturna! Fashionably dressed in your best industrial, post-industrial, steampunk to military, anime and etc is advised. Also take a photo with the official mascot - The Bat Lamp. 10p / 18+

North Avenue Beach - 2012 Red Bull Flugtag!
Sept 9:
Double Door - check out Pyro Fighter setting the stage on fire along with Rah Rah, Exit Ghost and Glowing House.

Fort York (Toronto, Canada) - Riot Fest Toronto featuring Descendents, NOFX, Less Than Jake, a special solo performance by Andrew W. K., Mockingbird Wish Me Luck, The Lawrence Arms and many more.

Elbo Room - Seth Adam returns to Chicago to perform as part of his Fall tour. For other tour dates and cities, visit

J. D. Muggs - Modern Day Rippers featuring Pervert Preachers, Not All There, Criminal Kids and The Eruptors live on stage.

Sept 12:
SouthSide celebrates 6 solid years of covering Chicago's local scene!

The Viper Room (Los Angeles, CA) - The Last Vegas will be rockin' this legendary venue.

Sept 14 - 16:
RIOT Fest and Carnival 2012 - Chicago! For information on tickets and lineups, visit

Sept 14:
Subterranean - RIOT Fest After Party featuring Naked Raygun, Dan Vapid and The Cheats. 10p

Elbo Room - Goodbye Justin Lack! A musical extravaganza will be rockin' the lounge.

Sept 15:
Mayne Stage - Las Guitarras de Espana along with special guests cellist Ian Maksin, Wendy Clinard and Los Hombres Perdidos will be performing.

Hangar 9 (Carbondale, IL)  - Strange Arrangement will be performing.

Veterans Park (Milwaukee, WI) - Rock The Green Music Festival featuring performances by Third Eye Blind, Metric, Switchfoot, Atlas Genius, Morning Parade. For more information

Blarney's Island - Kriz Radousky will be performing.

Elbo Room - Hero Monster Zero will be rockin' the stage.

Lincoln Park - Cultivate Food, Ideas and Music Festival. For more information, visit

Sept 16:
Chicago's Guinness & Oyster Fest (in Roscoe Village neighborhood) - The Buddies will be performing at 4:30p after Canasta and before AM Taxi in support of their latest release F*** The Buddies. Check out their video A Lifetime At Best on Youtube.

Sept 18:
City Winery (1200 W. Randolph, Chicago) - The Strawbs and John Wesley Harding will be performing. Tix range from $22 for reserved seating to $30 for premier seating.
Sept 21:
Reggie's - Snarky Puppy will be sharing the stage with Andreas Kapsalis & Goran Ivanovic Guitar Duo at this 17+ show. Tix: $15 adv / $20 dos / $30 VIP (includes early sound check access, seating and custom poster). 10:30p

Sept 22:
Mayne Stage - Bloodshot will be holding its 18th Anniversary Party featuring live performances by Lydia Loveless, Jon Langford & Skull Orchard, Dex Romweber Doo, Deadstring Brothers and Shake'em On Down (featuring Rick Sherry and Joel Peterson).

Gexa Energy Pavilion (Dallas, TX) - Riot Fest Dallas featuring Rise Against, Descendents, NOFX, Less Than Jake, The Sword, a special solo performance by Andrew W. K., The Gaslight Anthem and many more.

Reggie's Rock Club - Frantic Flintstones, Three Blue Teardrops and Gamblers Mark will be sharing the bill.

Clark's Saloon (Beach Park, IL) - metalheads will be rockin' out to Wrath Metal Show featuring Thunder Driver! Show 9p

Cairo Bar - Christopher Dobelman's 2012 Autism Benefit show featuring Lucky Boys Confusion.

Sept 23:
Double Door - Animate Objects will be performing along with Brandon James & The Middle City Sound and Nicole Garza.

Congress Theater - Kendrick Lamar, AB-Soul and Jay Rock will be performing live at this All-Ages show.

Cobra Lounge - Riot Fest presents Street Dogs, Koffin Keats and more rockin' the stage.

Sept 25:
Roseland Theatre (Portland, OR) - Grouplove will be kicking off their tour schedule with a performance at this venue.

Sept 26:
Reggie's Rock Club - Icon of Coil, SITD and Caustic will be rockin' the stage at this early 17+ show.

Moore Theatre (Seattle, WA) - Grouplove will be rockin' the stage.

Martyrs' - Ultra Violet Hippo wtih special guest Digeometric will be rockin' the stage.

Sept 27:
Portage Theatre - Chicago Music of Horror (as part of the 2012 Chicago Horror Fest event).

Sept 28:
Hard Rock Cafe - The Future Laureates featuring Graham Czach, Divebar and Kate Diaz live on stage.

Elbo Room - Private Instigators Cause A Scandal will be happening here.

Sept 29:
Pick Ups Bar (21000 Torrence Av) - Nina G Photography and Rock Scarz Magazine presents Rock The Rescue. Event starts 2p.

Sept 30:
Elbo Room - JD3 live on stage.

Stay tune for updates, blogspot readers!

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, August 24, 2012

19 Aug 12

Hey, look up in the sky! It's a bird ...a plane ...nope, it's an F-16 buzzing by again at the speed of sound, blogspot readers. It's Day 2 of Chicago's Air and Water show and the clear blue skies are abuzzed with planes of all sizes and eras from World War II bombers and parajumpers to the famous Blue Angels thrilling a packed crowd along North Avenue beach. However, SouthSide's not one for crowds but she didn't miss any of the action seen in the skies as planes zoomed pasted as far as UIC (University of Illinois-Chicago)/Medical District and Bucktown areas majority of the afternoon. Today, she opted to rock out her Sunday with her daughter at Three Aces to catch her new friend - The Grisly Hand (from Kansas City, MO) during their double performance there.

This quaint 6-member band were the featured musical guests during Three Aces' Sunday bunch crowd to which they performed a selection of lively, toe-tappin' Americana/folk (with a bit of Country and Western) tunes deep within the heart of the Windy City. Yes, blogspot readers, this reviewer is not a afraid to join a hoedown and rock to some good o'l fashion fun-tastic Americana music presented like this band did. Throughout the first half of their double set, she enjoyed the spirited tempo and inviting atmosphere that surrounded the music of Grisly members and flowed around the backyard of this restaurant/venue. 

Even while in a downtempo rhythm, the band rocked the yard with intense guitar and/or mandolin picking but there was one minor thing plaguing this performance - sound volume. While the music was great to listen and enjoy, blogpsot readers, the sound quality was a definite issue especially with the band being outdoor. Mostly, during the set, the music outweighed and overshadowed the vocalists but it wasn't a technical issue either. SouthSide, in her best opinion, believes female vocalist Lauren  needed more vocal umph of her own to be heard loud and clearly above the guitars standing beside her. She does have the vocal powress to truly make certain songs pop yet it wasn't felt or heard during this particular half of the show. This reviewer wished she had more time to stay for the show's entirity but had another engagement to attend.

Despite the minor technical problems, The Grisly Hand did, blogspot readers, put on a rockin' show at Three Aces. The audience seemed to enjoy the spirited camaraderie and the witty storytelling laced within the lyrics that ranged from heartfelt emotions to humored wit. Off their latest album, Western Ave, this reviewer recommends checking out all  four-track but feels Still Feeling Blue and Black Coffee deserve special attention since both songs exhibit a little soul sound not usually heard in Americana/folk music. SouthSide also had a chance to check out Grisly's first album - SafeHouse (from 2010) and suggests getting quite acquainted to their Cherry Mash Waltz and Losin' You (Has Done A Number On Me).

Hopefully The Grisly Hand returns to Chicago for another show before it's winter but in the meantime, blogspot readers can catch this band rockin' around Kansas at the Uptown Theater and The Riot Room (both located in Kansas City, MO) as well as The Bottleneck on Sept 22 in Lawrence. For more more information, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

18 Aug 12

Sonic Pistol

"...I apologize ...I had to pee..."

"...that's a heavy fuckin' load on me..."

Hey, blogspot readers, it's back to school for SouthSide! Yes, it's that time of year again when the air smells like dusty chalkboards and students pounding the books of knowledge. However, after a hard first week of filling out forms and whatnot, this busy local reviewer was ready to rock the scene from all points this weekend whether it was Lakeview to Rogers Park ...and a few new places in between. Tonight, she returned "home" i.e. Elbo Room to check out her good friend, Sonic Pistol at their Through The Years CD release show.

This particular band, blogspot readers, SouthSide has watched over the years since meeting them at Cobra Lounge for a show that never happened. Returning to Elbo Room, the guys of Sonic Pistol brought their infamous hardcore guitar rock sound coupled with melodic falsetto yet emotionally dynamic vocals and more to an excited audience and fans. This quartet of guys, Kurt  (the man with the emotions on vocals), Mark (electric guitar wizard), Gor (the hopping guy on bass) and Brian (the man in the back on drums), rocked the stage with one of their best performances to date. You could literally feel the energy (as well as the vein-popping emotions) flowing throughout their performance. The music and band popped with energetic momentum and excitement from beginning to end to which this reviewer had not seen them do before until now.

Sonic Pistol 2

After opening with her favorite song, 9 Miles (also it's track 1 on the CD), Sonic blew everyone away other classic favorites but with a new rock vibe and sound like Cave, Disappear, Load and Redline. Yet what impressed this reviewer the most was the emotions felt and heard within the lyrics during these selection of songs and more. Kurt (front man of the band) is not afraid to show his emotions to the audience and didn't hold back on the angst and/or frustration felt by any man (or woman) when in a deep loving relationship that's going through tough times and trials. Definitely check out SouthSide's Sonic favorite, 9 Miles and listen closely to how he pleads with his love to walk those miles with him. It's almost like he's channeling Johnny Cash's Walk The Line while making that emotional plea. Or check out the ballads, Anything and Enduring (dedicated to his wife), where the heartfelt emotions poured into every ounce of words and music  (especially during the chorus of Anything) amidst Sonic's fiery downtempo rhythm to match Kurt's dynamic vocal style. He definitely portrayed both songs as a man deeply in tuned to himself and his mortality ...that he's only human especially when facing a tough challenge.

And let's not forget band behind the man that rocked the Sonic set song after song with powerful riffs and chords to fuel as well as complement their leader's voice. It takes a good band to back up a front man like Kurt but it definitely took a solid hardcore guitar rock band to match the intensity of what this singer feels off the lyrics. For example, take Disappear, blogspot readers, and ignore that comment about the band being "old". The a bunch of "old" guys they rocked the stage with such exuberant momentum and energy that had Gor (on bass) hopping around like a mad bunny on steriods. Nothing could keep them down as they sucker-punched the audience with hard electrifying riffs (watch Mark on guitar ...he gets down on the bridge) and thundering bass-percussion combined. If you really want to feel every riff and percussion rhythm, then crank up Sonic's Load on the highest volume setting and get ready to have your face melted while matching Kurt's vocal powress (yeah, his veins were popping at the forehead too). There was plenty of energetic vibe and more bursting all over the song that even overshadowed Elbo Room's air conditioning unit when that primal animalistic scream shook the basement lounge towards the end.

Sonic Pistol 3

Then there was one unique that's not usual at a Sonic Pistol show - a cover song. Kurt and the guys like to keep it real and original when it comes to their live shows. However since this was a special occasion, they covered a classic 90s hit by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Under The Bridge (another SouthSide favorite) but not completely copying the original composition ...just the music. This song is complex - there are riffs and percussion rhythms that change a momen's whim as well as vocals that require a choir and strong emotional feelings. Well, blogspot readers, Sonic accomplished that sans the choir aria for Kurt yet it was a very good take. Kurt captured the spirit and vibe of Anthony Kiedis on vocals but adding his own personal spin and vocal/emotion range to the lyrics while the rest of the band honed in on the music keeping that calming lull at the beginning and then explosively popping with that famous rock sound movement at the chorus towards the end. A complicated song about dealing with addiction and how it can take your life away.

SouthSide highly recommends checking out her friend, Sonic Pistol at their next live performance. For more information, visit

Sonic Pistol 4

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

14 Aug 12 - Elbo Room Open Dates

Hey, bands/artists, looking for a venue to perform your next live show, then check out SouthSide's good friends at Elbo Room within the heart of the Lakeview neighborhood area in Chicago. For over 40 years, this place has been the pulse beating life into Chicago's local scene that featured acts like I Fight Dragons, Soul Coughing, Janus, Local H, Liquid Soul, Smoking Popes, Hoobastank and many many more before they hit it big on a national market. 

If interested in performing about this venue known for its friendly staff, ambience and live music every night of the week, then read the following information sent to SouthSide:

For MAIN ROOM inquiry, please e-mail ADAMPOWERS@ELBOROOMLIVE.COM  or for acoustic lounge booking, please e-mail  KAYLA@ELBOROOMLIVE.COM with the following information:
















8/26 @ 11p

9/1 – 11pm

9/2 – 10p and 11p

9/6 – 9p, 11p and 12am

9/7 – 10p

9/9 – 10p and 11p

9/13 – 8p, 11p and 12am

9/14 - 8p

9/16 - 9p, 10p and 11p

9/20 – 8p, 11p and 12am

9/22 - 9p, and 11p

9/23 – 8p, 10p,

9/27 – 8p, 9p, 10p, 11p and 12am

9/28 – 9p


10/4 – 11p and 12am

10/6 – 8p

10/7 - 8p, 10p, and 11p

10/11 - 8p, and 11p

10/12 - 8p, 9p, 10p

10/14 - 8p, 9p, 10p and 11p

10/18 - 8p, 10p, and 11p

10/19 - 8p, 10p and 11p

10/20 - 8p

10/21 - 8p, 9p, 10p and 11p

10/25 - 8p, 10p and 11p

10/28 - 8p, 9p, 10p and 11p


11/1 – 8p, 9p, 10p, 11p and 12am

11/2 - 8p, 9p, 10p, 11p

11/3 - 8p, 9p, 10p, 11p

11/4 - 8p, 9p, 10p, 11p

11/8 - 8p, 9p, 10p, 11p and 12am

11/9 - 8p, 9p, 10p, 11p

11/10 - 8p, 9p

11/11 - 8p, 9p, 10p, 11p

11/15 - 8p, 10p, 11p and 12am

11/16 - 8p, 9p, 10p, 11p

11/17 - 8p

11/18 - 8p, 9p, 10p, 11p

11/23 - 8p, 10p, 11p

11/24 - 8p, 9p, 10p, 11p

11/25 - 8p, 9p, 10p, 11p

11/29 - 8p, 9p, 10p, 11p and 12am

11/30 - 8p, 9p, 10p, 11p






















9/2 8p-10p, 10p-12a

9/10 8p-9p

9/11 9p-12a

9/12 8p-10p

9/17 10p-12a

9/18 9p-12a

9/25 8p-10p


10/1 10p-12a

10/2 8p-10p, 10p-12a

10/8 8p-10p, 10p-12a

10/9 8p-10p, 10p-12a

10/15 10p-12a

10/16 8p-9p

10/22 8p-10p, 10p-12a

10/23 8p-10p, 10p-12a

10/29 8p-10p, 10p-12a

10/30 8p-10p, 10p-12a

Until next time, support your local scene,

06 Aug 12

Hey, blogspot readers, it's another rockin' jamboree deep within the heart of Lakeview on a Monday night! Tonight, at Schuba's Tavern, many came out to the first perfomances of The New Folk & Practice Space residency featuring top notch local folk bands/artists like Common Shriner, Jonas Friddle, Band Called Catch, New Folk and Cyndy Fike rockin' the stage every Monday during the month of August. New Folk will be releasing their debut album, Sea Fever, on Aug 27th. For more information about upcoming shows, visit

The Damn Choir 1 ~ The Damn Choir

Tonight, the audience was treat to a lineup featuring performances by Cyndy Fike and Jeremy Keen and the False Starts with The Damn Choir as headliner. Comparing this performance to the one seen earlier during the spring, SouthSide thoroughly enjoyed this show and highly suggests checking out this local band at their next scheduled show. This quintet of musicians brought to the stage such intensity amidst high energetic momentum highlighting the emotional vocal falsetto (from front man/guitarist Gordon) and harmonizing backing vocals that she didn't hear at their The Hideout performance. At times, you could literally feel the intense sound of The Damn's melodic Americana/folk (with some pop/alternative) music besides hearing it uplift your soul to which the vocals wonderfully translate the fierce passion and emotions within its three-part harmonies. After opening the set with a moving yet boisterous blast of sound and vocals conveying the melodic aria tone in Road, The Damn Choir rocked the audience's senses with differentiating tempos of happy-go-lucky feel (with the tambourine adding a touch a lively, toe-tappin' beat) to downtempo rhythms and upbeat energy. There was even a moment when the band performed an impromptu jam while switching between guitars to keep fans and audience wrapped inside the organic-ness of their folk vibe.

Yet, the intensity wasn't only reserved for the music, blogspot readers, but was also heard within the vocals too. It seemed we were meant to ride this emotional wave of feelings as taken straight from the songwriter's heart and  placed throughout each of The Damn's lyrics. It was amazing of what one could feel from their music and words combined within such intensity. For example, check out the new song - Creatures of Habit in which Gordon grabbed the heartstrings with an outpour of emotions behind his strong falsetto voice while the upbeat music nicely matches the mood and tone of the song. Or listen to Nowhere, where it was directly the opposite. Though in a slight downtempo rhythm, SouthSide enjoyed the liveliness of this particular song but more importantly it was to highlight the strengeth of Gordon's falsetto voice not the music (in her opinion) ...and especially liking the acapella harmonies towards the end. This reviewer truly felt him and his emotional side during another particular song in which he pleaded "...did I mention I'm falling in love with you..." yet during Devil's Frown you could still hear (and feel) his vocal intensity of angst and dynamic tone even while rockin' to the band's toe-tappin' energy and sound. And The Damn, without the intense tone, performed a vividly image-laiden ballad to which Gordon's voice pops to life amidst the soothing melodic lull of the bass cello while the rest of the band takes the harmony route inside the music.

The Damn Choir 5

For more information about The Damn Choir, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, August 9, 2012

04 Aug 12

Hey, blogspot readers, Lolla may be the biggest music event and news happening this weekend. HOWEVER, it was the afterparties as well as the many local shows rockin' the smaller venues/clubs that were getting spotlighted attention from this busy reviewer. Case in point, SouthSide opted to party with her #1 fan, Joe, at Martyrs' (located in the Northcenter neighborhood area) to review Goodnight Criminals which also featured performances by opener Argo Navis and headliner Veritae. Tonight's central theme was all about experimental, mind blowing trips into the electronica/rock music accompanied to random projected images on the screen to enhance your show enjoyment.

Argo Navis 1 - Argo Navis

This reviewer highly suggests blogspot readers rockin' to the tripped out instrumental megatronica rock fusion of Argo Navis at their next live performance. And she truly suggests you seeing this band live for the full and power effect this band and its music will give you. Think of these local guys as a young Pink Floyd when it was all about the instrumental/experimental electronic fusion of rock amidst rhythmic floetry of each guitar, percussion and digital wizardry felt and heard. Argo literally exploded with vibrant blasts of soundwaves upon soundwaves that sometimes came with riff or digital changes to take you further as well as deeper inside the music. Joe said afte a few songs that their music was atmospheric to which this reviewer agreed with him because if there were lyrics, the experience wouldn't have been mind blowing one bit. For example, after the heartpounding intro of one particular song, Argo presented a sort of a calming lull (while scenes of clouds floating by on the screen) in between energetic bursts of momentum and organ rhythms ...there were a few melodic tones here and there but just enough to make you feel that vibrant sound flowing around you. It was intense experience by this quintet of musicians never to be forgotten. For more information about Argo Navis, visit the band at

Goodnight Criminals 1 - Goodnight Criminals

It would be criminal if you didn't check out SouthSide's newest friends, Goodnight Criminals, at their next live performance, blogspot readers. Though a step up the notch on the electronica/experimental rock fusion ladder, this local band thoroughly captured the essence and sound of the dark moody themes yet adding some light and texture that you don't go emo. It's more like a club mixture and experimental rock which at times the music does have that danceable groove to the electronica rhythms or you might hear some heartfelt emotions being brought to life off the lyrics. You could say they're almost a millennial version to New Order if you really want a comparison. And just like the previous band, Goodnight Criminals enhanced the audience's show enjoyment with their random images projected on screen that also included scenes of last year's Snow-maggedon. After opening with SouthSide's favorite song - Pretenders (track4 off current EP release - Liars, Thieves and Pretenders), this band rocked the stage with a mix of paced of upbeat as well as downtempo songs from the EP like We Fall Down (which uses scenes from the Michael Douglas movie - Fall Down) where you can feel the electronica melody flowing more in a live setting than off the CD. Still, this reviewer was impressed by the band's energy presented throughout each song to the guitar riffs that offered a razor-sharp edge to a couple of songs and the dynamic falsetto vocals - not usually heard in a genre like this. Also there were moments when the music had piano-driven feel to the song thus adding more melodic tone to Goodnight's electronic sound or when the music did get dark and moody yet retaining a lighthearted vibe for you dance to. Besides the images shown, the lighting sequence for their set also helped enhanced the atmosphere setting the right mood and vibe for their audience. For more information about this band, visit GoodnightCriminals at

Until next time, support your local scene,

01 Aug 12

"...that song was about a broken G-string..."

Hey, blogspot readers, it's time "give me Thor!" If it's a Wednesday, then it's time for the weekly local music showcase hosted by Matthew Alfano (of Mason's Case) at Lakeview's Elbo Room. However tonight, SouthSide enjoyed the entertainingly delightful set of singer/songwriter performance by new friend Josh Damigo (from San Diego). Recently sharing a tour with her other friend, Matt Ryd, before heading back to California, this artist entertained the audience with funny tales and Disney movie theme songs at the upstairs lounge.

SouthSide highly suggests checking out this singer/songwriter at his next live performance which wasn't so ordinary or a typical acoustic act, blogspot readers. This reviewer got the distinct feeling he likes to keep his audience on their toes. And by doing just that, there were little surprises around every corner with this singer/songwriter. At one point, he improvised a song while Matt Ryd (acting as his roadie) re-strung his guitar - more about that one in a minute. With his heartfelt emotions inside the dynamic vocals amidst a unique acoustic sound that featured a loop to add his own voice and/or music as backing, SouthSide enjoyed the energy and spirit to which this singer/songwriter had wrapped around his songs. Even while emitting some heartfelt tenderness, Josh and his voice made you feel not just the music but every word spoken. For example, he took a popular Jim Croce ballad (I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song) sort of flipped it to make the song feel more personal and sentimental within his vocal style adding the right amount of emotions that he almost made SouthSide cry. And to sing part of the song without a mic - now that was impressive to this reviewer. Just to hear his natural tone emitting the purest emotions loud and clear in a downtempo rhythm ...well don't know how the audience felt but to her - it was truly amazing. One small note, Josh had a rare chance to perform with AJ Croce at a show. 

After that tender moment, Josh did lighten up the mood with his Otis Redding's (Sitting On) The Dock of the Bay sounding song to which will definitely lift you out of your doldrums due to the wit and humor in the lyrics. Another fun moment was when he performed Pocket Change but not as song but in a poetic spoken word style with the audience clapping and Matt using a speaker box for percussion rhythms - all this while he was trying to string his guitar. Now, add a couple of improvisational voice beatbox tones to a loop machine and watch this song take off into a new direction. Yet, also SouthSide enjoyed his vivid imagery during the song LA Is Not My Home to where he clearly conveyed and described life there off his lyrics before rousing the audience with another demonstration of his vocal powress as heard in the song, Saves The Day. Now Josh concluded his performance with song requests from fans like Slow Going and Cougar (yes, a song about older women with their cubs) in which both featured intense guitar playing as well as a spectacular demonstration of his dynamic vocals. Then out of the blue, Josh started singing a couple of bars of Disney's Little Mermaid, Part Of Your World, blogspot readers, that not only surprised this reviewer (since Elbo Room wouldn't be a typical place to hear Disney tunes) but also quite unique to hear this iconic song from a male point of view. He even did a few bars of Kiss The Girl too before standing on a barstool to powerfully close out his show.

Josh Damigo, blogspot readers - an artist not afraid to sing Disney songs at a venue! For more information about him and his music, visit

Untill next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

CD Review

Hey, blogspot readers, the summer tunes keep playing on SouthSide's stereo system. For acoustic blues/rock/alternative fans, she highly suggests giving Dara's 9-track CD a good listen while for those who love the fast lane of electric guitar rock, she suggests sinking your teeth into the 3-track CD by Red Mercury Sky.


Wow, what a soul-searching you're going to have with this particular CD, blogspot readers. This album will give you the sense that each of us in life embark on a lifelong mission in finding the undeniable truth but only to discover we're not perfect. Yet it's our imperfections is what makes and defines us as a person and who we are in this crazy world. Singer/songwriter Dara (who does all of the vocals and guitars for this CD) wonderfully conveys such a notion throughout each song reaching different stages of life. Through the use of his soulfully dynamic vocal falsetto range to heartfelt expressiveness in his voice as well as the tone, mood and different music genres cleverly meshed together, Dara offers little slices of life while taking your ears on that journey to search for the truth about yourself (via his lyrics) which at times can be somber as a sad ballad or upbeat and inspirational. For example, take a listen to track 2 - Hold Of My Soul in which this particular song was a little reminiscent of Johnny Cash's Walk The Line yet with a more tempered acoustic/alternative rock sound ...enough to highlight the dynamic tone and emotions in the vocals. This truly had SouthSide's attention but in the last place you would think - her soul. The words demonstrated how humanity when at our weakest is when we are great - it was moving from beginning to end. Check out track 5 - Heard The News where it was dark and somber amidst the lyrical imagery while listening to the emotions pouring from Dara's voice to paint a not so pretty picture about life. His words were absolutely realistic, blogspot readers, to say we rarely have that "they lived happily ever after" ending in life. Definitely check out the lively, upbeat feel of Judgement Day (track 6) where you get to feel as well as hear the vibrant blast of blues rock ...even this artist's voice clearly projectes that same excited momentum meanwhile in track 8 - No Coming Back, you can truly tell that he means it this time ...if you leave, there's no coming back though he's willing to be there when you fall ...but in track 1 - Guilt, you will be moved by the heartfelt emotions though surrounded in somber tone with a slightly upbeat guitar riff tempo. Ending with an uplifting inspirational song (track 9 - Alright) in which Dara reminds us after all of the trials and tribulations in our lives, there's always the notion things will be alright. And that's our saving grace and hope as human beings while surviving in this crazy world.

Red Mercury Sky

What do you get when you combine the best of two former local bands - Heavy The Fall (Dan Graunke on vocals/guitar and Erik Kikke on guitar and The Branded (Jay Mishur on drums and M-Shen on bass)? Well, blogspot readers, you have the sound of hardcore electric guitar rock with some melodic vocals and hip-shaking grooviness. SouthSide highly suggests cranking up the volume while listening to this 3-track CD to feel the electric vibe flowing off each song (especially the last track - Mad Love ...the "wham bam thank you fast and furious ma'am" type of  guitar rock here). This reviewer was thoroughly impressed by the tiny sample of this band's rock sound ...and don't even try to categorize it either since the music itself has its own little mood swings. The songs project 3 different sides to love (or however you want to preceive the lyrics) that is met with dynamic falsetto and emotions in the vocals, intense energy and momentum (especially at the instrumental bridges) to immerse you deeply into their soundwaves, and the electric flow coupled with the thundering percussions - SouthSide couldn't get enough of it. Yet all the while - these songs have a groovy melodic tone and tempo for that hip shaking vibe. After diving into track 1 - Blood On My Hearts, get ready to feel that emotional dynamicness of Dan's voice during Save Me (a love that needs rescuing) where the electric is a little low key, but not to worry, blogspot readers, the band does crank out the guitar rock at the chorus before quickly moving into track 3 - Mad Love (love on the fast run) - this particular will leave you feeling breathless due to its electric rush woven throughout the melody. Definitely crank this song up on the highest volume setting you have to fully enjoy every heart-pounding sound. If you want to see this band live and up close, then head to Ultra Lounge on August 10th where they will be sharing the stage with Mindsight and Sunset Empire. The show is 21+ and $8.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, August 3, 2012

August 2012 - update

Hey, blogspot readers, there are more hot summertime shows/events you should know about that are happening this month!

All shows are 21+ unless noted.

Aug 9:
The Shrine - Akasha and Illuminati Congo with Barrington Levy and special guests Mama Sol, Aniba Hotep, Phenom and DJ Special and DJ Madrid
8p / FREE (with rvsp:

**Please note, blogspot readers - this event at The Shrine has been cancelled due to unforeseen VISA issues HOWEVER all tickets will be honored on the rescheduled date of Oct 18th**

Reggie's - Jeff Daschbach will be performing live

Aug 11:
Fins Seafood and Grille (Findlay, OH) - Steve Mullan will be performing live
6p / All Ages / FREE

Alexandria's (Findlay, OH) - Steve Mullan will be performing live
10p / All Ages / FREE

Lincoln Tap Room - Cirque De La Femme: Peep Show / Freak Show

Aug 17:
Charter One Pavillion - The Aggrolites will hit the stage at this All Ages show as part of their Summer Tour 2012.
Visit for more details and ticket information.

Aug 19:
Long's Park (Lancaster, PA) - Long's Park Summer Concert Series featuring Joshua James
7:30p / FREE

Aug 23:
Fitz's Spare Keys - Robert Mason of Warrant will be performing

Aug 24:
Ye Olde Cock and Bull (Toledo, OH) - Steve Mullan will be performing live
9:30p / 21+ / FREE

Aug 25:
Downtown Main Martini Bar (Brighton, MI) - Steve Mullan will be performing live
8:30p / All Ages / FREE

Aug 26:
Davenport's Piano Bar and Cabaret - Jeff Daschbach will be performing live

Aug 28:
Schuba's Tavern - Grownup Noise (Boston, MA) returns to Chicago as part of a music/comedy tour with Timmy Williams (of The Whitest Kids U Know) and Golden Bloom.

Until next time, support your local scene,

30 Jul 12

If you make a little more noise, you'll probably get Doug to perform shirtless*

Like to apologize to my family from Wyoming's not always Magic Mike

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's rockin' the local scene on a rare Monday night appearance at Schuba's. Here, along with many others crowding the venue in the back of the pub, she's jammin' to the funky Americana rock groove of The Shams Band tonight as they concluded their month long residency at this Lakeview venue. Also helping them close out the final Monday night there was Young Hines and Archie Powell and the Exports featuring Mr. Gac.

After good friend, August Forte (of Novo Arts, Inc) introduces the band, this quintet of musicians immediately got down to the task of rockin' out the packed house featuring songs off their current album - Cold City. In a flash, this band impressed this reviewer with a gritty sound of thundering hardcore Southern rock that was accompanied by heat on the lyrics within a 3 (and sometimes a 4) part vocal harmonization especially during the opening number. The Shams were totally bringing out the emotional angst and frustration before surprising the reviewer's ears with a jump in chord change that livened up the mood and tempo in the end. With an opening like that, blogspot readers, SouthSide knew this wasn't the band she first met couple of years during the Taste of Chicago. The Shams Band's music and core rock sound was a little sharper ...had more bite and steam added to the guitar rock genre within their Americana/alterntive  (especially when there are four guitars occupying the stage on any given song) and the vocals - well, they popped time after time with precise harmonization that you heard each person's part.

This band had the crowd kicking up their heels to the hillbilly/rock vibe even while in a downtempo rhythm but still having some two-step groove to sway to the rhythmic beat. For example, check out Shams' Truck Whiskey which had that Grand Ol Opry country feel within this particular tune that had many in the crowd dancing and twirling around to the lively, hot tempered music. Though no one tossed any whiskey bottles, the music sparked a few cheers and catcalls whenever the word "whiskey" was mentioned. Or try your hand at City Slicker for it's toe-tappin' groove amidst the band's Americana/folk with a spicy dash of rockabilly (and some bluegrass too) woven throughout the tempo and the organic sounds of the tambourine livening up the rhythms. Then there was another particular song to which exploded with bursts of energetic momentum now that all four guitars were visibily rockin' the stage as well as amongst the crowd who were loving the mentions of Chicago tucked in the lyrics. A few fine examples of the way this local band kept their fans, family and friends delightfrully entertained with the music's exuberant energy and life. But what held SouthSide's interest the most was the 4-part vocal harmonies.

She was mostly impressed on how song after song the guys, Donnie, Paul, Brian and Ben, tickled the ears with such falsetto harmonies popping the words to life. They made the songs have that lively spirit needed to match the same felt as well as heard in the music but then again - this reviewer enjoyed the acapella touch to certain songs to truly soak the ears deep within the harmonies, blogspot readers, like they did near the conclusion of Truck Whiskey. There were two particular songs in which during one the guys jammed to the vocal harmonies amidst hot twitterpating guitar riffs while in the other took it slow amidst the bluegrass feel and sound though retaining that fun tempo for people to dance.

SouthSide highly suggests checking out The Shams Band at their next live performance and get ready to rock your shoes off from an eclectic mix of music genre but also be mesmerized by the vocal harmonies sweetly singing the tunes..

For more information about The Shams Band, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

*and he does

26 Jul 12


what defines you as an artist is that you never give up

Hej, blogspot readers, it's an extra special On The Town adventure and this time, it takes place inside a museum! Tonight, SouthSide's rockin' the heart of historic Andersonville to meet and review singer/songwriter Sofia Talvik and her performance at the Swedish American Museum. Founded in 1976, this lovely place is "...dedicated to perserving [the] Swedish heritage and educating all generations and ehtnic groups in Swedish language, art, culture and traditions..." The 24,000-square foot building (located across the street from its original hardware store location) is home to three exhibit areas, a library, classrooms, offices and a gift shop as well as a gallery featuring contemporary Swedish art. The main attraction of this museum is the re-telling of the story of Swedish immigration to Chicago told in two different points of view - one for children and the other for adults. SouthSide's planning to visit again with her family especially during the holiday season for Lucia, Sweden's winter festival of lights and other Christmastime events. For more information about the Swedish American Museum, the hours of operation, admission and more, visit

Currently on tour for the next two years, this reviewer highly suggests checking out the heartfelt poetic floetry within the docile-like expressive vocals amidst pop/folk music by Sofia Talvik. This Swedish singer/songwriter delightfully entertained her audience under an atmosphere of warmth and friendship while sharing funny tidbits of life on the road (traveling with her husband) or her childhood and a wonderful selection of songs that included some off her current album - The Owls Are Not What They Seem. While tuning her guitar, Sofia regaled the attentive listeners about purchasing and then decorating a RV (that was parked at the Walgreens down the street) with items at Ikea to what inspired her to write about her songs Flo-rida and Jonestown. SouthSide liked the one story of how she promised to perform the rest of her set in the nude if the bar patrons would sit quietly through one song without talking. Needless to say, blogspot readers, Sofia has yet to make good on that promise though she did say it was okay for the audience to get naked if they wanted to. That and other slices of her life brought the connection between artist and audience a little closer each time before performing a song that seemed to coincide with the central lyrical theme or subject.


What impressed this reviewer the most was the beautiful and rich acoustic sound of Sofia's unique take on the folk genre which featured a bit of urban pop under a contemporary vibe thus leaving this reviewer the difficult task of what to spotlight in this review. After opening with the gentitle atmosphere of an acoustic downtempo rhythm found in King of the Willow Trees, Sofia's performance contained a selection of songs from her previous albums Flo-rida (title track full of image-laden lyrics under a lively pop tempo and feel) and Jonestown (another title track based on actual events to which this songwriter still gets chils whenever she performs this particular song) as well as a Glenn Campbell cover - Witchita Lineman (loved Sofia's vocal style on this 70s contemporary ballad that's somewhat told from a female prospective, blogspot readers) after revealing she's a fan of this American singer/songwriter. She even caught his "Goodbye" tour performance at a rodeo which according to her was amazing and appalling at the same time - the rodeo that is. Yet if SouthSide had to truly choose which Sofia Talvik moment as her favorite, she would suggest the following highlights but in no particular order.

Delusional (off Sofia's current album) - for the way the arrangement spotlighted this artist's vocal tone amidst acoustic tempo that also featured a steady percussion sound to counteract but not overshadow her docile voice. Plus the sad tone does tug on the heartstrings especially when she sings some of the lyrics in Swedish; Ghosts - the song that started it all, blogspot readers. SouthSide enjoyed the lively tune amidst an upbeat rhythmic tempo especially for a ballad about a relationship torn apart by an old flame who refuses to move on; Turn Me Over - for the vibrant acoustic sound which nicely highlighted the dynamic side to this songwriter's vocal style. Sofia popped the lyrics to life whenever she became more emotional and expressive bringing a vividly clear image to this reviewer's heard while admiring the Swedish artwork around the walls; At The End - a wonderful yet heartbreaking song about the trials of touring and a relationship that ends badly because of it. One could clearly hear the sadness and heartache wrapped inside the downtempo rhythm and acoustic song highlighting Sofia's voice especially at the end when she gets soulfully dynamic; The Garden (off the current album) - this reviewer enjoyed this particular song for its dark, haunting tone that came with chills down the spine (even off the acoustic riffs) though it's filled with such lovely romanticism, blogspot readers; Something Good - Sofia's heartfelt, feel good song of the night. SouthSide highly suggests listening to this lively song when you're having a tough day and nothing seems to be going right ...try this song for some inspiration; and lastly but certainly not least, the Swedish folk song, blogspot readers, which was also the highlight of the night. Sofia totally shined as an artist while beautifully expressing the Swedish language and poetic floetry to the audience. And even though not knowing what was being sung, SouthSide observed the many mixed reactions to this particular tune - of teary eyes to proud beaming smiles on faces all around her while hearing the lovely spoken words.

There's plenty of time, blogspot readers, to catch this singer/songwriter at her next live performance. She plans on visiting the both sides of the US coasts as well as many cities and towns in between. For more information about Sofia Talvik and where the RV heads next, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, August 2, 2012

24 Jul 12 - Producers Summit

Hey, blogspot readers, give SouthSide a beat! Tonight, at the Guitar Center (located in Lincoln Park/Lakeview area) was the site for a special yet intimate gathering where indie producers near and far (as in St. Louis, MO) received some helpful advice and insite about being a producer as well as battled their best beats against each other in front of Grammy Award winners, S1 (Symbolic 1) and Rhymefest along with Stephen - Rhymefest's engineer. This was an extremely rare chance and opportunity for those up and coming producers of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and sex to be a part of this Producers Summit. The FREE event was presented by Music Industry Workshop in conjunction with The Guitar Center featuring Brand Aok (of iStandard Productions) hosting and taking on the moderating duties during the Q & A session throughout the open public event.

After a brief welcome to the session by the manager of this Guitar Center Location, Rhymefest opened with a brief history into his rising career as a Battle Fest rapper (noting that Chicago has the best Battle Fest rappers) trying to make a name for himself which included winning a battle against Marshall Mathers (aka Eminem). His connection to Jay-Z and many others began with his connection with Kanye West who was making beats for him because at the time, according to Rhymefess, no one wanted to hear Kanye rap. Soon he was signed to a major (R&B) label however became indie to learn more about being a producer and the craft with Kanye. Besides music, many voters in Chicago should recognize this artist because of his run for the aldermanic race in the 20th ward against Alderman Willie Cochran. Though unsuccessful, it did put this hometown producer in the media spotlight about his passion for community activism to which he currently felt has more of an impact through his new venture - Project Moses with Symbolic 1. Not really going into too many details, Rhymefest did hint that this organization will create its own label as well as sign indie artists to it.

Meanwhile S1 (or Symbolic 1) offered a quick look into his 15 years as a producer which started off making beats for Strange Fruit Project on an indie level before working full-time. Then he met and started collaborating with Little Brother for a while which led up to his meeting with Kanye West via Rhymefest whom he sent a sample of his beats who in turn had Kanye check out. According to S1, "...relationships are so important ...the relationships you build will help in your journey in this industry..." For S1, his journey over the last 15 years has been built on making good connections (ie relationships) around other artists that he had the chance of meeting. Lastly, Stephen, a man of many few words, spoke rather briefly about his career as an engineer and mixer but that didn't stop Rhymefest for truly highlighting how much appreciated this person was to him. The artist stated that Stephen besides being an engineer also had a brilliant mind not just for how music and instruments should sound (has a rock band) but for the business side of the industry too. According to Rhymefest, he has written proposals for him calling the engineer his "...partner..." For Rhymefest, he was able to see a different prospective of music as a business than just producing beats for Jay-Z or Kanye or Beyonce et al.

Now it was time for a brief session of Q & As amongst the participants in this crowded back room and the first question was about how to maintain relationships. Both artists highly recommended to everyone that they be "...a man of [their] word ...follow through if [they] promise something, then do it..." Doing this certainly shows what kind of person you are to others who might in turn tell others and so on and so forth. S1 also added  "...doing small things and being kind..." to the mix. Meanwhile, Rhymefest also highlighted the point if someone does you wrong, don't go with the impulse to snap on people which brought up the follow up question - how to handle a situation when someone has done you wrong. He suggested considering how to use that situation as leverage to your advantage and/or knowing when to walk away from the relationship with your services and pride in tact. Also he advised, if considering the non-profit route, find what you're interested in or want to promote. "...[you] do not have to do everything what people do..." Both agreed that you have to make music "...that's special to you musicians, we're suppose to be starting trends not be controlled..." That is something SouthSide can agree with. "...if you make music, be a leader and have the followers follow you..."

The next question dealt with on how to handle the direction of a song from different points of view. It was advised that having strong communication and discussions ...thus trading and creating concepts and ideas to build a song. Rhymefest stated that as a writer he's open to edit and has full trust (as well as faith) in the producer, artist, etc. It was suggested that many young musicians and producers don't know how to handle this to which you need to be mature and professional. Then it was asked what was the difference working with major label and indie. Symbolic 1 said there are similarities but with an indie artists it's easier to get your money up front compared to the major label since there's a network of people who have to sign off on your check. According to him, depending on the artists, creativity is cut out and all because of - technology. "...everyone wants you email, pick and then demo the track..." while with indie artists "...[there's] more creativity..." because you're able to work closely with them. Another asked S1 since he was from out of state how did he make relationships outside from where he was from. Jokingly he replied there's " much I can do by staying locked in a room..." yet at the end of the day, it's all about that one beat. And since he wanted to put himself out there, he began entering events and showcases despite spending money he didn't have. But it was necessary if he wanted to take his career to the next level. His advice was " and maintain relationship" Before taking a break for two separate producer battles, the last question asked was about how production had changed over the years. Back in SouthSide's day (and yes, she's dating herself again), there was no software just hardware (ie think of that episode of Everyone Hates Chris when he wanted to be a DJ) for creating beats. S1 being sort of old school he didn't want to switch to software after getting quite familiar with his V8Fx soundboard and sampling tools but did switch over upon discovering the sound was greater and was able to manipulate different sounds better.

Just because it as Rhymefest and S1 judging the producer battles, don't think the battling contestants were treated lightly, Oh no - these two artists offered honest and constructive criticism (as SouthSidewould do when reviewing a show) to each of the contestants on what they could do better to how to improve, add, subtract, etc from the sample heard, blogspot readers. Here's a sample of what happened in round 1:  Blitz Beatz was first to which S1 said it was great but it need some tweaking and limit stock sound while Rhymefest stated it was really good however the intro was too long. It didn't have the same build up as the drop. Next, representing the ladies, was Michelle and her track - S1 said it had too much going on (at once) to which she needed to make sure each sound had its own space and identity while Rhymefest wondered (as an artist) if he could rap over it saying the track didn't have enough groove to rap to. There was Treymaine (this reviewer apologizes if name is misspelled) to which both judges liked a lot. Rhymefest began rapping his opinion about the track in time with the beat and declaring it the winner with Blitz Beatz as runner up. Other battle contestants included Buggin' Beatz (the track didn't have enough umph to take it anywhere though loving the pianos used) and Stadium Status (the drums stood out amidst the melody but also needed the right sounding drum beat for this particular track). How does one make the drums harder? "...know your monitors ...know how drums are suppose to sound..."

Here's a sample from round 2: Abliteration took the spotlight with his track to which Rhymefest said it sound like sounds were clashing together ...there was no personality and S1 said he needed to understand (as well as play with) the EQ ...clean everything up, buld it and clean to improve - beware of the instruments. Stephen commented "...instead of adding ...cutting to what the human ear can hear..." Then there was Foo and his track had the a unique drum beat but no groove to which Rhymefest advised that producers should know how people move (ie look at what drugs are popular) meanwhile S1 though liking the track had to agree with Rhymefest since he too was expecting it to go somewhere. J-Hush was next and he received compliments about his track because both judges immediately recognized that he's a producer who knows how to mix very well. According to Rhymefest, the track demonstrated his professionalism and S1 said the song was ready for airplay. Again both judges like the track by Matthew in which S1 said it was "...dope..." because it was "...a real feel good track..." showing his musicianship and Rhymefest liked how the music made him feel because of its vibe stating we needed more producers and music like his. Also battling in this round was Joy (needed more element [ie melody] in her track was too plain though having some style) and Black Norris (both agreed the track was a hip hop joynt though a little dated with the drums). Winners for this round were Matthew and Foo but everyone who attended this session wanted their music to be heard and judged tonight though sadly couldn't due to time constraint.

In the end, blogspot readers, it was a very informative though brief look into the world as a producer within the music industry. One, she hopes, each participant learned something to improve as well as better their craft.

Until next time, support your local scene,