Wednesday, July 31, 2013

27 July 13 - Jeff Fest

It's a family affair, blogspot readers at this 3-day neighborhood festival! This afternoon, SouthSide and her daughter spent an unseasonably cool day at the Jeff Fest which featured more than upcoming local bands and artists rockin' the stages.

Located within the heart of Jefferson Park (bordering between Lawrence and Higgins ...near the Jefferson Park Blue Line stations), there were picnic games (i.e. bean toss, hula hooping), arts and crafts, an array of local vendors like Replica Chicago (your place for cool buttons, t-shirts, and more), Amati Originals (lovely decorative art pieces created out of old buttons and/or broken jewelry) and Kelley Art - just to name a few, and a Kids Zone in which the youngsters were treated to bounce houses, face painting, mini golf and more.

SouthSide spent some time with Kylia Kummer, owner and designer of Lavender In  Brown where she displayed her summer collection - a mix of African print within classic styles inspired from the 50s and 60s. This reviewer got a sneak peek of her fall/winter collection which will feature a "leather biker chick meets African patterns", blogspot readers. For more information about her clothing (and check out her washable lunch bags too), visit And what's a neighborhood fest without food, blogspot readers? To satisfy your hunger, there were a delicious array of food vendors and food trucks from pizza to saucy BBQ as well as a fine selection of craft beers and wines.

The music portion of Jeff Fest featured some of the hottest local/indie acts around two such as Dot Dot Dot, The Locals, Wishing Well, Root Cause and more on the main stage meanwhile on the acoustic stage artists like Peter Oyloe, Yost Drum Circle, and Tommy Tuesday. Providing the Saturday evening entertainment, the members of Voodoo Kings ( rocked the main stage with an energetic performance before the headliner Magic Box closed out the night. The crowd enjoyed the unique combination of electric guitar americana/blues rock with intense rhythms and upbeat rhythms as long as songs styled with vivid imagery inside the lyrics. Plus there were times when this band excitedly grooved the stage with a funky vibe that had some dancing along, blogspot readers. For example, listen to Voodoo's American Lights, a descriptive song about traveling across US amidst thrilling electric rhythms at instrumental bridge meanwhile the song Animal had a fierce growl of electrifying funk rock which will have you feeling that intense guitar vibe.

Over at the acoustic stage, SouthSide checked out part of Mike Felten's ( set where he was performing new songs off his upcoming album - AKA Johnny Lunchucket before its official release on August 25. Within a lively Americana folk rock sound, this reviewer enjoyed Mike's tales about old buildings that were part of Chicago but now torn down (Made In Chicago), the rise and fall of the American car industry and a song titled Too Kind To Hit ...just to give you a sample of what to expect from this singer/songwriter. Though having a little microphone problems, the dancing, sword-fighting kids were an added delight to those who attended this performance. Fans can catch this artist along with Hannah Frank and Victor Sanders at Uncommon Ground (Clark St location) on August 25th.

Until next time, support your local scene,

29 July 13 - The Hunt (Jagten)

When does a lie perceived to be the truth remain a lie before the truth is finally accepted?

That's the eternal question you must decide for yourself when seeing the Danish film - The Hunt. And in the end, it definitely be an in depth conversational piece . 

The movie is about a kindergarten teacher named Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) after a messy divorce is getting his life back together though having problems with his ex while entering a new relationship with Nadja (Alexandra Rapaport). Life seems to be on a gradually upbeat swing for Lucas until one day while playing with his students young Klara (wonderfully portrayed by Annika Wedderkopp) kisses him on the mouth while slipping a note into his pocket. Even though immediately having a chat with the little girl about kissing another adult (other than her mother and father) and the note (to which she flatly denies doing), he's accused of molesting her when she tells the principal Grethe (Susse Wold) the most damaging of all accusations - that Lucas exposed himself (i.e. showed his penis) to her. Now granted the principal had her doubts about the matter yet she pursues the matter by bringing in a child psychologist/DCFS-type worker to question Klara which not only has the lie spiraling out of control, blogspot readers, but it has other parents claiming their children were molested by Lucas after holding a meeting with them. This truly doesn't bode well for him since Klara is the daughter of his best friend Theo (Thomas Bo Larsen) and his wife Agnes (Anne Louise Hessing). Yet during the course of this, Klara does admit she said something stupid ...that he (Lucas) didn't do anything. However, since the lie is seen as the truth, the adults think she's lying to feel sorry for her accuser. 

Besides showing how a child's little lie after being taken as a truth by everyone directly and indirectly involved, it also show how an accusation could instantly effect the alleged abuser and his family thus changing their lives throughout the course of the film. Not only does he lose his job at the kindergarten school and his girlfriend, Lucas loses the trust and friendship from most of his friends except Brunn (Lars Ranthe), his son's (Marcus portrayed by Lasse Fogelstrom) godfather. No one wants to believe and/or help prove his innocence. And even after the court finds no evidence of abuse, he's still viewed as an child molester where he lives to the point everyone in town continues to ostracize him which also includes banning him from shopping at the local grocery store (as so ordered by the store manager) all because they believe he did what Klara accused him of doing. Mads Mikkelsen in the role of Lucas shows the moveigoer (especially during the heart-stopping conclusion of The Hunt) that he always will forever be the victim of little girl's innocence lie never caring that he was justly vindicated by the truth and court. This actor wonderfully demonstrated a wide range of emotions from disbelief and anger (when being accused of the alleged crime) to frustration and hopelessness (after being acquitted of all wrong) and more while remaining relatively calm for the sake of his son ...especially when someone viciously murders the family dog.

There's three sides to the truth, blogspot readers - Klara's, Lucas' and what the director reveals during the course of the movie. This reviewer liked the fact that director Thomas Vinterberg didn't waste most of the run time fluffing up the movie with unnecessary details (like showing the investigation with the other children or Lucas' police questioning and court appearance) which would painfully drag the movie down and drift away from its focus on the main character - Lucas. Without those scenes in place you really don't feel lost or that you're missing something from the plot because the director allows the somewhat fast paced timeline summarize what happened in between through his characters. For example, we don't realize Lucas has lost his job until the scene titled December but you do get that general feeling since he practically lives in a dark house and there's dirty dishes and clothes strewn everywhere when his son unexpectedly arrives at his door. Usually reserved for a thriller/horror film not a drama, Thomas wonderfully uses the element of surprise in this movie to heighten the intense moviegoing experience with a few jarring, heart-stopping and panic moments that might have you clawing at your theater armrest, blogspot readers. On the flipside, there are some funny moments - be on the lookout for Fanny the dog to bark whenever someone mentions the name Kirsten. It's hilarious. And (without trying to give too much away) through the use of the minor characters towards the end, he also gave you the sense that some were able (a) to forgive and forget, (b) forgive but not forget or (c) still hold a grudge ...from afar.

If you want to see a thought-provoking drama and don't mind reading subtitles (though there are moments when it's in English), SouthSide highly recommends checking The Hunt (which has a limited theater viewing run).

Until next time, support your local scene,

22 July 13 - Thick As A Brick 1 & 2

Do you enjoy sitting on a park bench watching the pretty panties runs? Or are you thick as a brick with locomotive breath, blogspot readers? If you got the song references, then congrats know these famous Jethro Tull songs! 

Tonight, it was an extra special On The Town adventure that took this reviewer north to Highland Park, IL for a unique outdoor concert experience amongst other concert-goers. For SouthSide, it was an experience of a lifetime as she graced Valhalla again to see another legendary classic rock icon - Ian Anderson of British progressive rock band, Jethro Tull. What made this concert very special for this reviewer (and the hundreds who also attended) was hearing Thick As A Brick 1 & 2 (What Happened to Gerald Bostock) in their entirety performed on stage! Yes, blogspot readers, this was indeed a chance of lifetime ...especially after seeing Robert Plant over a week ago! The concert had an unique combination of being a rock concert and comedic dinner theater rolled into one hot rockin', nearly 2 hour show featuring Ian and the band performing the "hard" part and music while Ryan O'Donnell performed the "soft" part on backing vocals and theatrics amidst the random images to wonderfully highlight the concert theater experience. SouthSide especially liked how Ryan's expressive body language and vocal abilities delightfully put Ian's poetic words into motion whenever he appeared on stage. 

Disguised as the "cleaning crew",  Ian Anderson and the band cleaned, dusted and swept up the stage as part of the pre-show antics before opening with a short film featuring a trip the psychologist. Instantly, the crowd inside the pavilion (and those picnicking on the lawn) filled this concert venue with rousing cheers and applause when Ian Anderson opened with the title track - Thick As A Brick which if listening closely to the lyrics, blogspot readers, touches briefly on being mildly stupid and not accepting any new ideas before moving into other issues like class structures, conforming and the rigid morals in which the established society subjects us. Part 1 is about a boy who faces such a dilemma whether he should choose being an artist or a soldier just like his father before him and despite rebelling against society throughout the first act, we watch him gradually assimilate into that role of a soldier with songs like Tales of Your Life, Childhood Heroes and The Poet and The Painter.  The second act - Thick As A Brick 2 answers the general question what happened to child genius Gerald Bostock now that he's all grown and adult living in today's modern society. However this album differs from the first by offering the audience several different scenarios such as a Evangelical yet egotistical vicar, a homeless man who is a homosexual, banker who believes greed is good, an ordinary shop owner who is married but childless, and soldier who fought in the Afghan war. Mostly "what ifs" of what Gerald could be and/or could have been. One could also say Ian Anderson was tapping into how each one of us and our lives could develop and/or change direction as well as end in a conclusion through chance encounters no matter how small or unimportant they might seem through songs like Old School Song (in which you see schoolhood photos of Ian Anderson), Medley: Power and Spirit/Give Till It Hurts and Kismet in Suburbia.

Watching both acts was simply magical as well as thought-provoking, blogspot readers, all at once. The first part of TAAB featured Ian as the pied piper hypnotically weaving the docile rhythms around his fans whenever performing on his "magic" flute. The melodic tones melding with the progressive rock sound not only filled the cool evening air with soothing floetry but also highlighting Ian's epic poetry and lyrical prose. Meanwhile his counterpart, Ryan, did a wonderful job portraying Ian's alter ego - Gerald Bostock besides adding depth and definition to the famous lyrics whenever he "acts" out the songs. At times he could be so serious while in character and yet on the flipside be so playful when needed as he hops around the stage with Ian the Pied Piper. And believe SouthSide, there's something so magical when Ian's on the flute that you will definitely hear the way he enchants the ears and feel that magic as he plays the instrument. The flute's actually an extension of the poet and the words he wants to convey to the listener without vocally singing them to you, blogspot readers. If you watch closely the video screen, pay attention to the maestro's facial expressions while on the instrument. There are moments when you can hear the classical masters and their composition influences within the progressive sound especially when tapping into Ian's epic ballads about heroes and chivalry. It completely left SouthSide fascinated by the intense poetic feel accompanying the rock side to TAAB music which featured some of the original members of Jethro Tull (2007 - 2011). Compared to TAAB1, TAAB 2 had more of a hardcore progressive rock sound with a few moments of Ian's Pied Piper in between. SouthSide enjoyed the intense yet vibrantly energetic rock sound. Also part 2 features more of Ian performing as the older Gerald Bostock with Ryan appearing on stage whenever the song selection called for him (like during Power and Spirit/Give Till It Hurts).

SouthSide wishes she could take a few photos of this spectacular rock performance but sadly this was a "no photo/video" type of show, blogspot readers, just to give you some idea what entails. However if you have the opportunity, this reviewer highly recommends checking out Ian Anderson performing Thick As A Brick 1 & 2 at a venue near you. This is definitely one concert you need to experience live ...up close and personal ...especially if the encore is an intense fiery rendition of Locomotive Breath.  One word - WOW. This song certainly had this crowd fired up with excitement. And judging be the overheard comments after the concert was over, everyone had a great time.

Joining Ian Anderson (flute, vocals, guitar) was David Goodier (bass), John O'Hara (piano, orchestral conductor, keyboards), Florian Opahle (guitar), Scott Hammond (drums), Ryan O'Donnell (vocals), Anne Phoebe (violin via Skype video), and Gavin E (the guy in the wet suit) with Mike Downs on production.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Saturday, July 27, 2013

August 2013

It's the dog days of summer, blogspot readers, but we still have A LOT of summertime fun, music and more to go before the crisp autumn winds blow into town! From music and neighborhood festivals to touring bands and more, this town (and elsewhere) is about to explode with cool rockin' music under the hot sun. SouthSide highly suggests spending your days/nights checking out a few of these upcoming events wherever they may be. Have fun!

Please note - some events listed in this calendar blog are 21+ unless otherwise noted, blogspot readers.

Jesse Charbonier will be performing your favorite jazz classics and rarely covered tunes at the legendary Coq D'or (located inside the Drake Hotel) during the month of August on the following dates: 3, 10 and 31 (Saturdays) and 23 (Friday).
FREE / AA (as long as those younger 21 seat at the table/booths) / 9p

Aug 1:
Concord Music Hall - rock with legendary Brit post-punker Adam Ant!

Harte's Saloon (Evergreen Park, IL) - Digeometric returns to perform at this venue every 1st Thursday of the month.

Indy's Jukebox (Indianapolis, IN) - rock with Sinister Fate featuring Bizarre Noir, Dirty and Lilith On Top.

Aug 2 - 4:
Grant Park - Lollapalooza rolls into town. Sadly, this year's run has sold out however SouthSide highly recommends checking out her friends of Makeshift Prodigy when they perform Sunday Aug 4.
The after parties at Double Door featuring The Bright Light Social Hour and The Mowgli's (Fri) and Ghost BC (Sat) are officially sold out.

Aug 2:
Martyrs' - head on down to Honey Island Swamp as this band brings their Cane Sugar tour to Chicago.

Third Street Dive (Louisville, KY) - Sinister Fate will be rockin' the stage with Spontaneous Internal Combustion and Graphic Violence
$5 / 9p

27 Live (Evanston, IL) - The Wanton Looks, Black Actress and Big Sur

Aug 3:
Flat Iron Park (Lake Geneva, WI) - Lynch will be rockin' the stage at Lake Geneva's Rock Fest For Love Inc. which will also feature performances by Veilside, TOFOYA's Lost Boyzz, House of Holland, B'zz and more.
There's no cover for this event HOWEVER buy a "Love Inc" t-shirt to help support this local family charity.

Shrunken Head (Columbus, OH) - Sinister Fate along with Staggered Hope and another band to be announced will be rockin' your face here.
$5 / 10p

Canaryville Little League Field (455 W 45th PL) - don't fret if you couldn't snag tickets to this year's Lolla ...simply attend Ville-A-Palooza 2013! This fest will feature Eddie Tremore, John Sullivan, The Action Blast, Villains Company, Sunset Empire and many more.
11a / $10

The Burlington Bar - rock with The Manx, The Lurks and Los Muruchos

Cowboy Monkey - Missing The Point will be rockin' the stage here.

Aug 4:
Exit - rock the 2nd floor with Hot Dang and Sinister Fate
FREE / 11p

Mojoe's (Joliet, IL) - check out Davey Suicide's Hide Your Morals show featuring The Bunny The Bear and The Defiled.

Aug 7:
Empty Bottle - K. Serra's Record Release featuring Love and Radiation and When Clouds Attack with DJ sets by Magicks
$8 (or FREE with rsvp

Smartbar - it's time for MACHINA with DJ Scary Lady Sarah with special guest DJ Peroxide.

Schuba's Tavern - Sonicbids presents Todd Kessler & the New Folk with Leigh Roohan and Jeremiah Webb.
$7 / 8p

Aug 8:
HOB Voodoo Lounge (West Hollywood, CA) - check out Joe Taylor performing with his full band featuring Scott Welch on guitar, Chris Cardel on bass, Chris "Fuse" Infusion on drums.
$10 at door or / ALL AGES / 7p

Lincoln Hall - The New Diet with Mines, Wally Dogger and Broken Light
$8 adv / $10 dos / 8p

Aug 9 - 10:
Double Door - it's MOB Fest weekend featuring performances by Polarcode, Aly Jados, On Your Marx, Cobalt and the Hired Guns, Mighty Fox and more with MOBFest Music Industry panels (Saturday afternoon / $5).
$5 adv / $7dos

Aug 9 - 11:
The Dan Theatre - it's the Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins Theatre Festival XXV. This 25th annual performance mashup celebrates the anniversary of the Woodstock Music & Art Fair of 1969 which will feature more than 100 theatre group, bands and performers on 3 stages throughout the 3 days.
For more information and tickets, visit

Aug 9:
Elbo Room - say "Amen" when Pastor Funkpleez & the Pulpit Players rock the stage.

Aug 10:
Pick Ups Bar Inc (Lynwood, IL) - attend the 2nd annual Metal Fest which will feature live performances by Winds of Sirius, Hot Dang, Sinister Fate, Royal, Bleed For The Fallen and many more.

Red Line Tap - don't run or hide when Hero Monster Zero invades this Rogers Park venue!

Goose Island (Wrigleyville) - swizzlesteve presents Mason's Case sharing the bill with Rhombus, The Electric Habit and Arkansas Dogjaw.
$7 adv / $8 dos

Uncommon Ground (Clark Street location) - it's the Made From Scratch Kickoff Tour featuring Amy Gerhartz.
$7 / reservation for a table 1 773 929 3680

Lakeshore Lanes (Michigan City, IN) - celebrate and rock out during Jake Lawless' Last B-Day Ever featuring performances by Among The Essence, Midwest Death Squad, Bombastikon, Soy City Stranglers, Scalding Hot Acid and The Last Chance Boyzz.
$5 / 8p

Ye Olde Town Inn - it's time to Metal Up Your Ass (Metallica Tribute) with Bill Ura Dik, Withering Soul and another band to be announced.
$8 / 9p

Sunny Mt Zion M.B. Church (4855 W. Horner St) - it's a church fundraiser-BBQ-Music-Yard Sale event featuring music by Chicago Music Promotions.

Aug 11:
Double Door - check out Robbie Krieger's Jam Kitchen featuring members of The Doors and Frank Zappa Band.
8p / $20

Aug 13:
House of Blues (Chicago) - The Future Laureates will be opening for Saints of Valory and Trapdoor Social.
ALL AGES / 6:30p show start

Aug 14:
Double Door - Door No.3 presents Fabitat: Grooves featuring DJ Adam LeBlanc (of 16 Candles/Berlin) during A Night For The Westside LGBTQ Community and its supporters.
9p / FREE

Red Line Tap - it's Jackie Chain performing live here

Aug 15:
Reggie's - hey, ladies, let's show the guys how we rock during Dame-Nation V: The Journey Towards A New Beginning! This annual female-fronted hard rock event will feature 2 stages of live performances by Luna Mortis, Plague of Stars, Scarlet Canary and many more.
$10 adv for either stage / $18 for access to both

Double Door - attend V.O.A. aka Voice Of Addiction's Vinyl/CD release and Tour Kickoff show with Gunner's Daughter, Hotlips Messiah and Brick Alley Riot.
$7 / 9p

Ultra Lounge - rock out with HAVOK (from Denver, CO) when this band bring their tour to Chicago in support of new album "Unnatural Selection".

Aug 16 & 17:
Schuba's Tavern - it's a Shams Band Weekend featuring The Howlin' Brothers and Leadfoot (Friday) and Daniel Ellsworth & the Great Lakes and Derek Nelson (Saturday).

Aug 16:
Double Door - Verona Red will be rockin' the stage at this Wicker Park venue.

Aug 17:
Cobra Lounge - check I:Scintilla's Live Album Release Party featuring Defcon and JILT rockin' the stage with them.

Ye Olde Town Inn - attend PAWS Chicago Charity event which will feature live music performances by Skull Fogger, Seconds To Serenity, Hubbard Union and The Alder Kings.
For more information and tickets, visit

Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University - attend an event benefitting AIDS Foundation of Chicago, The Dancers' Fund and Chicago House which will have live performances by Dance Works Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Abigail Simom and Mauro Villanueva performing Le Corsaire Pas de Deux and more. Hossted by Alderman Tom Tunney.
For tickets - 1 312 922 5812 or

Concord Music Hall - start wearing purple with Gogol Bordello

First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre - The Band Perry opens for Rascal Flatts

Aug 18:
Township - check out Paul Baribeau, Mischief of Brew, Al Scorch, Kittyhawk and When Flying Feels Like Falling rockin' the stage.
Please remember when attending this show - NO drinking, NO drugs, NO jerks.
7p / $8
For more information, email

Aug 23:
Underground Lounge - mk ultra and DSN Music presents Terror Tour 2013 featuring live performances by Psycho Sister and Subsonic (with Ron Marks from Celtic Frost).
$7 / 8p

Aug 24:
It's I AM Fest, the annual Independent Arts and Music Fest held at House of Blues Chicago featuring live performances by Social Focus, Energy Commission, Eagle Trace, Kelsey Montanez, RayIsDude, Leah Druzinski and the 3 winners from the I AM Fest Battle of the Bands.
All Ages / $18 adv

Hard Rock Cafe (Chicago) - check out Marizen's CD Release for The Sun Goes Down featuring Dilana.

Double Door - swizzlesteve presents Bad Bad Meow along with Rocketboat, Pet Peeve, The Vare and Bluebird rocin' the stage.
8:30p / $10 adv / $12 dos

Lincoln Hall - Bassel & The Supernaturals, Psalm One, Falldown and Em & Them will be rockin' the stage at this Lincoln Park venue. Half of the profits will be donated towards nonlethal, humanitarian funding for over 100,000 victims affected by the crisis in Syria.
18+ / $10 adv

Concord Music Hall - there's a BOOM whenever Boombox performs on a stage.

Bash On Wabash

The Mutiny - Jack Rabbit performs live here

Aug 25:
Double Door - attend Laughing Stock: The Chicago Comedy Rock Fest featuring over 30 comedy musical acts and comedians.
1p / $12

Aug 26:
Double Door - Bone Thugs-n-Harmony with Special Guests TBA
$25 (Early Bird special) / $29.50 GA / $50 Seated Balcony (35 available seats) / $100 Seated VIP w/meet-n-greet (12 available) / $100 Blue Room w/meet-n-greet (18 available)

Aug 28:
Subterranean - groove to live performances by Super Hairy, Magicks and Dream Council.
$8 dos / online / 8p

Shrine - Respect The Mic presents Masta Ace with Wordsworth, Babee Powda, Hanibl Phee, Notrydo Sincere, Johnny Aww$um and more.
$20 / 21+ to drink / 8p doors / 12am main event

Aug 30:
Double Door - it's The Locals' Record Release show with Hemmingbirds, The Sweeps and Lights Alive.
$7 adv / $10 dos or $12 adv (and received a free CD)

Stay tuned to this blog for updates as SouthSide receives them.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, July 25, 2013

18 July 13

It's a hot and steamy night, blogspot readers! It's so hot that SouthSide's cooling off by rockin' to music performances during this special On The Town adventure. Tonight, she's hanging out at Wicker Park's hippest rock venue - Double Door for a pre-Pitchfork party featuring three amazing acts currently on tour presented by Conflict of Interest. Music fans crowded the main floor to see ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead and UME (both from Austin, Texas) with The Red Paintings (Australia) opening the show. 

This reviewer thoroughly enjoyed the sights and sounds of The Red Paintings which combined a rather semi-acoustic music set coupled with two artists creating art on stage with the duo musicians. What truly made this performance very interesting to review was the elaborate costumes worn on stage which was a bit shocking especially after a record-breaking temperatures. She wishes that she had pictures to show the anime-inspired wear complete with a Russian hat and coat and kimonos adorning the two. The opening act itself could be described as intense and eclectic while having a vibrant folk music amidst such beautiful melodic rhythms even when performing a song about young woman who committed suicide leaving behind a young child. The highlight of Red's show came at two points, blogspot readers. The first happened during a powerful rendition of a rarely covered Nirvana song You Know You're Right that demonstrated a fine display of vocal emotions on the lyrics not only popping in the ears but smacking the music right into your face with such intense acoustic sound. The second happened at the conclusion of Red's performance when the electric was tuned up at the beginning of The Revolution Is Never Coming in which was the most powerful display of fiery emotions and frustrations ever witnessed by SouthSide. She enjoyed the political overtones heard within the lyrics that everyone inside the Double Door could feel the venomous heat dripping from Trash's lips as he spewed "...your revolution is never coming..." intense and so true, blogspot readers. SouthSide suggests checking out this band. For more information about The Red Paintings, visit for fall tour dates with  Mindless Self Indulgence.

Are you ready to rock, blogspot readers? SouthSide means ...are you REALLY ready to rock with this next band from Austin, TX? Are you ready to do more than headbang to wild, intense electric guitar-driven punk rock with this band known as UME? And wow - did this hardcore trio ever blow this reviewer's (and everyone else in the vicinity) ears away! They had this crowd feeling as well as reeling within the full blast of hard-hitting electric riffs throughout their performance full of that gritty Southern rock sound. Even while taking the energetic momentum down for a moment, UME still kept that intense electric charge going though it was also the moment when Lauren's (the band's female lead on guitar) microphone needed to be upped a little. This reviewer was totally grooving to the crazy floetry off the harsh chords that sometimes might be a bit jarring on the eardrums (if you don't have earplugs like this reviewer) but that's how this bands rocks, blogspot readers. Don't expect this band to slow down either. It got brutally rough ...and that was a good thing. Each song had that "in the your face wham bam thank you, ma'am" type of rock coupled with Lauren's vocals on lyrics. She might fool you with that soft voice however you'll be amazed on how raspy and dynamic as well as soulful she can be a lead vocalist adding lots of steamy sex appeal most times. Yet watch out, fellas, she can rock harder than most of you especially when she hits that moment within an instrumental bridge or jam - she really lets her hair fly all around while making her guitar "sing" and wail with such energy. Ending on a high note, UME was one of the most exciting rock bands SouthSide has seen so far and suggests checking out this band at their next show. For more information about UME, visit

Now it was really time to rock out, blogspot readers! To the sound of joyous cheers and thunderous applause, Austin, Tx band And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead stepped onto the stage ready to blast us away with intense yet melodic guitar rock. One thing you can definitely say about this band (besides the long name which accompanies it) is its core sound was designed to be epic dazzling the senses with rhythmic chords and dramatic crescendoing buildup throughout the instrumental bridges before returning the song's original tempo. Yes, the music was almost like an orchestrated composition and very expressive to the bone which also highlighted the front man's vocals on lyrics. And believe it or not, blogspot readers, this was merely the prelude of more great things to come from And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead. For this reviewer it was the melodic sound that instantly grabbed her attention. She enjoyed how each guitarist played the riffs with a vigorous fervor and such intensity while creating beautiful rock music in between the harsh floetry and tempo pace. To say, SouthSide awestruck would be a gross understatement and it would be somewhat difficult to describe the energetic momentum that flowed within this venue. Midway thru the performance,  And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead debuted songs newly recorded when they were in Hanover, Germany which demonstrated a stark contrast in music style than what was heard at the beginning of the performance. Instead of the melodic sound and rhythms, the new songs demonstrated the band's progression into hardcore rock intensity with gritty guitar riffs and raw vocal angst on the lyrics. Now this stage along with the crowd was totally on fire, blogspot readers! Fueled by the cheers, the intensity grew by the minute as show became wilder and crazier ...not one inch of the stage was left untouched though the crowd (especially where SouthSide stood) was somewhat restrained. Yet that doesn't mean they weren't enjoying the intense rock performance. And though the melodic side to this band was not really present within their hardcore side, you can still hear and feel the epic crescendoing rise and dramatic smack of sound was there to leave you breathless and wanting more. This was SouthSide's first time reviewing a band like And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead performing under such "grueling" pressure - which isn't a bad thing to do since it did keep the many fans attending this show very excited and caught up within the momentum. It was certainly the wow factor for them each time the guitars wailed to its gritty sound or the drums thundered out its rhythms until the end. Overall, blogspot readers, this reviewer recommends checking out this band live up close and personal at their next show and be prepared to have all five senses blown away when they're finished rockin' the stage. For more information about And You Know Us By The Trail of Dead, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

12 July 13

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's Friday night has just begun!

Rockin' Chicago's music scene didn't stop after seeing Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters at Grant Park. No, it was time to rock some more with her friends of Alice Sweet Alice at Hard Rock Cafe.  From Kansas City, Mo, this band was on a summer tour in support of their latest release, Ribbons & Stone opening for headlining local band Pez Band.

It has been a long while since SouthSide has seen Alice Sweet Alice performing on stage and this was a great opportunity to hear selections off Ribbons & Stone live in front of a crowd at this River North venue.  Opening the set with a rather somber but lively tune Glorious Excess that impressively demonstrated the dynamic mixed with soul in Ali' vocals,  this band, blogspot readers, showed signs of progression since the last time this reviewer saw them. The tone of the evening was more focused on bringing out the soul and heartfelt sound in the vocals as well as keeping the music on an upbeat tempo (at times) even though the subject may be slightly heavy handed for such a tempo.

For example, check out the song, Spiral (track 7 on the album) in which Ali, in this reviewer's honest opinion, shined underneath the staged lighting as she poured not only her heart but also her soul into the microphone delivering such a powerful tour de force of emotions.  And this wasn't the only moment either. She kept the powerful vocal display going during M.I.A. (track 3 on the album) amidst an energizing alternative rock sound and Scott (Alice Sweet Alice's bassist) backing her on her vocals. His deep baritone voice added more depth and meaning to the lyrics at the chorus. Scott took the audience All Around The World (track 5) with his deep heartfelt tone while grooving to that unique music combination of a haunting melodic sound intricately woven into an upbeat rhythm thus creating a nice danceable beat. During this particular song, Alice Sweet Alice almost had a powerpop/shoegaze vibe going on at Hard Rock Cafe.

The song of the night for SouthSide would have to be Alice's Full Circle where you felt more than just Ali's vocals on the lyrics literally feel the pent up electric charge and energy as she soulfully wows the ears! This was her intense "I am woman hear me roar" moment on stage, blogspot readers, especially during the chorus. She truly showed us what it feels like to be frustrated when a relationship going so good has now reached its full circle and wasn't the woman to be pushed around with flimsy promises and such. And though the lighting sequence for this song was a bit distracting when switching between the bright white to violet, it along with the music wonderfully matched Ali's vocal temperament and tone before closing the show with Burden Of Truth - another powerful display of vocals amidst a vibrant powerpop-like vibe within rock alternative sound.

Even though it was a rather short performance for Alice Sweet Alice, blogspot readers, SouthSide does highly recommend checking out this band live at their next show as well as snagging a copy of Ribbons & Stone. This reviewer recommends listening to the title track first before putting the rest of the CD on random mode to hear the other selections like Heroes, Breakout and Worth The Wait. Fans will enjoy the dark overtones within a couple of Alice's songs but don't let that scare your ears away's to highlight the heartfelt emotions being projected within the lyrics. For information about Alice Sweet Alice, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, July 18, 2013

12 July 13

SouthSide has finally basked within the grace of THE rock god of all rock gods inside Valhalla. And with one word, it was AMAZING, blogspot readers! 

Tonight, this reviewer kicked off her double-header Friday night adventure around town with a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to see Robert Plant along with his touring band Sensational Space Shifters when they headlined day 3 of the 33rd Taste of Chicago. This legendary rocker and band simply wowed the crowd of hundreds of thousands with classic Led Zeppelin as well as a few eclectic fusion of African/blues/soft rock during this near two hour performance ...and it went beyond hearing the some of standards like Stairway To Heaven, Kashmir (SouthSide's favorite Led Zeppelin song) and Immigrant Song. No, blogspot readers, Robert Plant performed a rare blues standard Spoonful (loosely based on A Spoonful of Blues,  a song recorded in 1929 by Charley Patton here in Chicago) to a semi-acoustic yet very moving version of Going To California and other songs in between.

With his setlist comprised of songs highlighting Led Zeppelin through the years (as well as his solo song - In The Mood), Robert Plant and Sensational Space Shifters revived certain songs with a fresh sound that incorporated either an earthy/tribal vibe (with the inclusion of African instruments) or an experimental/cosmic soundwave. Amidst the eclectic fusion, you could also hear a bit of Eastern influence within that West African mix to give the music a somewhat sultry dance groove. This unique combination heard throughout the performance kept many (even the hardcore) Zeppelin fans groovin' on the grassy field of Grant Park ...sometimes you could even hear parts of the crowd singing along with the band to their favorite songs. Performing songs like Baby I'm Gonna Leave You, Gonna Make You Sweat (which had the crowd singing the "ah ah ah" part) and Black Dog, this reviewer enjoyed how Robert's voice hasn't aged with time almost sounding the same as the recorded Zeppelin. Yes, his raspy soulful blues style can still give SouthSide the thrilling chills especially when singing Whole Lotta Love.

Yet, he also added more instrumental jams and bridges to allow fans, a wonderful diverse showing of young and old crossing all generation, bask what was the some of the legendary band's very best, blogspot readers. Basically, this was as close to a real Led Zeppelin concert it was going to get for this reviewer and many others attending the performance. The classic Led Zeppelin hits like Whole Lotta Love (featuring a few bars of Bo Didley's Who Do Love at the bridge), In The Mood, and What Is And What Should Never Be garnered plenty of cheers from the crowd especially during the beautifully moving version of Going To California. It was so moving that a couple got engaged, blogspot readers!  The crowd (when this reviewer took a minute to observe) was thoroughly enjoying themselves with lively dance circles and bouts of singing the lyrics like during Going To California. And when it was over, Robert and the band left this crowd hungry for more Led Zeppelin ...or just for more Robert Plant in general as he appeased their appetites with hot version of Rock and Roll as an encore.

If you get a chance, check out Robert Plant presents Sensational Space Shifters as they tour the US at particular music festivals this summer, blogspot readers. It's an experience you're never going to forget...

The Sensational Space Shifters band is Robert Plant, Patty Griffin (vocals, guitars), Juldeh Camara of JuJu (African violin and banjo and vocals), Justin Adams of JuJu (guitar, bendir and vocals), John Baggott of Massive Attack (keys), Liam Tyson of Cast (guitar, vocals), Dave Smith of JuJu (drums) and Billy Fuller of JuJu (bass, vocals).

For more information, visit Robert Plant's official website for tour information and more.

Until next time, support your local scene,

07 July 13

Which wine pairs better with your music - red or white, blogspot readers? Tonight's On The Town adventure took SouthSide on a rare journey deep within the West Loop area for an evening of soul/funk/neo-R&B at City Winery. This music revue featured local bands The Diplomats of Solid Sound with The Diplomettes and The Right Now with The Heard headlining the lineup and DJ sets by DJRC and Mr. Gac with a funky montage of video images accompanying the music. 

This was SouthSide's first time visiting City Winery which is also a full-scale restaurant/wine bar as well as a sophisticated music venue. City Winery, blogspot readers, can almost be compared to Roger Park's Mayne Stage. The venue itself is quite spacious with ample seating and room near the stage for dancing. However during this performance, the tables in this reviewers were set too closely to each other that you don't have enough room to either move and/or sit comfortably without trying to bump into your table neighbors. SouthSide did browse through the menu which offered a delicious array  of yummy food selections to appease your foodie palette. Yet, the main feature of City Winery of course is the wines and it's very extensive with a suggested house selection for tonight's music performance as well as a list of imported and US craft beers. City Winery does also has whiskeys but not much in the cocktail department (they only have The Manhattan) which was somewhat a disappointment for this reviewer. Then again, blogspot readers, this venue's main focus is wines from France, Italy and California that you can either be served from the tap or bottle.

Opening the evening of funk/soul revue was a lively DJ set by host Rich aka DJRC featuring a mix of his favorite sounds of past, present and modern soul/R&B/funk, blogspot readers. Along with his video montage (that included classic clips from Soul Train and a 70s car commercial), the unique combination of sight and sound not only dazzled its audience but also warmed them up amidst the cool AC before  The Diplomats of Solid Sound took the stage. This reviewer enjoyed The Diplomats' set but feels it could have been better if the female vocalists, Sarah and Kathy aka The Diplomettes, displayed more of an energizing force in the vocal department to match the fiery soul of the band's music. There were moments, blogspot readers, when both vocalists complemented the music backing them (i.e. Give Me One More Chance) however there were times when the vocals seem lackluster and didn't have that soulful umph to boost the emotion and/or heighten the lyrics to make the soul pop to life. To SouthSide, they seemed to be holding back just a little until the right song or moment to really drive home that dynamic soulful voice to wow the audience. The band behind The Diplomats of Solid Sound was indeed solid in the sound department, blogspot readers. This reviewer found the music to be fiercely intense as well as coolly smooth within its R&B/funk soul fusion that offered lots of energizing buzz especially when you have hot rhythms from the saxophone and steamy funk from the guitars and drums. Even though the saxophone was sometimes virtually overshadowed by the rest of the band, it still made its presence heard and known like during the instrumental jam that set the stage ablaze with a fiery rhythmic beat and swinging tempo for some daring enough to dance near the stage. For more information about The Diplomats of Solid Sound, visit

Where The Diplomats of Solid Sound lacked in the vocal department, The Right Now's female lead vocalist made up for it, blogspot readers. Not only did she popped that wow factor with her soulfully dynamic voice but also upped the sex appeal that truly complemented the band and its image for the audience. Hot is not the word for this band's performance at City Winery. It was a steamy ...sultry as well as groove-tastic performance full of rhythmic beats and melodies from beginning to end. This band knew how to get many within the seated area to gravitate towards the dance floor even while it got a little crazy when Adam and Lucas (of The Heard) joined The Right Now thus turning up the funkified rhythm section to full blast. It was an explosion of soul rocking not only the stage but the dance floor during the instrumental bridge. Yet it was Stephanie and her voice which had everyone feeling this band's groove, blogspot readers. At times, she could fog up the room from the sultry sexiness of her voice projected over the microphone especially while the band performed in a downtempo rhythm thus allowing her to shine but when the tempo was more upbeat and happening, that was when she popped the entire to life. *fans self* And when the moment was right - Stephanie didn't hold any emotions back as the intense energy bouncing off the band behind The Right Now assisted in helping her vocals be more expressive on the lyrics. She let the audience have it all including some sassy body language to complete the sex appeal for the band. The true highlight of this set was when she did an acoustic version to Prince's How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore (a rarely covered B-side). Overall, blogspot readers, SouthSide says be prepared to sweat as you groove to the funk/soul sounds of The Right Now at their next performance. This band definitely turned up the heat (even with the AC going) by dazzling the audience with its rockin' energy and steamy yet sultry female vocals by Stephanie. The touch of craziness is simply an added bonus to keep you locked within The Right Now groove. For more information, visit The Right Now at

Get your dance shoes on! It's now truly the time to party, blogspot readers, with The Heard! This local funk jam band many within the audience (including good friend August Forte) kicking up their heels to the rhythmic sounds of their funk/soul fusion on the dance floor area. SouthSide instantly liked The Heard's brand of lively energy and funk vibe as each member got down with their bad selves especially when they paid tribute to James Brown at the beginning of their set. It was very cool to see how his musical legacy had some influence on the music before moving onward to other instrumental songs like The Walrus and Spoon Fork. The music, blogspot readers, can be simplistic with its rhythmic tempo and upbeat groove as well as complex from the way these musicians (especially the hot rhythm section) added a little music piece of themselves into the notes. For instance, listen to The Heard's epic piece titled The Falcon in which you will feel yourself vibrantly soar amongst the towering crescendoes while experiencing the intense melodic tempo around you. The horns vividly expressed the spiraling dizziness of your winged flight as the rest of the band dips and upswings to new heights upon coming towards the end. Then set got a little hotter and a whole lot steamier when Stephanie (of The Right Now) leant her dynamic voice during this performance adding more spice and spitfire that matched The Heard's smooth floetry style. Not to worry, blogspot readers, if you missed this rousing funkified performance by this local band. You can catch The Heard rockin' the stage every Thursday night at aliveOne (located 2683 N. Halsted) ...just be prepared to dance your pants off while having a funky good time. For more information about The Heard, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Saturday, July 13, 2013

One On One With Don Preston

He's a legendary jazz musician and has been part of the Detroit jazz scene back in the 1950's gigging with the likes of Charlie Haden in Los Angeles ...has done experimental music in the 1960's and performed with a band called Aha!. This artist has played and recorded with other artists such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Peter Erskine and John Carter as well as Chicago's very own Lou Rawls, Al Jarreau, Nat King Cole, Connie Francis, Leo Sayer and the list goes on and on. He has scored more than 20 feature films (including a part of the Apocalypse Now soundtrack) and 14 plays and has been confused for the lead guitarist of Joe Crocker and Leon Russell because they share the same name, blogspot readers. Besides collaborating and working with Frank Zappa, his long and extensive music career includes performing with the Los Angeles and London Philharmonics to acting in films like Forbidden Island (1944), Ogo Moto (1969) and 200 Motels (1970). 

Who is this mystery musician you might ask?

If you've guessed keyboardist Don Preston, then you're absolutely correct, blogspot readers. And recently while he was traveling to his next gig, SouthSide had the extreme honor of chatting with Don about his extensive music career (including that infamous scene in Apocalypse Now), how he met Frank Zappa, his likes and dislikes for modern music in general, his current project Grandmothers Of Invention and doing magic tricks.

From Don's biography, Crytogramophone Records, he has been compared to Cecil Taylor because of "...his style of attacking the keys with intense passion ...his solos also reflect intellect, technical skills and a storyteller's way with a line..." and "...his playing, like his compositions, ranges across panoramas of mood and emotion ...all colored with the freedom that comes from possessing remarkable facility..." SouthSide while asking Don to describe his vast music career that spanned over six (6) decades somewhat stumped him but then he answered with "...age begets life and fame ...that's how I would sum up my life..." She wondered if he meant with age does he feel he gets better with his musical craft to which he said "...I don't think I'm better..." In fact, Don believes that he has harder challenges to meet as he grows older. For example, he has listened to older recordings from 40 years ago and compared them to what he can and/or cannot do today. "...Now, I'm facing challenges I wasn't able to do then but able to do..."  During the course of the interview, this reviewer wanted to know if Don has ever considered returning to his Jazz roots in which he answered that he never left it. He did tell SouthSide that as soon as he's finished with this tour that he along with the drummer will be performing with Bobby Bradford in his band. Don also mentioned that he's always writing Jazz songs and performs once and  a while at Jazz clubs.

Then, she asked him for his opinion about today's modern rock music wondering if it lost its creativity and/or artistic symbolism. Don doesn't know if it lost its symbolism however he has noted that something should be done about the music writing and has heard people singing the same one note. "...rock music has lost [its] creativity and [become] too commercialized..." says Don. He also made reference to the rap/hip hop music scene mentioning it as "...people talk..." in which he said "'s not music..." and it's boring. On the flip side, blogspot readers, he has seen a rap group during one particular evening and commented that they were good. Getting back to his original point about rock music and due to its limitation to the same 4 / 4 beat count, Don stated that was the basic reason why he doesn't listen to modern rock music much. Yet, there were couple of bands which he likes - Throbbing Gristle (one of the first bands to perform industrial music) and  Henry Cow (it was rumored the band took the name for an American composer Henry Cowell but the band members have denied it) featuring Chris Cutler who was also part of Art Bears with Fred Frith (a multi-instrumentalist i.e. piano, guitar, violin) to which he likened to Frank Zappa for his composition writing. As far as modern rock goes, Don does like the Chicago indie band called Yellow Jacket saying "...they're amazing ...very good..." after seeing them perform at one of their recent performances.

So how did Don Preston and Frank Zappa meet? According to Don, it was around 1961 when both were performing a concert inside a huge concert hall that had about 5 to 6 stages of live performances. He said they exchanged phone numbers and that was it until later he (Zappa) called for Don to do an audition. "...I came to his house..." says Don telling SouthSide Frank had a basic band set up - organ, guitars and drums as well as a record collection almost similar to him ...classical composers to which Don calls his "...kind of music..." Back in those days, blogspot readers, Frank Zappa was experimental with music and Don had a group of his own scoring art films and movies. "...sometimes Zappa would jam with us if you could call it that..." Don states, "...[it was] mostly metallic..." then adding that "...Zappa  would show up at my house  with long hair and a monkey coat couldn't tell where the hair ended and the coat began..." Don told this reviewer that original name for the band was Mother but since in those days the word "mother" was meant for something else (think one of those 7 words you can't say or use), the record company came up with the band name Mothers Of Invention. However, Don couldn't join the band because according to Frank "...I didn't know anything about rock-n-roll..." So in order to "know rock-n-roll", blogspot readers, Don began working with a lot of rock bands before auditioning for Zappa's band again. By this time, Mothers Of Invention was working a little more and gaining more popularity with Herb Cohen as their manager. And the rest history.

SouthSide wanted to know what was it about Frank Zappa as a musician that had Don collaborating with him. " a musician, he [Frank] couldn't read simple music..." answers Don, "...[but] as a composer, he wrote complicated pieces..." which Don cannot explain why that was. He did state saying over the years, Frank became a fairly good reader of music that Don found his solos interesting even though Frank thought he was inadequate. "...reading music is a skill not a talent..." Don told SouthSide while describing that Frank was exceptional as a writer to which likened Frank's style to Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. Since Don has worked with many ...the best of the best within the music industry, this reviewer wondered if there was anyone he would like to work with and/or collaborate. Well, blogspot readers, "...that's one of the problems when getting older ...a lot or people you want to work with end up dying..." He would like to work with progressive rock musician Tony Levin (of King Crimson) as well as do a duet with jazz pianist Paul Bley (who plays with saxophonist Sonny Rollins). And the name dropping continued when Don told SouthSide a story about the time he had dinner with Paul and Carla Bley - his close friends since 1955. He told her that she was very innovative back then and wrote most of the music for him as well as writing Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra.

Remember when SouthSide mentioned earlier that Don Preston was an actor? She, then, asked him if he had the chance to portray anyone or any character in a movie who would it be. There are several he would like to play but he chose astronomer Carl Sagan (believe it or not, Don has an interest in astronomy) and swashbuckler legend Errol Flynn to which he and SouthSide having something in common - their favorite Flynn movie, The Adventures of Robin Hood. Don even gave her some movie facts about Flynn's role as Robin Hood because it's widely known the studio thought he (Errol Flynn) wasn't a good actor. So to prove them wrong Errol did his scene separately from his co-star the lovely Olivia de Havilland. Now if there was going to be a movie on his life story, SouthSide wanted to know who would Don like to have portraying him. It was a tough question for this jazz legend to answer, blogspot readers. " would take a week to go through all of the actors..." who would audition for the role. Don did mention seeing Burt Lancaster portraying him because he's "...a dynamic actor ...did so much with his characters in his movies..." and the late comedian Richard Pryor or an actor with "...a combination of the two..." About Richard Pryor, Don called him one of the funniest people on the planet and then began telling SouthSide a story about the time when he saw Pat Collins the Hip Hypnotist hypnotized a little boy into being Richard Pryor after asking him along with others what they wanted to be. "'s a white boy without any color prejudice became Richard Pryor..." he said stating the boy was good as he could be especially when telling the audience a classic Richard Pryor joke!

As a member of the Grandmothers Of Invention, Don explained to SouthSide the difference between them and other Frank Zappa tribute bands. "...we're older now so we can't be called Mothers Of Invention..." Don laughs, but the "...main difference is that with Napoleon Murphy Brock and myself are the only members of Mothers Of Invention today [still] performing..." since they were with Frank Zappa when he was creating and teaching the music. One thing she didn't know about the original band set for Mothers Of Invention, blogspot readers, was that they were all equal members with rights and privileges to the band. By the time it was 1974, Frank Zappa's writing not only got better but also weirder with songs like Don't Eat The Yellow Snow, The Booger Man and Po-Jama People. Don also mentioned that most fans have probably been to a previous Grandmothers Of Invention show " they know our level of musicship [and] where it should be..." Don called a live performance of Grandmothers Of Invention show to the level of music theater. It's "...full of surprises..." says Don before adding "...a lot of things are going on ...not your run of the mill [Frank] Zappa band..." During this tour, Don and the band are featuring the CD in its entirety, One Size Fits All which was one of the more popular Zappa albums than Live At The Roxy and Burnt Weeny Sandwich. He encourages fans to sing along with the Grandmothers Of Invention especially when they perform Sofa (that's only sung in German).  Oh, be on the lookout for Don doing magic tricks while he's playing the keyboard like eggs coming out of his mouth. Yes, you heard right, blogspot readers, eggs coming out of Don's mouth.

Sadly, as the interview came to a close, SouthSide relied a message of "hej" ("hi" in Swedish) to Don from her friend Jessica and Don responded back that they might be bringing Grandmothers Of Invention tour there. He had more parting words about Grandmothers Of Invention for fans "...hear the music the way Frank Zappa wanted it to be played would be the way he wanted us to play [with long instrumentals and extra bridges] ...he would never wanted us to play like the record..." also adding "...[we] try to make it [live Grandmothers Of Invention performance] a very exciting show..." Oh, SouthSide did ask about his contribution to the soundtrack of Apocalypse Now and Don told her it was music to the head tossing scene. Lastly, Don wanted all of Chicago to know that he loves our city. "'s one of the beautiful cities in the states..." SouthSide in turn invited him to attend the annual food event - Taste of Chicago to sample the city's culinary best if he had time.

Thanks to Billy James of Glass Onyon PR for setting up this interview and to Don Preston for taking time out (while on the road) to chat with SouthSide.

For more information, visit Grandmothers Of Invention at

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

05 July 13 - World War Z

**this review contains no spoilers**

"Mother Nature is a serial killer..." ~ World War Z

In a time where zombies and vampires seem to be Hollywood's latest cash cow, World War Z isn't your average of the mill zombie movie, blogspot readers. Actually this summer  blockbuster offers a plausible scenario (just like another movie - Contagion) where the entire world is infected by a fast spreading disease which could ultimately wipe out the human race. Yet unlike Contagion, World War Z doesn't offer a solid solution to this devastating problem ...but a sliver of hope that it can be wiped out in a matter of time.

Based on a book by Max Brooks, World War Z stars Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane, a family man of two daughters but more importantly a former UN worker who has worked with, in and around dangerous situations before. But nothing like he's about to face after witnessing what appears to be a zombie attacking a human during the middle of petrified chaos when a explosion rocks the busy Manhattan area. He and his family are able to escape out of the city (just barely) and face terrifying obstacles while spending an overnight stay in New Jersey before help finally arrives to get them. Good thing too because these zombies are quite smart, blogspot readers. Don't think of them as the slow-moving, "hungry for brains" ones like George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. In this movie, they're fast-moving living dead that can sniff out healthy humans to attack. By the time rescue arrives, Newark, New Jersey is overrun ...practically every major city in east including Washington DC has been overrun by zombies. Now begins the fatal race against time since even the world's foremost experts on diseases don't know whether these attacks are caused by something viral or bacterial and they need to find the answers to pinpoint where this began and by what or whom. This task, forcefully bestowed upon Gerry when "asked" to help in this search, has him traveling to places like South Korea and Israel where he discovers (a) how widespread the pandemic is and (b) clues on how the living dead function ie what attracts them to non-dead humans. With the help of an injured Israeli soldier and doctors at a W.H.O. (World Health Organization) facility, he finds a possible solution after remembering what he witnessed when hordes of zombies attacked in Jerusalem. It may not be the best solution yet it does give the surviving human race a chance to live and fight for another day...

Though this movie leaves you clueless as to who is "patient 0" and where did the epidemic began, World War Z, blogspot readers, is truly one of those types of movies that a scenario could possibly happen within the present and/or near future time. Look at the recent years when N1H1 (or swine flu) or H7N9 (bird flu) as well as mad cow disease dominated the news feed. Plus there are other incurable diseases that lurk somewhere in the far reaches of the world we don't know about which one day could start a pandemic like World War Z but probably not like a horrifying zombie attack ...then again, who knows what such disease might do to humans once infected. SouthSide didn't mean to frighten some blogspot readers yet it's the reality we as a human race need to face as medical technology and medicine  continues to advance. Just hope something like this never happens. This reviewer had fun getting sucked into the fast paced action that takes you on and plausible movie plot (despite not having the chance to read Max Brook's book) as well as the intense scenes whenever the zombies happen to appear without a moment's notice. Believe, this reviewer when she says "intense".  She saw a theater full of adults jumping with fright during those moments since World War Z isn't the usual "in your face gore" type of movie. This movie relies on the subtlety of the zombie character to appear out of nowhere to give you that chilling sensation of fright. And there's nothing like a zombie suddenly appearing on screen to make grown men scream inside a dark theater. SouthSide doesn't seel Brad Pitt's Gerry Lane character as the"hero" even though he took some incredible (and terrifying) risks to not only save his family but the rest of world throughout this movie. The character did fight the odds stacked against him when he came close to being zombie food especially during one scene  he injects himself with a deadly disease. As a Muse fan, this reviewer instantly recognized the band's songs 2nd Law: Isolated System and Follow Me (off Muse's current release - 2nd Law) and original music by Marco Beltrami. The Beltrami-Matthew Bellamy music combination gave this reviewer a unique thrill ride of orchestrated and synthesized sound while watching this movie. She can see where Bellamy and Muse got their inspiration for the album's other songs like Panic Station, Supremacy, and Survival since it's known they were reading the book while recording.

Overall, blogspot readers, this reviewer highly recommends seeing World War Z.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 2013 update

Hey, blogspot readers, check out the following additions that will also be rockin' the local scene in July.

Note: all shows are 21+ unless stated otherwise.

Now til 6:
Fitzgerald's - check out Fitzgerald's 33rd Annual American Music Festival in which this 4 day fest (started on July 3) will be featuring 40+ bands on 3 stages with live performance by The Shams Band, The Fleshtones and many more.
$30 per day / 4 day pass - $100 / Kids 12 and under $5 (welcomed until 10p)

July 5:
Abbey Pub - The Hyperion Battle of the Bands competition comes to Chicago! Cheer on and vote for your favorite band as they try to earn a spot at Hyperion Music & Arts Festival 2013.

July 7:
Corrosive Musick presents Die Sektor, Frontal Boundary and Cobalt Core featuring DJ Restriction and Circuitry

July 12 - 14:
Lincoln Square - it's the Square Roots 2013 featuring over 60 musical and over 30 craft beers (must be 21+ to drink)
For more information, visit

July 12:
LiveWire Lounge - get your glam rock on with TAFKAVince Band featuring Meds, Daredevil Date and Vaudevileins

July 13:
LiveWire Lounge - rock with Sinister Fate, Radio Creeps and more to be announced

July 15:
Uncommon Ground (Devon location) - check out whitewolfsonicprincess' live performance here

July 19:
Hard Rock Cafe - The Grahams will performing their forthcoming album Riverman's Daughter before its official September 3 release

EXIT - attend Blacklight Blackout's 2 year Anniversary party featuring a pinata and other surprises as well as drink specials, free UV-Reactive body painting by Cold! and Squeak of Cybertribe Body Painting, a raffle for a Super Nintendo and games, DJ sets and much more

Uncommon Ground (Clark location) - Adam Klein & the Wild Fires bring their tour to Chicago featuring Ida Jo and James Buckett

July 20:
Subterranean - The Damn Choir will be headlining this venue's lineup as well as performing a handful of other local shows before heading to Brooklyn to record with producer Bryce Coggin (The Ramones, Akron Family)

Metro - be seen along with the other beautiful creatures and vampires of the night during the next monthly NOCTURNA meeting in it's 25th year and still going strong!
18+ / $10 / dance til dawn (5a)

July 21:
Ultra Lounge - Brickwall Vultures and Sniper 66 will be rockin' the stage
$5 adv / $8 dos

July 26:
Cobra Lounge - come out and Support Local Music Summer Metal Showcase II featuring Rock In Chicago alumni Beyond Death, Taken by the Sun and Awdacity ...bands and more details will be announced soon

July 27 - 28:
Wicker Park (Milwaukee and North Avenues) - it's the annual Wicker Park Fest that will features 20+ bands like The Bright White, Workout Music, Hey Champ, Mucca Pazza and many more on 3 stages.

July 28:
Double Door - B-Side Kings will be performing 70s deep cuts
FREE / 9p show time

Stay tuned to this blog for more updates as they come, blogspot readers...

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, July 1, 2013

GrandMothers of Invention

Napoleon Murphy Brock.JPG
Hey, blogspot readers and Zappa fans, SouthSide recently received a press release about an upcoming tour show rockin' Chicago's Martyrs' on July 12. After wowing audiences during their month long tour in Europe, The GrandMothers of Invention featuring Zappa Alumni Don Preston and Napoleon Murphy Brock will be bringing the a "One Size Fits All And More" to the US this summer which recently began on June 23 at San Juan Capistrano, CA. Other US tour stops will include stops in North Carolina, New York, and Michigan.

Along with Don Preston and Napoleon Murphy Brock, The GrandMothers of Invention also features Christopher Garcia (drums, percussion, marimba and vocals), Dave Johnsen (electric bass and vocals), and Max Kutner (electric guitar and vocals) as they perform the legendary Zappa album One Size Fits All in its entirety. The performance will also include other MOI/Zappa favorites such as Bongo Fury, Roxy & Elsewhere and Uncle Meat.

Don Preston.JPG
Napoleon says "...If you liked last year's tours of us performing the entire 'Roxy & Elsewhere' album, you will really have fun this tour, because we are doing 'One Size Fits All' in its entirety! [which according to the press release includes both German and English version of "Sofa"]..."  He also wants fans to know the difference between the GrandMothers Of Invention performing last year's "Roxy" and this year's "One Size Fits All" is - the original lead singer for both albums is the same lead singer performing your favorite songs, blogspot readers, live on stage. Be certain, this is NOT a tribute band you will be seeing rockin' the stage. "...The GrandMothers Of Invention is the ONLY band currently playing the music of Frank Zappa with two of the original members of the Mothers Of Invention..." He encourages fans to come out to the shows and sing along with the band to their favorite songs.

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Meanwhile, here's what Don says about the tour "...this tour will be quite an adventure as we will be performing the entire 'One Size Fits All' CD..." adding that "...'Inca Roads' is one of Zappa's best efforts in music writing along with other songs on that CD..." And what about the band? "...the band is ready..." Don states, "...this band is the tightest ever!" Then, he concluded with the following "...of course, that includes the songs that Napoleon recorded with Zappa like 'Andy',  'Florentine Pogan' and 'Sofa [#] 2' ...I will have some surprises that are just too weird to reveal..." In other words, blogspot readers, you have to be there to witness what Don will do during the performance.

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So far, GrandMothers Of Invention have been receiving rave reviews from the press like "...rare are the musicians who can even play Zappa's music, let alone make it live and breathe. So Thank the Lord for the GrandMothers of Invention..." to "...with two different Zappa eras represented, the GrandMothers have a wide palette of material to choose from..." as well as "...they served up vintage psychedelia - rock songs with surreal lyrics, jazz-like harmonies and melodic complexity, with flashes of wacky satire..." and simply "...amazing virtuoso musicians, fun and funny..."

For more information about "One Size Fits All" tour and tickets, visit the GrandMothers Of Invention official website at or their Facebook page

Until next time, support your local scene,