Saturday, November 30, 2013

26 Nov 13

Hey, blogspot readers, the Thanksgiving countdown begins! SouthSide has a busy schedule of shows/events before and after the holiday that's rockin' around town from Double Door's Door No.3 to The Mutiny and more in between. Tonight, she's at Schubas Tavern in the Lakeview area to jam with her friends of the local band - Swearwords, opening for the touring Canadian band Hollerado. This reviewer highly recommends checking out this band whenever they're performing next at a venue near you.

What SouthSide enjoyed about this band was how each member rocked the stage with such enthusiasm and energetic vigor which instantly jumpstarted the audience into toe-tappin' dance moves. Swearwords  had the venue feeling the melodic rhythms and 3 part harmonies (sometimes) within their lively pop alternative rock, blogspot readers. This band was serious at the business of making sure everyone was having a fun time. Performing songs like West of Western and Not To Be Afraid, Swearwords' music sometimes had an electric edge to its rock sound to match a certain tone or mood  of the song and/or Neil's strong falsetto voice. Check out new one Native Fortune in which the band had a gritty blast of retro guitar rock sound that totally dominated this particular song. Yes, it did definitely told a sad take of a tortured heart, blogspot readers, under its intense music especially when gradually leading towards the outro end. But there was also a "lighter" side to this band with No Move No Shake that you can groove to the rhythmic beat.

Midway thru, this performance suddenly became too loud ...even for SouthSide's ears. It wasn't music being performed on stage but either fuzzy noise or overpowering noisiness, blogspot readers. In her opinion, she felt certain songs had the sound turned up at the highest volume than what it originally called for. For example, while performing Common Enemies, she felt overwhelmed by the band's noise that it didn't register the melodies being jumbled together as chaotic confusion ...even the vocals sounded like they were shouting the lyrics instead of singing them. Yet, this was the first instance of the band having this technical problem, blogspot readers. During another song, she heard some muffled off the monitors especially when the electric guitar overshadowed the keyboard rhythms or the keyboards had a moment of bad reverb off the monitors. The blame isn't being placed on Swearwords but on the sound guy. Songs like Distant Planets and Young Bats needed to have less electric or keyboard to merely allow the melodic side to shine and not overwhelm its listener. Songs like Sweet Graffiti and Native Fortune needed that gritty edge to its rock sound so it can match Neil's vocals.

Though sounding a little too noisy for her ears, she still enjoyed herself at Swearwords' opening show at Schubas Tavern. Be prepared, blogpsot readers, to dance a little (or move to the beat) under the band's energetic liveliness and a have fun time.  For more information about the band, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Saturday, November 23, 2013

16 Nov 13 - ChillFest 2013

In some of SouthSide's adventures around Chicago's vibrant local scene, she has attended shows at art galleries, museums, a Blockbuster store (yep, that's an absolute fact, blogspot readers) as well as a backyard at someone's house. That's how this reviewer recently spent her Saturday afternoon "running" around the Wicker Park/Bucktown neighborhood at the annual ChillFest 2013. This festive day featured acoustic music performances by local artists/bands at over 30 unique venues (like Futuregarb, Sugar Fly, Ready Coffee) throughout this vibrant neighborhood during the afternoon with an after party to rock Subterranean in the evening. At any given time, artists such as Todd Kessler, Maryann Michael or Burnside & Hooker were musically entertaining the venue for shoppers and music fans. It was also a good way for people to discover new places to shop locally ...just in time for Small Business Day (happening November 30th). Sadly, blogspot readers, SouthSide couldn't cover all of the musical acts at all of the venues rockin' ChillFest 2013. It's humanly impossible!  However she was able to cover a few sets at the following businesses - Penelope's (1913 W. Division), ReMarked Salon (2143 N. Damen), The Boring Store (1331 N. Milwaukee) and the first floor bar lounge of Subterranean.

SouthSide began her journey around ChillFest at The Boring Store (it's not actually "boring" either) to join the rockabilly, jug band jamboree with Mr. Mayor & the Highballers ( Shoppers as well as fans were delightfully entertained by the lively, toe-tappin' Americana folk sound and upbeat rhythms in between browsing what unique, unusual and one-of-a-kind wares this store had for sale. Here at the store, SouthSide found new buttons to add to her growing collection to little knick knacks for holiday stocking stuffing and vintage-like things she could give as gifts. You could even find your Movember taches here too, blogspot readers, at all sizes and different styles! This quintet group of musicians (somehow comfortably jammed inside the storefront window) performed a wonderful rendition of a classic swing tune before ending their set with a rockabilly song and then off on a shopping inside The Boring Store. What's truly unique about this particular local business, blogspot readers, is that all proceeds from your purchase goes towards the endeavors of 826CHI - a nonprofit creative writing lab and tutoring center. SouthSide highly recommends visiting this store whenever in the area as well as rockin' to old time jug music with Mr. Mayor & the Highballers at their next performance. For more information about The Boring Store, visit them at

Now it's for the "mad dash CTA" game with SouthSide, blogspot readers with SouthSide! Can this local reviewer wear out her Ventra monthly pass transit card in a single afternoon while covering ChillFest 2013? (Will reveal the answer at the end of this review). After a short but quick bus rides from north Milwaukee to Damn and then Damen to Webster, SouthSide arrived at her next destination - ReMarked Salon to check out Farkus' vocalist Tony Maguire serenading the staff and clientele at this Bucktown "venue". For this reviewer, it was one unique stop just as it was probably a unique experience for everyone inside the salon to hear live acoustic music while getting a cut and/or blow dry.  It was quite evident that Tony played from the heart amongst the downtempo guitar riffs and falsetto vocal tone, blogspot readers. He wanted your ears (besides your heart) to believe the heartfelt emotions composed for the lyrics that were being sung. For example, his rendition of Lindsey Buckingham's Big Love took on a different meaning than when SouthSide first heard the song back in the late 80s. Tony's cover was very haunting as his deep tenor falsetto voice made an emotional plea amongst the laidback sound and you definitely could feel the heartache in his voice too. Then he wonderfully covered the Pearl Jam classic Yellow Ledbetter to which it almost brought a tear to this reviewer's eye ...especially when hitting the high falsetto towards the end of the song. Sadly, blogspot readers, SouthSide wished she could have stayed longer but it was time to visit her next stop on the ChillFest 2013 tour around the neighborhood. In the meantime, visit Tony's full band - Farkus when they rock the stage. Visit Farkus at

CTA mad dash (on the 50 Damen bus) going southbound towards Division where the edge of Wicker Park was alive with shoppers and music amidst the light rain during the early evening time of ChillFest. SouthSide's next adventure took her the clothing boutique Penelope's where Dawn Xiana Moon was finishing her performance. Despite only catching the final minutes of her beautiful yet haunting set, this reviewer enjoyed how this singer/songwriter combined a delightful mix of (West) acoustic jazz music with hints of Asian prose and flavor (East), blogspot readers. Her ballads expressed tenderness and heartfelt emotions amidst a soulful voice and tone ...very dynamic at times that she popped the lyrics to life. The words made you feel the sentiments penned from the heart and soul. This reviewer recommends checking out Beautiful Flowers Under a Full Moon and Unyielding (Song of Songs) off her new album - Spaces Between which also features songs sung in French and Mandarin Chinese, blogspot readers. For more information, visit Dawn at

After Dawn's set, it was time for Julie Meckler to perform on "stage" at Penelope's, blogspot readers. It was a scaled down version of her full band that featured trumpet and bass backing this rising local artist on her guitar and vocals. Immediately, this reviewer enjoyed her harmonizing vocals tone ...quite soulful amidst a light contemporary pop sound. If SouthSide had to compare her to another artist, she would have to be Julie Collins due to the way her songs were full of storytelling lyrics and vivid images to which her voice popped to life. Throughout the performance, Julie had a way of making the songs like Shadow Dance seem fun and delightful to hear. With bassist Brett, she slightly twisted David Bowie's Soul Loved within her acoustic alternative style and docile vocal tone. During this rendition, Julie became more expressive sans the guitar in her hands while the trumpet playing low lullaby behind the back rhythm. It was so tender and gentle, blogspot readers. Meanwhile in another song, Julie forcefully demonstrated into making you believe she was a jealous, mean, angry etc woman but not in an angst voice pattern. Instead, she used a rather "calm" voice range that allowed it to convey what type of woman she was to the audience inside Penelope's either shopping or attending her performance. She even vividly had you thinking you're in Mexico with her from the way she painted such images in your brain. Also check out her song, Manhattan that featured some whistling at the intro and few improv lyrics to really lighten the mood of this particular song. Don't worry, blogspot readers, if you missed this special performance during ChillFest 2013. Julie Meckler along with her full band will be rockin' The Hideout on Dec 6th. In the meantime, check out her music at

Not much of a mad CTA dash for her final stop on her ChillFest tour, blogspot readers. After a quick bite, she head to Subterranean for a rare acoustic performance by local rockers The Lifeline. How rare you might ask? Well, this was the first time in the many years SouthSide has covered their shows around town in which she saw the band in a scaled down version of themselves and still equally rock a packed lounge as if they were a full band on stage. Opening the show with a powerful acoustic rendition of Not For Nothing, the audience immediately felt the power of Ryan's emotional falsetto of pain and heartache in his voice to Rebecca's haunting yet somber rhythmic tone from her violin and everything in between that gave The Lifeline music its dynamic sound. The next song, We've Been Compromised (a new one by the band) was one of many fine examples by this local band incorporating intense power of human emotion into the songwriting process. Some songs tend to vividly highlight the notion of heartache through lost love or pining for love as the pain of loneliness ...and much more. Add the violin rhythms and you have one intense music experience, blogspot readers. Besides performing songs like Push & Pull (off The Lifeline's Reflections of Hope album where you definitely experience the pain of heartache so well), Ghosts (the first song Ryan wrote for The Lifeline that this ghoulish feel from Rebecca's violin combined with Ryan's heartfelt falsetto ...chills down the spine here) and Romeo and Juliet (a darker version of the ill-fated tale of the star-crossed lovers), there were special duet and then solo moments at the middle of this performance. First came a Rebecca-Ryan duet when the pair performed Honesty in which they took the band's moody persona further down to a freezing chill. On one hand, the violin played the song like a sweet lullaby against the somber downtempo guitar riffs thus both highlighting Ryan's strong dynamic voice. Then came Ryan's powerful rendition of Seal's Kissed By A Rose (the love theme from the movie Batman Forever) that literally brought down the house. To be honest, blogspot readers, SouthSide's not a fan of the Seal song. However after hearing Ryan's voice on lyrics while playing the guitar, she enjoyed the ballad more as it was meant to be heard ...full of intense passion and energy. It felt he was singing this song specially written for someone in his life. Now that this reviewer has seen and heard both sides of The Lifeline, she hopes the band schedules more acoustic shows along with their electric side in the near future. For more information about The Lifeline, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

From the Desk of SouthSide

Hey, blogspot readers, here's some news that you can use...

1.  Vendors, listen up! If you want to participate in the C20 Chicago Bizarre Bazaar, the time is now to sign up. From Saturday 23 November 2013 to Thursday 23 January 2014, interested vendors must send an email with the subject title "C20 Chicago Vendor" to Merchants must include the following - their name, the name of their company, links to pertinent websites with photos of items to be offered and a brief introduction/description. Shortly all interested vendors will be receiving an email reply containing all pertinent information (size of booth per vendor, cost per vendor, set up/tear down times, lighting, electrical, etc). "...We will endeavor to answer all questions a vendor might have in that email but are happy to provide answers for anything further..."

The final line up of vendors to be included in the C20 Chicago Bizarre Bazaar will be made no later than Thursday 30 January 2014.

2. Recently, JBTV released 29 years of live music performances on ArchLive TV, blogspot readers.  View classic modern rock performances never seen before in their entirety in full HD as well as interviews and RARE classic shows. New content is added every week. Watch today online on your computer or iPad for $3.99/month which unlocks all content like liner notes and selectable set lists.

Go to JBTV on ArchLive TV -


50th Anniversary of Beatles' Arrival In America To Be Celebrated At 2014 "Fest For Beatles Fans"

The initial details for the 2014 Fest For Beatles Fans has been announced by Mark Lapidos, President and Founder of the event.  Celebrating the landmark 50th anniversary of the Beatles' first arrival in America, the Fest will take place on February 7, 8, and 9, 2014 - the exact dates the Fab Four landed at JFK Airport, and made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. 

That TV show - on February 9th, 1964 - garnered the largest US viewing audience in history, snagging 45% of the total population, a statistic that still stands today.  The 2014 Fest will also celebrate the 40th year Lapidos has been producing this event. 

The 2014 Fest will be held in NYC at the Grand Hyatt Hotel next to Grand Central Station (42nd St. and Lexington Ave.).  The celebration begins on Friday (7) from 5pm through midnight and goes through Saturday (8) and Sunday (9) from 10:30am to midnight.  Among the festivities planned are live concerts by superstar artists of the British Invasion period, newsreel and fan films of the Beatles, the world's largest Beatles memorabilia marketplace, meet &  greet opportunities, a fashion show, Q+A panels, dance parties, performances by some of the top new emerging indie bands and sponsorships with top national music magazine and radio stations.

Full details are expected to be revealed within days.

A newly designed website for The Fest For Beatles Fans is slated to be unveiled in early November at

December 2013

Happy Holidays, blogspot readers!

There's plenty of time left to rock out your 2013 by checking out the following list of shows happening around town and elsewhere this month.

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

Dec 1:
Reggie's Rock Club - check out sludge metal group Pale Horseman sharing the stage with southern sludgebilly The Midnight Ghost Train (KS) and reptilian acid rock King Hyss

Dec 3:
Livewire Lounge - attention humanoids and robotics, check out Wire-Tripped that will feature not only the best in Electro/EBM/Industrial and Synthpop by The Audio Assault, Circuitry, and Peter Propaganda but also a screening of Blade Runner.

Dec 4:
NiteCap - Asgard Radio, Chicago Metal Alliance and Spook Show Entertainment presents The Devil's Playground featuring host David Bates (of Sinister Fate) as he spins your favorites in metal, rock, industrial, punk and goth with burlesque performances by Jezzibel Bates, Ammunition, Lenux Antibiotix, Lady India Deminuit ...also live music performances by D-Railed, Saence, Pulse Urn and Virtucide of Voodoo Queen Management
FREE / 10p

aliveOne - starting on this Wednesday (and every Wed until Dec 18) Cole DeGenova & the Peoples Republic will begin its residency. The 2nd set will be an open jam session with musicians/singers

Dec 5:
Double Door - RAWards (in music / fashion / art / comedy / film / multimedia)
$15 adv / $20 dos / 7:30p show

SoFo Tap (4923 N. Clark) - it's Back2Skool time with DJ VoxBox, Tommy Hall and Fred Says happening every 1st Thursday of every month

Abbey Pub - rock with Joe Marcinek Band featuring special guests Jennifer Hartswick and Allie Kral with Spare Parts and Business As Usual
$10 adv / $12 dos

Dec 6:
Ye Olde Town Inn - check out Of The Fallen, 3 Hour Catalyst, Spinning Red and Sinister Fate rockin' the stage here.
$8 / 10p

The Riverside Complex (2313 S. Throop) - It's Ballistic 3 featuring 30k watts of bass and custom video mapping stage to enhance your EDM experience as well as redefining (R)adical (A)udio (V)isual (E)xperience
$13 adv / $20 dos

Joe's Sports Bar - Casey Donachew Band performs material off their new album "Stand Off" at this venue

Double Door - check out Miles Nielsen with Ryan Powers and the Secret Weapons, Daniel and The Lion and Geoff Dolce
$8 adv / $12 dos / 8:30p

Elbo Room - rock with Front Runners, Workout Music and What It Do (On Your Marx)

The Castle Theatre (Bloomington, IL) - check out Electric Elements with Gummy and Team Bayside High featuring Drop Dead and guests Kosmosis Jones and Notorious Nino
18+ dance floor / Exclusive 21+ VIP balcony / $20 (+$1 underage fee charged at the door)

Brauer House (Lombard, IL) - check out Radio Creeps along with WORM (the World Organization of the Righteous Movement) and Flood Damage rockin' the stage

Dec 7 & 8:
Division Street (Between Ashland and Leavitt) - shop local during the Do-Division Holiday Fest
11a / NO COVER

Pulaski Park Fieldhouse (1419 W. Blackhawk) - check out the Renegade Craft Fair Winter Market
NO COVER / 11a

Dec 7:
Saint Gertrude's Church (1401 W. Granville) - shop at this Christmas Bazaar and check out the lovely jewelry selection by Tracy Pilarczyk Shen (or shop online at
FREE / 10a - 4a

LiveWire Lounge - prepare for Sacred Monster returning to Chicago for this one-night only performance featuring Relentless and Psycho Sister

Concord Music Hall - attend Midnight Conspiracy's "Rays of Ra" lazer show featuring Team Bayside High
18+ / $10

Elbo Room - attend Chords For A Cure's yearly concert event to benefit cancer research and help those in need of treatment. **ALL proceeds from this event will benefit the Leukemia Research Foundation** This event will feature acoustic sets by A Friend Called Fire, Crimson and Coal, Letters to Lillian and Rachel Katzman
$10 / 8p

Cubby Bear - it's Calm Like A Bomb's 10th Anniversary show featuring Lateralus Tool and Alice In Chains tribute bands
$7 / 9p

Dec 8:
Double Door - Da Bears Blog and Art of Men present an event to benefit the Otis Wilson Charitable Association featuring a Mike Ditka Look-A-Like Contest
$10 / 7p

Schuba's Tavern - it's the 2nd Annual Woman Power Holiday Show featuring Liza Day, Diana and The Dishes and Lady Laura performing at this benefit for Deborah's Place
$15 / 8p

Dec 9:
Chicago Cultural Center - Chicago Artists Healthcare Town Hall event where artists/bands can learn more about the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") and how to sign up, find affordable health insurance plans, connect with Chicago-area health resources and enroll in IL Medicaid (if you qualify). Also get a FREE flu shot.

Schuba's Tavern - Sweden's Anna Van Hausswolff makes a special stop at this Lakeview venue during her US tour performing material off her latest album Ceremony

Double Door - check out this week's Double Holiday Feature: A Christmas Story and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation with NO commercials!
FREE / 7p

Dec 10:
Double Door - 30 Seconds Over Chicago presents the Chicago Venue Advertising Competition ~ Finals
$10 / 7p

Dec 11:
Door No.3 (located at Double Door) - FABITAT featuring DJ Adam El (of 16 Candles / Berlin) spinning
FREE / 9p

Dec 12:
Liar's Club - it's Current Seas EP Release tour

Abbey Pub - NSP Live presents LEP Bogus Boys, Notrydo Sincere with Kaotic drumline, Beadz and more at this show hosted by Chi-Bizz and Suanye with DJ Kool Ant and DJ Shaun T spinning in between sets
$15 dos / $20 VIP / 9:30p

Dec 13:
Wynfield's (Satellite Beach, FL) - rock out Vertebreaker, Dropshots and Wallow Sound
$5 / 9p

Schuba's Tavern - attend this annual winder coat drive event, Warm, Safe Sound, in which fans are asked to donate coats (and/or sweaters) in exchanged for a reduced cover. There will be live music performances by The Locals, The Bright White, Ace Reporter, Hard Kiss and Young Distractions.
If interested in volunteering, email

Ye Olde Town Inn - celebrate Armored Assault's Ten Year Anniversary Bender! featuring guests Cause Of My Affliction, Beyond Death, Testimony and Armored Assault
$8 / 9p

Cubby Bear - Hail to chivalry and honor! Take up arms, Red Team (and you too, Gold and Brown) because Cealed Kasket is returning to the stage in support of Moistboyz featuring Dean Ween
$16 adv / $18 dos

Mayne Stage - check out Jess Godwin rockin' the stage with a full band.
ALL AGES / 7:30p

Metro - rock out with Trainwreck Symphony, Tomorrow Has Arrived, The Run Around, Chicago Loud 9 and Standing On The Shoulders of Giants
18+ / $7 adv / $10 dos

Joe's Bar - Elizabeth Lyons with Brushville will be performing on stage here
$8 / 8p

Lincoln Hall - check out CIMMfest's FILMAGE:  the Story of the Decendants & All with special guest Q & A
18+ / $10 / 8p (sold out) / 10:30p

Dec 14 & 15:
Plumbers Hall - it's the Randolph Street Market's Beaux Arts
$8 - 10 / $3 - 5 (for students)
Please note the admission includes a $5 to $10 voucher good towards purchases

Dec 14:
Empty Bottle - shop at Homemade Market for that special holiday gift
NO COVER / noon / 21+ event

Door No. 3 (located at Double Door) - Akasha presents Simmer Down Sound featuring The Graduate, Rad Brian, Marcus I with live music performances by Akasha (featuring Illuminati Congo) and visuals by Odd Obsession Movies ...drink specials and dancing's required
FREE / 9p

Martyrs' - The Steak House Mints will be performing their final show of the year with Leslie Hunt and Temple Schultz

BBC (Milwaukee, WI) - it's the Heavy Holiday Hoedown featuring a cookie decorating contest and raffle and more with live performances by Modern Echo, Circus Fires and Lost In A Name
$7 adv / $10 dos

Tonic Room - SoundPrism presents Digeometric, Business As Usual, That Freak Quincy and Kabrakoi performing on stage here

Subterranean - it's the 3rd Annual Noise For Toys in which  all proceeds (cover fee and/or unwrapped toys collected) will be donated to Toys For Tots organization (providing families in need with toys during the holiday season) featuring live music by Blane Fonda, The Noise FM, Board of Governors and Chasing Mars
$10 or $5 with donation of unwrapped toy / 17+ / 8p

Dec 15:
Double Door - The Retar Crew with Scratch Pilots (featuring Griff from the Verve Pipe), The Dirty Dirty Dollars and DJ Supernova

Exit (upstairs) - attend Gigi's (Giselle) Breast Cancer Benefit featuring DJ sets by Tomogatchi, Gil GAvin, Cecil Medin, Scarylady Sarah, Peter Propaganda and more with performances by Gigi Arroyo, Rya Red and Amourena Tsokatos
$1 to enter the raffles / 7p

Serbian-American Museum - attend the Jesse Charbonier Album Release party featuring delicacies by Chef Dejan and performance by Chicago's local Jazz singer, Jesse Charbonier along with Adrian Ruiz (on piano), Michael Lough (on bass) and other special guests. Attendees are asked to dress in vintage wear from 1920's to 50's.
$25 adv / $35 dos / 5p

Dec 16:
Double Door - it's another Double Holiday Feature: Elf and The Nightmare Before Christmas
FREE / 7p

Dec 17:
Double Door - it's the Double Door Holiday Rockathon featuring Magatha Trysty , 10,000 Light Years and The Elements of Style

Reggie's Rock Club - The Wooten Brothers, Victor, Joseph, Roy "Futureman"and Regi will be rockin' this Southside venue.
17+ / $30 adv / $40 dos / 7p

Dec 18:
Door No.3 (located at Double Door) - it's the Thantos 20th Anniversary show with guest guitarist William Faith, Binary Partners, tim Larson and special guest DJs Scary Lady Sarah and Philly Peroxide
$7 / 8p

Fizz Bar & Grill - it's Rouge! Electro Swing time again. Don your finest Victorian / Steampunk / vintage wear and swing the night away with DJ / host Joseph Vourtequue

Dec 19:
SPACE (Evanston, IL) - actor Harry Shearer and his wife Judith Owen bring their annual Holiday Sing-Along tour with special guests to this venue
$22 - $36 / 7p

Dec 20:
Elbo Room - attend the Philippines Benefit Concert featuring Michael Laechel performing on stage. **50% of all proceeds will be donated to the victims of the Phillippine typhoon**

Double Door - it's the Deal's Gone Bad's 2nd Annual Holiday Homecoming with live performances by Deal's Gone Bad, Hard Lessons, Green Room Rockers and 6'10'
$10 adv / $12 dos / 8p

Lincoln Hall - Derek Nelson's new project Martin Van Ruin will be celebrating the release of their debut album Every Man a King with Pet Lions, NE-HI, and Derek himself opening the show
$12 / 18+

Dec 21:
Subterranean - check out the Steve Stone record release party featuring Molehill rockin' the stage

Ye Olde Town Inn - Celebrate Matt Wolf's birthday with Something Beautiful, Skull Fogger and 5 Minus X sharing the stage along with other birthday surprises.

Rockwood Music Hall (NYC, NY) - Jess Godwin will be performing solo on stage 1

Lincoln Hall - it's the Black & White Dance Party gala featuring Autograf, Them Flavors and Covalence.
Formal wear/classy/fashion forward attire required
18+ (21+ to drink) / $7 adv / $10 dos

Red Line Tap - rock with 6 Degrees of Separation

Another Hole In The Wall (Steger, IL) - 89.1 Pure Rock presents Dark Days of Christmas featuring the following bands scheduled to rock your faces off - The Letter Black, Righteous Vendetta, Echoes of Ruin, Left At The Altar, Forgetting Last Monday, Monolith, Escape The Paradigm, The Trademarked and Unknown Zodiac.
ALL AGES (21+ - need ID to drink)  / $11 adv / $13 dos / 4:30p

The Mutiny - Queer Fest America presents A Very Queer Fest-Of-Us, a benefit event for Gay Liberation Network

Dec 22:
House of Blues (Chicago) - Villains unite! V Is For Villains is taking over House of Blues (again) with El Famous, Seconds to Serenity and Savior Self. Grab your ticket now from any member of V Is Villains and receive a special bonus (pre-holiday) gift!
ALL AGES / $10 adv / $13 - $15 dos / 5p

Dec 23:
Double Door - check out this Double Holiday Feature: Bad Santa and Die Hard
FREE / 7p

Dec 28 & 29:
Ravinia Festival - it's the 2013 Walgreens National Concerto Competition for Young Soloists hosted by Midwest Young Artists.
For details and entry information (including application), visit

Dec 30:
Concord Music Hall - Gramatik celebrates the new year with Lowtemp
18+ / 9p

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dumpster Hunter

"...this one's for Lou..." ~ Jeff Taylor of Dumpster Hunter

"...My songs plus trusted friends..." was how Jeff Taylor described his band, Dumpster Hunter, during an interview with SouthSide before dedicating his Reggie's Music Joint performance in memory of Lou Reed, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter of Velvet Underground. Yet that description also perfectly described the intimate atmosphere created while he and the band performed on stage to a setlist of songs off his current release, Frustration in Time Travel with a side order of stories ...including one about Lou Reed, blogspot readers. And speaking of stories, while hanging out at the upstair records store - Record Breakers, Jeff had plenty more to share about his recent stint performing Frank Zappa's 200 Motels along with the Los Angeles Philharmonic to how the band's album got it's title which is not a Doctor Who reference as this reviewer originally thought.

According to Jeff, Dumpster Hunter could have been " songs and nothing..." else but luckily it's not. This musician surrounds himself with talented friends like Steve Wall who engineered and produced the band's debut album because in his opinion "'s more meaningful..." when working with friends. And "...working with friends is a guarantee when you're trying to make things feel natural..." That sense of friendship and performing with your talented friends was what SouthSide felt throughout Dumpster Hunter's set, blogspot readers. Amidst the melodic floetry and rhythms and harmonizing vocals, one can also see how this is simply more than a band on the stage but a group of friends enjoying each other's company. While reviewing the performance, she also did get that narrative feeling from Dumpster's songs like Cooped Up (a song about being on the road in which Jeff called it his "...cheesy but a good cheesy..." kind reminding him of Dire Straits) and River (a song about the time when Steve lost his home due to the hurricane). Jeff stated to this reviewer during the interview that he, while following different bands, likes to wonder what goes in the lives of the bands and their song catalogs. He hopes that during his performances he's saying something honest to his audience ...not hiding behind a mask. And River is one of those songs where the lyrics will spark the imagery inside your head amongst the staccato style going from a calming lull to the feel of the hurricane blowing.

There were no masks in this performance, blogspot readers. Everything was open as well as honest like Jeff said Dumpster's set would be to which left his Music Joint audience wanting more in the end. Performing other songs like C2 (his favorite) and Half The Code, the band surrounded this bar/venue with sounds of eclectic yet sometimes cosmic feel within in the rhythms and downtempo style that allows the ears to thoroughly enjoy what they're hearing. Most times, the music was a little organic too from a few beats from hand clapping to a capella and spoken word letting the written prose of certain songs to have its moment in the spotlight. As simplistic Dumpster's lyrics may be, there's an honest message to be heard with Jeff's natural falsetto backing the words. And SouthSide liked how Jeff's expressive body language help convey the tone and mood of his songs as seen during C2 when he not only sang but expressed some emotion through the use of his hands in this airy adult contemporary style tune. Meanwhile Half The Code showed the audience he could also be vocally as well as powerfully intense on the lyrics, blogspot readers, in which his body language gets more expressive but on the flipside, check out the band's pseudo-Jazz like sound for Heart Hard (which you should check out the YouTube video).

Oh the title of the album, Frustration In Time Travel, though he loves Dr. Who, has nothing to do with the British programme, blogspot readers. According to Jeff, the title came from a song when he and Daniel Hindman were in a band together back in 2000. As mentioned at the beginning of this review, Jeff recently performed Frank Zappa's 200 Motels (a 1971 musical that was cowrittern and directed with Tony Palmer and starred The Mothers of Invention, Theodore Bikel and Ringo Starr) with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. When asked how it went, Jeff responded saying it was incredible and fun ...that it was his first time acting in front of people as an adult not including the sketch comedy with his best friend. He also said that he found it "...quite easy to assimilate to Hollywood..." because no one "...didn't make me feel like an outsider ...[they] welcome me..." On Frank Zappa, both Jeff and SouthSide admire and respect the late musician's work liking his (Frank's) honesty as well as seemliness as a writer of prose. "...he has a very important literary voice..." Then this reviewer asked how did this special performance come about to which he answered they (meaning LA Philharmonic) picked it for the tenth anniversary celebration for the Walt Disney Concert Hall. "...they could have chosen Beethoven or Mozart..." instead liking they chose Frank Zappa and this particular musical. He described the performance as bolder as well as a memorable moment for all including the orchestra who appeared in tattered tuxedoes and bandages. Even though his soliloquy was cut, Jeff did get the chance to be at the conductor's stand and belt out an aria before doing a speaking piece. He noted that the LA Times said they did a tamer version of the play, blogspot readers, however in the 60s and 70s, times were risque unlike now.

Sadly, SouthSide's time was short with Jeff since he and the band had to eat before their show and she asked him to end with any final words or thoughts for his fans. " have a career in music as a performer means there's someone else involved..." Jeff enjoys having fun with his fans like the interaction and would like to thank them even if they hate or love what he does. For Jeff and the band, it's a collaborative effort on everyone's part from the booking agent setting up the gig to people coming out the the show and buying (or not buying) a CD. That says something to him. Inherently, he's grateful for it all, blogspot readers.

SouthSide highly recommends rocking out with Dumpster Hunter at their next performance but in the meantime, visit the band at

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, November 18, 2013

New Year's Eve 2013

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide knows it's a little early to start planning or even think about what to do on New Year's Eve. However, you should start making plans now if you want to attend the following parties before they sellout (which many have the tendency of doing before December 1st). 

The following is some of the party notices she received recently in her inbox ...and more will be added when she gets the notices...

Events listed are deemed 21+ unless specified, blogspot readers

The Hyatt Chicago:
Trilogy Productions and Chicago Sun-Times in association with Hot Sauce Committee, DJ Krush and DJ Onit cordially invite you to the 11th Annual New Year's Eve Extravaganza NYE Soiree 2014.
Tickets are available now.
Visit for more information.

Auditorium Theatre (of Roosevelt University):
Ring in the new year at this concert featuring Manic Focus, Ex Mag and Herobust with Gramatik

Reggie's Rock Club:
Rock your way into the new year at this Southside venue featuring the Detroit band - DEATH with El Mejor!
17+ / $20 adv / $25 dos - general admission
VIP packages are now available:
$50 (above stage) includes 8:15 early entry and poster
$80 (Red chair) includes a reserved seat in the balcony, 3 hour call drink package, early entry and poster
$60 (VIP) includes 7:30p early entry, hanging out with Death before the show (with food buffet and drinks), and poster

Concord Music Hall:
(early show) Celebrate your 2014 with The Lawrence Arms and other bands TBA soon

Elbo Room:
It will be Avondale with Ben Burns rockin' the new year at this Lakeview venue
$65 adv (includes top shelf drinks from 9p to 1a) / $75 dos

Cobra Lounge:
CROWBAR's 25th Anniversary show will be ringing in 2014!

Concord Music Hall:
(late night show) continue ringing in the new year with Future Rock and Thibault
18+ / 1a
Tickets are available at

Double Door:
Party your way in 2014 with the original party crew - Mucca Pazza!
$25 adv / $28 dos / 9p show

Until next time, support your local scene,

12 Nov 13 - Muse Live from Olympic Stadium in Rome

All natural and technological
Processes proceed in such
a way that the availability of the
remaining energy decreases

In all energy exchanges, if no energy
enters or leaves an isolated system
the entropy of that system increases

Energy continuously flows from being
concentrated to becoming dispersed
spread out, wasted and useless

New energy cannot be
created and high-grade
energy is being destroyed

An economy based on endless
growth is unsustainable ~ "Unsustainable" by Muse

SouthSide's attending her first Muse concert! Well ...not actually live up close and personal, blogspot readers, but it felt like she did once this movie had concluded. Underneath the starry skies inside the legendary cinema palace Music Box Theatre (located in the Lakeview neighborhood), this reviewer among many other Muse fans recently attended a screening - Muse Live from Olympic Stadium in Rome. Filmed live on 06 July 2013 using 4K camera technology by Omniverse Vision, this movie took the audience on a musical experience featuring pyrotechnics, digital screens and animation, actors and a 20-song playlist selection of songs from The 2nd Law, Uprising, Supermassive Black Hole, Time Is Running Out, Straight and Plug-In Baby albums. It also gave everyone an in depth look at Muse - Matthew Bellamy, Dominic Howard and Chris Wosltenholme performing on stage (with some behind the scenes) in front of a crowd over 60,000, blogspot readers.

SouthSide enjoyed how director Matt Askem at times used a split sequence to not only capture the action on stage but also the fan reactions as it simultaneously happened at that exact moment. His cameras are there filming precious moments of fans singing along with Muse ...the flaming pyrotechnic columns (used during certain songs like Supremacy) and the animation on the digital screens (Jib Jab of world leaders in Panic Station and animated choir for Survival) and much more. She enjoyed the use of this technique during the song Animals where you watch a creepy video of corporate greed on side and Muse performing the song on the other. Adding more creepiness to this particular was the actor portraying the Wall Street-like executive who tossed money into the crowd and then receiving a haunting harmonic funeral march in the end. Also, there are moments where he capture certain scenes using black and white for more of a dramatic effect in order to connect the audience with Matthew as he sings songs like Feelin' Good and part of Follow Me (before returning to color shots). 

The digital surround sound inside Music Box almost puts you in the middle of the action inside Olympic Stadium ...capturing every scream from the thousands of fans to the many voices singing along to the chorus in Resistance, Madness and Time Is Running Out. You won't miss a single moment of having personal face time with Matthew, blogspot readers, especially when he grabs the camera during Madness or looks directly into it while running around the stage at ground level (with security flanking him). There's a rush that comes with viewing this Muse movie in which diehard fans will instantly feel the moment they hear their favorite song or watching the intensity of the guitar riffs during Knights of Cydonia ...or feel the emotional plea with Matthew and crowds during Explorers. Compared to other concert movies that this reviewer has seen, Matt Askem (with the use of this camera technology) gave the audience a better non-grainy digital movie resolution in which might have you thinking you're in Rome not in your seat inside a movie theatre.

SouthSide highly recommends Muse fans checking out this movie when it comes out on DVD Dec 2nd ...just in time for holiday gift giving.

For more information about Muse and its music, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Sunday, November 17, 2013

11 Nov 13

Spaghetti Westerns (or also known as Italian Westerns), a sub-genre of traditional western films were the rage during the mid-60s due to Sergio Leone's film-making style and international box office success ...especially here in the United States. These movies were directed and produced by an Italian director and staffed by Italo-Spanish technical production with a cast featuring Italian, Spanish, German and American actors like Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, Jack Palance, Klaus Kinski, Chuck Connors, Franco Nero, Yule Brynner - just to name a few. And the best trilogies of this genre were directed by Sergio Leone and scored by Ennio Morrricone as well as other Italian Western composers such as Luis Enrique Bacalou, Francesco Di Masi and many others. This genre also got a new lease on life after its disappearance in the mid-70s from such modern directors like Robert Rodriguez (Mariachi trilogy) and Quentin Tarantino (Django, From Dusk To Dawn).

Why this brief history about Spaghetti Westerns? Well, blogspot readers, SouthSide recently visited The Hungry Brain (located in the Roscoe neighborhood) where she had a chance to hear some of the famous movie music from this sub-genre come to life once more by the local band Duck, You Sucker with Organ Yank headlining this two-act lineup. Coincidentally, the band took their name from a Sergio Leone 1971 movie which starred James Coburn as an Irish revolutionary who crosses paths with a Mexican bandit (Rod Steiger) during the Mexican Revolution. Musically, this local group did a phenomenal job recreating classic compositions from movies such as Carambola (a 1974 comedy-western inspired by the popular Trinity-series about mismatched gunrunners who challenge a rival for the hunt of a $500,000 reward), Django The Last Killer (a 1967 movie which not a sequel to Franco Nero's Django) and Grand Duel aka The Storm Rider (a 1972 movie directed by Giancarlo Santi who was also Sergio Leone's assistant director on The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West). Each epic piece was given the upmost respect when covering the boisterous horns and woodwinds sound combined with gritty rock music and Holly doing the whistling and vocal arias even though she was sometimes overshadowed by the band. DYS' love and appreciation for this Spaghetti Westerns was definitely felt throughout this special performance, blogspot readers. These timeless classics were performed with vigorous gusto (when needed) or in a slight yet spirited downtempo rhythm depending on which movie Duck, You Sucker was covering. While listening to the music being performed, this reviewer had her moments of vividly imagining either the opening or ending credits ...or a particular scene playing in her head. If you're a fan of this movie genre, SouthSide then highly recommends checking out this local band at their next performance wherever the dusty trail leads them to a venue near you. For more information, visit

With a quick change in the band lineup, SouthSide went from Spaghetti Westerns to lively neo-soul/R&B when Organ Yank took over the stage, blogspot readers. Featuring Danny ( also of Duck, You Sucker) on saxophone (as well as in a flowery dress and matching hat), this quartet of musicians rocked The Hungry Brain with funky, toe-tappin' rhythms and swinging beats heard in songs like Mommy & Daddy, LG Special and Bacon (a song about breakfast). If you like rockin' your evening out with a jam band, then Organ Yank is definitely the type for you, blogspot readers. It may have been cold outside with the winter-like winds blowing but not inside this venue ...not with this band producing some summertime heat felt throughout the set. What made this band so unique was the way their music would change from one extreme to the next within the songs. For example during Mommy & Daddy, this reviewer was fooled by the song's opening downtempo rhythm before sucked into the vast world of complex notes and complicated sound where they had music floating in and out of range. At times a song like this one, it left her confused and scratching her head ...other times, she was confused thinking Organ Yank was way out of tune and off key. Yet, believe it or not, blogspot readers, she thinks that's was the idea. They wanted you not knowing where they're coming or going during this musical journey. The confusion of wacky chords meddling with the melody simply illuminated the complexity of the band's music that somehow ran in sync with each member. Sounds a bit confusing, huh, blogspot readers? But without giving too much away, you have to hear and see this band perform live to get the complete picture of what they're all about. So many twists and turns bedazzle the mind and senses that you think you're a gentle lull ...then again are you when the music sounds so boisterous and confusing with a touch of electrified cosmic wizardry here and there. Overall, don't expect the unexpected from Organ Yank because this band comes with tricks and surprises of their own that will definitely wow and amaze you. Sit back and enjoy the cosmic journey till the end, blogspot readers. For more information, visit Organ Yank at

Until next time, support your local scene,

08 Nov 13 - Bad Romance

SouthSide's caught in a bad romance ...and there was no way out of it either, blogspot readers.

Before continuing, this statement has to be said - SouthSide is not a diehard monster (Lady Gaga) fan however she does respect the artistry and music by this pop star, blogspot readers. Now that's out of the way, this reviewer recently attended the one-night only musical performance of Bad Romance at Bucktown's newest music venue - Concord Music Hall. Held inside the former V nightclub, this spacious 3rd floor venue had the right atmosphere and setting for tonight's concert which featured a full band, dancers and singers - all professional as well as carefully chosen for this live theatrical production of Lady Gaga's music. Here's where the skeptic side to SouthSide kicked in before the start of the show. As stated earlier, she may not be a diehard monster (like her kids) yet she's well-versed with this artist's songs from Fame to Born This Way albums. So, she did have her doubts about this production pulling it off without any flubs and/or missteps, blogspot readers.

There was excitement in the air as fans of all ages waited impatiently for Bad Romance to start. As the digital clock did a countdown and the lights turned low, this crowd was more than ready to be Gaga-fied by this elaborate musical production, blogspot readers, however the music didn't do much to generate more fan excitement already felt. To be honest, the only ones really feeling the excitement of attending a "Lady Gaga" show were the kiddie monsters seated in the balcony area with their parents. Another countdown?! How many does a musical need before the band and singers finally take the stage. FINALLY, the crowd erupts to life with applause and screams as the "Lady Gaga" character takes the stage.

The concept of Bad Romance is quite simple ...though it's loosely based on Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (aka Lady Gaga) and her early days in the music scene before performing her first Monster Ball concert. In this musical, the main character strutting around stage mimicking the mannerisms and vocal style of Mother Monster is named Gia and she tells the story about her early days dancing at the Glitter Club to signing with Disco Heaven Records (aka Interscope Records) and her on-off again relationship with her first love, Alejandro, amidst the full band and backup singers performing Gaga songs. The musical featured hits like Monster, Alejandro, Poker Face, Telephone, Judas, Teeth, LoveGame and of course the musical title - Bad Romance (which you have to wait towards the end to hear) ...all recognizable in an instant, blogspot readers.

As musical production goes at this caliber, it was okay, blogspot readers, despite recreating some of her famous videos and/or dance moves. This reviewer did enjoy the relatively plausible storyline of a singer/songwriter who makes it big in the music industry after defying the "odds" and pressure to give up from her friends and family as well as working hard to make the dream come true. In a way, the same could be said about Lady Gaga. She did prove many critics wrong who thought (after seeing her first Lollapalooza performance back in 2007) she would merely a one-hit wonder thus getting lost and/or disappear amongst the sea other pop stars and wannabes. Well, look at Mother Monster now. She has, in SouthSide's opinion, has changed the face of the music industry with her wild and eccentric fashion sense (which keeps EVERYONE talking about what she wore or did for days) to her social activism  (fighting against bullying and for gay rights), acting, and more (like recently hosting Saturday Night Live). From a music critic standpoint, this reviewer enjoyed hearing the unique take on Lady Gaga's songs as performed by a live band even though there are some things you can't really translate with an electric guitar so well. Yet, kudos to the band on the effort especially when they steamed up Alejandro with a sultry opening as well as electrified Telephone as a hardcore rock song.


On the flipside, the production was a little flat and got tiresome gradually fast especially when the "Lady Gaga" character began straining on her vocals after an hour of gyrating, dancing and singing nonstop on stage, blogspot readers. At the beginning of this musical, she exhibited a lot of energy and excitement that had many little monsters singing along with her. There was a bright moment during Speechless when her vocals did shine popping the heartfelt words to life amidst the piano accompaniment but soon you could tell that she was getting tired when performing Born This Way - this 2012 hit received a lackluster rendition. Her vocals were slightly off key (fading in and out when reaching the high falsetto notes) and there was no emotion or dynamic emphasis anywhere on the lyrics. You would have thought the crowd would be extremely excited when she hyped how Illinois finally passed the Marriage Equality Act ...but sadly no. That hype fell flat as a dull doornail, blogspot readers. One more thing, "Lady Gaga" needs to work on her fake playing an acoustic guitar a little more ...she was off on the "strumming" the strings during You And I. The backup singers, who were totally non-existent throughout the entire musical, weren't any better either when you were able to hear their vocals. They were completely overshadowed by the band each and every time that SouthSide had to strain her earplugs to make sure their mics were on. Their reprise of You And I needed more vocal work since it didn't have the same vocal emphasis like the Gia character had earlier.

Despite needing a little more tweaking especially on the vocals, SouthSide somewhat recommends little monsters checking out the musical Bad Romance when the cast and band performs it again. A good effort in covering the famous hit songs by Lady Gaga that many had fun singing and dancing along inside the Concord Music Hall.

For more information, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, November 15, 2013

06 Nov 13 - Jake Shimabukuro

***sincerest apologies for the lateness of this review***

Believe it or not - it was just a guy and his ukulele rockin' the stage tonight, blogspot readers. It was simplistic as that tonight for SouthSide as she attended this special one-night only performance at Park West (located in the heart of Lincoln Park area). For this reviewer, it was quite unusual and WAY out of the norm for a typical SouthSide On The Town review. However, it was amazing (or unbelievable if you can't wrap your head around the thought of a guy single handedly rockin' any stage with a ukulele in Chicago). Do you want to know something else about this performance? This artist packed the Park West! By the time she arrived for Jake Shimabukuro's performance, it was nearly standing room only. Before you start thinking SouthSide has lost all of her rock marbles for reviewing a particular concert like this. She did have her doubts too, blogspot readers, but she does like covering all aspects of the vast music industry even if it does include a guy and his ukulele. In a nutshell, Jake Shimabukuro's performance made a believer out of this reviewer ...especially after watching him perform Queen's iconic rock ballad Bohemian Rhapsody ...yes, he did - all vocal parts and chords on that tiny ukulele!
Jake Shimabukuro did things on and with his ukulele that SouthSide has never seen anyone else do on stage before. And she wants to get this straight before continuing - it wasn't the usual "let's go Hawaiian hula" music either. This artist wowed as well as mesmerized the entire Park West by playing his instrument with passion ...fiery momentum ...fervor ...romanticism and heart while performing songs off his latest album (produced by Alan Parsons ...yep, that famous engineer who did Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon and The Beatles' Abbey Road and Let It Be). What truly made this performance very intimate on a personable and friend level between Jake and his audience was the stories he shared in between a few songs the one about how he composed Missing 3 as an acoustic for the ukulele but on the album he's back with a full orchestra (as suggested by Alan Parsons). Tonight, he shared with us the acoustic version to which SouthSide found to be more expressive and romantic compared to the full stringed orchestra version since it was played with the gentlest of all tones ...using only 3 chords. You could literally feel the rhythmic melodies floating from the stage and across the venue, blogspot readers, like you were wrapped inside this particular song's warm blanket. You could tell song after song how much fun Jake was having performing on stage either by his facial expression and/or the way he interacted with those closest to the stage especially when playing his version of Hawaii 5-0 to which he called it Ukulele 5-0. Oh, by the way, Hawaii 5-0 is his favorite television show. He had everyone riding the surf during this one, blogspot readers before feeling the soft petals of Blue Roses Falling (inspired by a friend's grandmother's dream of blue roses) against the backdrop of blue lighting  to aid in the effect for this song. It was heartfelt and touching while giving off the sensation of petals falling all around us ...lyrics for this song would simply ruin the dream-like romanticism or not accurately describe the emotion expressed as Jake played. This was one of many moments throughout Jake Shimabukuro where the entire venue was silent except Jake's ukulele.
Besides covering his own work like Gentle Mandolin (written after the birth of his son to which he dedicated to new parents and parents ...hoping someday his own son will be a Gentleman-dolin), Jake also covered Sting's Fields of Gold as another gentle yet romantic song that you could hear how the ukulele notes turned the original composition into a softer lullaby. Yet, there was a moment when he turned his ukulele into a fierce, electric guitar, blogspot readers, especially during his performance of Dragon - dedicated to all guitar rock heroes like Eddie Van Halen. Speaking of Van Halen - it was his first rock concert which gave him the idea of performing on stage as a rock god of the ukulele. And what a rock god was he, blogspot readers. seriously electrifying the stage with his ukulele as a ukulele at first and then as an electric guitar ...thrilling the crowd with each intense shred of the riffs until concluding in a rock god guitar stance to thunderous applause. Amazing it may sound (without actually seeing firsthand, blogspot readers), his version of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was *drum roll* awe-inspiring and Jake performing (one of) his favorite rock songs was the highlight of the show. As SouthSide mentioned earlier in the review, this musician played ALL parts of the iconic song on the ukulele ...even the echo, the harmonizing choral parts and etc ...yep, this guy and his ukulele had the crowd rockin' Wayne and Garth style during the intense head-banging rock bridge. No assistance with any other musician or pre-recorded instrument helping him out. Just him and his ukulele rockin' out this classic Queen song. He was the entire band with a ukulele-sounding gong at the end. If you think that was incredibly amazing, you should have heard Jake playing his instrument like a Spanish flamenco guitar in which this reviewer thought he was going to break a string or two from the way he was excitedly playing the ukulele. Like Ian Anderson being the magical pied piper of the flute, Jake Shimabukuro was the pied piper of the ukulele who never thought he would be touring as a ukulele performer after getting his start in coffee shops and YouTube, blogspot readers. According to Jake, he owes it all to YouTube, before ending his show with a rousing performance of George Harrison's While My Guitar Gently Weeps (another one of his favorite rock songs). Here he took this iconic classic rock song to new heights as well as depths while his ukulele gently wept with the notes melodically rolling off each string strum ...beautifully and passionately.

To be honest, blogspot readers, this concert didn't feel an hour and half had flown by when he concluded. Yet Jake had enough strength for one more for his many fans asking for "one more song" to which he graciously gave them a traditional Hawaiian song, dubbing it as the "Ave Maria" of Hawaii because it's one of the most difficult pieces to learn since it requires 4 strings to play it. However for this occasion, Jake did it with 3 strings, blogspot readers ...again with gentle passion like a love song dedicated to his native state. There wasn't a dry eye in the house...

For more information about Jake Shimabukuro and where he and his ukulele will be performing next, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

02 Nov 13

***sincerest apologies for the lateness of this review***

Did you know there's no dark side of the moon? Yep, it's all dark, blogspot readers. Recently, SouthSide wrapped up her long Halloween celebrating with a special performance presented by CAU (Chicago Acoustic Underground) and CAU Dog Records at Chicago's Hard Rock Cafe. Bridging the gap between artists (locally, nationally as well as around the word) and music fans, this organization has been producing downloadable live music podcasts and interviews featuring over 400 singer/songwriter artists for nearly six years. On this night, he put together a rockin' lineup which included alternative/folk rock by goodbyehome and folk funk by Beacon James (MN) with Jack Salamander and its cover of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. And speaking of Beacon James, blogspot readers, this group is a nearly acquired act under the CAUDog Records label of many exciting things happening for Michael Teach and his staff. On November 27, CAU will be taking over Mayne Stage venue (located in the Rogers Park neighborhood) for a Black Wednesday showcase in which artists like Joe Taylor, Hannah Frank, The Lauren Wolf Band and many more will performing on either the main stage or the Act One Pub stage. Due to CAU's unique relationship and partnership with Mayne Stage, be on the lookout for something like this to happen on the 2nd Wednesday of every month throughout 2014 ...more details about that as soon as it comes to SouthSide's desk.

Opening this fantastic night of music was the rockin' folk alternative band - goodbyehome in which the Hard Rock audience was entertained by their hip-shakin', toe-tappin' rhythmic sound, blogspot readers. Led by front man/guitarist Greg Combs, his voice propelled a heartfelt falsetto tone onto lyrics (even while amongst vocal harmonies with the other band members) during songs like Apache Hotel (a haunting downtempo ballad) and Groomsmen (a goodbyehome oldie but fan goodie). SouthSide enjoyed the slightly upbeat song featuring some sweet harmonica melody as heard in new one Kenosha (it's all about the town and his love for its cheese curds's a Wisconsin thing, blogspot readers). Yet it wasn't all alternative folk rock during goodbyehome's opening performance. The band did spice things up with a touch of hardcore electric rock to give their Americana sound a nice yet gritty edge thus also bringing out the emotions in Greg's voice especially when singing "I'm along again" - definitely could feel the pain not only in his voice but in the words. The dark moody tone brought out by the electric side to goodbyehome (in this particular song) could be found in the electric violin that adds more a creepiness as well as darkness to the song's sound. After seeing how deep and dark this band can get, blogspot readers, it was time to rock out the Hard Rock Café with some Vampires ...and no, these aren't the ones who shine or sparkle either in which features the violin and bass duet playing off each other at the song's bridge. SouthSide highly recommends checking out goodbyehome and their eclectic yet vibrant tone of folk alternative rock at their next show. For more information about this local band, visit

Hailing from Minnesota, this band not only featured a unique combination of folk rock and funk but 5-part vocal harmonies which blew this reviewer's ears away, blogspot readers! She can see why Michael Teach and CAUDog Records had to sign this band to the label ...they were more than just awesome to watch. And if there's a word better than "awesome" to describe how Beacon James rocked the stage, SouthSide will certainly attach it to the band's description. It didn't take them long to get this audience hoppin' to the rhythmic folk sound or be instantly drawn to their energetic momentum when opening with songs Move On and Cass - and this was where the funk side came into play, blogspot readers. When Beacon added the funk side to their folk rock sound, in one word POW - you felt the jammin' saxophone heating up the lively upbeat swing thus sparking more vocal umph in the band's harmonies especially during Like Smoke. It may have been a downtempo song but it retained a lot of that energy as well as highlighting the vocal emotions and mood of the lyrics. Also featured during Beacon's performance was montage of three songs - Lydia, Sons and Dogs and Good Girl where you as the listener get to hear three different sides to this band. In Lydia, there's a 4 part vocal harmony to which you're meant to feel the haunting sad words before slightly livening things up in Sons and Dogs and then lastly getting your pseudo religion on with Beacon's gospel sounding Good Girl (vocalized by Marie). This diverse setlist, blogspot readers, wonderfully spotlighted the band's vocal talents from emotionally dynamic and soulful to raspy heartfelt falsetto tone ...and when you put all 5 vocals together - they become one amazing dynamic powerhouse of voices popping the words to life behind the incredible combination of music. To say this reviewer was impressed is a gross understatement. She was literally hooked by the time Beacon performed For Wings and Goodbye To Us (a sad duet in which gradually builds to a trio then quartet before ending with all five harmonizing acapella) before closing out with Rock Salt and Nails. Dancing is strongly encouraged when seeing  Beacon James rockin' the stage live, blogspot readers. They want you to have a good time while enjoying their folk funk sound. For more information about this band, visit

"...can someone turn the record over..."

Most know that SouthSide is a Pink Floyd fan. And she has heard this legendary band's icon songs and/or albums covered as instrumental to classical orchestrations as well as by a local bands. So she was totally ready to scrutinize Jack Salamander's covering the entire iconic album Dark Side  of the Moon to which she knows it's no easy task, blogspot readers. Because he would have to recreate each and every song, sound effect, vocals etc to appease the diehard Floyd fans (like this reviewer) attending the Hard Rock Show. Even though Michael Teach promised SouthSide she would thoroughly enjoy Jack's homage to this album ...she did have her doubts. Did he pass? This reviewer will answer that question at the end of the review. After opening with a classic John Lee Hooker blues song Baby Talk to warm up the late night Floyd fans, the bewitching hour had arrived and it was time to rock out with Dark Side of the Moon. Jack Salamander, using bits and soundbites from the album (for Speak To Me, Time, and Money), also had help from members of the bands that performed earlier to aid in this special performance. He and his core band didn't skimp anything. They nearly recreated the album as close to perfect as they could get, blogspot readers, even right down to the train announcement during On The Run. It was quite mindblowing hearing all of the songs covered note by note ...chord by chord but it was also creepy since she had never a band perform it so well. What they needed was the Wizard of Oz playing, or scenes of space from the Hubble Telescope or a laser light adding to the psychedelic trippiness of Great Gig In the Sky, Us and Them and Any Colour You Like. Yes, blogspot readers, Jack Salamander (with some help from friends like Greg Combs of goodbyehome on guitar and vocals for Us and Them, Jessica, Marie and Britta on vocals for Brain Damage and Eclipse) successfully recreated a wonderful live version of Dark Side of the Moon proving this Floyd fan wrong. With a little substitution here and there, all the correct elements of what made this album so iconic were still there to enjoy ...nothing was taken away from Floyd's psychedelic/progressive rock wizardry for one moment. And if he had time, we could have heard Floyd's other iconic album - Animals. Jack Salamander had everyone fired up for more Floyd. However Lem (front man/guitarist of Jack Salamander) gave this hungry late night audience some hot Frank Zappa after shouts for Comfortably Numb, Echoes and a selection of Robin Trower could be heard. It was truly one memorable performance, blogspot readers, and SouthSide's looking forward to the next time Jack Salamander performs Floyd again. For more information about this band, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,