Sunday, December 29, 2013

NYE & January 2014

Happy New Year!

Yes, blogspot readers, it's another 365 days of fun and excitement happening around town! So don't let winter's icy chill keep you home and away from these hot shows during the month of January. 

Included in this calendar are a few more NYE suggestions in case you need last minute suggestions $10 and under.

Please note all shows listed are 21+.

Dec 31:
Dank Haus - polka your way into the new year with The Polkaholics!

Fitz's Spare Keys (Elmhurst, IL) - Thrash Martini will be rockin' the stage at this benefit party.

Exit (2nd Floor) - there's a FREE champagne toast at midnight while dancing to featured DJs Eddie Rio, Julio Sierra, El Diablito and more.

Empty Bottle - rock your way into 2014 with Oozing Wound, Magic Milk and Jimmy Whispers with DJ Mike Lust
$10 adv / $20 dos

Quencher's Saloon - ring in the new year with Furious Frank, The Amen Brothers, Pirates! and Pinto and the Bean

NEO - attend this nightclub's New Year's Eve Speakeasy party featuring DJs Moyers and Razor X ...dressing in a costume is encouraged

Jan 2:
Foundation Room (House of Blues, Chicago) - Empire State Express will be performing a special yet intimate show inside this luxurious VIP lounge

Jan 3:
Scubas Tavern - Verona Red along with Big Paraid and Tanks & Guns will be performing on stage here.

Double Door - The Alder Kings along with The Buckshot Hounds, Stolen Silver and The Race To Space will be performing live here

Bottom Lounge - attend this Winter Formal featuring She's Alive, Call It Treason, A Photo Finish and Jordan Benker
ALL AGES / $10

Jan 4:
Penny Road Pub - rock your Saturday night with 6 Degrees of Separation

Coq d'Or (The Drake Hotel) - local Jazz crooner Jesse Charbonier performs your favorite classics and rarities all night long at this legendary bar.
FREE / 9p

Reggie's Rock Club - Dread Zeppelin, Mr. Blutto and Blue Dream will be rockin' the stage here
7p / $15

Jan 6:
Schubas Tavern - check out MER's Music Showcase featuring A Friend Called Fire, Anthony Bagnara of Makeshift Prodigy, Gordon Robertson of The Damn Choir and Noah Gabriel performing acoustically on stage
$8 / 7p

Empty Bottle - it's a FREE Monday show featuring Chandeliers, Videotape, Spaces of Disappearance and Distant Cities

Jan 8:
Mayne Stage - Elle Casazza will be performing here

Door No.3 (Double Door) - Door No.3 presents FABITAT: Live featuring a live set by The Iceberg with DJ Adam EL (of 16 Candles/Berlin) and also a drag performances by Lucy Stoole, Anita Bershen and Curlene Ribbon.
FABITAT is a night for the west side's LGBTQ community and its supporters

Jan 9:
Underground Wonder Bar - Room 11 begins their residency again at this venue

Metro - Carter Tutti plays Chris & Casey with John Elliot's Hieroglyphic Being and DJ Scary Lady Sarah
$21 / 18+ / 8p

Jan 10:
Debonair Social Club - 8090 along with Middle City Sound, Sansara, Brad Brubaker & The Crowd Goes Wild will be rockin' this venue

Wynfields Sports Bar (Satellite Beach, FL) - rock with Staring Blind, Southside Junction and Anyone's Guess

Metro - Comasoft with The Dead On, Hard Kiss and The Queue will be performing live on stage
$10 / 18+

Double Door - CAU Dog Records Showcase presents Matthew Morgan and The Lost Brigade with special guests Flabby Trio headlining the lineup featuring Pitchy and the 44s and Kathy Greehholdt. Also - it's BYO crotch stuffing zucchini!

LiveWire Lounge - attend Famous Fido Animal Shelter (located in the Andersonville neighborhood) benefit show and help support a good cause
For more information, visit

Coq d'Or (The Drake Hotel) - Jesse Charbonier will be performing your favorite Jazz classics as well as seldom heard rarities inside this legendary bar.
FREE / 9p

Junior's (in Pilsen) - NSP Live presents polka and more inside Pilsen neighborhood featuring The Polkaholics, Krol Kleks and The Lucks!

Cobra Lounge - attend the Man On Fire ...a benefit for Diane Larsen.
All donations will be going to help pay medical bills and time missed from work due to a recent accident.
There will be live music performances by Guns and Ammunition, Tutu & the Pirates and The Dyes with an extra special performance by Sanjula Vamana
$10 suggested donation

Lincoln Hall - check out this special screening of the new Chris Hefner feature film, The Prisoner which will feature a live overture performance by Daniel Knox (who composed the movie's original score).
Two showings - 7p and 10p
Jan 11:
Phyllis Musical Inn - JD3 will be performing live on stage.
FREE / 9p

Martyrs' - rock to Sousaphenia 3 featuring Bassel & the Supernaturals with Environmental Encroachment, The Viper & His Famous Orchestra and Four Star Brass Band
$10 / 9p

Cobra Lounge - it's Hate Department, Project .44, JILT, Lockjaw and WORM rockin' the stage

Exit (2nd Floor) - it's VENUS featuring Eddie Riot and Akira Smith spinning at this party

Metro - Honey & the 45s along with Gramps The Vamp, Felix & Lyons, Sara Masterson and Bluefish Fellows will be rockin' the stage here

Double Door - Why So White, Deep Fayed, Patrick Hartman and The Last Glances, Mos Scocious with DJ Ricky Drako will be rockin' the stage

Door No.3 (Double Door) - Akasha presents: Simmer Down Sound with The Graduate, Rad Brian, Marcus I featuring a live performance by Akasha  and family

Prop Theater (3502 N. Elston) - learn how to speak Rhinoceros during the 25th Annual Rhino Fest in which Sid Yiddish & His Candy Store Henchmen will be making their debut on this date.
Tickets are $12 online or $15 at the door OR pay-what-you-can, NO ONE will be turned away.

JJ Kelly's (Lansing, IL) - attend the South Side Metal Shred Event featuring David Shankle (ex-Manowar) and Gabriel Anthony (ex-Tyrants Reign) with Testimony and ScreamKing

Jan 15:
Fizz Bar & Grill - electro swing at this edition of Rouge! Chicago's (premiere) Electro Swing Night!

Tonic Room -The Great Divide will be rockin' the stage as part of Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Fest with Bigg Otis and Nick & The Ovorols

Jan 17:
Double Door - The Coop and Jon Wayne & The Pain will be rockin' the stage
$10 / 8p

Liar's Club - rock at Slash Fest with Voice of Addiction, Death and Memphis, The C-Sides and Dollar Drafts

Jan 18:
Double Door - it's Soul Summit's 4th Anniversary Party with DJs Sloppy White, Dave Mata and Duke Grip
FREE ($10 VIP tix avail)

Cobra Lounge - rock with Modern Day Rippers, The Brothers Gross ("Ready To Roll" CD release), Ridgelands ("Daggers Down" CD release), The Dewtons and The Morons

Jan 22:
Door No.3 (Double Door) - Door No.3 presents FABITAT: Live featuring a live set by The Iceberg with DJ Adam EL (of 16 Candles/Berlin) and also a drag performances by Lucy Stoole, Anita Bershen and Curlene Ribbon.
FABITAT is a night for the west side's LGBTQ community and its supporters

Jan 23:
Empty Bottle - North by North will be celebrating the release of their debut double LP - Something Wicked along with Aktar Aktar and The Ivorys

Jan 24:
Double Door - attend Double Door's Winter Formal featuring Brother George, Jonny Drake and Santah on stage.
$10 adv / $15 dos  / 8p

Concord Music Hall - dance the night away to the electronic groove of BOOMBOX with special guests to be announced
Get tickets at

Goose Island (Wrigleyville) - check out Josh Hill rockin' the stage here

Beat Kitchen - join Polarizer rockin' the stage along with Moon, A Friend Called Fire and Injecting Strangers

Mayne Stage - rock to a night of tributes featuring Kid A (Radiohead), Gnuman (Gary Numan), Unknown Pleasures (Joy Division) and Guns and Ammunition (Clash)
18+ / $12

Jan 25:
The Burlington Bar - check out Magicks at Savage Sister's and Lykanthea's record release show with Architecture

Concord Music Hall - Rusted Root and Donna The Buffalo will be rockin' this Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Fest
$30 adv / $35 dos / 17+

Jan 31:
Uncommon Ground (Clark St) - attend this unique acoustic show featuring A to Z ...Matthew Alfano of Mason's Case and Nate Z of Jack Rabbit

Beat Kitchen - it's an evening of Punk, Metal and Experimental music at Ideamen's "Schemata" CD release show featuring Voice of Addiction, Downtown Brown, Maggot Twat, Something Involving A Monkey (from Cleveland, OH) and Stuck Underwater (also having a CD release)
17+ / $10

Lincoln Hall - GoldFord will be opening at Caleb Hawley's record release with Tall Walker and Mighty Fox
$12 dos / $10 adv

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

17 Dec 13

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's rockin' around the Christmas tree at this holiday rock show tonight! Along with her newly adopted daughter Amber, she hung out at Wicker Park's Double Door to see local bands like Elements of Style, Mooner and 10,000 Light Years featuring headlining act Magatha Trysty rock the stage. 

This band came and conquered the stage by rockin' the late night audience with its intense pop energy full of clashing cymbals, electric vibe and electronic rhythms ...what an upbeat sound to groove to, blogspot readers, especially when opening with their hit single - This Is Your Magic. Recently featured in a Rock In Chicago podcast, Magatha Trysty immediately had this reviewer liking the "happy-go-lucky" sound and feel of their music without blasting her ears with long introductions or overdoing it with extended instrumental bridges. Nope, this local band kept the Double Door in a festive party mood during other songs like Ugly Side Of Pretty (the "softer" side of Magatha) and The Clocks Run In Reverse (the band's new song).

Yet it was more than just music with Magatha Trysty, blogspot readers. The quartet of musicians were also about having fun while performing on stage. Listening to their songs, you might get the sense of seriousness from the subject matter yet, there's light humor and wit as well. For example, when Catherine took lead vocals on Clairvoyant, the slightly faster tempo created a fun danceable rhythm in which a few near the stage took advantage of to show off some funky moves.  Or groove to the song Paper Cranes even though the reverb off the bass did overshadow Catherine's voice a little. Meanwhile the film school dropout song aka Raygun lit up the stage as well as the few left in the audience amongst its upbeat swing and melodies. Magatha Trysty, blogspot readers, had cool whistling too like during Ugly Side Of Pretty.

However the highlight of the night was when the band performed its rendition of Darlene Love's Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) to close out their performance. And what a rendition it was, blogspot readers.  Literally felt the power of Catherine's dynamic voice on lyrics to which there was probably not a dry eye in the house. It was one of those touching holiday moments where you should hold that special someone close to you while watching the band rock out to this tune. SouthSide highly recommends checking out this band during 2014 prepared to dance and have fun while immersed within its lively pop/rock music. For more information about Magatha Trysty, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, December 20, 2013

14 Dec 13

"...Jingle bells ...schmingle bells..." ~ Don of The Polkaholics

Hey, blogspot readers, what does beer, bowling and party have in common? Well, if you were out Saturday night in the Lincoln Square area, you probably heard the sounds of ten pins falling amidst lively polka music. And if there's polka music, then it must be The Polkaholics rockin' this venue - the Lincoln Square Lanes. This bowling alley was the sight of this local polka-loving band's annual holiday party in which attracted a crowd of friends, family and fans for good times and fun. It was wild time for SouthSide and her daughter as they enjoyed a spicy plate of chicken wings and music ...and it was the first On The Town review at a bowling alley, too, blogspot readers.

This holiday polka party included three sets of this band's hits from the numerous released albums
like a Halloween polka mash-up, Old Style (beer) song, Beer Garden and many more as well as songs off the Christmas release titled Jingle Bells, Schmingle Bells, blogspot readers. Yes, it was three hours of polka music and fun to be had by all! And the beauty about attending The Polkaholics performance, you really don't have to like polka. Seriously, it's not really the typical Polish kind ...there's Mexican, German, Bavarian, etc and Don (front man on guitar) mixes it with classic rock sounds from The Rolling Stones, The Knack, Black Sabbath, etc to give it an edgy polka flare. So in essence, you're rockin' to polka rock! It's the band's longtime goal - to conquer the world with polka one fan at a time and judging by The Polkaholics' growing popularity, they're gaining new converts after each performance.

After rolling out the barrel and jamming to their theme song, The Polkaholics got their holiday party off to a good start by featuring songs like Yakov The Polka Reindeer (i.e. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer) and Sausage Balls (JingleBells) in which had them dreaming of a Polka Christmas (White Christmas) too. As you can see, blogspot readers, nothing escapes the polka path ...not when it comes
to The Polkaholics. For example, there's the Chicken Dance as well as the Hokey Pokey polkas that will require your participation when the band performs those two particular songs. So be prepared to shake your entire body (that includes your neck, liver, shins and more) during the Hokey Pokey. They even had a few audience member dancing the Horah (Jewish circle dance) while rockin' out the stage with a little of The Rolling Stones' Painted Black during the Halloween mash-up. No one cared that it wasn't the correct holiday music for this party but for Don and the guys everyday is Halloween to them. There's a polka dedicated to local weatherman Paul Konrad (of WGN-CW station). Also from the Stones, look for riffs from Sympathy For the Devil during the intro to In Excelsis Polka song there's The Kinks' Gloria somewhere too before taking your ears on the highway to polka, blogspot readers!

It was pretty wild ...Don rockin' the guitar on the bar counter. Yes, this "old" rocker was living up the life fantastic entertaining the crowd around the bar area. Even had some by the pool tables dancing along too. Other songs during the first two sets included Barfly (dedicated to the Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway movie), I Loved You Till You Chicken Danced (featuring Gary Glitter's Rock-n-Roll Part 2 and Chicken Dance), Son Of A Gun polka (dedicated to Lil Wally, the King of Polka featuring
ten seconds of the quietest music by the band) and so much more. Hanging out with The Polkaholics
over the past three years , blogspot readers,  has this reviewer learning more and more about polka ...the different kinds of polka and the famous music performers of this genre - that she does have a fond appreciation of this lively fun music. Ah, what fun it was but sadly it getting late for the young daughter. This reviewer highly recommends polka-ing your way with this local band. So, you better watch out better shout but don't cry because The Polkaholics are coming to your town and/or venue (like Lincoln Square Lanes) near you in 2014.

For more information about The Polkaholics, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

13 Dec 13

Red Team Kasteteers unite! 

It's time to pick up your sword and fight against the evil Brown and Gold teams ...for chivalry and honor!

Yes, blogspot readers, the lads from Bristol, England (by way of riding a "Horse") recently returned to Chicago rock their fans at Wrigleyville's Cubby Bear when they opened for Moistboyz (PA) on a chilly Friday the 13th night. It has been a long while since SouthSide rocked amongst the wild chaos and hardcore metal rock at a Cealed Kasket show where just about anything happens on or off stage.

Throughout their opening performance, there were fierce battles between the three teams (Red in which SouthSide is a proud member of, Gold and Brown) in which each "fight" to be named champion by Mortal Death (front man of Cealed Kasket) as well as believing in the guitar magic of the band's elder wizard - Sarsicus and toasting to the golden days of rock music and chivalry and honor. Performing songs like Drink and Drive, Sarsicus and Horse, Cealed Kasket entertained the near sold-out crowd with a new one called Belt which featured a lively hardcore guitar rock sound with a little electronica (thanks to Soul Collector).

Yet more importantly, blogspot readers, it was great to see this particular band performing on stage after a long absence. Mortal Death, sporting new threads and shoes, still had that exuberant energy to rally this wild and crazy crowd into a frenzy after each song. Sarsicus, in a proper wizard's garb, excited everyone during his towering "rise" on stage when performing his song to which he felt many believing in the magic again. Maurice (on large guitar) looked very dapper, ladies, especially when serenading Lady Red during his song about having the power of 5 dicks in one. This reviewer cannot forgot about Scott (on drums) dressed his Middle Ages battle garb despite the chilly snowy weather outside. He seemed so naturally at ease creating the rousing thunder on his kit while Soul Collector, who was doing more than collecting souls, rockin' the stage with his usual "stash" on hand and electronic rhythms to keep this show wildly exciting.

There wasn't only wildness happening on stage but also amongst the throng of people ...especially those crowded close to the front of the stage, blogspot readers. Gold team leader was missing all of the drunken fun in which he would have enjoyed tonight. Brown and Red team leaders were loudly rallying their teams to battle throughout the show as well as brawling during Horse and other songs (though Cubby Bear does discourage moshing inside its establishment). Wenches (some of them having a little too much malty brew) and their brave knights everywhere head-banging to Cealed Kasket they never had forgotten the golden days, blogspot readers. Fresh "coke" (really baby powder) was plentiful too. If the wild craziness and obscene things done and/or sung offend you, then attending a Cealed Kasket show isn't for you because this is what normally happens ...sometimes more.

Usually, blogspot readers, Cealed Kasket rocks a party longer than a normal forty-five minute set. However, this reviewer was happy to relive the golden days once more with this rowdy band of chivalrous knights and wizards because there's no party like a Cealed Kasket party. Hope to see more of them during 2014.

For more information about Cealed Kasket, visit ...or Myspace (yes, they still rock the Myspace site) at

Until next time, support your local scene,

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Top 5 Bands of 2013

As 2013 winds down into history, blogspot readers, SouthSide was challenged into getting off the fence by embarking the most difficult task ever in her reviewing career - picking her Top 10 bands of the year. For the record, she has long avoided doing these kinds of lists because she might either forget a band or two OR (finally) admitting which bands she enjoyed the most. Peeking inside the mind of SouthSide is not an easy task that's why it was so difficult picking a Top 10. So to be fair, blogspot readers, she resorted to doing a Top 5 by grouping them in the following categories - Local, National and International. All shows (127 completed and still counting at the time of this post) featuring the following bands were  the tops during the 2013. Enjoy.

Top 5 Local:

5. (tie) - I AM Fest / Honey & the 45s ...SouthSide picked I AM Fest due its unique lineup which featured a strong variety of musical acts from electrifying pop/rock (Energy Commission) to hip hop/lyrical rap (RayIsDude) as well as  two female powerhouse vocalists (Leah Druzinsky and Kelsey Montanez) in the middle and more this year. There was something for everybody to like and enjoy during this one-day music festival. 

Honey & the 45's rocked the Cubby Bear earlier in the year with a one hot performance which was sexy, "in your face" funky kind of groove during a chilly winter's night. Never had this reviewer sweat to the groove (except when Bernie Worrell came to town years ago) along with many others around her to songs like "Got The Need" and the James Brown classic "I Feel Good". SouthSide will be seeing this band again at Metro coincidentally on the same date (Jan 11) when she first saw them.

3. DJ Scary Lady Sarah ...she's a fixture in the local scene by playing the best of industrial/post industrial/shoegaze/and more as well as keeping it alive for over 25 years with such events like NOCTURNA (held once a month at Metro or sometimes Bottom Lounge) and MACHINA (she dj's on the 1st Wednesday every month at Smartbar). Besides that, she has her own band - The Bellwether Syndicate's time to time in support of other shows ...and now working hard Convergence 20 Chicago First & Last & Always (occurring in April 2014), blogspot readers.  SouthSide is quite honored to know her as a friend and artist.

2. Social Focus ...after accidentally "discovering" this band's CD laying around the Elbo Room one night, then taking a listen and immediately liking demo sample (especially Merry-Go-Down), this reviewer had the extreme pleasure of watching this local band grow from obscurity to releasing a full self-titled album and rockin' out a crowd at House of Blues during I AM Fest 2013, blogspot readers. She hopes 2014 brings more exciting things for the members of Social Focus.

1. Makeshift Prodigy ...another local band SouthSide accidentally "discovered" back in 2009 when she was reviewing another band at Metro and soon got caught in this band's awe-inspiring music that instantly blew her away. She watched the members and music grow and evolve to what it is today ...still mind-blowing, motivational, inspirational symphonic rock to which they had a chance to tour and share with others on both sides of the coast ...and rockin' the crowd at Lollapalooza 2013. This band has a bright future ahead of them, blogspot readers.

Top 5 National:

5. Captured By Robots (CA)'s one of those bands you have to see to believe, blogspot readers, where's a lone human on guitar surrounded by a band of animatronic robots performing on horns, guitars and drums. The entire show itself was weird ...psychedelically trippy ...mind-bending as if you have taken acid before the show but nonetheless a fun time while absorbing the strangeness that was this band, blogspot readers. SouthSide can see why Captured has a strong fan following in Chicago...

4. Scary Cherry & the Bang Bangs (TX) ...this reviewer highly recommends rockin' to this Texan band's glitter glam/punk rock at their next show, blogspot readers. They love to have fun and be sure to sing Cherry Bomb with them on stage. She hopes they return in 2014 to rock Chicago again (as well as munch on deep dish pizza and Chicago style BBQ).

3. Esh the Singer (WI) word - WOW. This soulful sister will blow your mind with her voice. She can be dynamic as an R&B/Soul vocalist but also can rock hard like Stevie Nicks when she covers classic rock songs, blogspot readers. SouthSide had the pleasure in seeing her bring the audience to their knees by pumping so much emotions (from heartache to anger) into her lyrics during an acoustic set as well as when she's amplified with the full band. You heard it here first - she's better than Rhianna.

2. Hellions of Hollywood tour (CA) ...this tour featured Dawn of Ashes and Psyclon 9 rockin' the stage at Livewire Lounge after when a heavy downpour soaked Chicago, blogspot readers. Thanks to her friend, Tom George of Tag Publicity, SouthSide had the extreme pleasure interviewing both bands before they rocked and shocked their fans with intense headbanging thrash/dark electronica metal rock full of Hollywood glam and glitz all night with local band JILT opening for them. Yep, SouthSide got her metal on that night ...and lost her hearing too - now that's a good show.

1. Revel Without A Cause tour ...this tour featuring The Relapse Symphony (Washington D.C.), Fearless Vampire Killers (UK), Davey Suicide (CA) and William Control (WA) recently rockin' the Bottom Lounge on Black Wednesday night. Before the show (and thanks to her friend Tom George), she was lucky enough to do interviews with William Control and Fearless Vampire Killers as well as hang out with Davey Suicide (whom she interviewed when he was in Chicago with Blood On The Dance Floor a year ago). The lineup had the Chicago fans rockin' and dancin' as well as begging William for "one more song" to which he obliged giving them two more before having to finally end the show. If you there, yes, you caught this reviewer amongst the crowd dancing.

Top 5 International:

5. Anna von Hauswolff (Sweden) ...along with Noveller accompanying her and the band during their first U.S. tour, SouthSide highly recommends getting very acquainted with both and their instrumentally night music. You will be left in silent awe when listening to the melodic sounds. Also read the review recently posted on this blog.

4. Robert Plant with Sensational Space Shifters (UK) ...there's no better way to enjoy (free) music in the park during the Taste of Chicago than basking in the Led Zeppelin glow of this legendary rocker with thousands of other Zep fans (young and old) around you, blogspot readers. Plus she even got a chance to meet him for a few minutes after the performance. SO not worthy...

3. Dope Stars Inc (Italy) ...these Italians headlined at Cobra Lounge rockin' the stage with their 80s rock and much more, blogspot readers. Though the weather was a little too cold for them, they did enjoy Chicago when SouthSide got a chance to interview this band. She hopes they return in 2014 bringing the entire band this time.

2. The Red Paintings (AU) ... rock music and performance art ...nothing new for SouthSide but add the lead guitarist/vocalist dressed in a Russian hat and coat and his violinist in a kimono as well as two visual artists (one having a live model being painted) creating art during the band's opening set. This reviewer was totally blown away when they performed the title track - The Revolution Is Not Coming with such angered fervor and intensity. Check them out when they tour again in 2014.

1. Ian Anderson (UK) ...Thick As A Brick 1 & 2 - seeing this not only once but twice three months apart, blogspot readers. And SouthSide enjoyed both instances but loved it a second time due to the many Tull fans treating the performance more like a rock concert than a musical theatre. They were shouting ...cheering and rockin' out when Ian and the band performed Locomotive Breath during the encore - still that wasn't enough for them. They wanted "one more song" ...if he had the chance, SouthSide would have been shouting "Aqualung" at the top of her lungs. This reviewer would like to thank her good friend Anne Leighton for setting her up with tickets for both performances. SO not worthy but ready to see Ian Anderson again in 2014.

Until next time, support your local scene,

09 Dec 13

 "...this is our first U.S. tour ...we're going to remember this rest of our lives..."
Anna von Hausswolff

Hey, blogspot readers, winter's frosty chill has arrived a little head of schedule yet that doesn't stop SouthSide from rockin' the scene on a Monday night. Tonight, she's hanging out at Schubas Tavern to witness the instrumentally ambient /experimental rock sounds of Anna von Hasswolff (from Sweden)  and her band who made a special stop here during her first U.S. tour. Opening for her was another amazing talented woman - Noveller (from New York) who stunned this crowd in silence from beginning to end during her set. 

Under the cover dark toned lighting and random images projected behind her on a screen, this musician rocked the venue with a unique symphonic sound using only her electric guitar but not without some help from her elaborate pedal board. Combining the two created the most wondrous vibe of flowing electronic rhythms and ambient melodies bursting continuously bursting to life. And as SouthSide mentioned earlier, she indeed had this audience (including this reviewer) in complete awe ...and deafening silence - believe it or not, blogspot readers. It was like watching an artist at work especially gently strumming her guitar like cello or viola which produced an eerie vibe floating across the stage while running in sync with the images shown on screen. These images (some of them independent movie shorts) helped enhanced everyone's listening pleasure as well as convey the story being told by Noveller's orchestral music of the night. The music itself was too beautiful for lyrics yet you could basically feel stories being told during each song. For example, whenever the scenes had spinning tops or showing a side view of an x-ray on screen, the music was moving along with those images until fading out like a cold whispering wind blowing against the surf. At one point of her performance, you could literally feel the thunderous vibrations surrounding the venue ...encompassing you with such intense floetry and melodic beats, blogspot readers. Truly magical to behold yet very intense to hear whether she's fingering the strings and/or pushing the pedals with her hands. You definitely must see this artist live in order to fully experience her night music. For more information, visit Noveller at

Though needing to turn down the electrics a bit during certain songs, SouthSide highly recommends attending a performance by Sweden's Anna von Hausswolff while she's touring the U.S., blogspot readers.  Here's another artist creating instrumentally ambient/experimental (with some songs containing lyrics) for a frosty night in Chicago that kept the audience stunned into awe and silence throughout her set. Amidst the red glow of the stage lighting, Anna and her band lured everyone to feel the chill of the Scandinavian winter with the image of a full moon projected in the background while the crescendo rise and her soft aria-like vocals enchanted the entire room. What a grand entrance, blogspot readers, to feel that thunderous burst of sound filling the ears (even while wearing earplugs) triumphantly announcing that the Swedes have arrived thus easily conquering Chicago with one haunting sweep of Anna's melodic sound. SouthSide might find it hard to fully describe Anna's music since she spent considerable time mellowing within its orchestral wave that floated from the stage. There was so much to take in throughout this performance ...from the intense feeling of the electric vibrations to the roaring thunder of Valhalla off the drums and then soothing sounds of the band's melodic side gradually merging (or more like intertwining) in between all of the harshness. Again it was simply musically beautiful to behold ...enough to stop writing notes and enjoy more night music, blogspot readers. Like Noveller's opening set, art and music ran in sync to allow the stories within each song unfold besides setting the tone and atmosphere for this audience who either stood or sat in complete awe of this musician's performance. Not once making a verbal sound until clapping after each song ...this is the second time, SouthSide had experienced this from a Chicago audience during a concert. Yet, she must warn you - she's not kidding about the thunderous sound that bursts to life during Anna's set. It was fantastic to feel the vibrations around her but also a little hard on her ears. So earplugs are a must if extremely loud noise hurts your ears yet it's designed for you to feel (as well as hear) the impact of each grandiose note before wowing you how soulful her dynamic voice could be. There was passion ...intense emotions especially when she sang in her native tongue. This reviewer didn't mind there were lyrics to Anna's songs. It was mostly the music that had her riveting with excitement each time she felt Thor's thunder or melodic rhythms. Yet, it wasn't mostly thunder all of time, blogspot readers. Anna did entertain us with a lighthearted (almost child-like) twinkling music which for SouthSide was totally unexpected but playfully welcome to balance out the Nordic booms that previously surrounded the venue. The upbeat rhythms created a symphonic lullaby while her heartfelt voice matched the playful tune in between the intense sound. Visit Anna von Hausswolff at for more information of where and/or when her tour with Noveller comes to a venue near you, blogspot readers. It's truly an awe-inspiring music experience.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, December 13, 2013

Top 10 SouthSide Wild Moments Around Town

Every On The Town  adventure has its wild and (sometimes) crazy moments, blogspot readers. And looking back at the year that almost was 2013, SouthSide had some wild and crazy adventures while rockin' the local ...some too racy to mention (but well documented for her tell-all book) meanwhile others too funny and/or too good to be true to be believable.

Yep, it's never a dull moment wherever this reviewer is prowling the streets of Chicago for a show...

10. North Coast Music Fest (Aug 30 - Sept 1) exhausting for this first time Coastie to cover this huge 3-day music festival, SouthSide had the most fun dancing her way around the many stages with the liveliest bunch of party-loving, brightly costumed people within Union Park despite the weather being humid and hot. So ready to bang again next year!

9. I AM Fest (Aug 24) ...this one-day local art and music festival gets wilder and wilder every year as well as better with the bands chosen to perform on stage. This year's lineup feature wild drunken pirate rock to an electrifying energy by Energy Commission. Who knows what will happen during I AM Fest 2014, blogspot readers...

8. High Noon Saloon, Madison, WI (with Vintage Blue)'s SouthSide's first ever road trip to the Dairy state with a band! It can very wild at this capitol city, blogspot readers, especially since it's also a college party town at this venue. Nice western decor but wait until the hardcore party/music fans arrive that's when the wild times begin. Twice this reviewer was offered a "smoke" in the women's restroom ...she got "penguin" humped (a guy in a penguin costume) and if you're going to have sex in the restroom stall - CLOSE THE DOOR!

7. Protesting Alderman James Cappleman/Marching for Marriage Equality may have been too cold to protest, blogspot readers, however it was SouthSide On The Town's civic duty to cover these two events as well as take part in the march and rallies...

6. The Pump Room North (The Knocks NCMF after party) ...after partying at the park all day and then rockin' the Elbo Room for a show, SouthSide had some strength left to party at this party inside this legendary restaurant/club location in Chicago's Gold Coast. This was her first time basking in the glow of where the major Hollywood A-listers of the day (think Clark Cable, Frank Sinatra, et al) hung out ...ate and drank at booth 1. Now renovated with a modern atmosphere, this reviewer felt out of place (and not properly dressed) to attend this party but she did. WHAT A BLAST ...had a chance to meet the The Knocks (as well as briefly interview them) CEOs from NewYork (one was hitting on her) and yes, she did more dancing until the wee hours of the morning...

5. YELP's Elemental Experience & Walk On The Wild Side ...Yes, YELP does know how to throw a party, blogspot readers! Their parties are so popular that you have to cross your fingers and hope you get on the list to attend at least one of them after receiving the invite to sign up. SouthSide was lucky enough to attend and cover two YELP parties this year ...the Elemental Experience was held at The Castle (formerly known as Excalibur) where you got to experience the four elements (Earth, Fire, Air and Water) in four different sections featuring local restaurants, businesses and drinks. Meanwhile Walk On The Wild Side was held at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum where you not only sample more food from local restaurants but also enjoy the museum exhibits (like the Butterfly sanctuary) too. Wild times that it was SO hard to leave when it was over...

4. SAIC Fashion Show 2013 ...first fashion show for SouthSide and dressed fabulous to attend it too, blogspot readers. Students from School of the Art Institute Chicago inspired the imagination with their futuristic clothes for the modern woman and man from the 20 something hipster to a woman and/or man SouthSide's age. This reviewer was in awe by the colors selected ...the many yet unique textures and unusual items used to complete their designs...

3. Carnivale Delirium's more than just than dressing in your finest Victorian/steampunk attire, blogspot readers, it's a fun night of dancing, magicians doing slight of hand and more, enchanting burlesque acts, Lord Vourteque getting "married", Candy Town rockin' the stage in their harlequin makeup, vendors and so much more...

2. Scary Cherry & the Bang Bangs ...SouthSide finally got to meet her new friends from Dallas, TX when they rocked the stage at Underground Lounge. And this band made the most of their show since they were the only band performing that night (there was a band cancellation) HOWEVER they turned this into one WILD party, blogspot readers. Scary Cherry used every inch of the Underground Lounge (bar counter included) as her stage ...and SouthSide was also part of the show when she joined the band to sing Cherry Bomb on stage (she actually thought they were kidding about singing with them). A wild rockin' time inside the venue as well as after the show when they were immersed into the Wrigleyville bar nightlife. Bar hoppers taking photos with the band ...hanging out with them at Beggar's Pizza - they LOVE our deep dish! She hopes they come back in 2014...

1. Pink Floyd's The Wall at Logan Theatre ...this was the chance of a lifetime after viewing this iconic movie on small screen so many times to FINALLY viewing it on the big screen as it should be shown, blogspot readers. SouthSide noticed things about the movie that she didn't before it helps having other diehard Floyd fans experiencing this as well in which many of us were either singing and/or mimicking the dialogue or adding our own touches throughout the movie. She wasn't able to view the Tommy screening but hopefully Logan will run that and The Wall as a weekend doubleheader one day. SouthSide will definitely be taking the night off for that!

Honorable Mentions:
Trilogy of Terror at Door No.3 (Double Door) ...a classic Karen Black movie with Peter Propaganda on soundtrack on a frosty Black Wednesday night. Oh yeah - that was so much fun, blogspot readers.

Jake Shimabukuro at Park West ...a guy and his ukulele rockin' the stage in front of a sold out crowd. Sounds unbelievable but it really happened, blogspot readers. Plus he's the only performer SouthSide knows who can cover Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody on ukulele. It was awesome!

Thick As A Brick 1 & 2 at Ravinia and Star Plaza Theatre was SO good the first time, SouthSide had to see it again amongst more diehard Tull fans young and old. Maybe she'll see it for a third time if Ian Anderson returns in 2014, blogspot readers.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Convergence 20 Chicago First & Last & Always update

Hey, blogspot readers, it's nearly 4 months until Convergence 20 Chicago rocks this town! SouthSide has just received the following announcements from the Convergence committee. 

Congratulations to all who were chosen!

The Convergence 20 Chicago Art Show will feature the work of talented amateurs and seasoned professionals alike. Attendees may look forward to viewing the dark artwork of many internationally well-known artists, side-by-side with talented newcomers whose work may be debuting at C20. We are proud to announce the first list of artists whose work will be displayed:

Nathan Judah
Alexander Dean
Karl Jahnke
Dawn Brennan
Dana Day
Eliza Stockfisch
Geo Alderson
G. Edwin Taylor
Brittany Hanks
Jennifer Anne Buckley
Chad Savage
Jim Sorfleet / SnS Photos
Scott Jackson
Faith Betinis

Additional artists may be added. Further information on the artists will be added to the C20 Chicago website soon!

As with the band submissions, we had a *ton* of entries from DJs wanting to spin at C20 Chicago. Choosing a small number out of such a wealth of talent is never easy, and we thank each & every one who was interested in the event. We are still awaiting final confirmation from a few, but other than them, here is our official DJ line-up!

Fross (London, UK)
Peroxide (Chicago)
Skeletal (St. Louis)
Rickbats (San Antonio, TX)
Mike Voodoo (Hollywood, CA)
Arcanus (Boston)
Cadaverine (Chicago)
DirtNap (Chicago)
DirtyMessiah (Green Bay, WI)
End: The DJ (San Diego)
Wormwood Star (Austin)
Dave Bats (Los Angeles)
Schadenfreude (New Orleans)
Garz (Milwaukee)
Carrie Monster (Chicago)
The Pirate Twins (Chicago)

Further info on the DJs & the genres of music they'll be playing will be posted soon!

The Convergence 20 Chicago committee is pleased to announce the line-up of designers who will take part in the C20 fashion show:

Azrael's Accomplice Designs (Dallas/Ft. Worth)
Silversärk (Milwaukee)
Calla Corsets (NYC)
Ick by Industrialkitty (Chicago)
Devoid and Deveil (Chicago)
Morrigan New York (NYC)
Kinki Kitty (Detroit)

Detailed information on the designers will be added to the C20 Chicago website soon.

In the end, there were nearly 50 bands who submitted to play at Convergence 20 Chicago and only 8 slots to fill! This wasn’t an easy task and it took months to decide. If possible, we easily could have turned C20 from a 3-night event into a week-long array of bands, bands, bands! We believe we've made a great selection from those who submitted who will represent the spirit of Convergence & the subculture surrounding it, put on a fantastic live performance, and be entertaining even for those who may be as-of-yet unfamiliar with their music. 

Many thanks to *all* of the bands who submitted! As stated above, there were *many* who would have also been great choices, and we wish you all the very best!!!

Detailed bios & links for all the bands will be up soon, but without further ado:

Sunshine Blind (San Francisco)
Pretentious, Moi? (London, UK)
Arch Visceral Parlor (Chicago)
The Gothsicles (Chicago)
EVC - Ending The Vicious Cycle (Dallas/Ft. Worth)
Peeling Grey (Los Angeles)
I:Scintilla (Chicago)
(*There is still one band left we are waiting on for confirmation.TBA soon!)

As soon as SouthSide receives the announcement about the vendors chosen, she will post it on the blog, blogspot readers.

Until next times, support your local scene,

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Top 10 SouthSide Interviews of 2013

Hey, blogspot readers, looking back on the year recently, SouthSide was extremely busy interviewing a wide range of artists, musicians and/or bands for her One On One blogspot articles. Before revealing her Top 10 list, she would like to say "Thank You" to everyone (too many to name but they know who they are) for making the interviews possible as well as taking time to answer her questions. She had fun chatting with you whether it was in person, by phone or email...

10. A Band of Orcs ...somewhere in the Middle Earth mountains of California, there's a horde of thrash metal band roaming and pillaging in the name of Gzoroth!

9. Charlie Hustle ...a down-to-earth Southside hiphop artist with inspirational messages for the masses.

8. Dumpster Hunter (Jeff Taylor) ...rockin' the Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing Frank Zappa's 200 Motels.

7. Jason Magicks ...Record Breakers employee by day and DJ magician within the local EDM world by night.

6. Flabby Hoffman exclusive behind the scenes with Chicago's masked man of a music/comedy variety cable access show.

5. Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs (Scary Cherry & Mario) ...glam/punk rock done Texan style which is always served with a loud BANG!

4. Makeshift Prodigy (Brandon and Anthony) ...ambient motivational mind-bending symphonic/electronic rock music designed for this millennium and beyond.

3. Jim Rose Circus ...never ever challenge SouthSide into finding interview questions never asked before.

2. Don Preston exclusive interview with jazz legend and (Grand)Mothers of Invention musician.

1. Ian Anderson ...not worthy to bask in the presence of this musical pied piper and guitarist of Jethro Tull.

Honorable Mentions:
A Birdsong Valentine (the local scene's gut-busting screamo rock amidst intense guitar energy)

William Control (the electronic scene's suave debonair man of mystery) and Fearless Vampire Killers (five lads from UK rockin' the "happy" Goethe scene)

The Rabid Whole (Canada's hardcore dark industrial band) and Dope Stars Inc (Italians rockin' the 80's scene again!)

More "Top 10" lists coming soon, blogspot readers.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, December 9, 2013

03 Dec 13 - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Everyone wants to be a symbol of inspiration within some point of their life. However, what if you were pressured into being that symbol against your will ...would you still accept the role?

It's the basis for this year's blockbuster sequel to The Hunger Games - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, blogspot readers, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson returning to their roles as Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mallark, current winners of the 74th Hunger Games in Panem.

Life hasn't really changed much for the two main characters within this sequel. Katniss is torn between being "in love" with Gale Hawthrone (Liam Hemsworth) and being with Peeta as the second half of the "starcrossed lovers" ploy which helped them win the previous games. Outside the Winner's Quarters (where those who have won The Hunger Games along with their families live in comfort for the rest of their lives), life in District 12 has gone from worst to even more worst (if there's such a thing). And it's not just District 12 where life is looking grim but in the other districts except for 1 and 2 as well as The Capitol where those (who can afford it) live the opulent life. Poor Katniss ...she really has it bad, blogspot readers. She's now the symbol of hope and freedom amongst the other 10 districts which gains much unwanted notice by President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and the new Games Keeper Plutarch Heavensbee (diabolically portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman). Both who plot to bring the downfall of Katniss Everdeen in hopes of squashing the rebellious uprisings in the districts during the victors' Victory Tour. Yet, not everything goes according to plan for President Snow who ultimately decides to pull a fast one by announcing that ALL past and current victors of The Hunger Games will compete in the 75th Hunger Games which is also known as the 3rd Quarter Quell. This sneaky move pits Katniss and Peeta fighting much more than their "starcrossed lovers" premise, blogspot readers, because rules have changed ...there can be one winner in this game. Can they save each other before President Snow tries to destroy them both?

Sorry, blogspot readers, no spoilers here! You have to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire yourself to find out what happens to Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) and the other colorful cast of characters that make up the fantastical world of Panem in this sequel. SouthSide enjoyed how the movie itself quickly opens by instantly drawing you into the storyline where the first ended without any titles or opening credits (like the previous movie). You immediately get the sense of how bleak things have become not in just District 12 but in the other districts while Peeta and Katniss embark on their victory tour. And even before that, you get the sense of how times have changed for Panem when President Snow makes a surprise visit to Katniss blackmailing her to live up to the image that was created for her ...or suffer the consequences. Not her per se but her family and Gale. Yet, that's one of many problems weighing our young heroine down. She has to live up to the "chins up and smiles on" during the glitz and glamour parties hosted within The Capitol as the ever fabulously stylish Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) escorts them around the districts along with Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) and the team of stylists keep them looking good. The action before the games (which is played on a new game grid with a unique tropical twist) is somewhat fast pace but not slow because the story within this sequel will keep your interest going. Yet once the games begin, expect the unexpected while Heavensbee upping the treacherous dangers cleverly disguised as a way to kill Katniss in the process. Again, kudos for stealing Lady Gaga's current Artpop style, blogspot readers. This reviewer absolutely LOVED the costume designs which were inspired by the late Alexander McQueen used for the sequel can clearly see his work when Katniss wears her "wedding dress" (watch for a surprise designed by Cinna). This reviewer is certain that some of Effie's colorful attire could be found Gaga's closet sometime soon ...if not now.

SouthSide will not go into the argument comparing or how The Hunger Games series copied another - Battle Royale, blogspot readers, since she's not familiar with it. That being said, there plenty of other movies as well as books that probably have "copied" and/or inspired by that series. So there's no point in arguing which came first's pointless in her honest opinion. 

Overall, blogspot readers, go see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire while it's showing in theatres but hopefully it's not a long wait for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay since the final scenes to this movie will surprise you (unless you read the books).
Until next time, support your local scene,

Sunday, December 8, 2013

03 Dec 13 - The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

 "...Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide no escape from reality..." 
Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody

What if you could experience your greatest, wildest adventure in your life ...without imagining it?

SouthSide believes John Lennon said it best " is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..." Yet in Walter Mitty's case, (real life) adventure seems to be passing him by while he's too busy living a life that's mundane and honestly boring. That's the theme of Ben Stiller's newest movie - The Secret Life of Walter Mitty in which he portrays the main character, Walter Mitty, who gets to experience life on the edge by taking an incredible adventure of a lifetime, blogspot readers.

Based on a short story by James Thurber, Walter Mitty (in this movie) works as a Negative Asset Manager at Life Magazine for the last 16 years yet life in reality seems to pass him by. He doesn't take risks according to his ABC philosophy - Adventurous, Brave and Creative yet he does when he "zones out" i.e. daydreams "what if" situations whenever it comes to expressing romantic feelings for his fellow co-worker, Cheryl (Kristen Wiig) or having an all out, winner takes all street brawl with the Acquisition Manager (Adam Scott) in which Walter pictures himself as the dashing hero to the amorous lover to daring adventurer and much more. However when a real life situation involving a missing photograph negative taken by a world famous photographer, Sean O'Connell (wonderfully played by Sean Penn), Walter Mitty literally dives into an adventure of his life that takes him to far corners of the world ...places and new experiences along the way - enough to fill a travel journal or two. Not even his imagination could ever think of the things he's done during his worldwide search for Sean O'Connell.

SouthSide highly recommends seeing The Secret Life of Walter Mitty when it opens in theatres on Christmas Day, blogspot readers. Ben Stiller handles the role as Walter Mitty with a little less comedic flair and more like the "everyday man"  than the others in which he starred in movies like Tropic Thunder and The Little Fockers. Here, Walter Mitty portrayed like the average lonely guy looking for love on E-Harmony site ...seeking a way to validate his mundane boring life into something that he feels (at first) is unattainable because of commitments to his job and mother (portrayed by legendary screen actress Shirley MacClaine) as well as his inability to take that first step or risk. For example, after meeting the drunk karaoking helicopter pilot in Nuuk, Greenland who offers to fly him to the ship, Walter "zones out" to picture Cheryl acoustically playing David Bowie's Space Oddity to get him make that giant leap of faith ...not for the pilot flying the machine but for himself into joining a drunk person to fly him over choppy ocean waters to a tanker. There are other instances in which Walter has to either rely on wit or ingenuity during his travels discovering more about himself  and the world (i.e. did you know there's a Papa John's in Iceland?) as well as at the same time solving what Sean O'Connell sent him as Life's final cover photo.

This reviewer enjoyed how Ben Stiller surrounded himself with a wonderful supporting cast of characters from Kristen Wiig as the love interest who's divorced with a son interested in skateboarding to Todd (Patton Oswalt) who somehow manages to reach Walter at the most awkward moments throughout his travels to discuss about his E-Harmony profile - he was the comedic relief during the serious moments of this movie, blogspot readers. Never knew anyone could get great mobile reception near the top of the Himalayan Mountains ...SouthSide would like to know for sure. Shirley MacClaine once again proves she has a funny bone while portraying Walter's mom despite her scenes being very limited she does have a way of giving Walter a clue (or two) or some sound wisdom through her humorous wit into the mystery he's trying to solve. Sean Penn as the Life photographer Sean O'Connell was the perfect actor for this role. He portrays him as the wise yet mysterious photographer who thought Walter Mitty was just a mythical employee at Life magazine just as Walter thought the same about him. Yet, when the two finally meet, that scene (with limited conversation) is defining moment of truth for Walter ...actually the entire journey it took to reach Sean Penn was, blogspot reader. However, when Sean and Ben are together, there's something magical that not only happens to Ben's character but to all of us in the audience. SouthSide won't say what it is because that will spoil your movie-going experience, blogspot readers. Let's just say's an eye opener.

Besides portraying Walter Mitty, Ben Stiller also handles the task as director of a cinematic feature for a fifth time, blogspot readers. Unlike his previous work, Ben turns The Secret Life of Walter Mitty into a sort of visionary work of cinematic art where each scene especially when traveling the world has a breathtaking view. From the volcano erupting in Greenland to playing soccer in Afghanistan and shooting the curl down the winding road, Stiller pays close attention to each scenic detail which bursts to life for the audience ...almost like a Kodak panoramic picture with vivid colors and photographic imagery. Ben also doesn't use the "standard" New York scenery (i.e. The Plaza Hotel, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Times Square, et al) either. Instead, he uses out of the ordinary places that SouthSide noted to show how mundane his life can be. Place such as a housing project complex (where Walter lives), upper New York transit line station and deep within the bowels of Life magazine where the photographers and negatives are stored. This reviewer also noted that Ben and his cinematic team carefully chosen each foreign location to give Walter as well as the audience one incredible movie journey. Plus, he creatively uses Life magazine's motto that helps motivate Walter when starting on this journey ...or Cheryl's summation of David Bowie's Space Oddity to inspire him before he leaves and while in Greenland.

Overall, blogspot readers, what an adventure you'll take when you see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. And when it's over, be inspired to search for yours...

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, December 6, 2013

30 Nov 13

It's the most wonderful time of the year, blogspot readers! The holiday season has descended upon us with the rush of Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales ...however during a recent outing around town, it was time to give back and help others so they won't go hungry another night. SouthSide's first stop was to Bucktown's The Mutiny to donate her contribution at Rock In Chicago's Punksgiving show and   canned food drive for The Greater Chicago Food Depository. Featuring live music by The Riot, Sub X, Flagass and Street Fist, fans attending day two of this free show were asked to bring a food donation. The first night at Livewire Lounge featured performances by Blastoff!, The Kreutzer Sonata, Solution Unsatisfactory, This Obsession and The Light Fuse.

After stopping at The Mutiny, it was time to head to Cubby Bear where bands like KF Jacques and Distant BR were rockin' a packed house. SouthSide recommends feeling the alternative rock of Hero Monster Zero as well as the lyrical hip hop sounds of 8090 meshed together on one bill. As Hero Monster Zero,  lead guitarist/vocalist Andy Metz and the band blasted the audience with hard-hitting guitar rock and harmonies thus creating a fun, energetic vibe and momentum. Sometimes, he might even merge both lyrical freestyle rap with the rock during the set as heard before covering an awesome version of Gorillaz's Clint Eastwood. It was the first time this reviewer had seen a local band covering the fictional band and/or any of its songs live on stage ...Hero Monster Zero totally had the audience jamming to their version of this hit song. For more information, visit

They rocked the stage with a lively boost of soul/groove rhythms within their rock sound which instantly got this audience moving to the funky beat. Ariada started their Cubby Bear performance with a loud bang, blogspot readers, that this reviewer liked mostly yet there were moments when the loud sound overshadowed not only the band but also female lead Lesliegh (on vocals and keyboard). She enjoyed the energetic momentum Ariada created for their fans judging by the excited reactions heard song after song. Definitely excitement was in the air tonight but on the downside, the boisterous music had a way of being the main focus and not the vocals and/or the actual music. For example, Lesliegh showed some difficulty reaching the high octave vocal range that she seemed to force out of her instead of naturally reaching it. SouthSide also noted that her use of softer side to her dynamic voice would easily get overshadowed by the entire band though able to hit the right notes for that dramatic emphasis. It was moments like this she seemed to be shouting out the words instead of singing, blogspot readers, in which caused her voice to fade in and out by the seventh song. Just to be fair with this review on Ariada, SouthSide conducted a tiny experiment during this performance by standing at different spots around the venue to get a better sense of band and its sound. This reviewer found the sound to be a little fuzzy off the monitors whenever the keys and electric guitar were tuned up high ...thus finding a couple of songs on Ariada's playlist should be a bit quieter to not only highlight the vocals but also the music behind their female vocalist. There should some a little more interaction with the audience since it felt like the band was rushing between songs or Lesliegh's voice was too soft over the mic to hear the song titles where she was standing. SouthSide suggests the band listening to a live recording of their performances and judge for themselves on which songs should be performed under the intense sound and vice versa without losing that excited energy. Though this reviewer has mixed feelings about Ariada, she does see potential from this particular band. With a little more work (i.e. vocal harmonies and music volume perception on certain songs), Ariada will make its mark in the rhythm/soul/rock genre, blogspot readers. They do jam as a band with wild enthusiasm thrilling their hardcore fans down the last note ...they do know how make a show fun for them. For more information about Ariada, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, December 5, 2013

27 Nov 13 - Trilogy of Terror

"What's the proper cooking time for a Zuni doll? Do you baste it?"

After dancing with the suave electronic "man of mystery" at Bottom Lounge, SouthSide ended her night hanging out at Door No.3 - Double Door's newly renovated basement lounge to view the 1970s horror - Trilogy of Terror starring Karen Black! Besides being one of the most recognizable horror classic (as well as one of SouthSide's many favorites), it's a made-for-television movie in which has this legendary actress portraying four different main character roles within three short stories including the infamous one about the African doll coming to life in "Amelia". For SouthSide, this was a rare opportunity to view the movie on the "big screen" but along with a unique soundtrack perfectly crafted by industrial DJ Peter Propaganda and new friend Jojo Baby hosting this free event.

And what an experience, blogspot readers! One side, there's watching the stories where either Karen Black is the frumpy-looking college English instructor with a deadly secret or a schizophrenic with a complex dual personality disorder. Then on the other side, Peter's carefully selected industrial tracks/remixes running in sync with the storylines ...word for word especially during the suspense building intensity. For example, towards the end of the first story, "Julia", the music added a touch of creepiest with the repetitive lyric "...she's got the look..." as it faded away into the next one, "Therese and Millicent". During this story, the haunting echo of "...I hear voices on the radio..." to further intensify the paranoia felt within the opening sequences when Millicent is writing in her diary. For the final story, Peter was a little crafty but dead-on by using hardcore instrumental music to elevate the terrifying scenes of the Zuni doll chasing Amelia around her apartment until you see the iconic climax. Sorry, no spoilers here ...if you haven't seen this horror classic, SouthSide highly suggests that you do, blogspot readers.

For Peter's next movie and music combination, he's going for a holiday theme ...who knows, it could be  the screening of the original Black Christmas, blogspot readers, also another SouthSide favorite.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

27 Nov 13

Twas the night before Thanksgiving, blogspot readers
 and this pilgrim is a "Revel Without A Cause"!  

Tonight, SouthSide's making special Black Wednesday appearances at two events before taking a mini holiday break. First, she's at Bottom Lounge for William Control's "Revel Without A Cause" tour which featured Davey Suicide and the fun lads from UK - Fearless Vampire Killers with The Relapse Symphony opening. Afterwards, she made a mad dash to Door No.3  (located at Double Door) to see the Karen Black horror classic - Trilogy of Terror featuring soundtrack music by Peter Propaganda with JoJo Baby hosting the event, blogspot readers.

Despite missing most of The Relapse Symphony's ( opening set, this reviewer had fun rockin' out the final minutes featuring intense, hard-hitting metal rock music, blogspot readers. Plenty of head-banging sound and energetic momentum that thrilled their audience besides generating excitement especially when the band performed Panic Time Is Running Out. The Relapse Symphony was the perfect start to kickoff this hot lineup. SouthSide highly recommends checking out this band from Washington D.C. at its next show, blogspot readers. Also, check out the Hollywood glam rock by her good friend Davey Suicide who triumphantly announced to his fans "...the circus is back in town..." And what a circus it was! Looking like he was a character from the movie Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome, Davey sent chills down a few spines with his blood-curdling scream to "terrify" his fans to draw closer towards the stage. He had them feeling the fierce jubilant tone heard in songs like God Head Killers and Kids of America especially when he cried "...we want it all..." while strutting across the stage. Though, his presence on stage can be quite menacing, blogspot readers, but this front man used it to convey a strong message to this generation of glam rockers. Still, this reviewer found it fascinating how he projects what they're disillusioned about by today's society like " sells suicide..." (from Sick Suicide). Even after giving a short inspirational speech about dedicating yourself to doing what you want to do (he was told in his young life that if he wanted to succeed he should stay on the straight and narrow to which Davey emphatically denounced as "...bullshit..."), he took a swipe at One Direction telling his fans to support (local) bands so they wouldn't have to deal with bands like that before closing with One More Night and Generation Fuck Star, blogspot readers. SouthSide highly recommends joining the Hollywood glam circus whenever Davey Suicide comes to a venue near you. For more information, visit

They're a fearless group of lads from the UK, blogspot readers, rockin' the stage to "kill" the mopey vampires of the Goethe scene with their music! Taking their name from the 1967 Roman Polanski comedy/horror film, the Fearless Vampire Killers rolled into town recently as part of William Control's "Revel Without A Cause" tour in which the band was kind enough to grant SouthSide an exclusive interview before their appearance at Bottom Lounge. This reviewer immediately liked the five - Kier, Laurence, Drew, Barrone and Luke (who has yet to see the movie the band's named after) when first meeting them backstage in the dressing room especially when each chose one of five words to describe the band. The lads tossed out words such as "...stinky ...visceral ...melodious ...and harmonious gits..." according to them they're "...everything in one nutshell...", blogspot readers. Since this was SouthSide's first time seeing the band, she wondered what kind of performance to expect from Fearless Vampire Killers but they told her "...never really expect anything..." The show, according to band, "...could be terrible or fantastic..." because " song could be sublime or craptacular [yep, a word this reviewer has used before but didn't know it reached across the pond] or great..." Or in other words, blogspot readers, Fearless Vampire Killers plan to give you " expensive show on a shoestring budget..." with some "...awkward gyration [and] bad dancing..." too. That's some show they had planned for their American fans especially since they rocked the stage under exuberant energy that was not only fast and fierce but an intense Goethe sound. Each one throughout the performance were generating much excited momentum in front of the semi-packed crowd of screaming fans wild they were almost like Energizer bunnies hop dancing every square inch of the stage. This reviewer enjoyed how they had fun turning an 80s Phil Collins' classic - Easy Lover into a heart-pounding yet melodious cover tune with some shagadelic sex appeal and slightly faster tempo.

Fearless Vampire Killers recommend listening to the entire debut album - Militia of the Lost since it captures everything they're about as a band. This reviewer liked All Hallow's Evil for its grandiose intro to the hardcore screamo vocals to put fear and terror into yer soul it was a prime example of how the band's core music and sound could from "day" to "night". Yes, there were plenty of tingling shivers running down the spine whenever Will's primal scream rocked the room, blogspot readers. So what's happening for the band in the coming new year? Well, actually they don't have any definite plans except releasing their next album and doing more tours, blogspot readers, since they're under new management. " [it's] someone else's job to manage us..." And because this reviewer is all about the local scene, she wanted to know if London had any type of scene happening there which to her surprise she discovered there's a scene but nothing like what's rockin' Chicago's local music community. According to the lads, there's a scene then again it's not really a scene "...bands in England don't help each other..." So what Fearless Vampire Killers normally do is perform with their friends' bands and/or other bands they've come to know thanks to the internet. Surprisingly, there's a Goth scene but not as intense like it's here in the states or in Chicago. They call it "chill-out" or the suit-and-tie Goethe scene "...modern Goethe ...technocolour Goethe..." were also some descriptions tossed around during the interview. On the flipside, Fearless Vampire Killers told SouthSide the band get locked out of the scene because they're too jolly. Yet, that was partly true. She has never seen a cheery bunch of Goethe people rockin the stage even when performing a song about having a broken heart. "...[We] like putting a positive spin on the scene ...putting on a smile..." to which SouthSide commented with "...can't be mopey all of the time..." - it might be the band's motto one day. She did mention briefly about Chicago's Goth scene and invited them to attend Nocturna with her next time.

Sadly, her time with Fearless Vampire Killers was fast coming to a close, blogspot readers, but SouthSide had one more question before leaving the lads. Fearless Vampire Killers would like to thank their fans especially their US fans for keeping interest in them though not releasing an album for awhile. They do care as well as miss their fans back home too. Plenty of "thank-you's" for coming to their shows, blogspot readers, and to the really nice people they've met while in the US. Speaking of being in the states, the lads stated this has been a "...bittersweet experience..." from the beautiful landscape to the cultural differences compared to the UK. For example, it was shocking that (in certain states) you could go into a Walmart and to purchase a gun where as in England, they can't own a gun unless you're a DCI (Detective Chief Inspector) or higher within Scotland Yard. SouthSide hopes Fearless Vampire Killers return stateside again for another rockin' time in Chicago. For more information about this band, visit

"...I love it when you scream..." ~ William Control

He's suave ...debonair ...and so ultra-cool as well as conceited, blogspot readers, especially when he rocked the stage under techno stage lighting, pulsating electronic music and e-cigarrette in hand. He is William Francis but to his many fans he's known as William Control and SouthSide was lucky enough to snag an exclusive interview with this charismatic musician who fronted the hardcore rock band Aiden before starting this side project. At the start of this review, blogspot readers, you read how this reviewer saw this musician. Yet how would William describe himself in five words or less? Though it was a bit of a challenge, he did answer with "...fucked up ...insecure ...neurotic ...immature [?] ...and emotional..." to which SouthSide followed with another question as to why he would pick such words. "...[it] seemed to be fitting for the character I portray..." And after seeing his charismatic man perform on stage, blogspot readers, SouthSide certainly had to agree with this statement. His stage persona had many female fans screaming (or swooning) and men wishing they were him ...he is THE man of mystery of the electronic scene. With that persona, William transformed Bottom Lounge as his personal own mini club while being sandwiched between a guitarist and DJ (Hans and Franz from Berlin). The show itself was what he told this reviewer earlier during the interview "...energetic from start to finish..." featuring plenty moments of "...dancing and singing..." Mostly everyone was "...having a good time..." because there's not much talking during song breaks. That's what SouthSide also liked about William Control's performance at Bottom Lounge, blogspot readers.

The atmosphere, intense at times, was continuous and free-flowing of electronic music that had many in the audience (including SouthSide) dancing to the rhythmic sound while William himself controlled the stage by looking so dashingly handsome in his business suit. Performing songs like The Whipping Haus ("...would like to stay until it's a sweaty orgy with whips and chains..." claiming he's good with a whip) and Beautiful Loser, each electronic pulse throughout his set sparked some type of reaction from his diehard fans ...always asking for more and more to keep this huge dance party going all night. "...did you say 'thank God'? Thank me..." Williams quips at one point during the show. He recommends listening to songs I'm Only Human Sometimes since it sort of described his answer for the first question and Razor's Edge "...[it's] an accurate description of the band..." This reviewer recommends checking out his new one (coming out soon from The Neuromancer) titled Illuminator for it's haunting electronic sound and smooth rhythmic vibes. However, as the show progressed, "exciting" wasn't the correct word to describe it, blogspot readers. There were moments of sexual tension gradually building in the air especially when William declared he makes music to have sex with. Watching him under that sex appeal (like when he used the microphone cord as a whip) can make this reviewer swoon a little. Again ...the crowd wanted more from William. Not just " more song..." blogspot readers but two more songs before having to end the concert with I'm Only Human Sometimes and the other that revealed the emotional side of William Control. STILL, they wanted more of William ...and they did get their chance while standing in the long line at the merch booth after the show.

Besides being the electronic "man of mystery", blogspot readers, did you know that he's an author? William told the crowd that he had just written a book - Revelator: Book One The Neuromancer in which he's trying to bring literature/reading back into fashion. "...I had to google what 'twerk' was ...don't understand what 'twerk' and 'dat' [slang for 'that']..." before commenting that he has reached "old guy" status. During the interview, SouthSide asked William if he found himself doing a balancing act between being the front man of Aiden and William Control. Surprisingly, he switches between the two but he's more focused on William Control now "...[it's] part of me and who I am..." in which "...I have gravitated towards William Control as I've gotten older..." Only because, blogspot readers, he's not as angry as he was before. Coming from Seattle, Washington, he told this reviewer there isn't a local scene since it's mostly hip indie bands he doesn't give a shit about. Then, she wondered what's happening next for William. He told her that he's producing a new album for the band Ashes To Angels as well as touring the US (again) and Europe in the summer of 2014. At the end of the Bottom Lounge show, William told his fans he will return to Chicago sometime in April - be sure to read this blog site for details of when and where William will be performing again. Lastly, William would like fans to know this "...thank you for supporting my art..."

SouthSide highly recommends dancing your night under the electronic music scene with the suave and ultra-cool William Control at his next performance. For more information, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,