Friday, February 28, 2014

23 Feb 14 - 33rd Chicago Music Awards

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's walking her first red carpet!

That's right ...she was amidst the glitz and glamor at this festive, star-studded music event of the 33rd Chicago Music Awards which was held at the famous Copernicus Center (located in the heart of Jefferson Park). The stars of local music spanning many genres from polka to hip hop/rap as well as Latin, Jazz and more were out in full force to celebrate this momentous time with true Hollywood style and fashion.  And SouthSide had front row seats to capture it all, blogspot readers. 

Before adjourning to the fabulous auditorium of the Copernicus Center to hear who won in their nominated categories, nominees were socializing and/or being interviewed by press and media inside the VIP area where there was delicious bites of food and drinks available. Plus there was live entertainment to put everyone in the mood for this awards show.  It was definitely a festive time as nominees like The Polkaholics were treated to full press exposure when they were interviewed before performing on stage as part of the music program during the awards show.

The nomination and voting process goes as follows "...The nominees were selected by experts in the music industry including DJs, promoters, producers, record labels, night clubs, booking agents, entertainment attorneys and others connected to the entertainment industry. After the recommendations have been tallied by the Chicago Music Awards team of volunteers and verified by the accounting firm of Robert R. Scott & Associates, the top five to seven nominees in each category are placed in the nomination ballot for the general public to vote and select the winners in all categories..." according to the press release by Chicago Music Awards. So, if you had to compare this process, blogspot readers, it would be like the "People's Choice" or "Nick Teen" awards. There were nearly 250 nominees in 37 categories ranging from musicians to comedians, dancers and Electro-Techno entertainers (first-time for this category) as well as many nominees representing a cross range in music genres such as Latin, Soca, Polka, R&B - just to name a few.

In addition to the CMA nominees, special Lifetime Achievement Awards were to be presented to the following: Chicago's Entertainer Ron Hawking, Elvis impersonator Rick Saucedo, guitarist Eddie Campbell,  Rocky Jones of DJ International, drummer Odie Payne Jr, and alto saxophonist Diane "Lil Sax" Ellis for their many years of service within the music/entertainment industry.  Other honorary awards recipients include record promoter Gus Redmond and musicians Hamid Drake, Abdul Akeem and Charles "Chucka Luck" Hodge who made significant contributions for 30 to 50 years. SouthSide would like to salute and congratulate all awards winners ...thanks for paving the way for others to follow behind you.

Now ...on with the show!

The CMAs was an amazing show which featured 20 different musical acts ranging from Latin/funk fusion to hip hop/rap and gospel as well as polka rockin' the stage in between the awards being handed out the winners. After a rousing yet inspirational rendition of "Impossible Dream" by Mae Ya Ryan Carter ( who later won Most Talented Kid [s] under 12) accompanied on piano by Josh, it was time to meet the rising stars in the Rising Star competition, blogspot readers. This mini competition featured Angel Ochoa and his electrifying guitar performance (this reviewer enjoyed the mind-tripping riff fx while he performed), Chaos and his energetic fusion of rasta/ska/hip hop music and Bi-Polar (the techno guy at the turntables and computer won in SouthSide's book for having the best creepiest costume on of the night) and its violently rhythmic electronic beats that immediately had this auditorium feeling the intense sound. Though, it was vibrating had throughout the sound system, this reviewer felt by adding the female vocalist it took away from the energy and vibe that was felt around the venue. Coincidentally, Bi-Polar won the competition, blogspot readers.

To truly kick off the awards show towards the right direction, Funkadesi rocked the house with the best band entrance ever! They didn't just appear on stage. They marched like a marching band towards the stage performing an energetic world beat fusion of Afro/Reggae/Funk and more sound in which got many in the audience standing up to dance. The entire group had the entire venue exploding with vibrant sound (though the mic for the female vocalist was on low to which she was horribly overshadowed by the musicians playing behind her). Still, what a way to jam, blogspot readers, despite having only enough time for one song.  Yet, that's how the other performances were scheduled. The musical acts such as Intraverde (Latin/Soul/Jazz band featuring Adrian Ruiz on piano/keys), The Pollkaholics and many others had only enough time to perform a tiny sample of their music. And believe it or not, they made the best of the allotted time by giving their fans and attendees a spectacularly brief show).  One, the hip hop/rap group Next2Kin, brought their entire posse on and off stage during their performance which even lasted beyond their slotted time as they kept shouting "I'm ain't wit it".

Meanwhile, local fun-loving polka rock stars, The Polkholics (who won Best Polka Entertainer), electrified the stage with a blazing polka set featuring their next hit "The Blue Haired Lady". Amazingly enough, blogspot readers, they did have people rockin' in their seats as Don jumped and hopped around the stage ...yep, he was living that rock star life! Polka fans in Poland and Germany, The Polkaholics will be returning to a venue/beer haus near you in August and they just might attempt the Guinness record for the most people doing the "Chicken Dance" in the near future. And Elvis was in the building too! A very special montage of Elvis' greatest hits from "Jailhouse Rock" to "Suspicious Minds" was performed by the one and only Rick Saucedo, blogspot readers. What a set did he give this audience ...even gave the ladies a little swivel of the hip action too to swoon over. There was some inspirational music performed by Blaq Ice (who won for Best Spoken Word) and Guero Loco (nominated for Best Latin Entertainer). SouthSide thoroughly enjoyed Guero's message (as well as the music video that accompanied his performance) to parents on how they should encourage kids to shoot for their dreams and "...treat people how you want to be treated..." Sound advice not only for today's kids but for everyone, blogspot readers.

What really had many of us dancing in our seats (besides that rousing Funkadesi entrance to the CMAs), blogspot readers, was Indika's carnivale-like performance that featured dancing girls and limbo! This lively band was all about peace, love and having a rockin' fun time while doing a medley of three songs within their short set which included a bit of "Murder She Wrote" and Bob Marley's "One Love". It was wild! So wild that the female lead of Girl Group joined them on stage and totally partied up with the band. It was definitely "Hot Hot Hot" inside Copernicus Center ...just enough to have you forgetting how cold it was outside. The musical showcase also featured a montage of Kid's Music performances from group dance (by Kitz in the Mix) to lyrical/hip hop (by Ryan Williams aka L'il Prophet) while new teen sensation Yemi Marie (who won Producer's Award for Most Promising Entertainer) performed a rather risque but with a bubble-gum pop formula style song with backup dancers accompanying her. However it was Terisa Griffin (who won Best Female Vocalist) who really caught this reviewer's attention during her outstanding display of vocal power, blogspot readers. She brought to the stage a tour de force of dynamic soul that wowed this audience.

SouthSide isn't going to mention the entire list of winners, blogspot readers, but you can view it here at The noted presenters of the night included the following, the Honorable Shelvin L. M. Hall, IL Appellate Court Justice, Pam Morris of WVON-AM, Wally Lockard of Urban Grind TV (which won for Best Music TV Show), Sherry Scott (one of the original members of Earth, Wind and Fire), and many more. Winners included Bad Boy Bill for Best Electronic/Techno Entertainer, Hubbard St Dance Theatre for Most Outstanding Dance Group, Girl Group Chicago for Best New Entertainer and Best Pop Entertainer of the Year, Guero Loco for Best Reggaeton Entertainment, City Winery for Most Popular Entertainment Club ...just to name a few.

Like many awards shows, there was an after party held at Kingston Mines for everyone to celebrate. Perhaps next year, blogspot readers, SouthSide might win an award for Best Music Blogger/Jounralist ...who knows ...that's if The Polkaholics followed through with that suggestion...

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

March 2014

Hey, blogspot readers, time to leave February behind and roar into March like a mighty rockin' lion! Plenty of shows / events happening all month long  ...some even FREE and/or All-Ages. SouthSide highly recommends checking a show or two.

* - denotes new addition to calendar

On March 1st, The Band of Heathens will be continuing their tour with shows in Houston, TX, Columbus, OH and more before embarking on their European tour starting April 22 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Heathens will be performing on March 20 in Bloomington, IL (at The Castle Theater) and on March 21 in Chicago (at Martyr's).
For more information, visit

Starting March 6 at The Green Lantern (Lexington, KY), Mr. Gnome will be touring with shows at SXSW and Treefort Music Fest.
For more information, visit

Starting March 7, Model Stranger will be touring in support of The Changing Score at The Club (Quincy, IL).
For more information, visit

March 1:
Subterranean - kick off the month with Jet W Lee along with Big Black Bird, Sequoia and Fletcher.
$8 / 21+

Exit - check out Icons featuring tribute sets by Frank De La Mara and Echonine (Erasure), Eddie Riot (New Order), Phillip De La Mara (Depeche Mode), Leo Saucedo (The Cure) and The Handsome Devilz (Smiths / Morrissey)
FREE / 21+

March 2:
Rock In Chicago - Rock In Chicago show featuring Armored Assault album preview with Miles from Exile.
 8p CST /

March 3:
Double Door - Yellow Phone Music Reception ...a music industry networking event that's a great way to meet and network with other industry pros and musicians featuring drink specials, live music performances and on-site giveaways. SouthSide will be there too.
FREE / 7p

March 4:
Subterranean - spend your Mardi Gras night with Joe Letz of Combichrist, Cyanotic, The Gothsicles, S@int and Twinscin
18+ (to enter) / 21+ (to drink) / $12

Lizards Liquid Lounge (3058 W Irving Park Rd) - Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler featuring DJ Stevo cooking his famous jambalaya as well as spinning sounds of New Orleans all night long.

March 5:
Livewire Lounge - it may be Ash Wednesday but it's The Devil's Playground (St Pat's Day edition) hosted by David Bates (of Sinister Fate) who will be spinning your favorite Metal/Rock/Industrial/Punk/and Goth plus featuring burlesque performances Misfit Dolls ft Rya Red.
FREE / 21+

March 6:
Elbo Room - attend the CHIRP Radio Benefit featuring live performances by Me Jane, One Wing Low, The Symposium and Careful Q. Also Elle Casazza will be performing too. ALL tickets proceeds will benefit CHIRP Radio.
$10 / 21+

*Bell's Eccentric Cafe (Kalamazoo, MI) - Joe Marcinek Band with special guest Jahman Brahman will be here
$7 / 21+ / 8p

*House of Blues Chicago - The Hot Sauce Committee will be rockin' Dustin Diamond's Bayside Bash

*Cubby Bear - rock out with The Mantras featuring local acts Amrita and Digeoemetric opening for this touring band
9p / 21+

March 7 - 16:
Austin, TX - SXSW! Support local / indie bands (especially a few of SouthSide's friends from Chicago) making the annual trek to this music, movie and more festival.

March 7:
Red Line Tap - Hey, PJ's My Cousin Too will be rockin' this Rogers Park venue
$5 / 21+

City Winery - Jeff Austin & The Here and Now with Danny Barnes & The Keels will be performing along with Horseshoes and Hand Grenades for two special one-night only shows.
early show 7:30p / late show 10:30p
$25 (standing room) / $35 (reserved seating)

*Penny Road Pub -Scream "Yeehaw!", cowpoke and gals as Colonel Gunn's Wild West Music Show makes its debut here opening for National Truck Monster Artist Brandon Maddox.
$8 / 21+

*Liar's Club - The Bumpus Hounds featuring D.U.I's and Shift as well as Droids Attack will be performing here
9p  / 21+

*Lilly's - it's honky tonk fun and music with Crazee Heart
10p (or so) / 21+

March 8:
Door No.3 (Double Door) - Akasha presents Simmer Down Sound ...Beware the Ites of March featuring strictly vinyl classics from the righteous riddims of rock steady to digital anthems of dancehall by The Graduate, Rad Brian and Marcus I
FREE / 10p / 21+

Double Door - School of Rock presents Best of Season DuPage County
$10 (free admission for those under 10 accompanying with an adult) / 12p

Elbo Room - spend your Saturday night rockin' with 20 Mark Helga featuring Andrew Kerr, Billy Blues & Friends
$10 / 21+ 

Brauerhouse (Lombard, IL) - rock with Juicehead, Voice of Addiction and The Horrids

Subterranean - it's a SXSW send-off show featuring The Future Laureates, The Ivorys, Ben Ripani
and Motel Beds
$10 adv / 12 dos

Durbin's (of Midlothian, IL) - Red Rebel County will be rockin' the Oak Forest Parade Tent Party from 6p to 8p

The Green Mill Jazz Club - attend Chris Green's "Music Appreciation" CD release party. The 13-song, double disc set will be available for a special price of $15.

Take 20 (Cherry Valley, IL) - head bang with Exorcist, Sleeze, In the Hand and Sinister Fate
All Ages (until midnight then it's 21+) / $5

Metro - be fashionably seen and dressed at this month's NOCTURNA featuring your favorite requested tunes spun DJ Scary Lady Sarah until 5a.
18+ (21+ to drink) / $10

Kelly's Pub - check out this amazing lineup featuring Deadlite Redemption, The Ramblin' Sinners, Modern Day Rippers, Virgin Mobile Meth Lab, F.B.F. and Late Work Policy rockin' a birthday bash for Penguin.
$5 / 7p

Capone's (Johnson City, TN) - Skytown Riot rocks the stage here

*Hard Rock Cafe - it's the Cactus After Party show featuring Joe Marcinek Band with Allie Kral, Scott Mezger, Allen Aucoin and Steve Molitz
VIP tickets available - 

*Silvie's - check out Devil's In Angels as they share the stage with Maid of Mettle and Jericho Harlot

*Fitz's Spare Keys - celebrate Elmhurst's St Patrick's Day Parade party here featuring Irish music during the daytime hours and Too White Crew at night (it's a $10 cover for this part of the day)
NO cover during the day and families are welcome.
OPEN at 11a / 21+ after 9p

March 9:
Livewire Lounge - it's Vattnet Viskar, Vaporize and Ironfinger rockin' the stage at this Avondale bar.
$7 / 21+ / 6p

Rock In Chicago - it's the Rock In Chicago Wrecking Ball Ska/Punk show.
Listen at / 8p CST

*Double Door - join Neil Diamond Phillips and fans as they film concert scenes (as Flabby Hoffman Trio) for Flabby's movie - Look Out It's Flabby Hoffman!, a tribute to the Chicago's masked legend and his band.
NO COVER / 12p

March 11:
Empty Bottle - Notes and Bolts presents Swimsuit Addition featuring North By North and Fuzzy Bunnies of Death.

*Reggie's Rock Club - T. Mills will be rockin' the stage along with Mod Sun 

March 12:
Door No.3 (Double Door) - FABITAT: Grooves featuring DJ Adam EL with drag performances by Lucy Stool, Anita Borshen and Curlene Ribbon
FREE / 9p / 21+

Mayne Stage - CAU presents Red and Reckless performing on stage along with Lifeaftersix featuring special guests Dann Morr and Rae Fitzgerald.

*Beat Kitchen - rock out with Mr. Russia along with History's History (OH), Fitness, and Graves (OH)
9p / $5 (FREE with RSVP / 21+

March 13:
*Livewire Lounge - Chicago Acoustic Underground is taking over this Avondale dive bar to feature singer/songwriters Matt Morgan and Elizabeth Bagby and the Baguettes along with Barrett's Hidden Agenda

March 14 - 15:
*Chicago Cultural Center - attend the 11th Annual Creative Chicago Expo - Moving Forward featuring 40+ workshops and opportunities to connect with 140+ services and organizations
FREE / 10a to 4p

March 14:
Double Door - rock a pre-Saint Patty's Day party with Bassel & the Supernaturals, Fatbook, Dos Santos and Sonorama DJs
$10 / 21+

Cobra Lounge - it's Against The Players, Withering Soul, Knifed At Gunpoint and Pete Horseman rockin' the stage at this West Loop venue.

Red Line Tap - Red Line Tap presents First Jason with Sinister Fate, Horror is Dead and Another Black Hour taking over this venue.

Windy City Inn (2257 W. Irving Park Rd) - Digeometric will be rockin' stage with two sets at this venue.
$5 suggested donation / 21+

Elbo Room - The Fine Print (formerly known as The Disclaimers) will be rockin' the stage along with Hot Alaska, LeMoko presents "The Back Forty", Kevin Leeds and Global Cooling
$10 / 8:30p / 21+

*WNUR FM 89.3 - hey, it's Sid Yiddish and his Candy Store Henchmen live on air with WNUR's Eric Rick's during his Jazz show (between 11a - 12p Chicago time) celebrating the band's double cassette release "Assorted Variety Pack" and Steaks & Shakes Day .

*Juniors - NSP Live and Wrecking Ball Productions presents The Fisticuffs along with The Distractions, Fighting For Scraps and The Tromatons
$5 / 21+ / 8p

March 15:
Nite Cap - check out Music of Horror (part of the 2014 Indie Music of Horror Fest) day 2 featuring Cobalt Core, Bizarre Noir and Spinning Red
$7 / 21+

Mutiny - Mobcore Chicago presents Drag Lair, a breakcore and hiphop night featuring Brad Wolff, Lanza, CCDM, Protman and Tooth-Eye
FREE / 21+

Mo Daileys (6070 Northwst Hwy) - it's the Chicago St. Pat's Day Parade After Party with Red Rebel County!

*The Grid (351 W. Hubbard) - The Hot Sauce Committee will be here performing a RARE day show before heading out to Hollywood Casino Joliet (inside the Reve Nightclub) for their evening performance.

March 16:
115 Bourbon Street - party at the Southside Irish Parade After Party with Red Rebel County from 4p to 6p before heading out to Durbin's in Plainfield for another party.
Durbins (of Plainfield, IL) - it's a pre-St. Pat's Day Party with Red Rebel County who will be rockin' your favorite Dropkick Murphy's and Flogging Molly tunes

Ravinia - it's The Annual Chicago Viola Festival

*The Parlor (1434 N Western) - rock with Hardon Collider (OH), Mulatto Thunders (MI), Alex Drosen with JML and Bouyant Sea

March 17:
Double Door - Irish eyes will be smilin' at the St Pat's Day Beer Nuts Bash featuring She's Crafty, Yeowulf and Beer Nuts.
$10 GA / $20 VIP / 7:30p / 21+

Elbo Room - celebration the Emerald Isle at this St. Patrick's Day celebration featuring Paddy Teglia
FREE / 21+

March 18:
Double Door - it's Japan Night Chicago featuring live performances by Vampillia, Jungles (members of Red Bacteria Vacuum), Zarigani$ and Happy
$10 / 7:30p / 21+

March 19:
Door No.3 (Double Door) - SHIMMER comes to Door No.3! This indie dreampop, shoegaze dance party features DJs Scary Lady Sarah and Peroxide
FREE / 9p / 21+

Fizz Bar & Grill - Chicago's premiere ELECTRO swing will be rockin' this venue featuring vintage steampunk sounds spun by Vourteque and Mr. Automatic
FREE / 21+

*Cobra Lounge - rock with BIG UPS as they make their Chicago debut along with Typesetter and Hot Broadcast opening
8p / 21+

March 21:
Metro - Shoeshine Boy and Swizzlesteve presents Hero Monster Zero headlining featuring The Lost Brigade, Magatha Trysty, Jeff Brown & the New Black and Kathy Greenholdt
18+ / $9

Concord Music Hall - attend the Manic Focus' Release Party featuring Wick-It, Muzzy and Inverse Universe.
For tickets,

Junior's (Cermak near Damen Avenue) - jam with Indian, Control and The Howl
$7 / 8p / 21+

Cubby Bear - Digeometric will be performing as part of the Summer Camp On The Road tour show.

Phyllis' Musical Inn - JD3 will performing at this Bucktown/Wicker Park venue

*The Hideout - celebrate with Akasha as they release Joy Song CD which features song cameos by JC Brooks "I'd Die Without You" and Illuminati Congo on "Warrior"

*Touche Chicago (6412 N Clark) - it's Get A Little Irish In You ver 2.0 featuring DJ Germ of Modern Day Rippers/Sexy Baby Productions/Rotten Frutis spinning your favorite pre-punk to post hardcore, oi to power pop, psychobilly to garage rock and more all night long.

March 22:
Double Door - Soul Son I'd Deummit Free Dance Party with DJs Sloppy White, Dave Mata and Duke Grip featuring a guest DJ (TBA)
FREE ($10 VIP ticket available) / 21+

Lilly's - attend Jack Rabbit and The Oooze show at this Lincoln Park venue
$6 / 21+

*PCH Club (Long Beach, CA) - it's the 2nd Annual Operation SoulShine Benefit concert ...check out guitarist/composer Dan Sindel rockin' the stage

*The Hideout - check out Sabers (fronted by Josh Chicoine along with members of Head of Femur, Poi Dog Pondering and 1900s) as they celebrate the release of their debut Sic Semper Sabers

March 23:
Township - attend the Top Shelf Licker's record release show featuring Sleep On It (CD release set), Cliffhanger and Gardens
For tickets,

March 26:
Door No.3 (Double Door) - FABITAT: Grooves featuring DJ Adam EL with drag performances by Lucy Stool, Anita Borshen and Curlene Ribbon
FREE / 9p / 21+

Moe's Tavern - check out this heavy dance music fused with funk and glam rock from Austin, TX by Sphynx. SouthSide will be interviewing as well as reviewing the band.

March 27:
Double Door - Wakarusa Festival presents Waka DJ Classic
$10 / 21+

March 28 - 30:
Chicago - it's Soul Togetherness USA, a rare soul weekender of music and more happening at selected venues around Chicago.

March 28:
Cobra Lounge - rock with Novembers Doom, Avernus, Act of Destruction and Divinity Compromise here.

Beat Kitchen - check out Model Stranger, Amrita, Vaudeville and Mari Zen rockin' the stage at this Roscoe neighborhood venue.
For tickets,

Concord Music Hall - it's SHPONGLE: The Museum of Consciousness Tour rolls back to Chicago

March 29:
Green Room Pub - rock with Sons of the West, The Lucky Dutch and The Columbines
$5 / 21+

Elbo Room - rock with Romantic Rebel with Tripp 'n' Dixie, She Loves Seven and Bloodletter
$10 / 21+

Another Hole In The Wall (Steger, IL) - rock with Ditchwater, Driven Under, Soil and Tantric
All Ages / $15 adv / $18 dos / 5:30p

March 30:
Door No.3 (Double Door) - The Hush Train featuring DJ DJRC
FREE / 21+

Sonic Asylum Radio - tune into a live radio show featuring Corrie Rex and Skull Fogger!
8p /

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

One On One With Jensen


Hey, blogspot readers, through the wonderful magic of modern technology, SouthSide caught up with another rockin' up and coming band making waves in the music scene in Leeds, UK. Jensen, trio featuring Andrew Jensen (front man on lyrics, synths, guitars), Simon Green (synths, bass) and Vier Jennings (guitars, synths), combines the intense power of hardcore rock and melodic synth rhythms within their songs like "Ghosts" and "Stars".

SouthSide: In five (5) words or less, could you describe Jensen?

Andrew Jensen: "...Pure, raw, honest, unrestrained, vision..."

SouthSide: Is there any specific reason why you would choose those particular words to describe the band?

Andrew: "..Mainly because that's how I write. Everything I discuss is pure and raw, it's all real experience and every time I'm writing I'm being honest with myself. I also don't hold back when I'm self analysing..."

SouthSide: You're the first band I've met without a bio and/or press release, so is it better to let the music speak for the band or vice versa? And why?

Andrew: "...a bio / press release is like bad foreplay. It's definitely better to skip it and get to the music..."

SouthSide: Off your debut album Zero One, which song(s) do you think defines what Jensen is about?

Andrew:  "...This is a tricky one. I don't mean to sound ahead if myself but the majority of the EP is actually old material. The album I'm currently working on is definitely definitive of where I'm currently at..I hopefully should get it finished soon..."

SouthSide:  So, is your songwriting process a collective or individual input based on your personal experiences, etc?

Andrew: "...I also write and record everything. I turn to the other guys for general support when I'm  tearing my hair out after recording a line of vocals for 5 days that still doesn't sound good enough. Sometimes they offer perspective when I'm getting too overwhelmed by detail..."

SouthSide: If given the opportunity to work with anyone for a collaboration, who would it be and why?

Andrew: "...Brian Wilson [of The Beach Boys] would be a good choice. Back in the day he was the troubled genius. People go on about how this, that and the other is a messed up record and I say go back and listen to Pet Sounds..that can get pretty fucked up. Especially when put into the context of the era it was released..."

SouthSide: What could fans expect to see, hear and/or experience when Jensen performs on stage?

Andrew: "...Well the stage shows previously (the previous band incarnation) have been pretty aggressive. The music is energetic and it's pretty easy to get caught up in the energy it gives off. Sometimes things get broken. Musically it's going to be an emotional rollercoaster. Some songs are pretty brooding, some are all out it has it's highs and lows..."

SouthSide: I'm all about the local scene here in Chicago. So, being curious, is there a music "scene" in Leeds? If not, what's popular in UK these days?

Andrew: "...the music scene in Leeds is pretty non existent at the moment ...the best local venue has closed down so it's pretty dead. In general, the Hardcore / Metal core scene is pretty big but at the same time it's heavily over saturated's almost become a parody of itself are getting to the stage where you literally can not tune any lower. Everyone may as well throw their guitars away and just stick to bass guitars..."

SouthSide: During the spring and summer of 2014, where can fans find Jensen rockin' the stage?

Andrew: "...we're playing [a venue called] 53 degrees in Preston [located in Lancashire], May 10th [during the Dark-Cide Fest] with Psyclon Nine [glam/metal band from L.A., CA] and Death Valley High and that's the first gig of 2014 ...we will be announcing further dates soon for the UK..."

SouthSide: Are there any plans in the works to visit across the pond? If so, which cities would Jensen like to rock out in?

Andrew: "...We've never been to the US but would definitely like too ...we would be happy to play anywhere that would have us!"

SouthSide: Any parting words, would Jensen like to say to their American fans?

Andrew: "...if you have listened to us, then thanks for the support. I'm aware there is a lot of music out there so thanks for taking the time to have a listen!"

UK blogspot readers, buy your tickets now for Jensen's 10 May show by visiting

For more to check out Jensen's music, visit or

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, February 24, 2014

Summer Set Music Fest announcement

Attention, blogspot readers ...just because it's still cold and snowy, it's not too early to think about summer and music festivals. 

Recently, the dates for Summer Set Music and Camping Festival 2014 were announced. Mark your calendars the following dates Friday, August 15 thru Sunday, August 17 still being held at the Northern woods of Wisconsin - Somerset Amphitheater. 

Organizers will continue the tradition of having multiple stages featuring internationally touring artists/bands from every genre. Last year, this festival had over 45,000 attendees spanning from all corners of the country. Early bird tickets for this year's festival were sold-out in minutes.

Go to or for more details and ticket information, blogspot readers.

Stay tuned to this blog for updates as they come...

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, February 20, 2014

14 Feb 14

"If you leave ...don't leave now ...please, don't take my heart away..." ~ OMD

The 80s was one amazing decade, blogspot readers! It was Reagan-Bush years when MTV killed the radio star. We were taught how to be notorious while doing the safety dance like a virgin and had the fashion sense which changed a generation. Plus, it was a decade of movies featuring the legendary brat pack - Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Matthew Broderick, Mia Sara, Jon Cryer, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald, James Spader, Andrew McCarthy,  - just to name a few who starred who in iconic movies such as Pretty In Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club directed by the legendary John Hughes. In honor of this decade and director, Debonair Social Club recently threw a happening themed party in which allowed SouthSide to re-live the fun decade of her youth.

Featuring visual clips from John Hughes' movies (by Adam Black), this party included many of those hits and/or one-hit wonders from Billy Idol, Bryan Adams and Aerosmith to Golden Earring, The Clash and many more all night long. Also, attendees dressed in their vintage 80s wear rocked to the The Shermer High School band featuring members of Kill Hannah, Local H, Makeshift Prodigy, Gemini Club, The Lovehammers, Scott Lucas and The Married Men, Comasoft, Perfect Kiss and Streets On Fire who wowed the crowd with favorite renditions from John Hughes' movies. But before the 80s came alive again, local hardcore/thrash metal band Pound of Flesh warmed up Debonair with plenty of thrilling riffs and head-banging music, blogspot readers.

It was totally cool re-living favorite yet iconic scenes from movies like Pretty In Pink and Weird Science all night long while dancing to some of her favorite 80s songs like "Modern Love", "Rock The Cabash"  and "When Doves Cry". Though running the English version, it was cool viewing Nena's "99 Red Balloons" as well as The Ministry and Wham!. Then was time for Shermer High School band to rock the stage featuring those loveable hit songs along with movie scene clips to enhance everyone's experience inside Debonair tonight. Opening with OMD's "If You Leave" from Pretty In Pink, this band of some of the best local talent around not only had the packed main floor of the club rockin' but also had many (like SouthSide) reminiscing those days back in high school when they were popular on the radio. The nearly 90 minute performance included Flesh for Lulu's "I Go Crazy" (from Some Kind Of Wonderful), Oingo Boingo's "Weird Science" (from Weird Science), and Echo and The Bunnymen's "Bring On The Dancing Horses" (from Pretty In Pink). Yet there were a few highlights of Shermer's performance in which made the evening seem quite magical, blogspot readers.

For instance, they reacted the final scene of Sixteen Candles (the birthday cake with Molly Ringwald and Michael Schoeffling on top of the table) for special fan in attendance celebrating her birthday before Anthony (front man of Makeshift Prodigy) serenaded the couples with his ultra suave rendition of Spandau Ballet's love ballad of the decade - "True".  It's a rarity that two iconic songs from one John Hughes' movie gets a chance to be heard live. Well, blogspot readers, be prepared to "Twist and Shout" like they did in Ferris Bueller's Day Off while clips of the Von Steuben parade in the movie were running. This song totally had the entire main floor hopping as well as twisting and shouting throughout. Then the fun continued when the Shermer performed a live version of Yello's "Oh Yeah" (the ending movie credit song) - very rare indeed since NO ONE has ever attempted to cover this famous tune live. Think it was wild in the audience ...try watching the crazed moments happening on stage when this particular song was rockin' down Debonair. As a bonus (and though not truly part of the John Hughes' tribute via songs), the band treated everyone to the fist-pumping antics of the bad boy Brit - Billy Idol by performing "Dancing With Myself" while many of us sang along with them. And the night wouldn't have been complete with playing that teen anthem from The Breakfast Club, the Simple Minds' song - "Don't You (Forget About Me). SouthSide was a cross between the "princess" and "brain" ...which were you, blogspot readers?

Debonair Social Club needs to have a recurring 80s theme party again ...with Shermer High School Band rockin' the stage...

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, February 7, 2014


Hey, blogspot readers, don't let the winter cold and doldrums get you down. It's time to think about spring/summer festivals, music and fun despite what the groundhog predicted. 

Recently, SouthSide received three announcements for the following events in which you should start saving the dates...

The North Coast Music Festival 2014 is set to return Friday, August 29 through Sunday, August 31 celebrating it's 5th Anniversary! Located in the beautiful city of Chicago, NCMF will bring another diverse range of established as well as up-and-coming artists of all music genres from EDM to swingin' Jazz, experimental/rock and more to Union Park. 

More details to come, blogspot readers, as soon as SouthSide receives it.

Spring Awakening Music Festival 2014 is ready to explode once again on Friday, June 13 through Sunday, June 15 at the historic Soldier Field. Now in its third year, fan can expect this SAMF is to be bigger than ever with featured headlining acts like Chicago's KASKADE, Colorado's PRETTY LIGHTS and the legendary DJ/producer TIESTO. Other featured acts include Knife Party, Diplo, Big Gigantic, Bingo Players, Eric Prydz and more across four stage, including two main stages. 

Check out the other acts scheduled to appear - 3LAU, A-trak, Alex Metric, Alvin Risk, Andy C, Arty, Blasterjaxx, Borgore, Caked Up, Candyland, Carnage,  Chuckie, Claude Von Stroke, Dastik, Derrick Carter, Destroid, DVBBS, Dyro, Feed Me (DJ set), Ferry Corsten, Gladiator, Green Velvet, Gregori Klosman, Kap Slap, Kill Paris, Kill the Noise, Laidback Luke, Manic Focus, Markus Schulz, Midnight Conspiracy, Moon Boots, Nervo, Oliver, Ookay, Paper Diamond, Pete Tong, Sander Van Doorn, Sandro Silva, DJ Snake, Thomas Gold, Tommy Trash ...AND MORE

Stay tuned for more details as they arrive...
Beginning Thursday, May 15 through Sunday, May 25, it will be the 8th annual London Burlesque Festival, blogspot readers! This unique, one of a kind festival (founded by internationally acclaimed producer Chaz Royal) will feature 11 days of 12 sizzling, sultry signature entertainment with 100+ burlesque stars performing. It will be packed with high profile events, fans can expect London Burlesque Festival 2014 to showcase the most eclectic and diverse acts within this genre. And SouthSide has been told this is the most prestigious event listed on the International Burlesque calendar.

Here's what LBF, Producer Chaz Royal had to say:
"...The London Burlesque Festival 2014 is without doubt the world's greatest festival of International Burlesque talent and I'm pleased the event is growing yet again. LBF 2014 will be hosting 7 of the 12 events at the historic Conway Hall in Holborn Central London. With a fully seated capacity for 400 patrons and excellent sight lines, it's the perfect venue for our larger events. LBF is set to raise the bar yet again with 11 evenings of signature shows including our daytime conference 'The Big Burlesque Day Out'. Th world's best burlesque & variety artists have been chosen to perform from 700+ submissions worldwide and we are thrilled to be back again for our biggest and best year yet..."

And remember, blogspot readers, burlesque has been "...quintessentially British for 150 years..."

Participants are encouraged to dress to impress and join the fun at this extravagant celebration of Burlesque in each of its exotic forms!

For more event details and tickets, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, February 6, 2014

01 Feb 14

It's metal, wild west and villains! OH MY, blogspot readers! This reviewer's Saturday evening would never be the same again...

Say "fare thee well" to your precious reviewer tonight, blogspot readers, because the lovely Eva Trixx is taking over this review! 

*insert evil laughter* 

Don't worry ...that nosy SouthSide wasn't harmed after having to steal her ticket for the V Is For Villains show at Bottom Lounge. She gladly give it up willingly or she would have faced dire consequences imaginable if she didn't. Besides, this wasn't her usual type of rock show. Anyway, Mr. Agitator and with his villainous group of sidekicks - Fallon Flynn, Jaxyl, Leyla,  and Vex shared the stage along with other performing acts such as Colonel Gunn's Wild West Music Show, El Famous and Tanzen with Breacher opening.

Eva likes her metal to be loud, pounding and very intense with a raw primal vocals, blogspot readers. However that's not what she received from the opening act Breacher ( during their performance at Bottom Lounge though liking the band's long instrumental metal sound in which she thought that's what they were. She doesn't like to be fooled. Breacher was quite heavy on the metal and screamo combination yet did a very poor job in trying to convey that type of band image to its audience. Sadly, the music was lackluster edge or intensity within its rhythms excitement to get this sassy villainess head banging. In other words, she couldn't "feel" them and their music that SouthSide woman would say. Sorry, metal, there were too many confusing chord changes and riff melodies going from one extreme to the next within many of Breacher's song as well as not truly connecting with the few in the audience. It was even hard to hear what the front man was saying over the mic while at the same time he tuned his guitar for the next song.

Meanwhile, TanZen ( gave a performance that even villains could rock as well as head bang to. Eva saw a few including the fearless villainous leader Mr. Agitator getting his metal on, blogspot readers. TanZen's music was the kind which could cause violent bouts of frenzy whiplash throughout its set ...or wild bodies moshing in a pit near the stage. Eva liked the feel of that venomous heat of lyrics frothing all over the mic which had her quivering from words of spite and anger being crammed down her throat. Heavy hitting guitar riffs flowing everywhere swinging (from the bassist) when he reached that metal zone ...ah, blogspot readers, TanZen accomplished what it set out to do tonight. Each member provided their audience with an exciting, heart-pounding show complete with roaring thunder or intense bass and percussion sound (despite) being a rather short set. This was music to feed your inner heavy metal soul as well as react accordingly get angry along with the band especially during the instrumental bridges.

Then, there was El Famous ( who kickstarted their set with such fiery songs like "Ignite" and "Rest In Peace" that had the growing crowd head banging to the serious sound of screamo vocals and heavy metal ...even though it was hampered with a minor technical difficulty. Not to worry, blogspot readers, it was quickly fixed in which it didn't stall the thrilling yet intense vibe flowing throughout the venue area of Bottom Lounge. Coupled with harmonious backing vocals, Eva liked El Famous' front man sending chills to her bones whenever his voice venomously spewed the angered spite over the mic. Plenty of "cringe in fear" moments here as well as excitement however she could have done without the extra electric wail after each song that was slightly painful on the ears. Still, El Famous rocked the stage with its hit single "Stay Together" (off the band's new CD coming out in March).

And that ended the metal portion of this show, blogspot readers, because now it was time to kick up yer heels and scream "Yeehaw" as Colonel Gunn and his Wild West Music Show ( took over the stage opening for the main attraction, V Is For Villains. Now, let Eva get one thing straight about this new band officially making their debut on stage - it's not your average country/western act. This local act mixes a lively music combination of rock, pop, cowboy tunes and adult contemporary featuring the fine Colonel Obadiah Gunn (on lead vocals and guitar), Lil Missy Mayhem (backing vocals),  Miss Dallas Darling (Gunn's Saloon vocalist),  the outlaw Maxie James (guitar), Ringo (on drums) and the dashing Professor Francis Fellows (on keyboards). Nervous tensions might be running high ...after it was the Colonel's first show but this act is a definite keeper and fine addition to V Is For Villains lineup, blogpsot readers. They instantly won the villainous hearts while rocking the stage with such delightful songs like Johnny Cash-June Carter "Jackson" (lovely duet but Lil' Missy needed more spitfire power on the mic), Neil Diamond's "Cherry, Cherry" and Dolly Parton-Kenny Rogers "Islands In the Stream" which had this villain legion partying along with the band. Plenty of fiery vocals with Miss Dallas Darling during her cover version of Aretha Franklin's "Respect" despite a little rough around the edges. Yet, Colonel Gunn's Wild West Music Show did put on an amazing show give this rockin' country/western theme band a try.

FINALLY - V Is For Villains ( on the stage! And the other fashionably dressed criminally-mind villains like Eva Trixx were ready to "Evolve or Die" or commit "Murder In The Art" along with Mr. Agitator and crew. Yet, there was something different about this particular Villains show compared to the others, blogspot readers. It was more haunting ...mysterious and darker in music and tone within the band's steampunk/industrial sound. In Eva's opinion, that was a good thing. Villains' songs from "Everybody Hates Me" to "Rise Above" and "A World Without Rules"  received a more polished sound and creepy vibe from the newest Villain member Leyla on bass cello. She added that haunting sound to counteract Fallon's hard-htting electric and Vex's intense keyboard rhythms thus turning Villains' industrial sound into something that takes you deeper down the path of  villainy whether you're prepared or not. Even their Nine Inch Nails cover "Closer" held the audience captive within the darkness of the deviant-toned lyrics wonderfully voiced by Mr. Agitator that even featured his signature evil laughter. The climatic NIN ending truly left the crowd hungry for more. Yet, no V Is For Villains show wouldn't be complete without the ever popular Pink Elephants in which the entire venue erupted to life, blogspot readers. Still this performance contained a couple more surprises like new songs "Murder In The Art" and "Arrogant" - both leading the Villains' music direction towards a darker yet fast paced and intense industrial path ...and a revamped version of Digital Mindy's "Popular". Yes, Villains fans, it's the dawning of the new evil with V Is For Villains ...and there's no turning back now either. Become one of us a Villain ..and join the "March of the Villains"!

Time for Eva to evade Scotland Yard, blogspot readers...

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, February 3, 2014

31 Jan 14

Tonight, blogspot readers, SouthSide took a break from rockin' around town to trying her hand at something new - being a food critic. Along with her good friend, Edonna, she headed out in the Avondale area of Chicago to see what the Honey Butter Fried Chicken hype was all about. This reviewer and her friend have heard, seen and read the raving reviews about this latest chicken restaurant craze to hit this town since the opening of the first Harold's Fried Chicken Shack, blogspot readers. After the initial visit to this establishment, blogspot readers, it's best not to really believe the hype. 

It's overrated - in a nutshell.

First thing she noticed about Honey Butter Fried Chicken was the location. It seems out of the way and well hidden ...lost amongst the few manufacturing-like buildings along the 3300 N. Elston location in which if you make that left turn off Sacramento Avenue onto Elston Avenue really fast, you might miss the corner restaurant as you zoom by. For this roving reviewer, it's not really centrally located near public transportation despite being near the Belmont and California CTA bus routes. So walking is in order if you don't have a car, blogspot readers. Once inside, this reviewer instantly got the sense of the establishment's small dining size and uncomfortable closeness with its customers. And there's no real space separating you and the front door when feeling that blast of winter air each time it opens. The dining area is right there in front with bar seating in the back ...the kitchen area where the fried chicken magic happens is sandwiched in between both rooms. The way this restaurant is designed you have to sit and eat (quickly) with total strangers around you since this isn't the type of place where you can sit and enjoy your time because (on this particular night) there was a line of customer waiting to be seated to eat after ordering at the counter.

That was the second thing SouthSide noticed about this restaurant. Not much of a sit-down-the-server-comes-to-you-with-menu place. No, blogspot readers, you order your food at the counter where the person taking your order really can't hear you because (a) it's noisy because of the loud conversations around you and (b) loud music blaring over the loud conversations at the same time. She's surprised that anyone in there could hear themselves think let alone eat their food. SouthSide and her friend could hardly hold a decent conversation during their time there ...couldn't really chat on what they wanted to discuss without others sitting beside them listening in ...or butting their two cents in, blogspot readers. The seating inside Honey Butter Fried Chicken is communal seating - meaning at any given time, you'll be surrounded by people (if you're seated in the middle of the long table) at close proximity during your time there. This is where SouthSide felt the most uncomfortable during her visit. She likes meeting new people as much as chatting with them however not at this time of restaurant setting where she felt squeezed between the area where customers either wait for one of two unisex restrooms, to be seated and/or take-away (carry-out). People waiting there truly made this restaurant seem and feel very, very small. Seating at the bar is no better. That tiny area is quite cramped with the soda machine, bar and bar seating (with mid-size long table).

Honey Butter Fried Chicken menu offers "...fresh, hormone-antibiotic free, locally sourced Amish..." chicken and brine that's "...[a] mixture of salt, sugar, spices and citrus..." featuring such dishes like Chicken and Grits and Fried Chicken sandwich along with a slim selection of sides like Creamed Corn with Thai Green Curry and Pimento Mac-n-Cheese with Garlicky Bread Crumbs (very delicious). Her friend choose to try the Schmaltz Smashed Potatoes with Chicken Fat Gravy (very bland and not flavorable) and the Roasted Sweet Potato Salad, Cilantro and Lime Vinaigrette (cold and not tasty until reheated according to Edonna) while sharing eight pieces of chicken with SouthSide. The total for the entire meal (including two sodas) came to fifty dollars. Quite overpriced in today's economic times. This is definitely not the place to bring kids, blogspot readers, unless you're willing to pay about $12 dollars for a kid's meal in which doesn't seem very appetizing when you have a picky eater with you. The sides priced at $3.50 each (or 3 for $10.50) are served in single-serving sized paper cups. You'll be eating your meal on paper plates. And if you want extra (from honey butter, corn muffins and yes even hot sauce), be prepared to pay for it too. Though the extra charge may appear small, it can quickly add up to a larger expense in the end. The menu does offer desserts and wine/beer selection but during this outing, SouthSide and her friend didn't sample from it. Yet, the menu was truly missing two important things - biscuits and cole slaw (Kale and Cabbage is not real slaw).

After being seated and waiting a short time, the food is served on unappealing metal baking trays which quickly takes up space on your table if you don't situate your sides and chicken accordingly, blogspot readers. The server did advise (since this was her first time there) to put the honey butter on the chicken. Actually the sugary-sweet tasting butter was better on the tiny-size corn muffins (somewhat dry tasting without it) than on the chicken. The chicken had enough spicy paprika on it which sort of drained the moistness out of it. This reviewer enjoyed the crunchy battered that coated the chicken but like the corn muffin, it does need a little honey sweet to keep it tasting juicy down your throat. As SouthSide mentioned earlier, this is no "sit, relax, eat and enjoy" type of restaurant (even though there was a large party that seemed to have been there for a while). So once you get served, it's best that you eat in a hurry and leave especially if there's a line of people waiting to be seated. The service on this particular night was a bit lacking one came by to see if she was enjoying the meal or if she needed something (other than if she was ready to put the leftovers in containers). Besides, blogspot readers, she was ready to leave anyway. The close surroundings (as well as being a few feet away from the unisex restrooms) had her feeling very uncomfortable in the end. Honey Butter Fried Chicken has an unseen way of hurrying you to finish your meal as quickly as soon as possible in order to keep the seating of customers constantly flowing. So be prepared to eat and then run...

In the end, blogspot readers, her experience at Honey Butter Fried Chicken didn't live up to the hype one bit. The back area where the bar is located should be used for the take-away (carry-out) customers so they don't crowd the dining area. Since it's designed as a communal dining experience, how about paying a single price per person and continuously serve chicken, muffins and sides by placing it on the table (like the Amish restaurants) instead of serving with biscuit-size metal trays. For those who want sandwiches and other selections could order it at the table from a smaller hand-held menu. The kid's menu should have more selections instead of the one. Yet, the prices themselves were overpriced for the area the restaurant is located. SouthSide would expect to pay something like that if she was dining in Wicker Park/Bucktown or Lincoln Park ...yet when located in the Avondale area, the owners should have priced accordingly or at least off meal deal packages. 

Just a few suggestions from a reviewer who enjoys a good fried chicken dinner...

Until next time, support your local scene,

29 Jan 14

Welcome to the (snowy) jungle, blogspot readers! Tonight, SouthSide was very excited to see rocker, ex-Guns-n-Roses guitarist (during the Use Your Illusion tour) now solo artist fronting his own band, Gilby Clarke performing on stage at Double Door. This rock show also featured local acts like Romantic Rebel and Young Distractions with Bryan Wilkinson opening in support of Gilby's headlining performance.
SouthSide recommends checking out the hard rockers, Romantic Rebel ( at their next performance. Though liking the energy and hardcore guitar sound, this reviewer did notice the band lacked a certain rock edge in which would electrified the group's stage presence a little more. There were plenty of guitar riffs to sink your head banging teeth into especially during the gritty instrumental bridges despite needing more of an edgy vibe to really connect with its hard rock audience. This reviewer suggests rockin' out to the band's hot single "Sorry" (off Romantic's debut album coming out in spring) and "New Way to Sin" - where female lead KT knocks you off your feet with the dynamic power of her raspy vocals.

Meanwhile, the trio of Young Distractions ( pumped this audience with an electrifying hot performance featuring a fiery energy combination of garage/punk/rockabilly pop, blogspot readers. Though immediately having everyone feeling the intense guitar rhythms, this reviewer noted that the band (at first) weren't big on engaging the fans with them and/or their music. She understands there was a time constraint due to Gilby's headlining set but it would have been nice they tried connecting with the audience at some point of their show for example like when the bassist hopped off stage to rock with the few close to the stage. Overall she recommends rockin' your inner garage child to the trippy punk song "Spaceship" and "Teenage Attraction".

Carving a sold niche as a solo guitarist/artist, blogspot readers, Gilby Clarke and his band were ready to rock out Double Door on this chilly night ...but don't expect any Guns-n-Roses during his performance. Simply expect Gilby to rock the stage with a vibrant selection of his songs as well as a few cover renditions like "It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)" and Bob Dylan's "Knocking On Heaven's Door". SouthSide, though enjoying the performance, found it somewhat lackluster at times in which there wasn't much reaction from the audience. Gilby did bring the heat and guitar edge while performing his first cover and during songs like "Motocycle Cowboy" and "Be Yourself" where your ears were wowed by the emotional cry of his guitar perfectly matching his vocals on lyrics. However, there were moments when he worked too hard trying to the engage the same fans to rock out with him after an exciting rendition of "It's Only Rock 'n Roll".  Still, Gilby performed with plenty of heart and soul ...heart-pounding excitement from start to finish ...creating fun for the group of big-haired rockers head banging in front of the stage. Gilby's drummer, Jim, caught this reviewer's interest because his drumming style and set-up reminded her of a good friend by the way he would hit the cymbals sight unseen. SouthSide recommends checking out the song "Alien" for that time when you feel you don't belong, blogspot readers. This particular song thrilled to the bone with electrifying riffs to exciting percussion rhythms. For more music and tour information, visit

SouthSide was accompanied by photographer Brian Lutz who snapped awesome photos of Gilby Clarke. Visit his site at to view them.

Until next time, support your local scene,