Saturday, June 14, 2014

13 Jun 14

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Hey, blogspot readers, it’s nonstop action, fun and music this weekend for SouthSide. Not only is she covering a popular West Loop area festival – Taste of Randolph but also covering live music at Elbo Room and a forum at St. James Cathedral-Episcopal Church Center. Chicago’s a hot bed of other festivals happening at the same time – Spring Awakening Music Festival, Fiestas Puerto Rico, Wells Street Art Festival, Blues Fest much to see and do little time to cover it all, blogspot readers.
Many Moons
Papa G's DJ set
Tonight, this reviewer kicked off her long weekend roaming around town with a pit stop at Taste of Randolph to survey the sights, sounds and smells of this annual food and music festival located in the heart of Chicago’s West Loop. Taste of Randolph features some of the best street food from local restaurants like bellyQ, Alhambra Palace, City Winery, Wishbone and more as well as local vendors and live music by such bands Clap Your Hands Say Yeah from Philadelphia, PA (, Minus The Bear, The Revivalists (from New Orleans, LA), Many Moons (, The Heard, The Giving Tree Band, The O’My’s, Ryan Powers and many more rockin’ two stages at opposite ends of the fest area. Plus new this year, there’s a DJ/Dance stage hosted by the party people of The Mid (located at mid-way point of the fest area) which will feature DJ sets by DJ RC, Zebo, Papa G, My Boy Elroy. The Taste of Randolph is 3 days of fun for all (kids included ...there’s face painting and family-oriented activities) and it’s dog-friendly too, blogspot readers. SouthSide spent part of her evening snapping photos and enjoying the awesome smell of food cooking outdoors. The fest runs from noon to 10p on Saturday and Sunday ...$10 suggested donation (but they will accept a couple of books too).

The Real Jane Martin
After spending some time at Taste of Randolph, blogspot readers, it was time to head to Elbo Room to say a fond farewell and “thanks for the rockin’ memories” to her good friends – Allen and Mark of The Real Jane Martin. This reviewer was with them since the beginning (back in 2008 when they performed at MOB Fest) and she felt it was fitting that she attends their final show at the place where it all began for them at Elbo Room. The upstairs lounge was crowded with family, friends and longtime fans as the duo of folk/rock performed their favorites and rarely heard songs spanning nearly a decade under band name The Real Jane Martin. And as a treat, they also performed a few cover renditions like Til Tuesday’s “Voices Carry” (but sung from a male pov) and very powerful yet moving rendition of The Beatles’ “Something” which almost had this reviewer swelling with tearful emotions. It may have been a sad occasion to see this duo split up (for now), blogspot reader, however it was also a celebration of a longtime friendship as well as sendoff for Mark who will be studying at New University for his MFA in lyric and play writing.

This special final show featured a double set of songs ...each one a fan favorite for those in attendance, blogspot readers. Songs like “Manhattan” in which Allen’s vibrant falsetto painted a picturesque imagery amidst a rhythmic floetry and gentle melodies off the guitars. This particular song also features Mark’s deep spoken word vocals (during the chorus) giving it a slight rough edge to counter Allen’s falsetto tone. Yet, there’s more to this duo than picturesque imagery within their folk/rock sound. It can also feature spine-tingling chills to the bone like when they performed a haunting ghost story in honor of the night’s full moon and date ...or how about a song full of wit and humor (for example “All About Eve”) ...or a troubadour-style ballad in which the lyrics are comprised of flowery prose of love, devotion and adoration, blogspot readers, as heard during the song “Sweet Emily Brown”. What SouthSide will miss the most about TRJM is the descriptive way Allen’s song lyrics tells the story besides painting the words to life when he sings. When listening to, for example, “Manhattan”, this reviewer can suddenly find herself lost amongst the bright city lights of the New York with all of its chaotic streets, people and smells without actually having to be there to experience it. She also likes their unique spin on cover songs in which they’re sung from a male point of view especially when Allen sung the 80s retro hit by Til Tuesday, “Voices Carry”. It was moving but done dramatically within a semi-acoustic sound featuring the combined fusion of acoustic and electric riffs. Yet the highlight of the night was their rendition of The Beatles “Something”. SouthSide has heard many covers performed but none never sung that nearly brought tears to her eyes. It’s hard to describe the emotions felt as this famous song was reverently performed ...sung with a gusto of passion but gentle like a sweet lullaby. Thinking about it again while writing this review, blogapot readers, almost had SouthSide in tears again. That’s how moving that song performance was last night. It was a fitting song for this final show by The Real Jane Martin, blogspot readers...

It was an honor and privilege for SouthSide to have rocked the Elbo Room with this duo for six years times covering their shows and music. For more information about The Real Jane Martin, you can visit

Until next time, support your local scene,


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