Abroad and stateside, there’s been a buzz since 2008 about The Godfathers’ first round of touring in nearly 20 years. They’re heading to Chicago on Saturday for a show at Metro promoting their limited edition album, “Hit By Hit.” It’s a re-release of the original album plus an additional disc including b-sides and previously unreleased material.The Godfathers first emerged in 1985, successfully combining alternative garage rock with a U.K. flair. By 1987 they were on their fourth world tour, and by 1989, their last U.S. tour, they hit 76 U.S. cities in four months. These days they have renewed their rock n’ roll vitality and are bringing their timeless music back onstage. The original members reunited in 2008, began touring, and celebrated their CD release with their hugely successful St. Valentine’s Massacre show at London’s Forum. The economic crisis put a damper on a U.S. tour this year, but chose to bring the “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” show to Chicago. Read the rest of this post on nbcchicago.com.
Posts Tagged ‘fayth’
Posted in Bands, Chicago Events, concerts, Live Music, music, nightlife, things to do, tagged Brit-rock, Chicago, concerts, fayth, metro, music, Relaxocat, St._Valentine's_Day_Massacre, The_Godfathers on February 11, 2009 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Bands, Chicago Events, concerts, Live Music, music, nightlife, things to do, tagged Beat_Kitchen, CD_release, Chicago_bands, Curtis_Evans, fayth, Grape_Juice_Records, local_bands, More_Songs_About_Loneliness, music, Relaxocat on December 15, 2008 | 2 Comments »
Back in 2006 my friends and I were invited by a musician to see Curtis Evans at Wise Fool’s Pub. What I was told back then was that he was a talented songwriter, well known and well respected among many local musicians for his songwriting as well as his support to the local music scene. I heard he was someone who definitely had a musical future ahead of him. Since then I’ve seen Curtis play with his band, solo, and in collaboration with other local bands at venues such as the Abbey Pub, Schuba’s, Subterranean, and Double Door. He’s had a number of shows in New York, Austin’s SXSW, and also in Belgium. His music ranges from aggressive alternative rock to country laden folk, but I’ve heard him most recently singing solo with an acoustic guitar. His voice is fantastic. And it is true, he is an extremely talented songwriter and heartfelt performer.
His upcoming release on Grape Juice Records premiers this Thursday at Beat Kitchen and is entitled, “More Songs About Loneliness”. I approached listening to it with a bit of cautious curiosity; I tend to shy away from melancholia and the title worried me a bit since I am particularly fond of Curtis’ more edgy side. But much to my surprise, I didn’t find these songs to be melancholy, but rather warm, honest, and melodic. My favorite from this CD is “Jenny Wade”, a song with a little darkness and some keyboard effects that sound fantastic. Really good job, Curtis. Give us more.
In a recent Chicago Tribune article, Curtis “admits a fondness for homespun recordings that allow for the occasional mistake…”, but I promise you, these “occasional mistakes” are all part of the authenticity of Curtis’ music. Catch him live on Thursday!
- Curtis Evans – “More Songs About Loneliness” Release Party
- Thursday, December 18th
- Beat Kitchen – 2100 W. Belmont
Posted in Chicago, Chicago Events, events, Live Music, nightlife, parties, things to do, Weekend Activities, tagged art, design, Dupe_Design, Emily_Appenzeller, fayth, gallery, gallery_opening, Jim_Licka, Kevin_Delandtsheer, lighting, Relaxocat, Sculpture on November 7, 2008 | 2 Comments »
Direct from Belgium and just in time for SOFA, Dupe Design showcase their modern, sculptural lighting for the first time in the U.S., hosted by gallery owner Jim Licka at the opening of the Volcan Gallery tomorrow night.
Crafted of blown, fused glass and metal, these stunning designs are fresh, fanciful, and definitely eye-catching, providing bright or subtle lighting that creates a warm, welcoming environment. The collection includes innovative, organic forms in varied styles that suspend high like chandeliers or go from ceiling to floor at 8 feet in length. In fact, the piece that I like the best nearly hits the floor.
Dupe Design (short for the name of the family of designers, the Duportails) have been creating specialized sculptural lighting since 1996 with their work primarily available to European interior design firms and installed for use in commercial settings such as restaurants, clubs, corporations, and galleries. The arrival of Dupe to the U.S. is exciting because these pieces can now be acquired here for your home or your business at reasonable prices for one-of-kind, custom made functional art. Design consultant and member of the Duportail family, Kevin Delandtsheer just arrived this week and will be on hand to answer your questions and explain how these intricate pieces are designed, crafted, and installed.
The timing is perfect for those of you who will be attending the SOFA show (see Shlomi’s post here) because the gallery opening is Saturday night after SOFA closes for the day. You’ll also be treated to artwork by emerging artist Emily Appenzeller who created the artwork for the gallery’s opening shown at left, and live music from local bands, including Jim Licka himself playing the unusual instrument known as the mellotron.
Saturday, November 8th at 7 p.m.
Volcan Gallery – 1917 W. Irving Park Rd.
Posted in Bands, Chicago, Chicago Events, concerts, events, Live Music, MP3, music, nightlife, things to do, Weekend Activities, tagged Bands, CD_release, Chicago, Darkroom, fayth, free_download, Inchworm, live_music, Local_Anesthetic, local_bands, lollapalooza, Matt_Baugher, Mike_Holtz, music, Relaxocat on October 7, 2008 | Leave a Comment »
After a couple posts from me about DJ’s, it’s time to shift gears a bit and introduce you all to Inchworm. A local band that I had been hearing about for the last year or so. I even know a few members, but until 3 weeks ago I had never heard them before. So there I was, standing outside the bar and all I could hear was this great voice resonating onto the sidewalk. “Who is that?” It was Matt Baugher, who I’d met the year before and was then part of another band along with drummer, Mike Holtz. Both played Lollapalooza last year, but I had always heard that Inchworm was their gem and work-in-progress.
A gem indeed and really worth a good listen. Don’t believe me? Well, Richard Milne on WXRT featured them recently on Local Anesthetic so take his lead. You’ll hear fantastic music that’s an enduring culmination of blues, rock, folk, and pop – a blend in good measure that will keep you listening. And I have to tell you, I’d never heard Matt sing before and what a nice surprise that was. Moreover, Inchworm is sharing with you by offering NBC Street Team readers an exclusive free download of their EP which was previously only available to “the industry”. Grab this sampling of their music while you can because it will only be available until their official CD release this Friday.
Speaking of the CD release, Inchworm sounds even better live so be sure to hit their CD release party this Friday at Darkroom. If you just can’t get enough, click here to buy their new CD ‘Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing’ on iTunes now!
Come on out, hear Inchworm, meet Inchworm, buy Inchworm a beer to thank them for the free download, and then pick up a CD – all at Darkroom this Friday night!
Posted in Chicago, Chicago Events, events, Live Music, music, nightlife, things to do, Weekend Activities, tagged Darkroom, DJ, fayth, house_music, Jesse_De_La_Pena, music, parties, Relaxocat on September 25, 2008 | Leave a Comment »
A few weeks ago. the NBC5 gang got together at J Bar. What fun that was, and for me there was the added fun of running into one of Chicago’s most well known DJ’s and producers, Jesse De La Pena, who was spinning there later that night. I hadn’t seen him in a long while so it was good to catch up, hear what he’s been up to, and hear what he’s been listening to.
If you’ve ever picked up the Reader or any other Chicago event listing publication, chances are you’ve seen his name and maybe you’ve heard him spin “back in the day” with Liquid Soul, or around town at venues such as the Funky Buddha Lounge, Smart Bar, or most recently, on Thursdays at J Bar. In particular, Jesse has had many shows at Darkroom spinning all sorts of sets, and bringing in a whole host of other DJ’s to spin along with him. This month Jesse celebrated his birthday, and this Saturday, Sept. 27th, he’s going to be celebrating with all of us at his Birthday Bash at Darkroom. Guest DJ’s Major Taylor, Uncle Milty, and others spin too! The Birthday Bash will also mark Jesse’s last set at Darkroom, so be sure to get over there and dance, dance, dance!
Posted in Bar Scene, Cheap Dates, Chicago, Chicago Events, concerts, events, Live Music, MP3, music, nightlife, things to do, Weekend Activities, tagged breakbeats, clubs, dance, DJ_Icey, dj_sets, fayth, free_downloads, Keith_MacKenzie, music, Relaxocat, Smartbar on September 23, 2008 | 3 Comments »
DJ Icey just sent me an email reminding me that he touches down in Chicago this Friday at Smartbar. I downloaded his recent Sirius radio set that also promotes his upcoming show and I’m taking a break from dancing around to share it with y’all. First off, you too can hear his Sirius radio set for free by clicking right here or by clicking on the flyer for his upcoming show, “5 Dolla Bill Y’All”. Yes, that’s right, the show is just $5 bucks at Smartbar this Friday night! I want to add that DJ Icey’s aim is to bring us an affordable show, noting that nowadays it can be costly to go out, drink, dance, and party. Thanks Icey, we love you!
After my disappointment with Moby’s Lollapalooza after-party set over a month ago, I’m doing the happy-dance because DJ Icey is coming to town, bringing his style of spinning which really does keep you moving on the dance floor, and not just at the same bpm. His musical influences come from all over the musical landscape, so look forward to innovative breakbeats, hip-hop, funk, loops, drum & bass, vocals, a little Latin, and a touch of rock ‘n roll. Seriously, it’s great dance music.
With a myriad of releases on Zone Records, DJ Icey is internationally known and currently touring around the country and around the globe. His current release, “Offshore Jedi”, is on pre-release at ITunes. We Chicagoans get a perk at Smartbar since his show here has a fantastic line-up of four other DJ’s, including a set from Keith MacKenzie. Get a sampling by listening to DJ Icey’s recorded set that includes a mini-set by Keith, or tune in to his show, “Automatic Static”, Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10 p.m. CT on Sirius Radio, channel 34.
- DJ Icey, Keith MacKenzie, & more: “5 Dolla Bill Y’All”
- Friday, Sept. 26th – $5 cover all night
- Smartbar – 3730 N. Clark (click for map)
- Hear the free set – click here!
Posted in Chicago, Chicago Events, events, parties, politics, things to do, Weekend Activities, tagged art, fayth, Finch_Gallery, John_Gossage, Karen_Hoyt, opening_reception, photography, Relaxocat on September 18, 2008 | 2 Comments »
Last week, I happened to meet Nicholas Freeman, Executive Director of the Finch Gallery. The conversation didn’t begin with talk of art or his gallery, but rather friends, L.A., and some clubs. Later, it came up that his gallery has an opening this week. What came of that chat was my introduction to the photographer, Karen Hoyt, and now I’m pleased to introduce her to you.
Some cultures believe that a photograph captures one’s “spirit”, thus some believers do not allow photos to be taken of them. Others believe that the best photographers have the ability to capture a subject’s spirit in a meaningful, insightful way. It is the photographer’s eye and sensitivity that best captures those images. Karen Hoyt definitely possesses the qualities of both vision and sensitivity and you can see that in the images she produces. On Sept. 19-20 the Finch Gallery will be hosting opening receptions for “Presidents of the United States”, a photographic exhibit of Karen Hoyt’s photographic work.
This body of work has been captured on film, not digitally, which is quickly becoming a lost art. The portraits are photographed candidly in the city, depicting urban African Americans in urban life. Also, Karen’s show is accompanied by a catalogue//book of the same title, and co-authored with John Gossage, a renowned photographer known for his books and photographs on urban environments.
Karen Hoyt’s work will be on display from Sept. 19th to October 25th, with opening receptions this Friday and Saturday from 6-11 p.m. Join me there on Friday, or see the work at your own leisure, but definitely see it.
- “Presidents Of The United States” by Karen Hoyt
- Presented by the Finch Gallery from Sept. 19 to Oct. 25
- 2747 W. Armitage (click for map)
- Receptions Sept. 19 & 20, 6-11 p.m.
Posted in Chicago, Chicago Events, events, parties, Shopping, Weekend Activities, tagged Andersonville, art, candelabras, design, fayth, functional_art, glass, Haus, home, interiors, Joseph_Ivacic, Relaxocat on September 17, 2008 | Leave a Comment »
Candelabras bring to the imagination a vision of Beethoven playing the Moonlight Sonata on a grand piano with a candelabra on top, or a roam through a big castle with a candelabra’s flickering candles lighting the way. Maybe I’ve watched too many movies? Candelabras provide the warm light of many flames burning together, enhancing a mood or environment. I say all that, but I don’t yet have one, though that may change soon.
This Friday the work of artist, Joseph Ivacic, will go on display at Haus in Andersonville. Joseph’s chosen medium is glass and this particular display entitled, “Things Left Behind”, presents us with beautiful glass candelabras. His candelabras are intricate yet simple, delicate yet substantial. They evoke a feeling of the Renaissance period though they are modern in a way that can enhance any room. I might need to have one and you might too!
As a conceptual artist, my work reflects my interest in nature, current events, relationships and the human condition.
Haus specializes in the integration of art and design for the home by providing handmade, unique, and limited production furntiure and home accessories.
Each piece we select reflects the sensibilities of modern design and the timelessness of traditional craft.
There will be an opening reception with refreshments on Friday, September 19th from 7-10 p.m. and the work will remain at Haus throughout September and Octoer.
- Jospeh Ivacic’s Candelabras at Haus
- 5405 N. Clark (click here for map)
- Reception Sept. 19 from 7-10 p.m. – work on display Sept. and Oct.
Posted in Chicago, Chicago Events, things to do, Weekend Activities, tagged art, Department_Of_Cultural_Affairs, fayth, Kurt_Perschke, Red_Ball_Project, Relaxocat, Rich_Prouty on September 15, 2008 | 2 Comments »
Maybe you’ve seen it in passing, near your office, or in your neighborhood? It’s a huge red ball and it is also artist, Kurt Pershcke’s, Big Red Ball Project moving around this month throughout Chicago. If you haven’t seen this moving art project yet, there’s still time and a number of locations to have a look and even a nudge.
The Red Ball is exactly that, but it stands 15 feet high, has a weight of 250 pounds, and is constructed of inflated vinyl. Not your average red ball. It has been moved around within a number of cities in a number of countries, and in September it has been making guest appearances at locations around this city. Among some of the previous locations are Millennium Park, the Spertus Institute, and the Grant Park underpass. The next stop is Union Station at Jackson on Sept. 17th with other locations until the end of the month. My friend and I (thanks for the photo, Paula!) visited the Red Ball at LaSalle and Wacker, but unfortunately I couldn’t nudge it since it was wedged up against the top of the bridge.
It’s interesting to see the Red Ball, not only for the ball itself, but the people looking at it from the street, in cars, going by on boats, on bikes, etc. If you stop and watch, you’ll see all sorts of facial expressions and remarks in passing. It makes for fun people watching and interactive art. I happened to overhear someone who thought it was a Target ad. It is not, but Target and the Dept. of Cultural Affairs sponsored the project in Chicago which provided funding for the associated costs of having a moving art installation. But the Red Ball has had quite a lot of traveling experience before Target’s involvement. A nice touch to the project is a clever little “flip book” that you might be able to pick up from one of the project’s team members. Local actor, host of Improv Match Game, and Red Ball Team member, Rich Prouty, gave me mine and hung-out for a photo!
For a schedule of Red Ball locations and more information, visit Red Ball Project: Chicago
Posted in Bands, charity, Chicago Events, chicago fashion scene, concerts, events, fashion, Festivals, food, Live Music, lunch, music, nightlife, Shopping, things to do, tagged Air_Water_Show, Beat_Kitchen, Beta_Boutique, Bucktown, Cobra_Lounge, cook-off, fayth, firemen, Goodbye_Satellite, Lincoln_Park, Relaxocat, The_Saps on August 14, 2008 | 1 Comment »
The Air & Water Show is cool, but for some it’s a time to find things to do away from the crowds at the lakefront. And I’ve ideas that will have you entertained around town.
The Beta Boutique’s 6th Semi-Annual Stacked Racks Sample Sale is on this weekend in Bucktown. They’ve added men’s clothing to the sale, so fashion savvy gals AND guys can enjoy savings of 40-90% off. Unfamiliar with the Beta Boutique? It’s a year round sample sale featuring local, national, and international designers. They’ve got a large temporary space for the sale, so the racks really must be stacked.
- Beta Boutique
- Temporary sale space: 1552 N. Milwaukee, 2nd floor (click for map)
- Sat, Aug. 16th, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sun. Aug. 17th, 12 noon-5 p.m.
The Lincoln Park Firemen’s Cook-Off is a way to get your BBQ on without stoking up the coals yourself. Engine companies cook up different BBQ’d dishes including steak, pulled pork, and turkey legs. They’ll be competing so expect some good food. There will also be bands, beer, and air show planes flying overhead. This event benefits local firehouses, which ultimately helps the community. Show up hungry!
- The Lincoln Park Firemen’s Cook-Off
- 2500 N. Clark St. (click for map)
- Saturday. Aug. 16th, noon-10 p.m. and Sunday. Aug. 17th, noon-8 p.m.
- Admission is $5, Food $5+ per plate
Music anyone? Local guys and longtime indie rockers, The Saps hit the Beat Kitchen on Saturday. A show-going friend of mine raves about their shows and lately I’ve seen a lot of their t-shirts around town, so it’s definitely worth a check-out.
Some other cool local guys, Goodbye Satellite compete with other bands at the Cobra Lounge on Sunday for an upcoming show sponsored by MTV3. Their Myspace page has them categorized as “rock/tango/punk” – how often can you get your tango with punk and rock from guys coming out of Wrigleyville? Go show your support to get these guys into the MTV3′s “Circo Rockastico” to be held at Metro later in August.
- Goodbye Satellite at Cobra Lounge
- 235 N. Ashland (click for map)
- Sun, Aug 17: FREE show! Doors open at 8
Posted in Bar Scene, Chicago, Chicago Events, events, Live Music, lollapalooza, music, nightlife, parties, tagged after-parties, fayth, lollapalooza, Moby, Relaxocat, Vision_Nightclub on August 6, 2008 | 3 Comments »
It’s been great to read the Lollapalooza posts. But what about the after-parties? We hit Vision’s after-party where Moby spun a 2 hour set. Vision is attached to Excalibur, which made it less appealing of a venue to me. The other side of that is that Vision brings some of the best DJ’s from around the globe to Chicago, including Moby. I had to put my bias aside since he rarely spins in Chicago. Heather (thank you!) helped my group out by providing tickets and VIP access.
With DJ’s there are 2 components: Skill & talent. Moby posses both, but his set was a bit disappointing in the area of talent. He spun an amazingly skilled set of primarily straight-up house music, but he did not utilize much music from his new album, “Last Night” on the international label, Mute Records. It’s with his own music that the very talented Moby shines as a writer of music. The DJ’s that spun earlier that night used a Basement Jaxx loop twice and later Moby spun the same track, so we all heard it three times that night. The song came out in 2000; 8 years have passed since the song’s release. Given that Moby is one of the key forces bringing DJ’s into the mainstream, it would seem he’d bring more diversity to his playlist. His new album stands well above his set that night.
Vision is huge and really well run. Many clubs that hold Lolla parties are chaos in terms of orgainization, which was not the case at Vision. The crowd was going to love Moby no matter what he spun, and it was good that despite how crowded it was, people had room to move. If you decide to go to Vision, be prepared for relatively high prices on covers and drinks, but also be prepared to see some of the best DJ’s spin. Hopefully not the same old song a few times throughut the night.
Posted in Chicago, Chicago Events, Dating, events, Kid's Fun, Performance Art, Relationships, Single in chicago, things to do, tagged art, courier_service, fayth, love, love_notes, performance, Pink_A_Love_Courier, Relaxocat, Wicker_Park on August 4, 2008 | 10 Comments »
I don’t really care for the color pink and I’m not mushy. On the other hand, I love interactive art installations and unique things that make you say, “Wow, that was really cool and now I’m all happy!” So with no further adieu, let me introduce you to “Pink: A (Love) Courier Service”.
In July I found out about some great people that come from Austin, Texas. One of them is the Street Team’s new blogger, Desiree. The other people are artists, poets, and performers that comprise “Pink: A (Love) Courier Service”. What is it? Don’t think about cheesy flowers or cards, neither of which can convey your message. “Pink” is the most unique interactive art (and cycling) project to arrive in Chicago in some time. And time is limited because Pink is only around until August 15th. You absolutely must go because it’ll brighten your day and the day of someone you “Pink”. It’s a courier service delivering your love notes in a bottle. This is not a business so really they do this out of love for their project. They don’t define love for you; no cliche’ cards, no “hearts and flowers” or things that will taint your experience. The experience is one that is not only fun, it is strangely simple and it’s almost confusing (except for typing on a manual typewriter, which was actually cool). Who needs email and text messages for love notes anyway?
Click here to see a slideshow of the Pink experience. A couple of my friends “pinked” people and one of them loved it so much she became a volunteer courier, code name “Cicada”. Show up at the “Love Factory”, housed in Wicker Park. A white room with pink accents and furniture, but NOT girlie or overdone. It’s bright, simple, and inviting. You are gleefully greeted – “Welcome to Pink! Are you familiar with our service?”, follow the pink dotted line, then take time to decide what to type – yes, that’s “type” as in typewriters, not computer keyboards – onto your pink piece of paper. If you need help or guidance, ring the bell on the desk and they’ll help you out, point you toward books of poetry for inspiration or maybe tell you something funny to make you relax. They seem to know that the simplicity is disorienting for some. Once you’re done, make your donation in the jar on the table (this is a non-profit project so don’t be a cheapskate because someone is after all delivering your love), and send your note down the line – don’t forget to shout, “Love on the line!!” – everyone else will too, so do it because it’s exhilarating. Sometime thereafter your message is bottled and delivered by a pink clad volunteer bicycle courier to anyone you want to send some love to within the city limits. Pick up some “Pink” gear – big bottles of massage oil look appealing especially if you consider how happy your love note recipient is going to be. If you’re a guy and think that this is a “chick” thing, you’re wrong. I hung out there for nearly an hour and only saw guys sending notes.
“Pink” is the project of Jaclyn Pryor aka Heffi McHefferson who began “Pink” back in Austin where 2,007 people sent notes. The project then rode off to Portland, becoming “Pink On Tour”, landing here on July 26th. Don’t walk in there like I did and say, “I’m looking for Jaclyn.” because everyone who volunteers there goes by a code name, hence everyone in the room will say, “There’s no Jaclyn here!”. I thought, “Ok, I’m Relaxocat!”. Remember, though this is a service, it’s also performance art. I was relieved to hear from Heffi that she wasn’t a fan of the color pink either. She told me she chose it for many reasons, but the project had her “reprogram” how she felt about it. She was right, the project changed my vibe about the color too. Are you wondering how it’s art? You have to interact with the project to understand, but in simpler terms you can also elect to allow your note to be printed in an upcoming book that they will soon have published. Heffi, Nancy, Prince Pony or anyone in the factory will chat you up if you want to find out more.
- What: Pink: A (Love) Courier
- Where: 2215 W. North Ave. (click here for a map)
- When: Until August 15th – Wed-Sun, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Cost: Free, but please donate to support the project
- More info: Pink and Pink In Chicago
Epicurious.com, the website “for people who love to eat” (like me!) will sponsor From Farm To Table, a fine dining benefit hosted by editor in chief, Tanya Steele. If you’ve never visited Epicurious.com, take a look because it’s a nice site for foodie information including menus, recipes, a food and wine dictionary, and whole host of other goodies. It’s part of the Conde’ Nast family of web and print publications (The New Yorker, Gourmet, W, Vanity Fair, etc), so there’s high quality content and it’s easy to navigate and find what you’re looking for.
From Farm To Table will be staged at one of my favorite Chicago restaurants, MK with co-hosts chef Michael Kornick and pastry chef Amy Sampson. Though there’s tons of well publicized, trendy, tasty, and upscale restaurants in Chicago, I still wander off to MK as often as I can for the reliably fantastic food, casual yet attentive service, and delicious deserts. Fresh and delicious dishes featuring farm fresh produce and ingredients will be showcased along with paired wines for what is sure to be a fantastic gastronomical event. Proceeds from the benefit will help feed the hungry by being donated to America’s Second Harvest, which is the largest hunger relief network in the U.S. Tickets are $125, but that isn’t really much different from what you’d spend just going there and the proceeds do go to charity. To purchase tickets, click here!
Posted in Bar Scene, charity, Chicago Events, events, Live Music, music, nightlife, parties, things to do, Weekend Activities, tagged AIDS_benefit, dancing, fayth, outdoor, Relaxocat, Sofo_Bar on July 19, 2008 | 2 Comments »
Sofo Bar, “The neighborhood bar south of Foster” has it’s 2nd Annual Dance on Sunday, July 20th! This will be a particularly fun event because it’s an outdoor dance party sponsored by Malibu Rum, Jameson, Miller Light, Sofo, and its two sister joints, T’s and The Glenwood. As you might’ve read in the Reader, The Glenwood was voted the 2008 “best bar for mixed company” and Sofo keeps in step with a jubilant, friendly, mixed-crowd scene.
Partial proceeds from the event will go toward the Chicago AIDS Marathon, so you’ll be contributing to a good cause while dancing in the sunshine all the way past sunset to some of Chicago’s well known DJ’s including DJ Greg Drescher, DJ Michael Serafini, DJ Chris Eterno, DJ Psycho-bitch, and DJ Dave. I’m especially looking forward to DJ Psycho-bitch’s set between 6-8 p.m. because she puts together some fantastic mixes of tunes you know and love, but with her sense of the right bpm that keeps you moving. And in case you’re wondering, she isn’t a psycho or a bitch, but one of the friendliest DJ’s around and she’s also got a regular monthly gig at the Holiday Club, so be sure to check out her spinning sometime.
- 2nd Annual Sofo Bar Dance
5025 N. Clark St.
$10 cover / 21+
Posted in Bar Scene, Chicago, Chicago Events, events, food, Live Music, music, nightlife, parties, restaurants, things to do, Weekend Activities, tagged Arman_Razavi, Cat's_Meow, fayth, lounge, Music_101, opening, Relaxocat, restaurant, West_Town on July 18, 2008 | Leave a Comment »
DJ promoter, underground scene innovator, owner of recording label Music 101 (DJ Derrick Carter is on the label), and former owner of Mad Bar, Arman Razavi opens his new sleek yet laid back, bi-level restaurant and lounge, The Cat’s Meow, this weekend. The official grand opening bash is Saturday, July 19 with a live set by FFM (Sombionx) which should have you going to 3 a.m.
If you’re interested in checking it out even sooner, there’s an “under the radar” opening and birthday bash for Dion Antic tonight (July 18). Who’s Dion Antic? He is a Chicago impresario known for his former hot spots such as the old Harry’s Velvet Room, Iggy’s (remember how cool the original Iggy’s was?), Fahrenheit, and Bar 13, to name just a few. Utter the password “hairball” at the door and you’re in!
The new West Town hangout will feature a martini menu developed by Chad Johnson, who formerly bartended at Bungalow Lounge and Debonair, and innovative Americana dining options priced under $20 which will include a weekend brunch featuring filet mignon eggs benedict. Yum, yum! I hope the Bloody Mary’s are good too. And since it’s summertime, the other good news is that there is also a 100 seat outdoor space.
- Friday, July 18 – soft opening, utter “hairball” at the door
Saturday, July 19 – grand opening!
2700 W. Chicago Ave.
Posted in Bar Scene, Cheap Dates, Chicago Events, events, food, Live Music, MCA, things to do, tagged al_fresco, cocktails, fayth, lounge, MCA, Penninsula_Hotel, Relaxocat, terrace on July 17, 2008 | Leave a Comment »
Fayth (aka Relaxocat), NBC5 Street Team
It seems that “terrace” is the alfresco buzz word this summer when it comes to lounging outside. Take for instance, “Tuesdays On The Terrace” at MCA and “Indulge On The Terrace” at The Peninsula Hotel. Both are decidedly different from each other, but both are lovely, so I’m thinking, “Why not?” If you happen to be looking for some outdoor cocktails in the early evening, check them out.
(And you thought all I ever do is go see bands!)
- Tuesdays On The Terrace: At the Musueum of Contemporary Art you’ll find the terrace and sculputure garden behind the museum itself. If you’ve ever been to the museum’s “First Fridays” event, you’ve probably stepped out onto the terrace to get away from the crowd of hook-up desperados. Fear not! “Tuesdays On The Terrace” is a much more relaxed crowd with live jazz, cocktails, and a dinner buffet ($18 – reservations recommended) or lighter fare from Wolfgang Puck’s cafe, called (of all things) Puck’s. You can relax on the terrace or make your evening more chill by picnicking on the grass of the sculpture garden. Check out who’s jazzin’ on their website.Every Tuesday until Sept. 30 / 5:30-8 p.m.
MCA – 220 E. Chicago Ave.
Reservations for the dinner buffet are recommended – (312) 397-4034
- Indulge On The Terrace: The Peninsula Hotel is a five-star hotel and well worth a visit even if you are a Chicagoan and don’t need a hotel stay. Check out their penthouse terrace lounge adjacent to the Shanghai Terrace restaurant. The upscale lounge has recently decided to become a bit more “user friendly” for those of us city dwellers and rolled out what they are calling, “Indulge On The Terrace”, meaning they are open Monday-Saturday between noon and 11 p.m. for light dining and cocktails. There are complimentary hors d’oeuvres between 5-7 p.m., Mon-Thu and with drinks such as “Shang-ria” and “Zen-Green-tini” paired with small plates such as Asian Ceviche and Sesame Shrimp Toast, I’m sure you’ll feel like sticking around taking in the ambiance. If you’d like to go visit, but aren’t sure if you want to blow a bunch of bucks, try going on a Monday evening for “Chicago Industry Night” from 5-7 p.m. where you’ll indulge in half priced cocktails, free hors d’oeuvres and DJ sets.The Terrace at The Peninsula Chicago
108 E. Superior
Reservations by calling: (312) 573-6744
This weekend brings us fireworks, BBQ’s, and lots of celebrating. Save some time to see two great bands at Reggie’s Rock Club. This Saturday, July 5 come out and have a wild time with The Chop Tops and The Gravetones!
On their “My Curse 2008″ U.S. tour, The Chop Tops come to us from Santa Cruz, California with revved up psychobilly and a splash of surf/punk. Hear tunes from their fourth and latest CD, “Triple Deuces” as well as some of their older releases.
Better yet, go earlier and hear the fantastic Chicago band, The Gravetones playing their own style of psychobilly (see my post from June 19). I can tell you after their Beat Kitchen show last month, I’m sold on their music, their fun show, and the rockin’ good time one has when seeing them play. The Gravetones’ singer, Scary Larry, is a horror flick fan, so their sound has a little spooky, ghoulish flavor to it that adds to the fun. If you see him after the show, compare notes on your favorite scary flick.
So, show your independence this weekend by hearing something different, revved up, and fun!
Some weekends are better than others. More often than not, it’s because of the people you spend your time with. Last weekend I had a great time thanks to fellow NBC5 Street Team members, Tom Kolovos and Chasity Johnson, a bunch of friends, and members of the band The Gravetones!
- Thanks to Tom Kolovos for visiting the trunk show at Shibuy Hada! It was a pleasure to meet you!
- Thanks to Chasity Chaos and to her friends for joining the rest of my friends at the beach bonfire on Saturday!
- A huge thanks to The Gravetones for joining me and the crowd on Saturday for the bonfire, and for the shout out to the NBC5 Street Team in the middle of your fantastic set on Sunday at Beat Kitchen! Great, big crowd and so much fun!
…The Gravetones! Didn’t you know? One day while checking out new music, I stumbled upon this band that reminded me a bit of The Cramps and The Ramones. On a visit to their Myspace page, I noticed that they list Elvis, The Damned, and 45 Grave (among other bands) as their influences and I knew that the music would be something worthwhile. And it is!
There are a lot of bands in Chicago – and I like a ton of them – but, over the years the music that I’ve found to be high energy, made you aggressive and upbeat at the same time, and had a unique, but familiar sound, were dominantly from other cities or other countries. The Gravetones are a Chicago band and I couldn’t be more pleased about that. They’ve been around for quite a while with various band members, but I think they’ve nailed it with the current lineup and the new CD, “Dig It” on the Criminal IQ label.
No one has an excuse for not catching them live because they have two upcoming shows on two sides of the city. This weekend they open at Beat Kitchen on Sunday, June 22nd and next month on Saturday, July 5th at Reggie’s. Despite what many think about bands that aren’t the average bar scene/rock band sound with a neighborhood fan base, The Gravetones are a welcoming bunch of guys who have a humorously macabre style that makes psychobilly-punk accessible to the playful macabre in anyone. Come out on Sunday!
Posted in Bands, Live Music, music, tagged Bands, Christian_Death, fayth, goth, London_After_Midnight, metro, Reggie's, Relaxocat, Subterranean, These_New_Puritans on June 13, 2008 | Leave a Comment »
Aside from the arrival of the UK band, These New Puritans at Subterranean, this weekend seems to be the time to get your goth on. Specifically your L.A., old school goth with some local flare as an opener. I know some of you are grimacing and thinking, “Oh gosh, those people”, but really it’s just music with a certain sort of sound albeit darker than your average rock bands. Besides, a little black-on-black fashion never hurt anyone. One of these bands were among the first in the genre way before goth was goth. The other band was part of the goth resurgence in the 90′s. Coming to us from L.A. this weekend are London After Midnight tonight at Metro and Christian Death with local guys, My Cold Dead Hand on Saturday at Reggie’s. Also on Saturday at Subterranean is the non-goth and long awaited U.S. arrival of the UK band, These New Puritans.
I read a joke today with a funny little photo, “Emo is goth for [sissies]“. This music is definitely not for sissies. For some goth humor, check out the BBC series, “Goths” here.
At Metro on Friday, June 13th:
London After Midnight (LAM) was formed in the 1990′s by Sean Brennan. Some critics believe the goth revival in the 90′s was led in part by LAM, though Brennan shuns the idea that he is “goth” and comments that he finds the generalization artistically limiting. He probably feels that way because it does bring stereotypes to mind, yet he is outspoken on many social and political issues such as animal rights, environmental concerns, and liberal politics. I noticed some photographs of him in what appeared to be leather pants, but the captions read “No, the pants and shoes are not leather”. Sean is a vegan and truly supports animal rights, though it took me a minute to figure out the reason for the captions. The recently released album, “Violent Acts of Beauty” on the Metropolis label shows that politics are on Sean’s mind lately with tracks such as “Republic” and “Feeling Fascist”. I believe this is London After Midnight’s first Chicago appearance ever.
At Reggie’s on Saturday, June 14th:
Christian Death was formed in 1979 by Roz Williams at age 17. Remember, this was at the start of the Reagan era, so many punk and goth bands were formed with anti-conservative foundations. The following decade of Christian Death’s music became quite confusing, involving two bands using the name, another band name with some of the same members, and over the years 30 band members in and out with at least a half dozen spin off projects. Rozz died in 1998 and Valor Kand continued the music. The band is considered one of the founders of the early goth genre, while other people consider the music deathrock due to the heavily guitar driven sound. Like LAM, they now seem to send a political message in many of their songs. Their new work sounds much more produced, stylized, and more accessible to a broader audience. It’s definitely not what it used to be – not the scarier stuff from their good ol’ days. On the other hand, for some former or future listeners, it could be a worthwhile show to see since it is rare to have them here in Chicago. Furthermore, local band My Cold Dead Hand opens, and they are a rockin’ bunch of guys who have been in the Chicago music scene for years. Currently finishing their first recording with Volume Studio in Chicago, MCDH is influenced by Birthday Party, The Stooges, Tones on Tail, Bauhaus and My Bloody Valentine. In other words, and according to the band, “The end is near.”
Also on Saturday, June 14th:
If you’d rather hear a new band that might be the forefathers (and mother) of their own genre, how about checking out the UK band, These New Puritans? This big beat, Brit-punk, somewhat electronic, and generally great four piece band is influenced by an eclectic mix such as Wu Tang Clan, The Fall, and Sonic Youth. To me, music is subjective so I can’t even begin to explain it to you in better terms, but they’re far better than usual post-punk sounds with a definite style of their own. Get a listen to the tracks “Numbers” and “Elvis” at the band’s Myspace page or watch the YouTube video Swords of Truth. The album “Swords Of Truth”, released in May on the Domino label is definitely raucous, so I’m sure the live set will be worthwhile and will have you screaming for more.
Monday is often the day of rest for people who go to a lot of shows. However, Belgium based Styrofoam is playing at Schuba’s on Monday, so if you’d like to relax with some happy, yet lyrically interesting electronica, this might be just the show for you.
Touring ahead of his sixth CD release, “A Thousand Words” due out on June 24th on the Nettwerk label, Arne Van Petegem arrives with his indie/electro-pop sounds known as Styrofoam. Arne has collaborated with a number of international musical artists and has remixed for bands such as Death Cab For Cutie, The Postal Service, and Jimmy Eat World. I was surprised to see that Styrofoam has such a vast North American tour since the music is more well known in Europe, but I certainly am glad to see that the music is getting around.
I picked up an earlier, self produced Styrofoam CD about two years ago after hearing the track, “Front To Back”. That track has a particularly nice musical transition not often found in electronic music. Arne and I passed emails last Friday right before his show in Cambridge, MA – literally an hour before his show – and I asked him if he planned on playing “Front To Back” at Schuba’s. He graciously and modestly wrote that he has only performed that song a few times live with Andrew Kenny, the original vocalist featured on the CD. He went on to say that he cannot imitate Kenny’s “smooth R & B stylings “. I think it’s great that he found the time on tour to email me back and to give kind credit to Andrew Kenny. Aside from Styrofoam’s fun music, I’m betting that Arne is just a good guy. That combination is what is going to get me out on a Monday night.
Fayth (aka Relaxocat), NBC5 Street Team
Happy Friday everyone! I know a lot of gals are headed out to Sex And The City parties, but there’s no way I’m going to miss Firewater at the Empty Bottle. And the guys are going along too, so we’ll just wait for SATC on DVD or take a pass altogether.
Front man Tod A, formerly of Cop Shoot Cop, is back on the road, but this time he’s touring with Firewater. “Back on the road” could mean a lot of things when you’re talking about Tod A. Prior to the fall release of the album The Golden Hour on local label, Bloodshot Records, Tod was adventuring around the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent for 3 years. Armed with a mic and laptop, he picked up an amazing amount music from around the globe. Don’t just take my word for it, check out the YouTube video about it or read the press release from earlier this month.
What’s the new music like? A great, big, diverse sound – a little Balkan, a little Eastern, a little punk, and completely rockin’. His vocals have been compared to Tom Waits and some say Tod A continues where Joe Strummer left off. But to me it’s like someone melodically growling in your ears and it sounds so good that you’re not even aware that you’re being insulted.
Seriously, you must see Firewater at the Empty Bottle tonight. If you check the band’s MySpace page you’ll see that there’s a gigantic list of band members, so I spoke to Heather over at Bloodshot because I wasn’t sure how many band members would be on stage tonight. She let me know that the band has been touring with six members from around the world and the U.S. If you went to SXSW, you might have seen them there.
So, while the girls may be out celebrating SATC with Cosmos, the guys will be celebrating the arrival of Firewater at Empty Bottle! Have a fabulous weekend everyone!
Many of you have heard by now that the Children’s Museum is attempting to move into Grant Park at a leased land rate of $1 per year for the next 99 years. The museum is planned at over 100,000 square feet on tax-payer owned land, and admission will be charged to enter the museum. Grant Park has been protected from privatization by the “Burnham Plan” for over 172 years and is owned by the City. Hence, it is tax-payer owned land. If this plan goes through, you have paid to let a private organization have the land virtually rent-free.
I spent my childhood here in Chicago. In the time between then and now I’ve spent a lot of time in other major metropolitan cities and lived in Los Angeles most of my life until moving here and calling Chicago home for over a decade. It is important to appreciate here what most major cities do not have – beautiful parks in an urban area. I hope all of you appreciate what we have, and if you oppose the privatization of part of Grant Park, please visit www.savegrantpark.org where you can sign the petition opposing the move or find out other ways in which you can help preserve Grant Park.
The proposed plan was approved by the Planning Commission earlier in the month, but the plan still needs Zoning approval before it can be fully executed. This is currently scheduled for review at the City Council meeting to be held on June 5, 2008. It should be noted that should the plan be approved, the City is going to be sued based on the aforementioned privatization of public, protected land. This will mean more tax dollars spent to protect what is already protected. For more info you can visit my blog, Relaxocat Says.