Posts Tagged ‘Bands’

Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

The Chicago Horror Film Festival runs this weekend (9/25-9/27), prepping you for all the gory, slutty fun of the Halloween season with such features as a horror fashion show, “I Want to Hear You Scream” and “Zombie Pinup” contests, and of course, some deliciously disgusting horror films. Hosted by Mr. Willy and his beautiful minions, the festival promises to make good on its promise for “babes…blood…booze”.


But wait, you say, it’s not even October yet! St. Alphonsus’ famed Oktoberfest has got that covered. Their traditional celebration continues the heritage of the original German immigrants who founded St. Alphonus in 1882, updated with top local bands, activities for kids, and beer, beer, beer.

If that sounds a little too traditional for you, there’s always the No Pants Party at Crobar on Saturday… which is exactly what it sounds like. No pants (or skirts!) allowed. Attending in your  undies gets you in for free, no cover all night long.


Email me at llodewyck@nudehippo.com with your favorite under-discovered events, and check out my reports with Nude Hippo  at NudeHippo.com and NBCChicago.com

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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team

Whether or not you’re a music junkie, the opportunity to see Grant Park transformed into a playground for party-goers is entertainment in itself. The third annual GALApalooza event is only one week away, giving guests an exclusive sneak preview of the Lollapalooza event grounds in a VIP fashion. NBC-galapush2

Outdoor lounge seating, cocktails and creative nibbles – you just might forget there’s actually a concert to watch. Lollapalooza artist Vampire Weekend and Chicago sensation Hey Champ will take the stage, in addition to performances by Park District Kids and DJ White Shadow.

Friends coming in to town for the music filled extravaganza? The James Hotel is offering a special overnight package on August 6 which includes two general admission tickets to GALApalooza, overnight accommodations in a king guestroom, and valet parking at The James. Rates start at $579. For more info or to book a room, visit www.jameshotels.com.

GALApalooza takes place on Thursday August 6th at 6 p.m. at the Petrillo Band Shell in Grant Park. Lounge experiences are available at the $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 level and single tickets are available for $150. For more information or to make reservations, call Alison Krzys, Director of Communications for Parkways Foundation at 312.742.4807 or visit www.parkways.org.

Since 2005, Lollapalooza and GALApalooza have raised over $4 million dollars for Parkways, which directly impacted Chicago’s neighborhood parks.

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Fayth, a.k.a Relaxocat, NBC Chicago Street Team

Soul pioneers, Wiley And The Checkmates, hit Chicago on Saturday, March 28th at Hideout.

These guys are the real deal — true pioneers of Delta soul bringing you serious booty shakin’ music from the deep South.

Click here to read the rest of this post on nbcchicago.com.

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Fayth a.k.a. Relaxocat, NBC5 Street Team

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!

  • Inchworm CD Release this Friday, October 10th
  • Darkroom – 2210 W. Chicago Ave. (map)

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Fayth (aka Relaxocat), NBC5 Street Team

…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!

The GravetonesThere 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.

Dig It!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!

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Fayth (aka Relaxocat), NBC5 Street Team

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:
Pants and Shoes are NOT leather!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:
These New Puritans 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.

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Maureen Vana, NBC5 Street Tea

Apocalyptica brought Chicago an evening of hair tossing metal complete with matching skull thrones, a clear acrylic drum set, and…. four cellos. The band who gained notoriety with their string renditions of Metallica songs has long moved on from a cover band to an original force. The group has worked with a variety of guest artists including Dave Lombardo (Slayer) and Ville Valo (HIM) and is currently on tour with their sixth studio album, Worlds Collide.

See photos from Apocalyptica at the House of Blues Chicago

Apocalyptica at the House of Blues ChicagoThe group played primarily new material from the recent US release including tracks “Grace”, “Ion”, and “Last Hope”. Other original material included “Bittersweet”, “Betrayal/Forgiveness”, and covers of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”, “Seek and Destroy”, and “Nothing Else Matters”. A combination of the band’s energy and humor made the hour and fifteen minute set slip by leaving us all wanting more. Apocalyptica played two encores for the craving fans and left the stage with a bow and hi-fives to the crowd.

Sunday evening was an exciting break to get a dose of metal with something a little different from the guitar ruling genre. Apocalypica’s mix of classical beauty with the speed and edge of hard riffs transformed on stage to an experience unlike hearing them on CD. After witnessing these Finnish rockers live I can strongly say, yes, I would like some distortion with my cello please.

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