Saturday, April 19, 2014

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Friday, April 18, 2014

24 Jul 12 - Producers Summit

Hey, blogspot readers, give SouthSide a beat! Tonight, at the Guitar Center (located in Lincoln Park/Lakeview area) was the site for a special yet intimate gathering where indie producers near and far (as in St. Louis, MO) received some helpful advice and insite about being a producer as well as battled their best beats against each other in front of Grammy Award winners, S1 (Symbolic 1) and Rhymefest along with Stephen - Rhymefest's engineer. This was an extremely rare chance and opportunity for those up and coming producers of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and sex to be a part of this Producers Summit. The FREE event was presented by Music Industry Workshop in conjunction with The Guitar Center featuring Brand Aok (of iStandard Productions) hosting and taking on the moderating duties during the Q & A session throughout the open public event.

After a brief welcome to the session by the manager of this Guitar Center Location, Rhymefest opened with a brief history into his rising career as a Battle Fest rapper (noting that Chicago has the best Battle Fest rappers) trying to make a name for himself which included winning a battle against Marshall Mathers (aka Eminem). His connection to Jay-Z and many others began with his connection with Kanye West who was making beats for him because at the time, according to Rhymefess, no one wanted to hear Kanye rap. Soon he was signed to a major (R&B) label however became indie to learn more about being a producer and the craft with Kanye. Besides music, many voters in Chicago should recognize this artist because of his run for the aldermanic race in the 20th ward against Alderman Willie Cochran. Though unsuccessful, it did put this hometown producer in the media spotlight about his passion for community activism to which he currently felt has more of an impact through his new venture - Project Moses with Symbolic 1. Not really going into too many details, Rhymefest did hint that this organization will create its own label as well as sign indie artists to it.

Meanwhile S1 (or Symbolic 1) offered a quick look into his 15 years as a producer which started off making beats for Strange Fruit Project on an indie level before working full-time. Then he met and started collaborating with Little Brother for a while which led up to his meeting with Kanye West via Rhymefest whom he sent a sample of his beats who in turn had Kanye check out. According to S1, "...relationships are so important ...the relationships you build will help in your journey in this industry..." For S1, his journey over the last 15 years has been built on making good connections (ie relationships) around other artists that he had the chance of meeting. Lastly, Stephen, a man of many few words, spoke rather briefly about his career as an engineer and mixer but that didn't stop Rhymefest for truly highlighting how much appreciated this person was to him. The artist stated that Stephen besides being an engineer also had a brilliant mind not just for how music and instruments should sound (has a rock band) but for the business side of the industry too. According to Rhymefest, he has written proposals for him calling the engineer his "...partner..." For Rhymefest, he was able to see a different prospective of music as a business than just producing beats for Jay-Z or Kanye or Beyonce et al.

Now it was time for a brief session of Q & As amongst the participants in this crowded back room and the first question was about how to maintain relationships. Both artists highly recommended to everyone that they be "...a man of [their] word ...follow through if [they] promise something, then do it..." Doing this certainly shows what kind of person you are to others who might in turn tell others and so on and so forth. S1 also added  "...doing small things and being kind..." to the mix. Meanwhile, Rhymefest also highlighted the point if someone does you wrong, don't go with the impulse to snap on people which brought up the follow up question - how to handle a situation when someone has done you wrong. He suggested considering how to use that situation as leverage to your advantage and/or knowing when to walk away from the relationship with your services and pride in tact. Also he advised, if considering the non-profit route, find what you're interested in or want to promote. "...[you] do not have to do everything what people do..." Both agreed that you have to make music "...that's special to you musicians, we're suppose to be starting trends not be controlled..." That is something SouthSide can agree with. "...if you make music, be a leader and have the followers follow you..."

The next question dealt with on how to handle the direction of a song from different points of view. It was advised that having strong communication and discussions ...thus trading and creating concepts and ideas to build a song. Rhymefest stated that as a writer he's open to edit and has full trust (as well as faith) in the producer, artist, etc. It was suggested that many young musicians and producers don't know how to handle this to which you need to be mature and professional. Then it was asked what was the difference working with major label and indie. Symbolic 1 said there are similarities but with an indie artists it's easier to get your money up front compared to the major label since there's a network of people who have to sign off on your check. According to him, depending on the artists, creativity is cut out and all because of - technology. "...everyone wants you email, pick and then demo the track..." while with indie artists "...[there's] more creativity..." because you're able to work closely with them. Another asked S1 since he was from out of state how did he make relationships outside from where he was from. Jokingly he replied there's " much I can do by staying locked in a room..." yet at the end of the day, it's all about that one beat. And since he wanted to put himself out there, he began entering events and showcases despite spending money he didn't have. But it was necessary if he wanted to take his career to the next level. His advice was " and maintain relationship" Before taking a break for two separate producer battles, the last question asked was about how production had changed over the years. Back in SouthSide's day (and yes, she's dating herself again), there was no software just hardware (ie think of that episode of Everyone Hates Chris when he wanted to be a DJ) for creating beats. S1 being sort of old school he didn't want to switch to software after getting quite familiar with his V8Fx soundboard and sampling tools but did switch over upon discovering the sound was greater and was able to manipulate different sounds better.

Just because it as Rhymefest and S1 judging the producer battles, don't think the battling contestants were treated lightly, Oh no - these two artists offered honest and constructive criticism (as SouthSidewould do when reviewing a show) to each of the contestants on what they could do better to how to improve, add, subtract, etc from the sample heard, blogspot readers. Here's a sample of what happened in round 1:  Blitz Beatz was first to which S1 said it was great but it need some tweaking and limit stock sound while Rhymefest stated it was really good however the intro was too long. It didn't have the same build up as the drop. Next, representing the ladies, was Michelle and her track - S1 said it had too much going on (at once) to which she needed to make sure each sound had its own space and identity while Rhymefest wondered (as an artist) if he could rap over it saying the track didn't have enough groove to rap to. There was Treymaine (this reviewer apologizes if name is misspelled) to which both judges liked a lot. Rhymefest began rapping his opinion about the track in time with the beat and declaring it the winner with Blitz Beatz as runner up. Other battle contestants included Buggin' Beatz (the track didn't have enough umph to take it anywhere though loving the pianos used) and Stadium Status (the drums stood out amidst the melody but also needed the right sounding drum beat for this particular track). How does one make the drums harder? "...know your monitors ...know how drums are suppose to sound..."

Here's a sample from round 2: Abliteration took the spotlight with his track to which Rhymefest said it sound like sounds were clashing together ...there was no personality and S1 said he needed to understand (as well as play with) the EQ ...clean everything up, buld it and clean to improve - beware of the instruments. Stephen commented "...instead of adding ...cutting to what the human ear can hear..." Then there was Foo and his track had the a unique drum beat but no groove to which Rhymefest advised that producers should know how people move (ie look at what drugs are popular) meanwhile S1 though liking the track had to agree with Rhymefest since he too was expecting it to go somewhere. J-Hush was next and he received compliments about his track because both judges immediately recognized that he's a producer who knows how to mix very well. According to Rhymefest, the track demonstrated his professionalism and S1 said the song was ready for airplay. Again both judges like the track by Matthew in which S1 said it was "...dope..." because it was "...a real feel good track..." showing his musicianship and Rhymefest liked how the music made him feel because of its vibe stating we needed more producers and music like his. Also battling in this round was Joy (needed more element [ie melody] in her track was too plain though having some style) and Black Norris (both agreed the track was a hip hop joynt though a little dated with the drums). Winners for this round were Matthew and Foo but everyone who attended this session wanted their music to be heard and judged tonight though sadly couldn't due to time constraint.

In the end, blogspot readers, it was a very informative though brief look into the world as a producer within the music industry. One, she hopes, each participant learned something to improve as well as better their craft.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 2012

Hey, blogspot readers, don't let rainy showers stop your from rockin' this April calendar full of events, tours and shows happening around Chicago and elsewhere. All shows/events listed are automatically presumed 21 and older unless duly noted.

April 1st - Listen to friend Sid Yiddish on WGN AM radio between 7a - 7:30a or online at
Check out this video - Trailer for Sid Yiddish doc

SouthSide officially starts the month at Red Line Tap to celebrate with friend WhiteWolfSonicPrincess at their 10 + 1 CD release party! The fun begins early at 4p. FREE

Then head to Double Door with SouthSide for April Fool's Day Fan Appreciation Show! For a small cover fee of $1, you can check out friends The Walking Shadows, Veritae, and Paragon along with The Persistence Memory, Still Searching and The Chinese Professionals rockin' the stage.

Everyone's A DJ featuring Anthony Cozzi (of Radar Eye) rocks Empty Bottle. FREE

Turqoise Jeep and The Rectar Crew will be at Reggie's Rock Club. 8p

April 2nd @ Martyrs', Vic's Drum Shop hosts Virgil Donati Drum Clinic. All Ages / 6p / tickets are $12 -
@ Bottom Lounge - Kid Savant rocks the stage. 8p

@ Hard Rock Cafe - singer/songwriter showcase featuring SouthSide's friend Matthew Alfano (of Mason's Case). $5 / All Ages

@ Uncommon Ground (Devon location) Geri X and Leslie Hunt will be performing there. 8p

April 3rd @ Reggie's Rock Club - friend Cyanotic rocks the stage opening for Faderhead.

@ Metro - Ting Tings return to Chicago to perform

April 6 @ Reggie's Rock Club - friend Ovrevolt will be rockin' the stage with new material at a late show with one of the most ferocious pioneers of industrial metal comes back to Chicago - BILE! 10p

@ Bottom Lounge - Live Salsa World Series featuring Angel Melendez. 8p

@ Elbo Room - Beneath The Stares will be headlining the lineup that will feature Labirinto (from Brazil) opening.

@ Club 38 (243 W. Roosevelt RD, West Chicago) - it's Kriz's Hollywood Sendoff /EP release party! Help SouthSide's friend get a good start on the road to Whiskey A Go Go where he'll be performing on April 21st!

April 7th @ Double Door - it's Spaghetti Wrestling and Chicago Outfit Fundraiser! The Chicago Outfit Roller Derby team will be hosting this event to raise money for their opening season as well as collecting non-perishable (canned) food for Chicago Food Bank. doors 9p / $7 ($5 with food donation)

@ Elbo Room - friend 20 Mark Helga rocks the stage along with The Unemployed Architects, The Heroic Charade and Brother Nature.

@ Goose Island - The Banana Convention with The Ewing Theory, Audio Content, and Adrian Krygowski will be performing.

@ Underground Lounge - Thunderunderus performs with Lords of the Trident.

@ Empty Bottle - Mannequin Men will be sharing the stage with Outer Minds and Summer Girlfriends featuring DJs Tood Hozac and Sriracha. 10p / $8 (FREE with RSVP)

@ Bobby McGees - friend Pipedream rocks the stage.

@ The House Cafe - friend Old Shoe with Bonzo Terks and Sneaky Gene will be performing.

@ Club 3160 (3160 N. Clark) friend Jesse Charbonier will be making his northside debut with two solid shows celebrating Billie Holiday's birthday and her legendary music. RSVP 1-773-327-59-69 or

April 8th @ Mellow Yellow restaurant (Hyde Park) enjoy a special Jazzy Easter brunch with Jesse Charbonier.

April 10th @ Double Door - Raspuntina and Daniel Knox will be rockin' the stage. $15 adv / $17 dos

@ Mojoes (of Joliet) friend A.D.D. will be rockin' the stage.

April 12th @ Smart Bar - Wolfpack presents April Showcase featuring Silkie (live) and debut of Space Race aka Nameloc, Zebo Bandit and more. $5

@ Ultra Lounge - We Killed The Lion (read their debut review from March 16th at Elbo Room) featuring The Blind Pets (from Austin, TX) and The Mantras (from Greensborough, NC) will be sharing the stage.

April 13th @ The Rave - friend Losing Scarlet shares the stage with Shinedown and Adelitas Way. All Ages show

@ Canoe Club Lakeside Grill (Summit, Mo) friend Oakhurst will be there performing live.

@ The Q - friend Once A Pawn along with Pharmacy Spirits featuring Lil P and Sharen Cox will be performing on stage.

@ Schubas - friend Mr. Gnome (Ohio) returns to Chicago.

@ Metro - friend Trampled By Turtles (MN) returns to Chicago featuring These United States in the lineup.

@ Neo - it's Amnesia - Remember party

@ House of Blues (Chicago) - How Far To Austin will be rockin' the stage.

@ Shark City (Glendale Heights) it's the Battle of the Effin Rock Semi-Finals! Cheer on friends The Steep Chops and Illusions Fate as they battle each other and Negative One for the spot in the Finals.

April 14 @ Metro - friend Adora has their CD release show.

@ Empty Bottle - it's the Windy Soul Club. Chicago's rare soul dance party. $5 / 10p

@ SubT (Subterranean) - Artist Growth Presents "Celebrate The City" featuring Secret Colors, Go Long Mule, Red Tail Ring and Deserters.

@ The Burgundy Room (215 E. Washington ST, Waukegan) friend Thunder Driver will be sharing the stage with Felony 4 and Luciferum.

@ Reggie's Rock Club - come to Gearbox Fantastique II with SouthSide and see some amazing, death-defying feats and villainy by friend V Is For Villains!

@ Abbey Pub - Kid A returns to the stage!

@ Founders Brewing Company Tap Room - friend Furious Frank will be sharing the stage with Poor Ol' Jim and Northern Skies.

April 15th @ Elbo Room - check out SouthSide's friend from UK Capelle as they share the stage with Maris Maeve and Thick Leather Brick.

April 17th @ Double Door - your last chance to see friend from UK Capelle rockin' the stage with Cheer Up Moon Cat at this $1 show.

@ Mojoes - friend Blood On The Dance Floor will be entertaining their legion of fans at this All Ages show along with Broken Clyde and Deuce.

April 18th @ Double Door - friend Bambi Raptor with Chains of Love will be rockin' the stage.

April 20 @ Elbo Room - friend On Your Marx will be rockin' the stage with Empire Lines.

@ Goose Island - sing Cherry Cherry and Sweet Caroline with friend Neil Diamond Philips as they return to the stage with Visionaire.

@ Bottom Lounge - it's the monthly meeting of Nocturna with a special band performance at midnight featuring friend DJ Scary Lady Sarah!

@ Double Door - Soul Summit presents FREE dance party with Soul Summit DJs and special guests.

@ Joe's Bar on Weed ST (940 W. Weed ST, Chicago) friend The Steel Chops will be opening for Country rocker John Eddie.

April 21st - Besides it being SouthSide's birthday, it's also Record Store Day! Visit and support your local record store today.

@ Elbo Room - friend Luring Thieves headlines this lineup featuring Cobra Lanche, Thieves & Rivals and Fox Deluxe.

@ Old Town School of Music - CHIRP Radio presents Ami Saraiya and The Outcome.

@ Mojoes (of Joliet) - friend Skinwalker opens for Sepultura at this All Ages show.

@ Cubby Bear (Wrigleyville) - friend Bootsy Collins will be brinin' the funk, y'all.

@ Cubby Bear (Lincolnshire) - friend Losing Scarlet will be performing with Cold Steel (NE) and Arcane Framework.

@ Old Settler's Music Fest (Driftwood, TX) - friend Gaelic Storm will be performing new material from upcoming album Chicken Boxer (due out July 31).

@ Whiskey A Go Go - check out friend Kriz performing at this legendary venue.

April 22nd @ Empty Bottle - it's Books, Booze and Brunch (not necessarily in that particular order).

@ Ace Bar - friend Kelsey Montanez along with Adam Faucett, K. Serra and Thee M.T.'s will be be performing.

April 25th @ Double Door - friend Mos Scocious will be sharing the stage with Maitri, Deep Fayed and Fadrbooste (headliner).

April 27th @ Glencoe Union Church - attend an evening of classical guitar featuring the works by such composers Bach, Debussy, Mertz and more performed by friend Ben McMunn, Jesse Langen, Ron Stark and others. The event is FREE but donations to help benefit the People's School will be accepted.

April 28th @ The Viper Room - check out friend 28 North performing on stage there.

@ The Mutiny - it's Chicago's Punk Night featuring Dick Finger and The Larroquettes at this FREE show.

@ Reggie's Rock Club (late show) Last Rites present Earthen Grave with violinist Rachel Barton Pine on stage along with Question of Madness and Deep Space Riot at this 17+ show.

April 29th @ Soldier's Field - SouthSide will be participating with many others at the American Cancer Society's Walk and Roll raising funds to fight all kinds of cancer. Will be posting more information soon on how to support her and/or donate to this cause.

@ Dirtroom (located inside Double Door) - Akasha presents Simmer Down Sunday with DJs The Graduate of Illuminati , Rad Brian of Impala Sound and special guests TBA at this FREE show.

April 30th @ Elbo Room - I AM Fest Battle of the Bands begin!

Also happening this month:

Every Wednesday at Elbo Room, it's The Local Music Showcase - Free admission

Damaged Thursdays rock Ultra Lounge on April 12th featuring Matt Szlachta (of Chimera) and Tom Richmond (of In The Weeds) and on April 19th featuring DJ Erik and Bobby Miller (of Black Actress). RSVP at for no cover

Intelligence Squared US Debates will be posing the question - "WHEN IT COMES TO POLITICS, THE INTERNET IS CLOSING OUR MINDS" on April 17th. FOR - ELI PARISER
Author of The Filter Bubble & Board President and JOSEPH TUROW
Professor of Communication, Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania. AGAINST - JACOB WEISBERG Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, The Slate Group and EVGENY MOROZOV
Internet Scholar and Author, The Net Delusion. TICKETS ARE $40($12 for students) and can be purchased online at

The Claudettes will be making rounds this month:

April 5 @ Founders Brewing Company (Grand Rapids, MI)

April 6 @ Papa Pete's (Kalamazoo, MI) with The History Channel House Band

April 7 @ Inside Out Gallery (Traverse City, MI)

April 19 @ The House Cafe (DeKalb, IL) with The Mutts

April 20 @ The Livery (Benton Harbor, MI) with Chuck Jagers

April 21 @ Flint Local 432 (early ALL AGES show) and Churchhill's (late show) with DJ Michael A.

April 26 @ Cowboy Monkey (Champaign, IL) with Temple of Low Men and Cameron McGill

April 27 @ Black Sparrow (Lafayette, IN)

April 28 @ Plurals (310 E. North ST, Lansing, MI) party and show with Hat Madder

friend Great Barrier Reefs will be performing on April 5th at Honest Pint (Chattanooga, TN) and on April 8th at Huey's Midtown (Memphis, TN).

friend VOA (Voice of Addiction) will be rockin' the Pickups Bar (Lynwood, IL) with The Royal Sons of a Guns and The Ruiners on April 20th and on April 28th will be performing in Sheldon, IL with Mitress and The Haunts.

Friend Phantom Tails will be touring this spring too!

April 6 @ Frank's Power Plant Milwaukee, WI

April 7 @ Crown Tap Room (Logan's Square) Chicago, IL W/ Los Vigilantes

April 10 @ Silk City Philadelphia, PA

April 11 @ XPO 929 Broadway Brooklyn, NY

April 12 @ Trash bar, Brooklyn, NY

April 13 @ Springfest WSBF Tiger Park Clemson, SC

April 14 @ Flatiron Greensboro, NC w/Fort Wilson Riot

April 17 @ Melody Inn, Indianapolis, IN

April 21 @ Kitty Kat Club - MPLS, MN w/ Dial-up, Buffalo Moon, Slapping Purses

Until next time, support your local scene,

Monday, April 14, 2014

8 Dec 12


“...he’s [Adam] cheating on us with another band...” ~ JB of A Friend Called Fire

Hey, blogspot readers, tonight they were rockin' the stage for a good cause. Local musicians and artists as well as fans gathered together at Elbo Room recently for Chords For A Cure IV to raise money for the Leukemia Research Foundation.

This annual event was started a few of years ago by Jon Allegretto (lead vocalist and guitarist of A Friend Called Fire) as way for his band and others to give back to the community and also to bring fans and music together under a relaxing atmosphere while raising funds for a good cause.

“...a lot of stuff [that] we do keeps the community in mind...” according to Jon when SouthSide interviewed him before his set.

After the death of his grandfather and friend to cancer, it seemed like a no-brainer to him in how he and other musicians within Chicago’s local scene take time out from busy schedules and help others. In the past events, half of the moneys raised would go to leukemia research and the rest to someone they knew. Now, all of the proceeds is donated to the Leukemia Research Foundation.

“’s a grassroots organization and they’re excited about this event...” Jon stated also adding, “...[it’s] a nice thing to do..."

Gunnar's Daughter Gunnar's Daughter

This event has been staged at the acoustic lounge (upstairs bar floor of Elbo Room) but this year, Jon wanted people and musicians to have more room while listening to hot acoustic/alternative rock performances. Tonight’s lineup featured Xoe Wise, Gunner’s Daughter (check out this band’s electrifying thrill ride of a song title Thunder Road) and John (drummer from Board of Governors) performing on guitar with Robyn Starkey with Jon and JB from A Friend Called Fire. DJ Orange Crush closed out the event with a DJ set.

A Friend Called Fire_4 A Friend Called Fire_2

SouthSide was about to check out the 2/3 version of this local trio known as A Friend Called Fire where this unique performance was made up only a guitarist (Jon) and drummer (JB). Though missing their bassist (Adam Powers also Talent Buyer of Elbo Room), the duo rocked out the stage with a fine yet powerfully energizing set featuring songs like New Shadow, East Town and single The Lightning in which the audience was treated to moving yet heartfelt display of harmonizing vocals as well as lively, upbeat rhythmic tempos and hot drum and guitar solos. For example during the bridge of Drain You, there was a fiery Latin tango between guitar and drums that added a lot of hot, spicy flavor. Meanwhile during The Lightning, there was a moment of calmness to highlight Jon as lead vocalist within this emotionally heartfelt and soul-searching type of song. The song itself was performed dramatically to accentuate the mood and tone of not only the music but the lyrics too. Even its downtempo rhythm, you could still feel the passion and fire within until the very end. AFCF’s performance also included two hot renditions of Dion’s (with The Belmonts) Runaround Sue and Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb – one of the best cover versions heard which gave their fans and audience one electrifying finish to their set.

A Friend Called Fire_3

For more information about A Friend Called Fire, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

February 2013 part 2

Hey, blogspot readers, here are MORE exciting shows/events happening locally and elsewhere during the month of February. Please note: all shows are 21+ unless stated otherwise.

Daniel Knox has a Hideout residency (every Tuesday night) during the month of February. The first 3 nights, he and the band will be performing the Disaster Trilogy in its entirety – Disaster, Evryman For Himself and the un-recorded Chasescene. For his Feb 26 show, he’ll present music set to projection along with photographer John Atwood.
All shows are $5 / 9p

Feb 1:
The Burlington Bar – Made By Man, Bring Your Ray Gun , Boy Blue and Worrier will be rockin’ the stage

MultiKulti – it’s the Flabby Dabba Doo Album Release party!

Feb 2:
Q-Bar (Darien, IL) – Chicago’s only tribute band to UFO, Strangers will be rockin’ the stage here performing songs off albums Obsession, Lights Out, Strangers in the Night, Walk on Water, Force It, Phenomenon and No Heavy Petting

House of Blues – Papadosio brings their The Future Forest Tour to the stage

Feb 5:
Preservation Club (Knoxville, TN) – it’s Skytown Riot vs The Blue Heavy duking it out in this unique $3000 Scruffy City Band Eat Band competition. Good luck, guys!

Feb 7:
Beat Kitchen - It’s Tomilinson’s Half Birthday show in which the band, Cobalt and The Hired Guns will be debuting new songs too. The lineup also features Jessie Torrisi & the Please Please Me and Witchfeet

Double Door – Jack Rabbit will be joining the lineup that features Private Instigators

The Burlington – Pre-Valentine’s Day fun, music and love featuring El Mejor, The Particulars and Jan King & Medicine Ball rockin’ the stage

Martyrs’ – The Brooklyn band Miss Tess & The Talkbacks will be performing here

Township – The King of Power Pop, Paul Collins along with Little Boy Jr, Blizzard Babies and Scoundrel will be rockin’ the stage

Feb 8 & 9:
House of Blues – React Presents welcome the return of England’s aggressive dubstep electro producer – Feed Me along with his production With Teeth and Estonia’s Mord Fustang
17+ / visit for tickets

Feb 8:
Wise Fool Pub – it’s the Bad Bad Meow Takeover featuring Kez Ban and Teenage Rage

Lee Street Games & Sports Bar Inc (Des Plaines, IL) – Cream fans check Badge as they rock the stage with an ALL Cream 3-set show!

Chris Northland Tavern & Grill – SHIMMER while shining and dancing to Shoegaze and Dreampop with Scary Lady Sarah and Philly Peroxide
FREE (before 10p) / $5 afterwards until 2a

Whites Bar (Saginaw, MI) – check out Mason’s Case before the band leaves for tour in March

Bird’s Nest – check out Steph & 7 Cents along with Apollo House, John Scarpelli and Zach Wcislo performing on stage

Feb 9:
Congress Theatre – Coheed, Cambria, BTBAM and Russian Circles will be illuminating and rockin’ this ALL AGES show

Bungalow Joe’s (Hanover Park, IL) – Hellwagen will be rockin’ the stage here

Vibe at 1935 (Highland Park, IL) – Borrowed Time celebrates the band’s first jam of 2013

Jerry’s Wicker Park – it’s a special birthday celebration for the legendary Bob Marley featuring live reggae by Rasta Kelly and the Mix with Rad Brian and DJ Papa G

Feb 13:
SPACE (Evanston, IL) – Aryk Crowder opens for national touring artist/guitarist Joe Robinson
tickets are $10 - $18 / visit

Kaufman Center (New York) – featured debate of the month by Intelligence Squared – Should we prohibit genetically engineered babies? 
Imagine a world like the movie Gattaca (starring Jude Law, Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman) where kids are designed to be and grow up genetically free of diseases and parents get to control their son’s or daughter’s height, eye color and intelligence. The reality of that particular movie happening now is closer than you think. Choose your side and cast your vote online.
For: Sheldon Krimsky and Lord Robert Winston
Against: Nita Farahany and Lee Silver
visit for tickets

Feb 14:
Logan Square Auditorium – it’s the Chicago Reader’s 4th Annual Anti-Valentine’s Day Party featuring The Hood Internet, Fly Honeys, Words from Our Loves, Words from Our Exes and Tess from Slo’ Mo

Empty Bottle – it’s Handlebar Tin Year Anniversary Party featuring Pink Frost, The Runnies, Touched by Ghoul, Melina Ausikatis, and Old Black & Blue Eyes with Gel Set DJ
FREE with rvsp (sorry individual rsvp’s only NO plus 1’s) / $8 without rsvp

Feb 15:
The Mutiny – Queer Fest America Benefits Broadway Youth Center’s Education Department. Offering a safe place for LGBTQA and/or youth experiencing housing instability from the ages of 12 – 24 years old, this event will help BYC’s educational department. Attendees are asked to bring backpacks, school supplies, pens, pencils, etc. There will be music performances by queer hip hop/rapper Ripparchie, Cold Country Salty Peters, Kez Ban and the acclaimed LGBTQ artist Tony Jones

The Frequency (Madison, WI) – it’s the Local Love Fest 2013 where Venus In Furs will be rockin’ the stage during the 1st night of this 3rd annual event. It also features other local artists including a reunion set from Way Off The Horse. The first 100 people at the door will receive a copy of this year’s limited edition Local Love Fest Mix Tape

Nite Cap – it’s the Voodoo Queen (aka Yvonne Loveland) / Jeff Iverson’s (of Spinning Red) Birthday Bash featuring Angry Mixtape, Lye, Sinister Fate, Spinning Red, Deadman’s Hand and Today’s Wreckage

Joe’s Bar – The Casey Donahew Band will be performing here
$10 / 8:30p showtime

Metro – it’s Nocturna’s annual New Loves & Broken Hearts Ball featuring request-driven music (current and classic) from industrial and post-punk to ethereal and more. Plus there will be a fashion show at 1a and The Artifixer selling corsetry and other fine steampunk artifacts
18+ / 11:30p til 4a / $10

Feb 16:
Red Line Tap – 312 Presents Nora Jane Struthers of Barefoot with the Mike Meo Trio and Mad Bread
$7 adv / $10 dos

Fitz’s Spare Keys – it’s the 7th Annual Drunky Monkey Pub Crawl

Feb 17:
SPACE (Evanston, IL) – Emily Hurd introduces her new band, Stone Blood Valentine, at this record release brunch party
Tickets are $12 adv / $15 dos / $22 for reserved seating

Portage Theatre – there’s a screening for Julia’s Smile (a film by Eric Mattson)
doors – 4p / showtime – 5p / PG-13 with a runtime 80 mins / $5

Feb 18:
Boiler Room – it’s Local Focus Film Festival. Enter your film and/or video at

Feb 19:
Double Door – check out Chicago Music Magazine’s Spotlight/Local Pulse Monthly Music Industry Showcase! “...putting together lineups that [CMM] believe are some of the best emerging talent from Chicago and around the world...” this month’s lineup features A Friend Called Fire, Hypodrive and Ozwald Bozwald (both from NY), and Boots With Spurs 
$7 adv (go to for tickets) / $10 dos

Feb 20:
Double Door – Social Focus returns to the stage opening for A Man Called Noon’s CD Release show

Feb 21:
SPACE (Evanston, IL) – New Orleans Suspects featuring members of legendary touring acts The Racliators, The Neville Bros and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band performing live on stage at this ALL AGES show
7:30p / tickets: $12 - $24

Feb 22:
Township – Ormen Lange, An Aesthetic Anaesthetic, Droughts and Zaius will be performing here

Feb 23:
Goose Island Brew Pub Wrigleyville – check out this lineup featuring Walking Shadows, Counting 10, Apollo House and The Pipe Dreams
$8 dos / $5 pre-sale

Feb 24:
Fitzgerald’s (Berwyn) – it’s the Sixth Annual After Brunch Bash featuring music and family barn dancing performances by country/swing group The Teflons and bluegrass outfit Sunnyside Up

Until next time, support your local scene,

Sunday, April 13, 2014

01 Mar 13

Vintage Blue at sound check

Road trip!

Yep, that's right, blgospot readers, SouthSide has embarked on her first ever road trip away from Chicago's local scene for the bright college lights of Madison, WI! And boy, did this reviewer witness some things that she'll never forget. She along with a few fans, band Vintage Blue, a penguin and banana (more about those two in a minute) invaded the dairyland up north to rock out the stage inside High Noon Saloon. This venue, a stone's throw from the Wisconsin's capitol building and University of Wisconsin, offered a certain rustic charm of a Western-style saloon with dual bars on other side. There's plenty of balcony space to sit and observe the floor show below as well as video games (pinball machine too) and pool tables to keep you entertained between bands. And the main thing SouthSide enjoyed the most was High Noon's frosty cold bottles of root beer! Overall, blogspot readers, this place was quite relaxing ...friendly but be forewarned - it's definitely a college party bar too. Many of  U of W students hang out here so do expect some wild party times happening inside this bar like it did on Friday night.

Ifdakar rockin' the stage

Besides, Vintage Blue, tonight's lineup also featured performances by Ifdakar, Evergreen and Asparagii. Sadly, this reviewer wasn't able to stay for the entire show but she did catch part of Ifdakar's wild, tripped out set that not only was accompanied by art in motion but also a penguin and banana rockin' with the other shiny happy people to the eclectic hardcore psychedelic guitar rock, blogspot readers. What can SouthSide say? Except you have to check out this band. Never had she seen a band create instant reaction and motion to their band in a heartbeat ...these college kids (and some older adults like this grandma) were totally electrified and hyped to Ifdakar's vibrant instrumental groove especially during the epic-sounding first song. This reviewer while enjoying the weirdness happening around her (and she definitely means "weirdness") also delighted seeing a local artist creating his masterpiece ...bringing this portrait of a woman to life from the music he felt and (probably) heard from the band and it's digital-wizardry fusion. Each Ifdakar piece performed had its own unique sound, definition, rhythmic tone and more without losing a single melodic beat as it kept this crowd of bodies erratically gyrating (now insert the "weirdness" here) in front of the stage as well as near the back. Whew was somewhat exhausting trying to keep up Ifdakar but they're definitely worth a listen, blogspot readers, especially if it's a live performance.  For more information about this band, visit

"Like to say they had beautiful sax together..." ~ Ben of Vintage Blue
SouthSide highly suggests checking out her new friend, Vintage Blue for the band's heartfelt yet energizing pop/alternative rock that featured harmonizing vocals and a hot horn section to jazz up the band's core sound a little. Only 1 year and half old as a band (that also opened for Sister Hazel during last year's Summer Fest), Vintage rocked the stage with plenty of toe-tappin', feel good music sound that had the audience swaying to the rhythmic beat after opening the set with a rousing organ vibe during Alone. And let's not forget the cowbell (oh, you gotta have MORE cowbell!) adding fun amidst the steady tempo within Here To Stay until the horns blasted vibrantly during Set You Free across the stage to really rev up this dancing audience to life. She was wowed by the harmonies especially from Katie who had some in the audience wanting to hear more from her whenever this vocalist popped the words to life. Now SouthSide isn't big on bands doing covers during their sets however there's always an exception to that rule ...and Vintage Blue was that exception, blogspot readers. This local band didn't simply perform these hit songs like their original composition or as heard on the radio. No, Vintage played around with the songs ...sometimes meshing together a couple of stanzas from a song or two thus turning them into an entirely different song though consisting of the same subject. For example, check out their mesh of eclectic funk/soul/blues while performing Wheatus' I'm Just A Teenage Dirtbag before moving into Fountain of Wayne's Stacy's Mom and then Huey Lewis & the News' Power of Love (which featured the lovely yet soulfully divine Kate on lead). This rockin' mesh definitely had the audience groovin' now ...including a grandma showing off her best moves! Even their closer, Unchained Medley consisted of the original song before hearing David Bowie-Freddie Mercury's Under Pressure and Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby merging into it. Yet what truly made this particular song interesting was hearing the three different songs being lyrically sung individually at the same time. This reviewer recommends listening to Vintage's Speaker (a downtempo song but with enough kick to keep you dancing to the rhythms) and Chicagoan (which had some down home blues mixed by the funk and spunk within the alternative rock sound). For more information about Vintage Blue and where this band will be performing next, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Thursday, April 10, 2014

02 Aug 13 - Honey Island Swamp Band

Cho! Co! (Cajun dialect for "Wow")

Does this band know how to bring the spirit of the bayou to us Yankees!  And if you weren't in the mood to party, then you were definitely at the wrong show, blogspot readers, because this band not only brought a taste of Nawlins with their music to town but also its energy, fun and excitement of the Big Easy for one night only. 

Whenever a band from Nawlins (New Orleans) tours Chicago, you know they're bringing that Canjun energy and spirit with them. This reviewer has seen it before when reviewing The Revivaliststs last year. Honey Island Swamp Band was no different, blogspot readers. In a nutshell, this band had the crowd inside Martyrs' rockin' to the sweet sounds of bayou within the Americana music from start to finish ...nonstop dancing and having a feel good, toe tappin' time that there were times SouthSide just had to stop writing and enjoy the music too. Currently on tour in support of the band's latest release Cane Sugar, Honey Island Swamp Band deliciously delighted their fans as well as this reviewer to a unique music combination known as bayou American. So what is "bayou Americana" you might ask? Well, cherie, it's a new blend of sound in which the members of Honey Island mix together a little smoky blues, a pinch of Southern rock, a dash hillbilly jamboree from the Appalachian region and a whole lot of that Nawlins vibe and feel. Add a bit of Canjun (and some crawfish gumbo) to spice things up  and volia - you have yourself one heck of performance to rock the night away. As SouthSide mentioned earlier, this band came to party, blogspot readers.

Hot is probably not the best of words to describe the atmosphere surrounding the Martyrs' venue, blogspot readers ...especially during an unseasonably cool August evening. Yet, things certainly got off to a steamy and then sweaty start when Honey Island Swamp Band took the stage and it didn't take long for this crowd to feel that toe-tappin' rhythm and upbeat swing. That's how fast Honey Island's music tends to grab your attention. Performing songs like Change My Ways (track 1) or Nerver Saw It Comin' (track 11), you might also get the feeling that songwriters/guitarists Chris Mule and Aaron Wilkinson probably had some sort of "religious" epihanny during the writing process of this album due to the nature of the other tracks featured in Cane Sugar. Somewhere along the way of life's journey, each one of us has had that "oh, yeah" moment. And having that spiritual awakening must have done this dual songwriter team some good, blogspot readers. Because whatever "divine" revelation Chris and Aaron had, it definitely brought out a touch of heartfelt humanity and expression within their vocals to which one (who has experienced what they did especially after Hurricane Katrina) could relate. To be honest, blogspot readers, it was refreshing to hear such emotions being dynamically featured in music so lively and energetic that you tend forget there's a human voice expressing a little remorse, regret and/or lesson learned like in Prodigal Son (track 7). 

Now, SouthSide received a copy of Honey Island Swamp Band's Cane Sugar before going to the show but didn't listen to the CD (or read the press releases) until afterwards thus giving the reviewer a chance to formerly introduce herself with the band, its music and fans within a live setting. And to be honest, blogspot readers, she doesn't know which she liked better - the live or recorded Honey Island Swamp Band but being fair - she highly recommends catching this band live while surrounding yourself with their fans. Something you definitely cannot re-create while listening to the CD. While observing the band interact with the fans and vice versa, she saw there certain moments where those around were having their own private "oh yeah" epihanny throughout the performance to songs like Just Another Fool (track 8) or Cast The First Stone (track 3). What really had this venue jumpin' and jivin' was when they performed the title track - Cane Sugar delighting many sweet tooths to kick up their heels. However, comparing to the recorded side of Honey Island, SouthSide enjoyed listening to the vast music arrangements that contributed to the band's bayou Americana sound from the additional vocals (by Gina and Evelyn) to the harmonica (featured in track 10 - Pills) and banjo (featured in track 5 the recorded version of Cane Sugar). Not saying the live performance of Cane Sugar wasn't up to par, blogspot readers. On the contrary. The CD version had more musical depth featuring that bayou vibe that's highlightig the Americana sound.

SouthSide hopes Honey Island Swamp Band makes a return trip again. Chicago could always use another night of that Nawlins spirit and fun ...especially during Mardi Gras.

For more information about Honey Island Swamp Band and where their tour takes them next, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,