Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tom Schraeder's Chicago Lovefest...literally. (Chicago I Love You Festival Sept 1 to Sept 30 at Lilly's))

I've known Tom Schraeder(of Tom Schraeder and His Ego) for about a year now. I know a few things about him. He prefers no to be called "singer songwriter. He is NOT a fan of the recently disco band Muse, and when he sees something he can do to help people out, or in general make things better here in Chicago, he does it. That's a very admirable trait. I saw him organize the music for a benefit for The Boys and Girls Club and heard artists who played it say, "sure anything for Tom". Tom thought to himself, wow there no lengthy Chicago artist based festival that allows all forms of artists to showcase their work. So what does Tom do? Tom puts on a festival himself.
 Chicago I Love You is happening this whole month of September at venerable Chicago bar/venue Lilly's  , 2515 N. Lincoln Ave,  who are equal partners with Tom for Chicago I Love You. Chicago here's your chance to show the musicians,  artists, photographers, filmmakers,writers,comedians that you really appreciate what they do. Thanks again to Tom for being both forward and up thinking on this one. He has invited Dedicated Ears to be one of the blog sponsors and I couldn't be prouder. More exact details to come, but there is a basic frame work below of this great festival

Calendar of Events - Chicago, I love you / September 1 - 30
9.1 - Launch Party featuring 10:00 Tom Schraeder / 11:00 Stoop Goodnoise / 12:00 Natureal
9.2 - Announced August 25th
9.3 - 9:00 - 92 Tales / Bailout Pictures / Y La Bamba (dj set from Portland)
9.4 - Earphoria Open Mic 7 - 9:15 / 9:30 Songwriters in the Round featuring: Derek Nelson / Julie Meckler / Gia Margaret
9.5 - 9:00 Wednesday Jazz Series w/ Corbin Andrick featuring Nick Broste Trio /
9.6 - Comedy Night: Danny Kallas / Kenny DeForest / Adam Burke / Natalie Joe / Jason Folks
musical guest - 11:00 The Microphone Misfits
9.7 - 10:00 Grandkids / 11:00 The Kickback / 12:00 Audiences / Announced August 25th
9.8 - 10:00 Sarah Holtschlag and The Crosscuts / 11:00 Mike Fleming and The Berwyn All-Stars / 9:00 Ty Maxon
9.9 - 9:00 DJ Pat Sansone / DJ Mark Panick
9.10 - 9:00 Windy City Story Slam w/ Alex Bonner
9.11 - 7:00 Earphoria Open mic / 9:30 "Songwriters in The Round" featuring Matt Kerstin (Brighton, Ma)
9.12 - 9:00 Wednesdays Jazz Series celebrating Chicago, I Love You with Corbin Andrick and guests
9.13 - 10:00 Mike Levowitz / Megan Gailey / Jamie Campbell / Liza Treger / Stan Morrow / Jason Folks - 11:15 NRG Ensemble
9.14 - 12:00 Magicks / 11:00 Moritat / 10:00 Ami Saraiya and The Outcome / 9:00 Gabe Liebowitz (Dastardly)
9.15 - 12:30 -3:00 DJ Matt Roan / 12:00 ZiPS / 11:00 The Canoes / 9:00 Nick Miller and The Neighbors / 10:00 Edgars Legzdins (Plane) / 8:00 Lilttle Light
9.16 - 10:00 Ronnie Kwasman (Margot and The Nuclear So and So's)
9.17 - 7:00 Earphoria Open Mic / 9:30 Songwriters in the Round with Gabe Liebowitz (Dastardly)
9.20 - Joe Fernandez / Anthony McBrien / Matt Riggs / Charlie Bury / Jason Folks
musical guests - 11:30 Natureal / 9:00 Weeping Willows
9.21 - 11:30 Brighton, Ma / 10:30 Bears of Blue River / 9:30 Clip Art / 8:30 Will Phalen
9.22 - 10:30 When Clouds Attack / 8:00 Rego / 12:00 Moxie Motive / 9:00 For All The Sweet Children / 11:15 Distant Cities
9.24 - 9:00 Tribute to Letterblue Productions featuring Act Naturally / Tom Schraeder / Q and A's
9.25 - 7:00 Earphoria Open Mic / Songwriters in the Round featuring Jeremy David Miller announced August 30 / 11:30 Rambos
9.27 - James Fritz / Caitlin Bergh / Bob Palos / Joe McAdams / Jason Folks
musical guest - 11:15 Bumpus
9.28 - 11:00 Glass Lux / 9:00 Glad Fanny / 12:00 Volcanoes Make Islands / 1:00 Bob Rok
9.29 - ego? Announced August 30th
9.30 - ego? Announced August 30th

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Bears Of Blue River - Dames (album review) Released Oct 2011

Chicago's Bears Of Blue River are back again with an album full of  hummable pop songs which utilize equal parts indie and 50's era rock-n-roll. Fronted by Gavin Wilkinson, the Bears are in a raucous mood on tracks like the album opener "Boy Toy".  The first lyrics Gavin sings are, 'As I left the Polish bar, you got up and out your car you looked up at me and with your eyes you swore at me' to which Margaret Alexandra Gard replies 'You foolish little man, with your life set to plan
spend some time with me and a few tricks you will see', as two lovers who are together in spite of each person's shortcomings. The raw choruses of 'Good Spark' create a full sound, as this track has a bit harder edged guitar. My favorite track is the closer, 'Blue Ribbon', which is a track the band has had around for some time as a single of sorts. Gavin sings 'And I tried hard and I got barred and it sure was a lesson, a story I'm addressing. Undressing I need from some nice thing, a prize little jewel to prove I'm no fool.'  Dames has a really good balanced sound, and features the attention on the band and not the production.

I have seen the Bears Of Blue River play with almost every band configuration, and they are a band well worth seeing.
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