Daily Limerick Sloop's Glantamerous Links
Alphabetical, but otherwise in no particular order. Let us know if you find a dead one. Tell 'em Daily Limerick sent ya'. Bastards. Oh, and tell them to link to us, too--the bastards.
Action Kit. The frontchick dedicated a song to me when I saw them. Oh, and said chick looks a whole lot like the Sinister Intern Who Almost Ruined My Life (see SUNDAY STORY TIMES and, well, much of S&Y, for late 2004/early 2005). Which is a good thing. Anyway... Oh. Their music? It was...kick-ass. Otherwise I wouldn't be featuring them but, to come clean, I don't remember a damn thing about it. But trust me.
Adult Maven. Porn's expensive and, if you're fussy about what you like, reviews can help. And, well, you'll find them here! And you never know who'll be writing them (ahem), as some fairly prominent writers use nom de plumes for this kind of endeavor... Blogs and such, too--on topics like, "How to get your girlfriend to watch porn with you." Check it out! Tell 'em we sent ya'!
All Lift Chairs. (Link exchange.) All Lift Chairs is the premier online source for lift chairs and lift recliners.
Allied Time. [Solicited link exchange--but, hey, if they court Daily Limerick's demographic...] From simple employee punch clocks to sophisticated network solutions, choose Allied Time for your employee payroll needs.
Arlum. Oh, just check 'em out, won't you?
Assimilation. Assimilation, quite frankly, rocks your nuts off. Well, there's honestly no reason to fear for your actual nuts in listening to them. And if you don't possess nuts, they'll still rock you... Perhaps more importantly, they're a fun band. I host a variety/talk show and they more than fit the bill--to give you more insight into just how they are "fun." They're a "standard" rock outfit--guitar, bass, drums--plus trombone. One of their major influences is The Doors but... Well, once I was told that, I could hear it but... It's not like you'll immediately think "The Doors." Otherwise... Well, I was running a show, so I actually have an excuse this time for remaining the Worst Music Critic on the Planet. Otherwise...don't fear for your nuts!
The Automatic Stinging Machines rock in a way that only the Automatic Stinging Machines can. How does a Worst Music Critic on Earth describe them?... A bit like '60s era British spy rock, with an even harder edge. Oh, and they have dirty lyrics, but in a clever way, which is always a plus. And they're a barrel of lubed-up monkeys live, pulling on-the-spot stunts like... Well, calling Chief Limericist's to the stage to sing backup vocals.
Chad Aroo. Acoustic, oft-humorous performer. Like sitting around with a guitar-dabbling friend. Well, a friend who has talent. And his name sounds like a snack food, to boot.
The Author's Guild. An invaluable resource for writers, and an organization worthy of the support of EVERY Slapper Yapper Grasshopper American as we near the First Amendment's overdosing on capitalism.
Bambi Raptor. Bambi Raptor's a fun-ass band that'll rock your ass off. Not only are they more than proficient with their instruments, jammin' the hell outta them, but they pull it off with tunes that are nonetheless catchy. They even engage in some rap-like stuff without coming off as wannabe, 'cause-it's-hip lame! In fact... Well, the Worst Music Critic on the Planet shouldn't push it. If that don't hook ya', I'm not dropping trou...
Ken Barnard. Ken Barnard bills himself as a “performance comic” because… Well, who would you rather be stranded on a deserted island with? A cannibal…or a run-of-the-mill “stand-up comic.” Okay, so at least a stand-up doesn’t threaten your life (usually)…but you had to think about it, didn’t you? Ken… Well, he performed at a show I emceed…and produced. And filmed. Et. al. So I wasn’t able to pay as rapt attention as I would’ve liked to… But he was talking through a megaphone, walking into the crowd, interacting with the audience… In short, doing original, interesting comedy. He’s hilarious, knows how to please a room--and I wouldn’t dare call him a “stand-up comic.” Oh, just see the link...
Bat Masterson plays a swingin' potpourri of early rock, country and even jazz, or at least seemingly so at times. A lot of their stuff is all or mostly instrumental and all of it leaves you bouncing in your seat, at least if you're not standing and/or dancing around. I've had arguments about this many times in the past but, personally, I LIKE when a band has a titular song. In this case, of course, "Bat Masterson." They rock through a catchy instrumental and don't even utilize lyrics 'til the very end, culminating in "We are Bat Masterson!" Like that. Maybe you don't. But the hell with you, anyway...
Aaron Baer. See Dr. Kickbutt's Orchestra of Death (below).
Sloop Biederman and the Magnificent Musical Nut Wagon--at MySpace. Yeah, yeah yeah. MySpace is lame. But we have this, to lure the young hipsters.
Sloop Biederman singing background vocals to "Monster Mash" with the Automatic Stinging Machines. (Video.) Don't think we need elaborate beyond that...
Bird Names. Switching instruments, rockin' ya' silly (and often in a silly manner)--and even sometimes sounding strangely bird-like via music...
Blackbox makes good, dependable, theatrical, never-out-of-style rock. (That's a safe description. It was some time ago I jotted them down on the Entertain Yourself roster and I'm, of course, the World's Worst Music Critic to boot.) When I saw them, they ALMOST, I say ALMOST talked two hot, dancing audience babes into coming up to gyrate onstage. I learned later that the cats in the band don't even drink. So they're balls-out nuts (in a good way, as opposed to an ex-girlfriendy kinda way)--and fueled purely on a rock 'n' roll high. Oh, and these ambitious bastards also have a show on Fearless Radio.
Broadtosser. I’m guessing that this band’s name is some form of feminist statement, as it’s a chick band. Although it could also constitute some sort of reference I don’t “get”--about tossing chick’s salads, or something… What’s important here is that not only does Broadtosser rock, but they manage to rock silly. I present a song titled, or at least refrained, “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” as evidence. Oh, and a chick from the band has (had?) pink hair but manages to pull off something I’d previously thought impossible--actually looking hot with a hair color outside nature’s spectrum!
Chris Bryan. I’m getting sick of wacky cover tunes--yeah, punk band covering Kenny Rodgers, shock-o-rama--but I did enjoy his version of “Gold Digger,” or whatever Kanye West calls it. I have to subtract points, though, because Chris was afraid to sing the word “nigger,” leaving an awkward silence in the refrain. Let’s leave it at this: Chris dwells in acoustic love songs and on the night I saw him, I was in no mood for love songs. But he had me toe-tapping and even noting the brilliance of his lyrics.
Birthday Alarm. An e-card site with some of the funniest (and pithiest) ones around. Well, it's not in its glory days, when many cards were written by some of the most delightful humor writers in need of extra gig money to be found.
Bizarro...is… Well, they live up to their name. When I saw them live last, the lead singer was wearing football makeup and a whacked-out outfit. He, and the rest of the band to a lesser extent, were all over the proverbial place. The show in question was in a two-floor venue and at one point the lead man leapt over a railing on the second floor and came crashing onto down onto the first, where the stage was. Oh, and they do play music. All I recall is that it had what I’d describe to be a “Batman” quality to it. A heavy, distorted, surfy spy kinda mix.
Nick Bognar. Nick Bognar's a dick--and he's always lookin' for some excuse to whip his penis out and... Ahem. Okay, that's not true. Although the idea of someone being a "dick" IS subjective... Anyway. Nick's a great singer/player/songwriter, who plays solo and with band. He's recently released a new CD and it's a ridiculous bargain at $5 a pop. He writes what he lives, and lives what he writes, generating insightful lyrics on topics from ex-girlfriends to no longer getting a buzz from cigarettes. How's his sound?... Well, I don't call myself the Shittiest Music Critic on the Planet for nothing. So it's best that you check the link, below. And, yes, it's a MySpace link and, yes, I know FaceBook and Twitter are all the unfortunate rage now, and Nick has those, too but... Let's not digress (despite the fact that it'd undoubtedly prove more interesting than THIS pathetic excuse for a music review). Oh, and Nick's also an artistic Renaissance Man, of sorts. I'll admit that I know the cat, from live Chicago shows and as a co-hort on the late "Flabby Hoffman Extravagonzo" Internet radio show. He does some emceeing, too, and is a funny guy (in all senses of the word).
Jonathan Brandmeier. Radio personality Jonathan Brandmeier is a legend of Chicago radio--and he’s back on the air! That may not be relevant to most of you but, hey. Perhaps you can listen online--see Sloop’s Glantamerous Links on the site…
Campaign for a National Health Program Now. Pretty much what it's name says. Things are pretty dire.
Capehart. Now, Capehart's a rockin' band, cool guys, all the typical things the Worst Music Critic on the Planet here usually looks for in his Friday picks... But we're only commending them for one thing today: They cover a Rick Astely song. The "Never Gonna Give You Up" one. I'm not sure why that's a good thing, to be honest. Something about Rick is just... Kitschy, doofusy cool, with his cheezy career fermenting a couple decades now. And you don't hear much about Rick, although a Capehart member informed me he was involved with...some sort of New York parade or something, recently? Anyway, Capehart does a delightful, punky version of the tune. One of the few (only?) live music avenues to keep Astely culturally alive these days. I will warn you, though, that when I tried to "friend" the dudes on MySpace, I was informed that I'd need a Twitter account. And I'm resisting the hell out of Twitter and all the Twits it indulges.
Capital Eye. Oooh. Metally/grungy/punky kinda thing--in a good way. Lead singer's hot, small and full o' vim and vinegar. I'm most interested in that "vim," whatever the hell THAT is...
CapWeb.com. A citizen's guide to Congress. Pay attention, slacker ass!
Catsplash. A rockin' band, using "supplemental keyboard" in the way that the few, finer '80s metal/hard rock bands did... Well, story 'bout our Chief Limericist: The last time yours truly, Slooperman, saw Catsplash play, in a show I was hosting, my friend said that the keyboard player, a hot little Fillipina (I think?) number, was showing definite signs of romantic interest in Sloop. I followed up on this a bit later to find that she...is married! (Sorry again for that "hit," Clarissa.) Not that I would've likely gotten involved with her were she not married, because the timing of it all as relative to the Summer of Suck...
CenterStageChicago. Go here when lookin' for the lowdown on cool shit to do in Chicago. Don't you dare go callin' it "Chi-Town," ya' scrunchpuncher.
Chicagopoetry.com… Has poetry. From Chicago poets. What more can I say? More appropriately, when analyzing the content and stuff, what more SHOULD I say? Well… It has linked Daily Limerick. And now we’ll have linked them. Enjoy! (Or at least take a look.)
Chichahahago. A discussion group of Chicago comics. A little chatty, if you like that sort of thing.
Sunil K. Chopra is a pensive, emotive musician whose songs innovatively explore relationships and such. But he manages to pull it off in a helluva rockin' manner. Bastard probably has to wear "chick away" when he goes out, too... And we can't hate him for it because he's not peddling wuss rock!
Jeff Churchwell. Jeff describes himself, ridiculously aptly, as a "darker John Denver." There's hints of bluegrass and banjo and... Hell. The World's Worst Music Critic can't top that
Closet Squatters. Punky with the twist of a fiddle player and a hint of Irishy sound to top it off. I hosted a music show with them andt found out just before the show that they were underage. But nobody carded them so I let ’em play. Oh, and I was turned-on by the chick guitarist’s ankles. And she was underage for alcohol--not… Well, YOU know.
Coffee Connection. Okay, I can't personally vouch for this completely--and our, um, Investigative Unit is, er...off on an early Christmas vacation--so don't come howling to us if there's some unforeseen rip-off involved here but... It looks pretty cool. Coffee Connection is a MySpace-y kinda thing for poets. Poets can, of course, mount a MySpace profile AS poets and do the same kinds of things--post a profile, publish poetry, send messages, give comments, etc.--but this one bills itself as allowing "uncensored" posts, which gives it a leg-up on MySpace. (Although, to be honest, I haven't had trouble posting Sunday Daily Limerick content on MySpace.)
Community TV Network. Nonprofit organization that quite literally invented the Video-as-an-Empowerment-Tool after-school program, with a Chicago Cable Access program produced by inner-city teens, for inner-city teens. Has been known to emply the coolest of folks as part-time grantwriters.
Continental Features/Continental News Service. Syndicate offering Sloop's "The News of Our Time--In Rhyme."
Dino Cortez. I don't know how this all happened. See, Dino Cortez is basically a porn dude. The site is loaded with it. He bills himself as a "body artist" but... Well, take a look. Now, in Googling myself (tee hee), I found that Daily Limerick is linked to Dino's site. Tucked in there, somewhere, a link, or maybe you have to search within that site for limerick... I'm confused as to the particulars, but we're linked to a porn site--and that has us excited.
Dirty Switch rocks. Known those cats a long time. Emceed a show including the band this month and was reminded, after not seeing them for years, how rockin' they are. Plus they dedicated a song to me. They deserve a better write-up, but I'm now amid the Holiday Taint (12/29/2011 as I'm writing this), so this'll do; give 'em a listen..
Danny Donuts. Kick ass comedian/musician. Has a show on Grand Theft Radio (WGTR) and has performed in many shows with Sloop. Has been on he Dr. Demento show, etc. Even helped Sloop get misty one Christmas show (see the 'chives, bastards). Oh, he also has a Web site for his kids' show, Danny's Donut Shop.
Jeff Daschbach. Jeff’s an acoustic performer extraordinaire. And you can tell by lookin’ at him, if you know what to look for. Helpful hint: A serious acoustic guitarist has long-ass fingernails. The better to pick with. Now, if you meet a guy with long-ass fingernails, you may wanna make sure he’s indeed a guitarist. Otherwise, he’s some freak. Not that I should talk but… There are bad freaks and good freaks... He has original music that has a way of rockin’, which is no easy feat for an acoustic guitarist as many of them come cross as background and/or bullfighting music. But Jeff doesn’t. You might call him “Flyin’ Fingers.” Not that anybody else does. But you might.
Dead Superheroes. I'm normally not one for gothy-depressing stuff, nor guys with painted fingernails (even if they ARE painted black), but... This band, a guy and a couple o' chicks with guitar and strings respectively, rock. In a depressing way, sure, but nonetheless...
Neil Diamond Phillips. "Tribute Band," hardly begins to tell the story of NDP. Rather than a Diamond impersonator, he/the band is, to use a term coined by the delightful El Vez, a Neil Diamond "interpreter." Now, The Guy (who has a name I forget, and could look up, but won't right now) does a dead-on Diamond. And his threads are a deligh. (The act focuses mostly on '70s Diamond, as God would intend it.) And he's accompanied by a full-on band that sounds twice its actual size. Funny. Rockin'. And thhen there's his oft-spotlight-sharing band mate, Jane. Jane sings at times--so NDP can do tunes like "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." And she plays instruments. Trumpet, rusty trombone--what have you. On a side note, she isn't afraid to throw back a paczki onstage--gobblin' away, lettin' the jelly fly all over and still goin' to town, why... What were we talking about? Ahem.
Digable Cat. Their music jams and all that, but here are a couple secrets : One, I’ve introduced them at shows and the lead singer babe has stepped on my intro, multiple times. Leading me to refuse featuring them in this space for many moons. Two, the lead singer is somehow transformed from attractive to ridiculously attractive when wearing high-heeled sandals. Oh, and she can really belt out a tune. And as long as she doesn’t step on my “outro,” I guess I’m okay with her…
Dirty Switch. These guys rock, good and crazy, and, most importantly, have a lot of fun doing it. I liked the old school touch of a song called, "Time to Say Goodnight, Gracie" and...and... Okay, okay. I realize I'm the Worst Music Critic on the Planet, so maybe I'll go back to the one-term reviews: Stoney Surf. Oh, and there's a pic of "Spy vs. Spy" on their site... Ahem. Stoney Surf.
Doggy Bag is one helluva band. They rock--but have a distinguished sound. And they’re Europeans, if that means something to you. (Judging from the hot babes who come to their shows, it does. But, come to think of it, those babes are also European. Hmm.) I was gonna do the “right thing,” check the Web site, give you actual song names--and even tell you exactly where they are from within Europe but… Well, the site was under construction and I didn’t feel like going into the MySpace Zone. (Which the also have…you can figure it out from the general site.) They have an especially cool song about New Orleans. And one where they whip out a trumpet to supplement the typical rock configuration…but the World’s Worst Music Critic didn’t take proper notes plus…well, see above. Oh, and perhaps most importantly, they personally asked me to emcee their CD release gig that’s upcoming.
Drama Junkies. Today's edition is even more pathetic than normal, considering this site had a "coming soon" message last I checked. I guess I'll have to rely on my notes...or at least my "notes": They have great vocal harmonies and can not only rock, but can rock tender. (There's a thick line between tossing out a cheezy monster ballad and actually making the ballad rock, in its own way.) The lead singer is hot. A bit short, I suppose, but it somehow contributes to her overall pulchritude. Oh, great voice and presence, too, but... She told me just before they went on that she'd "talk to me afterward." And didn't. So, I'm still waiting, Lisa. And I'll figure out some way for you to make it up to me. It could get complicated, what with the olive oil and bing cherries and...
Dr. Kickbutt’s Orchestra of Death (& Aaron Baer). Aaron Baer is the cat behind Dr. Kickbutt’s Orchestra of Death so, in singling him out as an ENTERTAIN YOURSELF pick, we’re trusting that his solo stuff and other band endeavors are as delightful as DKOOD. They launch into tunes like “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” using not only jug band instrumentation (saws and the like) but a bassoon and other tools from a wide array of musical spectrums.
Echosend. As, well, sorta featured in the Friday "Entertain Me" section. See the 'chives, bastards.
El Vez. Don’t go calling El Vez an “Elvis Impersonator,” although he does a good King. First of all, El Vez doesn’t do strict Elvis tunes--he does versions trumpeting political issues, many geared toward Mexican-Americans, like “Si, I’m a Low Rider.” And he isn’t confined to Elvis parody, or even parody--with a version of “Takin’ Care of Business” addressing the prevalence of Mexican-American laborers and a Christmas album (“Merry Mex-Mas”) with original and traditional tunes.
The Elefents. No slouches when it comes to the art of rockin’, so salute them after the fact--but most impressive and unique about them is the fact that their vocal harmonies are complex, layered and just plain delightful.
Eleven Dollar Life. These guys are just a helluva lotta fun. They jump all over the place, banging into one another there’s so much energy, dance with drunks in the audience (even THOSE types of drunk, whom everybody else shuns), the have Deep Purple-y keyboards and their covers… They announce to the crowd, “We have a new cover”…and the crowd goes nuts. They don’t just DO covers, they…they… Oh, their new one was “Baila Bamba” when I saw c’em and… Oh, just let ’em rock your nuts jingly!
The Embraceables. How does one describe the Embraceables? More importantly, how does one who didn't take any notes on their performance, busy with emceeing the show (and often prone to daydreaming to begin with), and one who, most importantly, is the Worst Music Critic on the Planet, describe the Embraceables? (And cut me some slack here--haven't reviewed music in...has it been months?) Well, from what I remember, the music was simple, but in a good way--melodic, catchy and, most of all, fun. And that's my most important point here--they're more fun than a barrel of lubed-up monkeys and while their music is delightful, if at all possible, ideally you'll see them live. (Probably difficult if you live outside the Chicago area, but recommended in any event.) They all sing and jump about. The lead singer (or semi-lead singer; they all admirably contribute, vocally) chick strapped on a big old bass drum at some point... Oh, the jocularity!
E-Zel. As a strange, perhaps otherworldly coincidence… I pencil in future Entertain Yourself features well ahead of time, as we encounter them, resulting in a consequent backlog. So I was slated to mention E–Zel for this edition and, whaddaya know, E-Zel happened to also be slated as a band in the variety show I emceed last night. Eerie, huh? Well, there was ALSO a full moon! Well, it’s SORTA eerie, ain’t it? Anyway, both times I’ve seen E-Zel, they’ve simply kicked-ass. And they’re guitars boast brilliant harmonies in a way reminiscent of…well, Iron Maiden. Yes, Iron Maiden--got a problem with that?
Feathergun. I've seen them at least twice--and they rock. I do know that the bass player or...not sure, he's in another band, too, and in one of them he plays a stand-up bass. I do know that he's a multi-instrumentalist. A prodigy. A wonder. Or something. So there's SOMETHING on the actual music. The last time I saw them, I fell victim to the ol' "Come on to Sloop hard and give him my phone number with no intention of calling back in order to make the drummer jealous" at the hands of a Feathergun fan named Jasmine... And they have a MySpace, if you're fifteen (we trust you can find that).
Fedora. Fedora bills itself as "folk," although... Well, I've been known to make fun of folk singers, but Fedora is "good" folk. They use an interesting variety of instrumentation, are stoner-y at times, have delightful vocal capacity (both male and female) and rather intricate arrangements. So, it's not the whiny, smelly, hippie kinda folk at all. I'd give you more details but a) I'm the World Music Critic on the Planet; and b) I've plugged another band, Glasko, with the same lead man so... Well, let's leave it at that...
Ferdinand Fox. Nutty, delightfully groovin', semi-funky band. Delightful. Was once called "Ferdinand Fox and the Woodland Creatures" or some such tickly nonsense.
First Round Failure. I guess, since we're supposed to use labels, that FRF qualifies as "pop punk." Nonetheless, they have a distinctively melodic sound, a refreshing jokey presence onstage--and they wear ties. Which is a plus, somehow, coming from someone who typically hosts live music shows in a suit jacket while surrounded by rocked-out fashion. And... Well, in my "notes" on the band, I jotted down "coddle me." Not sure if that was a song I liked or whether I don't remember the events of the evening so well or...
FMI.tv. They're supposed to be broadcasting live comedy--including Sloop--but beware. Much of it is from L.A. comics.
Sarah Freer. Nutty artist (in a good way) with Photoshop-y magic, much of it, er, "paying tribute" to won George W. Bush.
Jena Friedman. A chick who makes you laugh...while feeling a little dirty about it. In the school of Sarah Silverman, etc., she jokes about retards and filthy sex and... That kinda thing. In case you couldn't tell, I'm in a bit of a hurry as I'm filing this edition--but I feel I should've featured her looong ago... And those of you who regularly follow my review...er, stylings may in fact find it better when I keep it short. So check her out...
The Future Laureates. Well, here we are again. I'm spotlighting a cool band and still the World Music Critic on the Planet. But let's give it a whirl... They're rockin', in a toe-tapping, melodic way. Vocal harmonies are a delight. And... Okay, the have a UKELELE player--and not just as a gimmicky thing; he jams the livin' crap outta that uke!
Bobby Gaylor. The Web home of a funny comic and spoken word artist.
Genital Hercules. I'm not gonna bother saying a damn thing about this band. Good? Bad? Style? Doesn't matter. They're called GENITAL HERCULES, for Elvis' sake. With THAT name alone, they're worth a freakin' listen, so drop whatever you're doing and check 'em out...
Glasko. Glasko is... Hmm. I think, as Worst Music Critic on the Planet, that it might be better to return to the "one-phrase" music review on this one: Full-bodied, unique rockin'--with a copiously large and delicious side order of chicks.
God Wafer. As featured in the Friday "Entertain Yourself" section. Party down with the Men in the Gowns.
Grand Theft Radio (WGTR). Kick-ass Internet radio, including the prone-to-Sloop-featuring Danny Donuts show.
The Great Perhaps. Hmm. Why do I bother?… (Worst Music Critic on Earth checking in, here.) Anyway, my notes say The Great Perhaps is heavy rockin’, in a melodic, in-their-prime Rolling Stones kinda way. Not to mention back-and-forth vocal harmonies. (“Back-and-forth”?)
Greenlight. Rockin’ band--in a way predating the word “rockin’” as a source of mirth-making. Lots of time changes. Good lyrics, of which this “reporter” neglected to jot any down. All-over-the-place bass--and a bass player who plays with his fingers, as God intended.
1/2 Mad Poet. Nutty chick rock. Lead singer's flamin' red haired and prone to plaid skirts.
Happy Butterfly Foot. The obvious joke here, and in presenting them as an emcee, pertains to insect foot fetishism... Well, maybe it’s not so obvious. Point is: Happy Butterfly Foot makes delightful music with a hint of funk, a honkin’ dollop of spunk and a helluva bass player, reminiscent of Billy Sheehan of the ol‘ Talas. (And yes, I realize that hardly anybody remembers Talas.) Happy Butterfly Foot is also amusing and fun, with much of that fun coming from lead chick Rachel. Oh, and a word or two about HBF’s fan base: They have great taste in men. Only indulged through window shopping, evidently, but just impeccable, nonetheless. (They’ve also got a MySpace, in case you’re 15. We trust you can find it.)
The Hares. Clever, nerdy rock by guys in pastel sweaters and jackets; there's even a bow tie guy!
Harvest. Oh, why do I bother? (Chief Limericist and Planet's Worst Music Critic checking in, here.) All my notes indicate is that more than one member of the band sings lead, at various points. Which I always find to be a cool feature for a band. I remember them as being a bit heavy, for the most part. As in rockin', not deep, although I can't guarantee that they're NOT philosophically heavy. I can guarantee that they were a pretty good listen. And some cool folks I semi-know happen to know the guys in the band. Oh, and that, I think, they're friends/cohorts/something with the band Symphonic Affair, which is a former "Entertain Yourself" pick and also amid Sloop's Glantamerous Links.
The Heard. The Heard is a hip-hop collective, with...four guys, I think, and two chicks--and a diverse bunch, at that. Black and white; torn-clothing-near-metal-lookin' to a guy who always wears a tie. There a chick who throws her near-operatic voice over the festivities, as well, with (gotta be dyed) bright red hair and the overall look of a muscular-yet-sexy, real-life Raggedy Ann, without the overall or whatever the hell that doll wears. (In case that comes off wrong, I find her ridiculously titillating.) It's wild and delightful. Plus, I'm an idiot when it comes to hip-hop knowledge, but even I can tell it's an original take on the genre. As far as songs... Well, "Dr. Dick Love" regularly makes its way into the frightening confines of my head. So...yeah. There ya' go.
Herbie. Herbie is this singer/songwriter dude whose friends told him that his songs sounded "Herbie" and so... And he has some marvelous story songs. One about dating a sex maniac, another about feeling old, one about being in a relationship with an alcoholic... Most have a whimsical air to them, but he can get misty in a good way, too--a song about a relationship in its dying throes is especially moving...
Flabby Hoffman. The Man with a Chicago Cable Access show bringing the finest underground music that oughta be found, in studio and on-the-street Tom fooleries and cartoons to warm the cockles of your very taint! Sloop hosts the live shows which feed much of the mayhem--and he is often on the actual show. Entire shows have been dedicated to Sloop! Talk about contributing to cultural decay!
Homeless J. Ohhh… Worst Music Critic on Earth checking in, here. Homeless J’s bass player wields a six-string bass. With much skill, creativity and, might I add, daring-do. Ahem. I HAVE been taking more notes on these bands, as I add ’em to the list of future Friday sections well ahead of the time I actually end up writing on them. Let the mystery lure you in!
The Indoor Kids. Great band. We’d even venture to say they’re DARN great. And… Yup. Took crappy notes again. Don’t remember too much detail offhand. But they have a band member whose only apparent function is to stand on stage and smoke. So that’s an attraction…
Jennifer Love Hewitt. Oh, yeah! Google our archives for all sorts of news on her! The Chief Limericist's her biggest fan!
"How's Your Steak?" Check out the Columbia College Chicago Chronicle archives for Sloop's whacked-out college columns.
Hump Night Thumpers. A sprawling jug band. Washboards, tin can drums--the whole spiel. And, really, it's virtually impossible, at least for us at DL, to NOT adore an act that utilizes kazoo. And they're looking for new members.
idon't.com. Unfortunately, I must report that the ads are better than the actual site, using tactics like comparing iPod users to sheep. The site itself…appears to be a shill for this musician or whatever . In any event, the ads and/or the site should get you thinking… How divorced from the real world around us should we really be?
Joy Missile. Joy Missile is a Chicago-based band that...um...well... Ahem. You'll have to excuse me. I pegged Joy Missile as a subject of this feature, and scratched down relevant "notes," before, or perhaps during, the Christmas Season, through which I slacked on the Special Features and... Well, I don't remember much of the details as to WHY I pegged them. Of course, I didn't "peg" them but... Anyway. This is not to say that Joy Missile doesn't rock, or that you shouldn't immediately seek them out online, perhaps following-up with a live show or with a music purchase. It just means that... Well, not only are they subject to "press" from the Worst Music Critic on the Planet going in, but they had the calendar misfortune of happening into my radar during Prime Slacking Season. So, here's what I have... They're cool guys... Their music is cool... They're DAMN cool guys... And I also scribbled, "Whoah, Dana!" Hmmm... Oh. Their new-ish lead singer chick. She's smokin' hot. With an awesome voice, too. So look at this as an interactive review. It's short on details--hell, it doesn't give you dick, truth told--but it outta spur you into exploring this Joy Missile musical entity...
Just Infinite. Just Infinite rocks. Or perhaps “raps.” Or maybe “rhythm and blueses.” I’ve been thinking… Perhaps it’s not such a bad thing that I’m the Worst Music Critic on the Planet. I mean, it’s doubtful that Slapper Yapper Grasshoppers actually decide whether they like a band (and possibly by their stuff) by my hack words alone. That having been said, I’ll try… Ahem: Just Infinite throws incisive (aka, non-“Ho‘ this,” “Ho‘ that,” “I’m so great) rap lyrics over a helluva chick singer with an actual ass-kickin’ rhythm and blues/soul/rock band. And… Well, as I was saying...
Jumpsuit. A fine, ass-kickin' band. Their heavy "bottom bass" reminds me a good deal of the earliest (first three) albums by Kiss. They have a song called "Time Machine" and, for its live performance, they haul a makeshift "time machine" onstage. So let that serve as an example of their theatricality, also like early Kiss.
Krystee.As the Planet's Worst Music Critic, sometimes it's best to be quick to the point: She does crazy cover tunes, has a helluva voice, dances around with happy feet, is ridiculously pretty but, also, nuts. (Which can be good or bad--but is probably a mixture of both.) See?
Late Night Hooligan Riff Raff. The band is also known as LNHRR. And... Well, since I've long ago admitted to being the Worst Music Critic on the Planet, we'll continue with a trend we started last week. The one-word music review: LNHRR is Bass-A-Licious.
Leathur Cheetah wows me whenever I see them. I’ve heard them described as ’70s rock…and I guess that has some credence but idea of “’70s rock” brings to mind bad moustaches and the like. Yet Leathur Cheetah does pump out some hard rockin’ delights--and the drummer uses a cowbell copiously. Oh, and the bass player always tells me that he’s a big Eddie Money fan, which is an attraction. The lead singer is a hot blonde who can not only belt out a tune lousy with octaves but… Well, there I go feeling “wowed” again.
Let's Get Out of This Terrible Sandwich Shop. A comedic musical act (that's different from a "band) that has gotta be experienced to be believed. Delightful.
Long Story Short. Helluva band. Can't remember much about 'em, 'cept their lady fan base is cute and, on top of that, friendly. Not friendly in THAT sorta way, dickcheeze! Nonetheless, helluva band. I do remember that much.
Lucent Man. To get an idea of the musical stylings of Lucent Man, imagine that Syd Barrett continued as lead man for Pink Floyd through the ’70s, allowing other members (mainly Roger Waters) to guide the band’s evolution to a point, but continuing his mad genius direction as well.
Machine Gun Mojo. Since I'm, of course, the Shittiest Music Critic on the Planet, we're always trying new ways of writing-up bands here and... Okay, here's a slice-of-life to describe Machine Gun Mojo: When I first heard the band, I started thinking, "They sound a bit Doors-like to me. Heavier--and Doors-LIKE, as opposed to mimicking that sounds--but most certainly Doors-like." Then I heard the lyrics to one of their songs: "If the cigarette don't kill me, the whiskey will." Hmm... Later, they covered a Doors tune, or sorta covered one, anyway--musically referencing it and using the word, "Mojo" which, of course... Well, look into the Doors if you don't get that. Later, one of the band members admitted that he didn't care for the Doors but... Hey, you could be compared to far worse as a band... Anyway:
Machines That Think. These dudes offer about the best modern rock has to offer. I guess you’d call them “prog rock” or something… (Slapper Yapper Grasshoppers should know, however, that this section doesn’t know what the hell it’s talking about.) It’s serious, smart stuff--but not stuffy; they’re down-to-earth, cool guys--with song titles like “Caveat Emptor” and “Where’d Your Imagination Go?”. Mostly guitar rock--with a Bono-esque voice, minus the superdose of Smug--having piano and stuff added here and there for a polyphonic kick-ass. (“Polyphonic.” Kinda makes me sound like I know what I’m talking about, no?)
MAD Magazine. If you need this one explained, you really, really need to click here.
James Maddex... is a magician. And, yeah, we've bashed musicians before. But James has an entertaining, performance, comedic angle to his act. Thinking man's magic. With props and audience participation. We'd say more, but we don't know enough about magic to write a decent review. Not that it ever stopped us from reviewing music, or dance, or... Anyway, check 'im out.
The Major Majors. See "Phil Yates and the Major Majors" Link, below.
Margie's Candies. Homemade ice cream and candy in Chicago... See the Archives, June 9, 2010 edition (specifically, the "Eat It!" section).
Medicine Hat. Rockin’, in fact slightly ’70s rockin’ and…. Ahem. (Worst music critic in the history of the planet checking in, by the way.) Ahem. Well, in journalism, as well as in “journalism,” there is a saying that good writing aims to “show, not tell.” So click here, ya' fuckroast.
MiLkBabY or MiLkBabY. My, my my. A two-mand band that sounds like a rockin' orchestra. And, really, listening to MiLkBabY is a fine drug substitute. And yet they're still upstanding citizens--why, Barry and his wife just had a BabY. Oh, and anybody with a ".net" Web address shows promise, too.
Misguided Youth (Well, Their Fans, anyway). I'm sure Misguided Youth is a wonderful band. But... Their fans make hitting a show worth it and perhaps you'll enjoy the music. I host live music/variety shows in Chicago (see Sloop Central). We give away prizes with this game-showesque shtick and recruit members of the audience as "contestants." Misguided Youth had some hot dames in their crowd--and they'd come up as "teams" and get all touchy-feely. One promised me a hummer on mic (no further details available), which paved the way for another recent show wherein a foxy dame screamed "I love anal!"
Mr. Russia. One time in high school, while stoned as all hell with a friend of mine who was also in rock bands and such hoping to score dames, we decided that the world needed a heavy metal band with TWO bass players. We never actually did it. Mr. Russia did. Oh, I don’t wanna call Mr. Russia “heavy metal,” I suppose, as the term can be loaded. Although they ARE heavy, if melodically so, and they pump copious effects through the bass(es). But they have two bass players and a drummer. No standard guitarists. And once you get used to their delightfully oddball sound…they change it. Or so it seems. The last time I saw ’em, they added a chick on synth. And she happened to be wearing funky, opaque stockings--which turned me on at the same time I wondered WHY they turned me on. But that’s neither here nor there.
The Gwen Mitchell Experiment. I recall the GMP’s instrumentation to have varied from time to time, when I saw them, but my recollections aren’t necessarily worth the going rate for baboon shit. They certainly SOUND like a bigger band than they are--one or more guitars, drums, bass, violin, perhaps keyboards and/or xylophones (pardon me as my recollection, evidently, suffers a seizure). Sometimes, the violin’s use would more appropriately call to mind “fiddle” and… They actually did a funk-infused number with violin (not “fiddle”) and...and… Exotic rhythms abounded. And Gwen can go from opera-esque soprano to a dirty rock scream. The songs also had lyrics and lyrical nuggetry. (Nuggetry?) One song was called, or be-refrained (be-refrained?): “Nice Day for a Protest.” It went deeper than the typical, “People would rather watch TV than take action against folks needlessly dying in war” (although it explored that well), questioning the very nature of protest in the modern day, what with official “protest spaces” and “protest time slots” and what have you.
Moist Guitars. Now, THAT'S entertainment! (I've always wanted to say that...or perhaps I have in the past. In which case... Well, I've always wanted to say that again.) Now, they have some ass-kickin' songs, like "Dishpan Nipples" and... Well, that's enough to get your imagination stokin'. And they put on a show that... Well, while there are a lot of rockin' bands, there are unfortunately few that put on a show that causes a critic like me, even though I'm the Worst Music Critic on the Planet, to advise that you've just GOTTA see 'em live. There are wigs and in the build-up to the performance's beginning they hide the outrageousness of the lead singer's attire behind a funky screen and... Well, you've just gotta see 'em live.
Monster-0. That's pronounced "Monster Zero," by the way. And they actually sound monstrous at times. "The Munsters" soundtrack-esque. Silly yet intelligent rock. Oh, and they share some members with the band "Velva"--for whom I pitched the tagline, "One letter away form Vulva." Don't think they've rolled with it, though. Oh, and I'm not including a separate link for Velva, as I didn't feel like it. But you can probably find 'em through this one, I trust.
Monte. Monte and I go back a ways. When we met, we were both aspiring stand-ups workin' the Chicago open mic grind... Sheesh, a decade ago at this point. But we're both still at it, in our own ways, with Monte taking on the drawing art as well lately, including some gallery showings. Monte's specialty, stand-up-wise, was self-deprecating fare, as a portly guy. (It's admittedly been a while since I've seen him perform, so maybe he now has a new niche.) But his work also belied a true love for food. He even branched out into restaurant criticism, on Internet radio and blogs--which was damn good work, too, especially delightful as he often focused on fast food and such (fare that's delicious to the common man but often pooh-poohed by the critical elite). While on some level, one's art/career is all that should matter to those outside the family/friend circle, I've just gotta mention that Monte is also a cool, down-to-earth guy with a sense of humor about himself. (To make a Stephen King-length story short, comics, unfortunately, are generally NOT like that on a personal level.) These days, Monte's dabbling in kids' fare and, as is Monte's professional modus operandi, it's funny stuff--and with a positive, but not prudish, message.
Monty. Believe it or not, there IS still brilliance in the daily newspaper comics pages. So check it out. (Actually, this is the site for www.comics.com, so you'll have to find Monty from there as I'm not in the mood to look up the exact address right now.)
Kitty Mortland. Not only does she rock (with a full-on band), have something to say and bear pulchritude (her site describes her sound, much better than I can, as early Liz Phair-ish and/or Janis Joplin-esque, although I'll also throw out that I heard near-Floydian melodies with a special knack for capturing sadness)... But she likes me. Or at least indulges me. Someone, in fact, told me that she's not into men, you know, which may or may not be true, but... Oh, well. Anyway, although I've been emceeing shows around town for a few years now (live and for cable-access TV) and I'm even noticed on the streets at times, I rarely get kudos from bands. But Kitty, at one point during such a show, said, "Thanks Sloop, for whatever it is you do. But you do it sooo well!"--then went into a tune called, "Do It Again." (Sigh.)
Mos Funnel. Mos Funnel kicks ass! Ahem. Worst music reviewer in the history of music reviewers checking in here. They whip out trumpets and stuff and sound akin to that Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsies project. Go listen, ratloafs. An mp3 paints a thousand words. And those words are generally much more erudite that this drecky feature...
Mouse is a rapper. And a filthy one, at that. But--and this is an important but, if not as important as Jennifer Love Hewitt's--he's actually FUNNY. I saw him performing with an accomplice, Crimson Cat. Don't know how Mouse sounds without him, but was a fan off C.C., too. With tunes like, "I Fucked Yo Mom"...well, you get the idea. (That one is allegedly based on a true story, as are all of his works--although he cops to embellishment.) But he also tickles the funny bone with less raunchy numbers, such as "Do the Molly Ringwald" (about white people dancing). Oh, and he has a song about anal sex and...
Jamie Nichols. Singin', songwritin' chick. She's good, but also an acquaintance. So check it out and see if this is just Sloopy nepotism, of sorts.
Not Elliot. A "new punk" band and, thus, not my usual cup of teabag. However, Not Elliot is so good at what they do that they can convert just about ANYONE. At a variety show I was hosting, they followed a solo singer who was allegedly "on" American Idol. And she drew quite a crowd, which stayed afterward . I was engaging in disaster prep for what I foresaw to be a derailment on the Entertainment Train. But NE launched into covers of "Lady in Red" and "Billie Jean," saving the evening.
Oligopoly Watch. Merger/Corporate Takeover Fest means that fewer and fewer conglomerates control everything. See who ultimately owns what, read definitions, find the latest news on just how bad it is. Etc.
Overman. Can rock and roll and creative marketing mix without ending up all Ashley Simpson? Overman proves that they can. The band rocks--and the link speaks for itself--but what most amazed me about these cats is that they crafted this one tune, “The Evolution Song,” about Darwin and giving a lesson and all that and… Well, they sent e-mails around the world and professorial types are playing that tune for their students--which rocks nuts, by the way; not always a given with an “educational” tune. Oh, and they pull-off an amazing cover of Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue,” too. Check it!
Paper Bullets. Punkish band with an innovative angle: Talent. What’s more, its singer doesn’t have “That Voice"—the Green Day-ish, almost-with-an-accent one that nine out of ten “punk” MTV-hip bands now boast? In fact, she’s a hot broad, and foul-mouthed to boot (which, ethically speaking, allows me to call her “broad”). They have a song, “Trick or Treat,” adequately addressing the theme instead of just using a catchy title. Oh, and they're a dot-net, too (dot-coms are mainstream and lame now).
Chuck Perkins and the Voices of the Big Easy. I've known Chuck as a performance poet for many moons. A few years ago he moved back to his hometown of New Orleans and has evidently been putting some of his delightful verse to music. New Orleans-style music and his poetry make a fine match. I only recently heard the endeavor on his mini-tour, which may or may not have entailed more than the Poetry Slam Mecca of Chicago, but...
The Poetry Slam. See "Slam Papi" link, below.
Pool of Frogs. Pool of Frogs is more than a band. They’re…an experience? Anyway, I met Pool of Frogs through an emceeing gig. It was Pool of Frogs who taught me what a “Roman helmet” is. Musically, Pool of Frogs is…Countryish at times but…just a hint. Oh, and they have a sing-a-long quality to much of their stuff, which their fans are quick to indulge. Most importantly, they SOUND like a band that would be scrotally focused. Which is good. Really.
The Peasants (actually, just Pete of The Peasants).I’m only guessing that The Peasants are a fine band, because Pete of The Peasants, whom I actually saw, kicked some ass. Pete cranked out some acoustic fare, with a political bent, that actually reminded me of Roger Waters. It was a little more rockin’ than Floyd-y stuff but… He managed to rip Bush--but in a manner that didn’t make me wish I LIKED Bush. (What remains of “protest music” today is simply THAT hella-lame.)
Pick Noerr. That name is supposed to have any umlaut, or an omlaut, or whatever you call an “e” with two funny dots over it…but I didn’t feel like messing with that. Neither does their Web site. Now… These cats have albums/ep’s called “American Bacon” and “Pussy Duster.” Their song titles are the likes of “Booty Call Hangover,” “Marry for Ass” and “Showtime Porn” (as in the titty-movie-without-the-tittie features on the cable channel). Not sold yet? When I saw them, the shirtless singer had written “Hockey Mom” on his chest, the drummer wore a gorilla suit and the guitarist was bedecked as batman. I understand the costumes are ever-changing. Okay, okay: Gimmicky, fun-to-watch, dirty band. Not super rare. But the songs are not only actually “funny” (not a given with these kinda acts, unfortunately)--but catch and memorable! The crowd sings along, old and new fans alike! I even recall some of the lyrics, set to power ballad-y music: “Just because I put it in her butt/ Don’t make me a fag, don’t make her a slut/ We’re just tryin’ to mix it up”…
Planetary Blues. Now don't get the wrong impression--this band derived from a blues base, and has even played Chicago's Blues Fest, but... They have a unique and original style, so much so that you might not even guess the "blues base" during many of their songs. They tend to attract a hot lookin', young crowd, too.
The Polkaholics. Rockin'/punky polka. Gotta be heard to be believed. First feature in the special Friday "Entertain Yourself" Section.
Probably Vampires. (Mentioned in S&Y as, formerly, Weak Daze.) Cool guys, with a first class sense of humor. And their music?… Some guy described them as sounding like rock “on the verge of disco”--not that they sound disco at all, but I did agree with him that… Hmm. As if they started up around that time, emulated the then-current hard rock and yet took it in an original direction or… Hmmm, indeed. Just give 'em a listen to.
PunPunPun.com. A Web center for bad puns. And that's good.
The Quilts. The Quilts simply rock. I guess they're sorta blue grassy with an edge... Gimme a break! The World's Worst Music Critic hasn't featured a band here in a while! And they thanked me for my emceeing...er, "prowess" or whatever. Which is rare and much appreciated.
Rational Recovery. If you got an addiction (other than to limericks), don't go twelve-steppin'. Or at least try this one, too.
Read My Hips. Good God! A belly dancing troupe! (I'm told they're "tribal fusion," not Turkish.) Act includes down-on-the-floor gyrations and... I think "Good God" about sums it up.
Rebel Rouser. What a band! As usual I don't remember and/or am unable to properly relate their musical stylings. Rockin', with an original twist, and delightful--otherwise I wouldn't have jotted them down as an "Entertain Yourself" pick. I do well recall, however, that Rebel Rouser brought out a copious, pulchritudinous, nubile crop of chick fans, the likes of which a local performer is blessed to see a mere handful of times in his life. They also happened to bring out my own personal Annabel Lee. (But that's another story--a Sunday Story Time, actually.)
Red Denizen. I’ve hit a new low as the World Music Critic on the Planet. Concerning Red Denizen, all I remember, and can garner from my notes, is that they are “rockin’.” Hope that helps you, music fans!
Red Hot Annie. As I write this, I have yet to see Red Hot Annie perform…live, anyway. But I will probably blow a...something when I do. Oh, I'm soon to see her live, as she agreed to be featured in my live variety/talk "Mess." (See the Sloop Central section of the site...ya' bastards. The show is actually set to be posted on the Web in small chapters...provided the monkey wrenches don't get me.) See, Annie's an old-school, burlesque/vaudeville striptease. Not the "pick-up dollars with her coochie" style of modern "exotic dancer" but the tried-and-true, slowly-take-off-a-bunch-of-clothes, end-with-tassles-covering-the-nips type. So, she’s truly an artist. Not that picking up dollars with…or even workin’ a various -job for that matter isn’t but… Ahem. Where was I?… Oh. Artist. She’s like a Rembrandt of the tease/sexiness thing, with sexiness, as it should be, employing intelligence and creativity and, well, I just can’t put my finger on it… Sure, everywhere I turn with this there’s opportunity for innuendo but… She’s “got” it. Being sexy is one thing; performing Pure Sexy is quite another and extremely rare. She has other endeavors, too. Show biz makeup, film services and... Well, she apparently engages in some foot/stocking fetish biz, too, and has all sorts of steamy stuff on YouTube and the like and... Well, of COURSE she's hot!
Revelator. The singer is...well, a very large black chick. In a Queen Latifa mold. With an amazing, booming, octave-stretching voice. I swear, she danced and cavorted and moved around with conviction, energy and limberness rare in some Fiona Apple-sized wriggler. You could tell that the style, both of the music overall and of Her voice, only began with a blues direction and came out much heavier and jam-oriented.
Rich Experience. His musical weapon of choice is the once popular, now under-utilized "keytar." You know, a keyboard fashioned in a guitar shape. He sings and plays tunes about his life, or Rich's Experiences, focusing a lot on his day job testing food products. Orange chicken, anyone? Make that orange COLORED chicken? This cat's worked KFC's "Eleven Herbs and Spices," although the wasn't invited into the Colonel's Secret Inner Circle. (Doesn't know The Eleven, that is.) His music's humorous, yet informative, given its topics--and occasionally dramatic, too. Oh, and as a live act, he's fun as hell, always up for kazoo tom fooleries
The Rikters. I've got it: The Rikters sound like Tom Jones with kick-ass musical backing and an especially thumpin', rockin' bass. Short and to the point (that way, perhaps you won't notice that I'm the World's Worst Music Critic).
Robbi. Lil' Indian rapper chick with unique samplings that are ethnic-esque (but not TOO much; no NPR-esque boredom, that is).
The Ross McLochness. This may be a new low for “Entertain Yourself.” Or perhaps we’ve already hit this low. Who can keep track, sliding along on a snake’s belly in this wheel rut we call “Entertain Yourself.” Anyway, The Ross McLochness is cool. Kick-ass. And country-ish. I think. That’s all I’ve got.
Run Logan. Need an introduction to Chicago underground music that's rockin', mind-bendin' and just what the corporate music scene DIDN'T order? Check 'em out. And they were one of the first bands to actually REQUEST a link exchange. I said hot link for smoky, but... Ahem. Plus, I distinctly recall wanting to boink one of their hot fans but... I don't need any more trouble. What? Well, that depends on what the definition of "boink," is, now doesn't it?...
The Satellite Picture Show. We're talking good rockin'! Some might say '70s-style rockin'... But not stuck in the past. Its own thing. Kind like the Black Crowes...if the Black Crowes were good. Someone else at the show I attended suggested they sounded a bit like Humble Pie. Mmm. Raspberry pie...
Paris Schutz Band. Oh, how these guys rock. And not just "rock," as in how the terms been cheapened with all varieties of lame-o acts being media dubbed "rockers," but... Okay, I gather it's mainly Paris' thing--main songwriter, etc.--but he has a helluva tight crew, and the guy tickles the shit outta those ivories, sings like a beefed-up canary and... Well, rocks. Early on in my Schutz experience, I mentally likened him to Billy Joel. But don't get the wrong idea--that was just because, you know, piano-playing songwriter and such. And while Joel annoys me at times, he is immensely talented, so that's the connection. And as a writerly guy always fond of a good lyrical thing, Schutz satisfies. Has a song about Christmas, a misty tune about a band break-up... Oh, and to further chase that Billy Joel analogy from your head, the dude's insanely versatile, covering the likes of Muddy Waters. I guess Billy Joel might attempt something like Muddy. But, well...at least we get a chuckle thinking of it...
Seafarer. Seafarer has a busy guitar sound that I dare call, "Rush-like." There. I dared. According to my craptastic notes, they sometimes sound "U2-ish," too, but in a good way. (I'm a little annoyed by U2 at times, especially Bono.) I'll remind you all that I'm the Worst Music Critic on the Planet, so perhaps it's best to just hit the link to hear how they sound. But I recommend them. But I'll also add that not only are the dudes in Seafarer really cool, and hockey fans to boot, but they have an attitude that, "Who cares how big the crowd is? We're puttin' on a show." And that rocks. Whaddaya imagine Bono would do when faced with, say, only about a dozen fans at a concert?...
Section 4. First off, these guys had a xylophone player when I saw 'em, so that's enough. I don't recall how many members they have, but they not only have a full roster but actually make USE of that full roster. Amusing drop-ins supplemented the music (from the Xylophonist), like some British-y sounding voice saying, "That's ridiculous!" And the chick singer can sure belt one out--perhaps the only Janis Joplin cover I've heard live that wasn't a disaster. But what really tickled our entertainment bone was the theme. Yes, theme--when I saw the band, it was "a birthday." They had a cake and party hats and all that jizz. And the theme thing is a regular attraction; they do a different one each show. I was told a preceding theme was a doctor operation.
Amanda Sena. A hot lookin' chick. (Let's get the important stuff out of the way first.) The sound reminded me of '80s hard rock/metal acts that didn't shy away form keyboards. Think Rush or perhaps Journey--when at their finest. And led by a hot chick (although Steve Perry sounded like one). Her lyrics also blew me away. A lot of those truly-sad-yet-somehow-not-sappy songs. About long, protracted goodbyes and stuff.
Slam Papi. Official Web site for Marc Smith, Creator of the poetry slam.
Slazenger 7. Funny, but I almost want to dub these guys “geek rock” and yet…they sorta pull off a “geeks are sexy” kinda thing. Well, at least the chick singer, Molly does. (See their site pics). Can’t speak much about the guys, not having a penis oriented in that direction--although they do seem hipper than the average geeks. The act shows a wonderful attention to lyrics. I recall the words (or was it a refrain?), “Thinking of all the times I masturbated thinking about you.” Wow! Takes me back to junior high! Only…I don’t remember JH being all that “sexy” for me. Hell, takes me back to last weekend…
Sleeping Sergio has intricate music and poetic lyrics--but that's not the type of thing "Entertain Yourself" readers have come to expect. So: They have a cool fan base, replete with copious hot chicks, and they're a bunch of cool dudes. How cool, you may ask? Well, they enjoy my "standby" (aka recycled and hack) jokes as a music show emcee--and have even issued gag requests! What's more, while they're on MySpace, they're all up for making fun of its hella-lamity! Which relates back to the gag request, and is as good a time as any to end this...
Zay N. Smith. I'm a newspaperman. Sure, contrary to my rough-and-tumble aura (ahem), I've mostly covered artsy stuff rather than chasing down city hall sleazeballs, but still... While I didn't become a habitual, "serious" newspaper reader until pursuing a journalism degree in college, I've been a reader of columnists for most of my life. When I've moved away from Chicago, interned elsewhere or otherwise traveled, I've checked out the local newspapers, from New York and L.A. to all sorts of small towns. I read that later works of legends in my youth, including Bob Greene and Mike Royko, and followed a number of columnists who've come and gone... My favorite column of all time is Quick Takes, by Zay N. Smith, in the Chicago Sun-Times.... Actually, my favorite column, at this point, WAS Quick Takes... (For the entire feature on Smith, see the Archives for 11/20/2008.)
Snoozie and the Miltonics. Dork rock has never sounded so good. With tunes like "At Milton's House" and "What'll Spring Be Like Without You?" why... Why, it's delightful. Whaddaya want from the worst music critic on the planet? However, the latter above-mentioned tune is beyond dork rock--it's in fact dork rock meets rock rock. Its guitar solo has wailing quality reminiscent of Rhoads' blistering at the same time it's emotional and sad, like Rhoads' in "Goodbye to Romance."
Somersault Factory. You know, realizing that I'm the Worst Music Critic on the Planet... Well, what's the point of blathering about yet another band, showcasing my inability to accurately describe their music? That's what I've been wondering. But I've also been seeking solutions. So, today's edition marks the debut of the Entertain Yourself One-Word Music Review. And for Somersault Factory: Purpley. Yup. That adequately describes them.
Stewed Tomatoes. Band of Rockin' Lesbians known to cover Kiss' "Doctor Love." I'd say more but... Need I?
The Stoneflys. As the Worst Music Critic on the Planet I, naturally, have trouble adequately describing musical acts I mention herein. But I think I've got it nailed for The Stoneflys (and, yes, it's spelled wrong because some other bastards stole the name first): Van Morrison's "Moondance." The Stoneflys cover the song. It's not that I think so much that they sound like Van Morrison but... Somehow, that song was about the best cover they could choose. One could say they're "Moondance-y"--groovy, a bit psychedelic, catchy... That kinda stuff. Oh, and they're cool dudes. They invited me to do a bit of emcee blathering at an upcoming show, which I don't think I'll be able to do--but they mentioned it was at a venue that always brought-in hot chicks. So they were thinkin' of me. Anyway... So this one's not TOO bad, is it? Well, you gotta admit I've been trying to spotlight non-music acts here lately...
Symphonic Affair. As featured in the Friday "Entertain Me" section. Helluva band. Give 'em a listen to, as the British say. Or said in the '60s, anyway. Hell with the band--I'm in love with their freakin' fan base! Good God in Heaven!
Syrup Eddies. These guys are ridiculously talented and... Full disclosure: They played as House Band for the Evening for my live variety/talk show (to be Webcast; see Sloop Central, ya' bastards). But I wouldn't have picked 'em unless they were top notch. As the World's Worst Music Critic, I'll just describe them as... Country/folk/rockabilly type musicians. Able to handle the needs of, say, a variety talk show--and play a kick-ass version of my own "Fireworks, Cheeze 'n' Porn" without ever having practiced directly with me. (For that tune...well. Sloop Central. Bastards.) They have a self-titled debut CD out. Highly recommended. Oh, and they occasionally use an accordion or slide whistle! What's not to love? Hell--what's not to feel utter delight over?
Taxi. Cool band. Kinda retro-y, but not in an annoying way. Hard to explain. Check 'em out.
Third in Coming. Another band that rocks, although I--Worst Music Critic on the Planet checking in--won't even bother with hopelessly explaining how, indeed, they rock. I will say that they're not only jammin', but that real emotion tugs at you from their silver tones. I dare say that at times, their melodies sounded downright Floydy (as in Pink). And they're cool guys. Especially the keyboardist, who's allegedly known for a large, er...appendage. (He found me funny, so I've gotta say that.) The only negative I can cite about Third in Coming is that, due to some glitch, I was unable to "friend" them on MySpace. Hmmm. Actually, strike that--I can't think of a negative concerning Third in Coming...
The Third Movement. All-instrumental act in the tradition of, say... Tangerine Dream, I guess? (Whadday want from me, being the Planet's Worst Music Critic and all?) Only heavier. Anyway... Rockin' and funky, with the Deep Purplish keyboard/organ. Why, I think it would make great porn music, 'cause it's got that kinda sound--but only cool, unlike, of course, actual porn music. In fact, if I ever film a porn, I'm enlisting 'em. They also hail from my neck of the woods, McHenry County, Ill. (North-Midwest siiiiide!) And they asked me to be their manager! They were kidding, of course, but just the fact that they'd kid about such a thing...
Time Out Chicago is the pub to find out what's to do if you're coming to the Windy City--or live here. When TOC came out (late 2005, 2006?), I poo-pooed them. "A New York mag? Hitting Chicago amid a slew of free publications, based here, offering a guide to arts, culture and entertainment in the city? And CHARGING money for it?" But they've proved me oh so wrong. It blows away other mainstays like the humor-challenged Chicago Reader, with an occasionally bawdy air and a curiosity that tackles many thing the wannabe hipster alt mags miss. And they've tackled topics others won't touch, such as ... Well, Daily Limerick. (You may have heard of that crackpot site.) Plus, Leah's hot. From what I remember in my cigar smoke-induced haze, anyway.
Tres Reyes. A travel information Web site for visitors interested in Mexico vacation destinations. (They asked for a link exchange, even after viewing the site--unlike some others... So they more than deserve any Slapper Yapper Grasshopper business.)
The True Cubicles. A delightfully silly band. A They Might Be Giants-ish sound, with a gritty, Devo-like edge. They have a keyboard and computer-supplemented system of making music--but, unlike many others fitting that bill, they know the rules of music enough to get away with “cheating.” Oh, and here’s a lyrical excerpt: "I'm the pan and you're the potato.” What more could you ask for?
Turbanator. It's...well...er, you see, it's sort of... Just check it out.
Umbra. Ever listened to the really early Pink Floyd music? While either on psychedelic drugs or having a psychedelic drug-induced flashback? No matter. Just listen to Umbra:
Union Pulse. Union Pulse should be on the East Coast as I pen this and, thus, National. Or half-national. Or something. See, they still visit and gig in Chicago, too. Union Pulse has the whole "package." They sound great and are also entertaining to watch. (A lot of great sounding acts sorta just stand there on stage.) They shimmy around and joke with the audience--not taking themselves too seriously. One of their songs is still floating around in my head--and it's been almost a month since I saw them. Not sure of the title, but the refrain is, "I was looking at her but I was thinking of you." And if THAT's not enough, they're great guys, to boot. Jumped aboard a last-minute show for us.
The Velevet Cadillacs. Pithy lyric’d nerd rock, I guess you’d call it. A bit like, oh, a Weezer, perhaps, if Weezer had a lot more talent, wasn’t so damn annoying and didn’t have a roster of songs that all pretty much sound alike. Oh, and the VCs have more instrumental variation--keyboards/synth, if I remember correctly. (By the way--World's Worst Music Critic checking in, here.) I heard ’em play a song that was especially delightful called, “I Wish I Were Cool.” (Actually, it was likely “I Wish I Was Cool,” but we’ll forgive the grammatical error due to overall lyrical merit.) So… There you go.
Venice Gas House Trolley. While DL/S&Y has sounded off before about that cliche, “guy reading poetry over jazz” crap, these guys are making a noble effort to do something different with the form of Poetry Meets Music. So give ’em a listen. Music was more rockin’ than jazz. Poetry was actually pretty good--and one number had lyrics relating, and I paraphrase, the results of a lady “painting her toenails gold.” Which I like. The lyrics AND the action, that is.
Versiz. Kick-ass performance poet out of Detroit.
Wandering Endorphin. Guitar maestro extraordinaire. You'll think there's more than one instrument involved. As featured in the Friday "Entertain Yourself" section.
Weak Daze. See Probably Vampires, which they're recently metamorphed into.
Weyco. Evil company out of Michigan with the audacity to forbid its employees from smoking ON THEIR OWN TIME! Let 'em know how you feel about that directly with this link!
Amanda Williams. Amanda not only puts out some killer, creative, thoughtfully-lyriced jams ("lyriced"?)--but she's so sexy she makes me feel like a doddering schoolboy inside whenever she's around. Ahem. She's really a "national act," but visited my Chicago Internet radio show nonetheless. Not sure how I scored that. Not that I "scored," mind you, but...ahem again. One of her tunes talks about a guy who "makes [her] wanna rip [her] clothes off" and another bashes the Barbie-brained, plastic-surgery addict types, spotlighting an aging one who just wants to get laid to feel superficially better...but has difficulty accomplishing it. Upon hearing her set while she was in town, a cohort of mine remarked, regarding her lyrics, specifically some about a guy about town who every chick wanted, that "all of her songs are about YOU, Sloop!" Which I kinda doubt--and which I think was a joke. But I appreciate the quasi-compliment, anyway. I'll take 'em wherever I can get 'em.
Jaik Willis (for "corporate" record execs and such, he says) or Jaik Willis' MySpace. Jaik’s a traveling minstrel type, so Slapper Yapper Grasshoppers nationwide (and, for all I know, worldwide) may have opportunities to catch him. I suppose you'd call his stuff folky rock He has a yodeling/wailing/howling quality to his singing, multi-octave, pleasant and near-impossible to duplicate. And he performs a song urging folks to "Shoot Bush." Oh, and he has a long, thick, ZZ-Top-esque beard. We’d feel a little disconcerted if he shaved it.
Winter. No, we’re not praising the season, you porcupine! It’s a BAND! A group of musicians gathered for the purposes of creating aural art! And, ho! Can they produce the aural art! Rockin’, even borderline heavy metal-ish, yet dark. Power trio, too, baby! And their music sounds like…well, it SOUNDS like “Winter,” somehow. Ahem. Our notes on Winter are far from copious. But they’re cool guys. The lead singer dude usually brings a hot dame out to see him. Hmmm. Well, let their Web site do the talkin’ (although when I last checked, it got nothin’--although the address registers)
Wondermark. Wondermark is a comic strip by David Malki I wanted to hate. It often makes use of that annoyingly hip tactic of showing the same picture in each frame with different dialogue balloons, so be forewarned. But it's quite clever on occasion. One strip showed Osama bin Laden and his posse discussing strategies as if inconveniencing Americans at the airport was the major al-Qaida goal. One of the terrorist wannabes mentions an attempt using hair gel and an iPod, the others make fun of him, to which he replies, "You laughed at the shoe bomb, remember?" (Date wise, I saw it in the Aug. 24-30 Onion.)
Yamaha Fairings. Motorcycle folk seekin' to link to our delightfulness. In their words: Aftermarket Motorcycle Fairing Sets for Ducati, Honda & Yamaha on a Special Discount Sale.
Phil Yates and the Major Majors. Phil’s a legitimately funny musician. Many of the form’s wannabe practitioners skimp on the “musician” part at the expense of the “funny,” and vice versa. What’s more, Phil pulls it off with an ability to pull emotional strings as well. For example, from Phil’s “Without You”: “…Like a funeral without any dead/ Like the Flintstones without Fred…” Oh, and Phil’s known for whipping out a kazoo now and again, so what’s not to like? I’ve heard Phil solo and with a full-on band, the Major Majors. Haven’t seen the Major Majors without Phil, but by process of imagination, can vouch for their artistry.
Melissa (Rose) Ziemer. Second artist featured in DL's Special "Pull Out" Friday "Entertain Yourself" Section. Spunky. Delightful. Pulchritudious yet recalcitrant. Huh?
Chris Zonada and the Black Umbrella Brigade. I've emceed music/variety shows for a few years now and Chris first came around as an solo acoustic performer. He had songs structured around hum-able melodies, classically-influenced yet poppy guitar licks and thoughtful lyrics, plus some fun tunes, like "Pear-Shaped Man." But he had a tough time bringing out a crowd. Then, he formed a full-on band. Not only did he truly sculpt his previous, solo songs into new-ish works of art, with added layers complementing what was already "underneath"--many times, it appears that singer/songwriters who go through such a process just more-or-less slap on some bass and drums--but he started bringing out a crowd! A crowd that included hot chicks! So, now that we've finally touched on what's REALLY important...