School Year Ending with Music and Nature

Your intrepid blogger has been busy with all that end of school year stuff that happens when your kid is done with 8th Grade. But that doesn't mean I haven't going to see plenty of music. As a matter of fact, these two converged a couple of weeks ago when my kid's band made their public debut, taking on Cream and nailing it.

The Northside Creeps
So, shortly after that, I hit the Circle A to catch favorites, The Northside Creeps. They've added a guitar player (Eric Knitter, known to most folks as Rick Satan) and he's filling out the sound nicely. Bassist Ted Jorin had a bit of some technical difficulties that night, but they still brought down the house with impassioned, raucous, and catchyass garage. It's pretty much my favorite genre, and they bring it. Yet, because they are older than the typical garage band, they have a lot more experience under their collective belts, so they're tight, snappy, disciplined, and it comes out as just a great, unappreciated band.
Kid's soccer games and baseball games and graduation took its toll on me, and I missed a pile of great nights, including another miss of Mood Vertigo, (Roni Allwaise's new outfit) as well as
Sordid Details, a group she's got going with Mary Firary that I've been trying to catch. The Six Wives of Richard have been tearing it up all over the place for the past few weekends, The Unheard of brought down the house at Kochanski's, and I shamefully missed a rare Deirdre Fellner sighting. Lack of Reason and the Hullmen did a terrific double bill, and Matt MF Tyner charmed the crowd at the Brass Tap. Oh, and there was that Chrome show that everybody but me made it to, with openers Aluminum Knot Eye and Drugs Dragons (I'm glad they're still around). And of course "Code Purple" did another "secret" show at the Circle A that I caught, and that guy I know did a blistering space rock solo on "I Shall Walk."

Finally, I took a few days off work, ventured down to Illinois for some beauty, and got back in time for rain showers and Locust Street. I've done the Locust Street Beer Run in the pouring rain back in 2008, and I didn't need to do that again.

Despite (or perhaps because of) the rain, Locust Street was quite pleasant. Maybe the rain kept the huge crowds away, so only the people who really wanted to see a variety of bands and stuff came out. Whatever it was, it had terrific food, and a really nice variety of bands. I spent the majority of time a the Riverwest Public House and the Lakefront Brewery stages -- both seemed to have the more exciting new music, as opposed to (and this isn't a bad thing) the tried and true musicians and genres at places like Linnemans, Klingers, and the Tracks stages:  Matt Hendricks can always be counted on for a good set.
But it was a band called (Orb) that drew me to the Riverwest Public House tent, with this really aggressive sound with.... a farfisa (well, a synth that simulated a farfisa sound) and an impassioned vocal delivery that justified the effect. The whole thing came out quite balanced in terms of effect.

They were followed on the same stage by an outfit called Soup Moat, who followed the aggro mold, but just dumped more guitars into it and kept a headbanging crowd interested with stops and starts and tempo changes. This makes them sound like a sludgey kind of group (their name helps that conclusion) but they were crisp and precise.
Soup Moat

Further on up the road at the Lakefront Brewery tent, a stage full of women called Ruth B8r Ginsburg was wowing the crowd (and me) with a set of impassioned half a capella, half accompanied soul/folk that bordered on the level of activist gospel I expect from Sweet Honey in the Rock.  "(Walking with) Mary" nearly brought me to tears as they sang their love and support for Maria Hamilton (Dontre's mother), and the movement and march she founded. They don't pull any punches as their aim their accurate voices at injustice both locally and nationally. They closed their set, again, sweetly a capalla building to hand clapping foot stomping glorious testifying, and nobody wanted them to stop.
Ruth B8r Ginsburg
Vincent Van Great
Laurel Suflate
Vincent Van Great picked it up from there back at the Public House stage, with some terrific rap backed up by a live band that punctuated every word. He was followed by Laurel Sulfate, who put out some fun, danceable (dare i say Disco rap?) and the song I caught was ironically about how she wanted to be alone. I'm really really sorry I missed Whips. But Dr Chow was back in town for a rare appearance, and I wanted to make sure I was by that stage for it. It turned out that I could have stayed for Whips' set.  The stage Dr Chow was  supposed to be on was running behind (likely due to the rain) and Dr Chow didn't get on stage until way late --to the point where their set was cut disappointingly short at 8 pm, which is when the Locust Street noise and festival permit expires. A shame on both counts -- everything I've seen and read about Whips says I'd love them (so I need to put them on my list of "don't miss") and I was really looking forward to that rare Dr Chow set, so much more rare since lead singer Frank Chandek now lives out of country and just isn't as available as he used to be.

So this is the part where I normally point to the album full of shots from the day. And part of the day included an appearance from ol' Sammy Llanas, from the BoDeans, at the Linneman's stage, where I caught him singing a song and sounding more and more like Bob Dylan in grit and style every moment, to the point where I was making fun of him. And I was going to write about it but then this damn story broke. Suddenly I don't feel bad about making fun of him. Suddenly a dreary rainy day where I only got a half hour of Dr Chow and missed a really great band just got worse. This shit happens everywhere, but it really stings when its in your own hometown. All I can say is, Tessa, I believe you.

Here. Let's cheer up with a bunch of 14 year olds attempting Clapton, Baker and Bruce and killing it:


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