Monday, February 10, 2014


Hey, blogspot readers,  it's time to save this date on your calendar - 21 Sept 2013. 

That's when Gaelic Storm presents SHAMBOOZLE 3!

In it's 3rd year, this annual festival will feature music, beer, food and fun at Highland Brewing Co in Asheville, NC -  also known for its Gaelic Ale.

Stay tuned to this blog, blogspot readers. SouthSide will update as soon as the band releases additional information about tickets, travel options, lineup and more.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

07 July 13

Which wine pairs better with your music - red or white, blogspot readers? Tonight's On The Town adventure took SouthSide on a rare journey deep within the West Loop area for an evening of soul/funk/neo-R&B at City Winery. This music revue featured local bands The Diplomats of Solid Sound with The Diplomettes and The Right Now with The Heard headlining the lineup and DJ sets by DJRC and Mr. Gac with a funky montage of video images accompanying the music. 

This was SouthSide's first time visiting City Winery which is also a full-scale restaurant/wine bar as well as a sophisticated music venue. City Winery, blogspot readers, can almost be compared to Roger Park's Mayne Stage. The venue itself is quite spacious with ample seating and room near the stage for dancing. However during this performance, the tables in this reviewers were set too closely to each other that you don't have enough room to either move and/or sit comfortably without trying to bump into your table neighbors. SouthSide did browse through the menu which offered a delicious array  of yummy food selections to appease your foodie palette. Yet, the main feature of City Winery of course is the wines and it's very extensive with a suggested house selection for tonight's music performance as well as a list of imported and US craft beers. City Winery does also has whiskeys but not much in the cocktail department (they only have The Manhattan) which was somewhat a disappointment for this reviewer. Then again, blogspot readers, this venue's main focus is wines from France, Italy and California that you can either be served from the tap or bottle.

Opening the evening of funk/soul revue was a lively DJ set by host Rich aka DJRC featuring a mix of his favorite sounds of past, present and modern soul/R&B/funk, blogspot readers. Along with his video montage (that included classic clips from Soul Train and a 70s car commercial), the unique combination of sight and sound not only dazzled its audience but also warmed them up amidst the cool AC before  The Diplomats of Solid Sound took the stage. This reviewer enjoyed The Diplomats' set but feels it could have been better if the female vocalists, Sarah and Kathy aka The Diplomettes, displayed more of an energizing force in the vocal department to match the fiery soul of the band's music. There were moments, blogspot readers, when both vocalists complemented the music backing them (i.e. Give Me One More Chance) however there were times when the vocals seem lackluster and didn't have that soulful umph to boost the emotion and/or heighten the lyrics to make the soul pop to life. To SouthSide, they seemed to be holding back just a little until the right song or moment to really drive home that dynamic soulful voice to wow the audience. The band behind The Diplomats of Solid Sound was indeed solid in the sound department, blogspot readers. This reviewer found the music to be fiercely intense as well as coolly smooth within its R&B/funk soul fusion that offered lots of energizing buzz especially when you have hot rhythms from the saxophone and steamy funk from the guitars and drums. Even though the saxophone was sometimes virtually overshadowed by the rest of the band, it still made its presence heard and known like during the instrumental jam that set the stage ablaze with a fiery rhythmic beat and swinging tempo for some daring enough to dance near the stage. For more information about The Diplomats of Solid Sound, visit

Where The Diplomats of Solid Sound lacked in the vocal department, The Right Now's female lead vocalist made up for it, blogspot readers. Not only did she popped that wow factor with her soulfully dynamic voice but also upped the sex appeal that truly complemented the band and its image for the audience. Hot is not the word for this band's performance at City Winery. It was a steamy ...sultry as well as groove-tastic performance full of rhythmic beats and melodies from beginning to end. This band knew how to get many within the seated area to gravitate towards the dance floor even while it got a little crazy when Adam and Lucas (of The Heard) joined The Right Now thus turning up the funkified rhythm section to full blast. It was an explosion of soul rocking not only the stage but the dance floor during the instrumental bridge. Yet it was Stephanie and her voice which had everyone feeling this band's groove, blogspot readers. At times, she could fog up the room from the sultry sexiness of her voice projected over the microphone especially while the band performed in a downtempo rhythm thus allowing her to shine but when the tempo was more upbeat and happening, that was when she popped the entire to life. *fans self* And when the moment was right - Stephanie didn't hold any emotions back as the intense energy bouncing off the band behind The Right Now assisted in helping her vocals be more expressive on the lyrics. She let the audience have it all including some sassy body language to complete the sex appeal for the band. The true highlight of this set was when she did an acoustic version to Prince's How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore (a rarely covered B-side). Overall, blogspot readers, SouthSide says be prepared to sweat as you groove to the funk/soul sounds of The Right Now at their next performance. This band definitely turned up the heat (even with the AC going) by dazzling the audience with its rockin' energy and steamy yet sultry female vocals by Stephanie. The touch of craziness is simply an added bonus to keep you locked within The Right Now groove. For more information, visit The Right Now at

Get your dance shoes on! It's now truly the time to party, blogspot readers, with The Heard! This local funk jam band many within the audience (including good friend August Forte) kicking up their heels to the rhythmic sounds of their funk/soul fusion on the dance floor area. SouthSide instantly liked The Heard's brand of lively energy and funk vibe as each member got down with their bad selves especially when they paid tribute to James Brown at the beginning of their set. It was very cool to see how his musical legacy had some influence on the music before moving onward to other instrumental songs like The Walrus and Spoon Fork. The music, blogspot readers, can be simplistic with its rhythmic tempo and upbeat groove as well as complex from the way these musicians (especially the hot rhythm section) added a little music piece of themselves into the notes. For instance, listen to The Heard's epic piece titled The Falcon in which you will feel yourself vibrantly soar amongst the towering crescendoes while experiencing the intense melodic tempo around you. The horns vividly expressed the spiraling dizziness of your winged flight as the rest of the band dips and upswings to new heights upon coming towards the end. Then set got a little hotter and a whole lot steamier when Stephanie (of The Right Now) leant her dynamic voice during this performance adding more spice and spitfire that matched The Heard's smooth floetry style. Not to worry, blogspot readers, if you missed this rousing funkified performance by this local band. You can catch The Heard rockin' the stage every Thursday night at aliveOne (located 2683 N. Halsted) ...just be prepared to dance your pants off while having a funky good time. For more information about The Heard, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Saturday, February 1, 2014

04 Aug 12

Hey, blogspot readers, Lolla may be the biggest music event and news happening this weekend. HOWEVER, it was the afterparties as well as the many local shows rockin' the smaller venues/clubs that were getting spotlighted attention from this busy reviewer. Case in point, SouthSide opted to party with her #1 fan, Joe, at Martyrs' (located in the Northcenter neighborhood area) to review Goodnight Criminals which also featured performances by opener Argo Navis and headliner Veritae. Tonight's central theme was all about experimental, mind blowing trips into the electronica/rock music accompanied to random projected images on the screen to enhance your show enjoyment.

Argo Navis 1 - Argo Navis

This reviewer highly suggests blogspot readers rockin' to the tripped out instrumental megatronica rock fusion of Argo Navis at their next live performance. And she truly suggests you seeing this band live for the full and power effect this band and its music will give you. Think of these local guys as a young Pink Floyd when it was all about the instrumental/experimental electronic fusion of rock amidst rhythmic floetry of each guitar, percussion and digital wizardry felt and heard. Argo literally exploded with vibrant blasts of soundwaves upon soundwaves that sometimes came with riff or digital changes to take you further as well as deeper inside the music. Joe said afte a few songs that their music was atmospheric to which this reviewer agreed with him because if there were lyrics, the experience wouldn't have been mind blowing one bit. For example, after the heartpounding intro of one particular song, Argo presented a sort of a calming lull (while scenes of clouds floating by on the screen) in between energetic bursts of momentum and organ rhythms ...there were a few melodic tones here and there but just enough to make you feel that vibrant sound flowing around you. It was intense experience by this quintet of musicians never to be forgotten. For more information about Argo Navis, visit the band at

Goodnight Criminals 1 - Goodnight Criminals

It would be criminal if you didn't check out SouthSide's newest friends, Goodnight Criminals, at their next live performance, blogspot readers. Though a step up the notch on the electronica/experimental rock fusion ladder, this local band thoroughly captured the essence and sound of the dark moody themes yet adding some light and texture that you don't go emo. It's more like a club mixture and experimental rock which at times the music does have that danceable groove to the electronica rhythms or you might hear some heartfelt emotions being brought to life off the lyrics. You could say they're almost a millennial version to New Order if you really want a comparison. And just like the previous band, Goodnight Criminals enhanced the audience's show enjoyment with their random images projected on screen that also included scenes of last year's Snow-maggedon. After opening with SouthSide's favorite song - Pretenders (track4 off current EP release - Liars, Thieves and Pretenders), this band rocked the stage with a mix of paced of upbeat as well as downtempo songs from the EP like We Fall Down (which uses scenes from the Michael Douglas movie - Fall Down) where you can feel the electronica melody flowing more in a live setting than off the CD. Still, this reviewer was impressed by the band's energy presented throughout each song to the guitar riffs that offered a razor-sharp edge to a couple of songs and the dynamic falsetto vocals - not usually heard in a genre like this. Also there were moments when the music had piano-driven feel to the song thus adding more melodic tone to Goodnight's electronic sound or when the music did get dark and moody yet retaining a lighthearted vibe for you dance to. Besides the images shown, the lighting sequence for their set also helped enhanced the atmosphere setting the right mood and vibe for their audience. For more information about this band, visit GoodnightCriminals at

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, January 31, 2014

19 Aug 12

Hey, look up in the sky! It's a bird ...a plane ...nope, it's an F-16 buzzing by again at the speed of sound, blogspot readers. It's Day 2 of Chicago's Air and Water show and the clear blue skies are abuzzed with planes of all sizes and eras from World War II bombers and parajumpers to the famous Blue Angels thrilling a packed crowd along North Avenue beach. However, SouthSide's not one for crowds but she didn't miss any of the action seen in the skies as planes zoomed pasted as far as UIC (University of Illinois-Chicago)/Medical District and Bucktown areas majority of the afternoon. Today, she opted to rock out her Sunday with her daughter at Three Aces to catch her new friend - The Grisly Hand (from Kansas City, MO) during their double performance there.

This quaint 6-member band were the featured musical guests during Three Aces' Sunday bunch crowd to which they performed a selection of lively, toe-tappin' Americana/folk (with a bit of Country and Western) tunes deep within the heart of the Windy City. Yes, blogspot readers, this reviewer is not a afraid to join a hoedown and rock to some good o'l fashion fun-tastic Americana music presented like this band did. Throughout the first half of their double set, she enjoyed the spirited tempo and inviting atmosphere that surrounded the music of Grisly members and flowed around the backyard of this restaurant/venue. 

Even while in a downtempo rhythm, the band rocked the yard with intense guitar and/or mandolin picking but there was one minor thing plaguing this performance - sound volume. While the music was great to listen and enjoy, blogpsot readers, the sound quality was a definite issue especially with the band being outdoor. Mostly, during the set, the music outweighed and overshadowed the vocalists but it wasn't a technical issue either. SouthSide, in her best opinion, believes female vocalist Lauren  needed more vocal umph of her own to be heard loud and clearly above the guitars standing beside her. She does have the vocal powress to truly make certain songs pop yet it wasn't felt or heard during this particular half of the show. This reviewer wished she had more time to stay for the show's entirity but had another engagement to attend.

Despite the minor technical problems, The Grisly Hand did, blogspot readers, put on a rockin' show at Three Aces. The audience seemed to enjoy the spirited camaraderie and the witty storytelling laced within the lyrics that ranged from heartfelt emotions to humored wit. Off their latest album, Western Ave, this reviewer recommends checking out all  four-track but feels Still Feeling Blue and Black Coffee deserve special attention since both songs exhibit a little soul sound not usually heard in Americana/folk music. SouthSide also had a chance to check out Grisly's first album - SafeHouse (from 2010) and suggests getting quite acquainted to their Cherry Mash Waltz and Losin' You (Has Done A Number On Me).

Hopefully The Grisly Hand returns to Chicago for another show before it's winter but in the meantime, blogspot readers can catch this band rockin' around Kansas at the Uptown Theater and The Riot Room (both located in Kansas City, MO) as well as The Bottleneck on Sept 22 in Lawrence. For more more information, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

12 May 12 - Nocturna

Hey, blogspot readers, it's the bewitching hour and SouthSide's night has just begun! After rockin' part of with The Future Laureates at SubT in Wicker Park, it was now time to dance til dawn in the Wrigleyville/Lakeview area at Metro with the other fashionable vampires.

In its 23rd year, this monthly event hosted by friends William Faith and DJ Scary Lady Sarah (also of The Bellwether Syndicate) spun featured requests (by the Facebook Nocturna group members) from industrial, dubstep and emo to techno, metal and more. This local club scene is nothing like the club scene along River North area - no one's dressing impress another just yourself. Whether it may be a pirate to ALex DeLarge (a Clockwork Orange reference) or post-industrial or something you create yourself. It's nice watching the reactions from those hanging out at the bars on Clark Street while walking towards Metro on Saturday/Sunday morning. Dressing "weird" in black does tend to keep a few from bothering you, blogspot readers.

SouthSide knows they don't understand that everyday is Halloween. While at Nocturna, this reviewer did her usual people watching before hitting the dance floor - she loved the array of fashions strutting or dancing around Metro. This monthly "meetin" attracts people of all ages as well as racial backgrounds and beliefs's more like a "safe haven" where no judges on how you're dressing or dancing. And if you want to show off your best industrial or metal dance moves, Nocturna is the event to do it especially at this local venue. Plenty of dance floor to show your fancy footwork while rockin' to tunes like a remix of The Smiths' How Soon Is Now, New Order's Blue Monday or SouthSide's request Cyanotic's Alt_Machines.

Tonight's event had friend VVasher VVoman passing out some of her vegan chocolat s'mores - yummy and of course, Sarah's cauldron of sweets to keep dancers recharged with sugar between dance breaks. Yet besides the music, Nocturna also features local artisans from Lunasol Arts ( and also on Facebook) displaying their fine handcrafted Goth jewelry, neck pieces and more for sale. Lots of pretty things to accessorize your Dark Shadows like this year, blogspot readers.

SouthSide highly suggests spending a Saturday night with the local "vampires" of Nocturna at the next monthly meeting to dance until dawn.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Saturday, January 25, 2014

27 Apr 12

"...who's that with the whistle? That's impressive..."

Hey, blogspot readers, it's a rockin' Friday night to close out SouthSide's April calendar. Tonight, she's at the hip Northcenter area checking out the action and music inside Martyrs' where friend Derek Nelson and The Musicians were performing.

And what a rockin' hoedown-like performance did this Americana/folk rock band did in front of a near sell-out crowd. Derek Nelson and his band gave their fans (as well as new fans) something to get happy throughout the the set featuring hot electric violin rhtyhms and guitar riffs (including a lap steel guitar), eclectic upbeat tempos and a dynamic vocal combination that melted the mic. After opening with American, this local group of musicians began the task of keeping everyone within that groovy music feeling under such lively rhythms and beats to get your body swaying to the Americana/folk sound. There was no avoiding it either, blogspot readers. The energy felt (especially during songs This Time) kept many enjoying the uplifting vibe yet while performing Storm, SouthSide literally felt the sensation of a coming thunderstorm from the way the music and sound personified it. She could feel the static electricity heating up as the music crescendo to the point when it suddenly (and unexpectedly) meshes and clashes together like a hard summer rainstorm ...complete with tornado winds and more.

During another particular song, the crowd was rocked to the organic vibe of country/folk featuring a mandolin inside the fun tempo to which Derek Nelson and the band began a mini jamboree on stage. SouthSide highly suggests checking out the soulful yet gospel-like vibe of Darlin that truly had folks around this reviewer dancing up a storm. To her it was the highlight of their performance due to the band's ability to pop out of their "normal" mold exciting the crowd with vibrant energy musicially and vocally with a fiery spirit to bring the lyrics to life. Still there were a couple of moments within Derek's show where you could see as well as hear the heartfelt emotions pouring from the lyrics, blogspot readers. In one particular song Sayanora, the vocals within this ballad tone allowed Derek and his dynamic falsetto shine amidst a slight upbeat tempo but it was during Jesus when he really showed off his vocal style. Though a little darker than the others, one could hear the emotional heartache and angst vividly expressed in his voice while sensing the tenderest of all his feelings. SouthSide enjoyed how his female vocalist counterpart besides matching his vocal style also complimented his dynamic energy and soulful sound as heard in songs Come and Wait and closing song Ghosts (where Derek and the band rocked out Martyrs').

If you missed this hot performance, not to worry, blogspot readers. Derek Nelson and The Musicians will be rocking the stage again at The Hideout on May 11 for Machinegun Mojo's farewell show. For more information, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

Friday, January 24, 2014

19 Jan 13

This is why I hate Rihanna’s a real sister who can sing can’t get break...” 
Elbo Room regular Chris about Esh the Singer

Photo0607 ~ The Last Chance Boyz

Hey, blogspot readers, the weekend has barely just begun for this reviewer! Tonight, SouthSide’s doing more than just rockin’ out Lakeview’s local rock venue, Elbo Room ...she’s partying until closing time with Esh the Singer (WI), Astor Place Riot (KY) and The Last Chance Boyz (IN) on this chilly winter’s night. Though unable to rock out with this beer-drinking, girlfriend-stealing scumbag band aka The Last Chance Boyz (can find them on Facebook) from Michigan City, IN, this reviewer highly suggests checking out this lively bunch off rockers who did a very mean punk version of the Richie Valens classic La Bamba. Hopefully, these Boyz will return to Chicago for a full review and perhaps an interview, blogspot readers.

Photo0592 Photo0599
The Astor Place Riot

Upon her arrival, SouthSide was automatically mesmerized by the symphonically pleasing sound of a uniquely blended mesh of music genres. It wouldn’t be fair to this band from Lexington, KY – Astor Place Riot in describing how awe-inspiring the music felt or how wondrous the floetry surrounded this reviewer as it drifted across the stage during their performance ...unless you were personally there yourself, blogspot readers. To say it was an amazingly good set would be a gross understatement especially to way this band blended the edginess of symphonic rock with some dreampop, shoegaze and piano-driven sound and dynamic vocals (by front man and guitarist Josh) here and there that made the basement lounge vibrantly pop to life. Sure this reviewer could compare this band to another popular and/or local band she knows but for the sake of Astor’s review, they’ll be spared that since she got the general feeling they want their music to stand on its own merit. And it did. During one particular song, her ears were lost within the energizing pop of the symphonic sound that she briefly forgot how it highlighted the heartfelt sentiments sung by Josh before flipping the script for a more alternative/rock sound and less symphonic while keeping an electrifying tone in the music of the song that followed. SouthSide highly suggests mellowing out when Astor cranks up the intense volume while they perform long instrumental bridges to which the fiery spirited sound excited this audience and fans who demanded for more. Snag Astor Place Riot’s current release Crossing Lines that features songs likes 2 Against 3, All In, Prevail and In Too Close – this particular song truly brought out Josh’s falsetto vocals as well as the band’s intense crescendo music rise at the instrumental bridge. Visit Astor Place Riot at


Upstairs rockin’ the acoustic lounge, The Silvas warmed up the audience with a dynamic vocal performance set to an electrical acoustic tone that featured a couple of originals and Bob Dylan cover before Esh the Singer took the stage. SouthSide enjoyed the natural floetry from the unique combination of Jasmine’s voice and the electric guitar (used as an electronic sitar) when she sang a couple of traditional songs. Then, it was time for something a little different from Esh (the Singer), blogspot readers. Tonight for her Elbo Room debut, this dynamic rock artist without her full band took the intimate, acoustic route to which thoroughly impressed and wowed not only this reviewer but also the Elbo Room regulars and management. Compared to when SouthSide first heard and met this artist, she enjoyed change of pace that featured a much more dynamic stage and vocal presence out of Esh in which her voice vividly brought each song to life with energizing fire and spirit. And so what if she flubbed on her favorite song (Rolling Stones’ Paint It Black), it was still cool to know she has moments when the famous words can escape her grasp but can still rockin’ it out for her fans while attracting the new listeners who came up from the basement lounge.


Esh is more than just a dynamic female vocalist, blogspot readers. She has a special unique talent of conjuring strong female emotions and then translating them through her choice of songs whether they be her own originals or covers. From the Elbo Room regulars and management, they compared her to Stevie Nicks because of her deep, classically trained vocal style. It has gritty edge in which you’re made to feel her voice permeating through your soul not just sitting there in your chair listening to it. For example, she soulfully drenched the ears with her powerful rendition of No Doubt’s Don’t Speak to which Nick (on electric guitar) took a much slower tempo pace to allow Esh’s vocals to be dynamic and strong while Chico as her male backing vocal added a touch of gentleness. Or check out her version of Radiohead’s All I Need – one of many “wow” moments that SouthSide had to stop writing and just be in awe of this artist’s voice as she emotionally pumped all that she had into this particular song. She turned Chris Issak’s Wicked Games from an overplayed radio hit into something so sexually hot and intensely wicked within slower downtempo electric rhythm. Even while performing her original like You Should Know Me, it wasn’t only her voice doing the “speaking” in this song. Her body language was clearly voicing its presence too, blogspot readers, that she packed a powerful punch of fire and spirit into each word breathed over the mic. Check out her other songs like Toxic, I’m Doing Fine and Burn This Place Down and get ready to be wrapped inside a strong woman whose voice will take you on one heck of a emotional rollercoaster ride ...she will expose  your ears to moments of deep heartache and intense anger through her songs. Visit for more about this artist and when she’s rockin’ the stage again.

Photo0633 Photo0645
Elbo Room after hours with DJ Horsehead

Until next time, support your local scene,