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Thursday, March 4, 2004 11:15 am

Now Playing 3-4-04

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Jack Flash Spillway Lanes Lounge Saturday, 8:30pm-12:30am

Hey there, buckaroos! Let's saddle up for a romp through the badlands of our bars and clubs, where the night never ends and the music never stops or, more than likely, the band starts late and the morning comes way too soon. Regardless, you only live once -- so pack your bags and mosey on over to the tavern for some rootin' tootin' good times.

Add a little jazz in your life with a stop at Robbie's this Friday. A little Latin jazz that is, with Craig Russo's Latin Jazz Project. The after work get-together goes from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Running late? Never fear. Russo and company are heading over to 11 West for an 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. encore performance. Hey it's only a half a block away. You can make both shows and never move your car.

Blues enthusiasts get a heyday and a dilemma this weekend. The Illinois Central Blues Club celebrates its own birthday (Happy Birthday to you!) with a Friday show at Starship Billiards featuring Milwaukee Slim and the Midwest Blues All-Stars with Blues Harp Jimmy. Nearly old enough to legally drink in the state of Illinois, the ICBC needs no excuse to throw a party, but if you have one handy, why not use it? Now here's your dilemma -- Lonnie Brooks is doing his thing at the State Bar and Grill with special guests Black Magic Johnson, also on Friday night. Somehow I feel it will all work out. Consider it a surprise birthday gift. In the heyday section, the ICBC will celebrate another birthday, this one in honor of the late Eddie Snow, a blues man extraordinaire who called Springfield his home. Bill Evans and an array of local musicians will pay tribute to the piano-playing singer who always looked like he just belonged there behind the keyboard laying down the tunes.

In the "places stay the same only the names change" category of our friendly column, you might have noticed that Froggy's, on the northwest corner of Second and Jefferson, disappeared. It has resurfaced as Lucky's. Bands are back on Friday nights and (bless his booty) Dr. Disco, aided by his faithful assistant, Marcus D, remains the healing inspiration for the gyrating pelvic disorder on Saturday nights.

Mahogany Knight, our recent Illinois Times cover girl, is celebrating a birthday in style this weekend at the Station House. Friday, local and out-of-town guests will do their thing and Saturday the "Queen of Hearts" herself will grace the stage along with a collection of what our own Dusty Rhodes termed "Mahogany's offspring." On Sunday the party continues as John, the Station House owner, throws his own b-day gala at 7 p.m. This party definitely won't be a drag -- or will it?

What's a Filthy Johanson and what is it doing in Dempsey's on Tuesday night? These are questions to be deeply pondered and only answered by a visit to the Monroe Street bar on the other side of the tracks.

Whoa there, Nellie. The ride is over. It's time to bunk down and get some rest. Good night, pardner.

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