Festive February fodder
Somehow during the global conference on holiday scheduling meeting many millenniums ago, someone must have felt sorry for shorting February in the number of days and made up for it by overloading on the holidays. My all-time favorite, Groundhog Day, kicks off the gala run that includes Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Chinese New Year and of course, here in our lovely Land of Lincoln, the added bonus of Honest Abe’s birthday. Many of these celebrations include opportunities to see or otherwise participate in live music situations, either directly through the inherent nature of the celebration or indirectly by worker bees getting a day off and in doing so get a night to go out and live a little or a lot.
This week exhibits a great deal of action on the local scene, but first check out this hot tip on The Green View, a young, area band situated in Greenview, Ill., a pleasant burg about 20 miles north of the capital city on Route 29. The group, along with local independent film maker Tom Snyder, produced a video to their song, “The Doctor,” and entered a Web-based contest that runs until Feb.15. View the video at www.youtube.com/m3sonicshowdown and vote for our hometown favorite if you feel so inclined. The winners receive prize money and recognition which is always very nice and extremely useful to a band.
Every time I take a look at IT’s Pub Crawl the karaoke and open mic nights seem to increase at a rate surpassing bacteria reproduction on the hands of crowd-working politicians. Perhaps the incredible talent pool available in our community bubbles over with so much capacity for entertainment that no amount of opportunity to perform can contain the genius bursting forth. Or it could be something else. Whatever it is, take a look-see and if you feel like joining the music business this would be a great opportunity to hit the stage and work out the show-biz kinks.
In other excitement, Flatland sets the record straight at Halfway There in New Berlin on Saturday, while just down the road Sleepwalker wakes up the crowd at the Still. In a fit of nesting, those Notorious Nightcrawlers creep into the Koo-Koo’s Nest on Friday while Tombstone Bullet hits the bull’s-eye at the Boar’s Nest in Athens on Saturday. In the downtown district, Bar None welcomes the Palace Flophouse on Friday, and on Saturday Marly’s plays host to the Lazer Dudes and Go! Tsunami, while featuring the debut of Springfield’s newest band, Telegragh 3am. For your listening pleasure Norb Andy’s presents the inimitable Hipbone Sam with Bad Bill Robinson on harp and Country Bruce Baise pickin’ and singin’ along.
Frankie’s 49er increases the early evening live music quotient immensely with Eva Hunter taking on the Thursday night crowd from 8 to 11 this week and Mike Burnett covering the Friday early slot from 4 to 7 while Jeff and Brandy from the Rave start at 8 on Wednesday. The news is out: the 49er now has a real stage in house and things are a-rockin’ over there on the near west side. Froggy’s (formerly a bunch of joints but all located in the old Ground Round establishment near the corner of Wabash and Chatham Road) leaps into the live music pond with 4 ½ Men on Friday and Backliners on Saturday with plans to continue hosting bands on the weekends.
The Illinois Central Blues Club continues a stupendous run of hosting great and good groups at the Alamo every Monday with James Armstrong on Feb. 8. Visit the ICBC Web site for a quick click to see Robert Sampson’s performance at the 2010 International Blues Challenge in Memphis on You Tube. Sampson didn’t come in first but, as always, did us proud and is a real winner.
Please enjoy those February holidays with the added live music bonus package.
Contact Tom Irwin at email@example.com