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Thursday, June 19, 2003 02:20 pm

Now Playing 6-19-03

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Jeff says,"Lance how ya doin"? when NIL8, Bitchy, and MAG meet at Viele's Planet, Friday, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
photo © 2003 Jason Madden

What's this, the beginning of summer? Come on and join your human ancestors: Praise the summer solstice this weekend!

Why not start with a Thursday night visit to the Underground City Tavern in the Hilton? Mike Barfield, co-founder of the critically acclaimed roots-country group the Hollisters, brings in an all-star line-up to promote his new solo disc. Barfield, who lives in Austin, Texas, draws on the store of great musicians in that city--both for this tour and on his recording.

It'll be a bit of a band reunion Friday, when NIL8, Bitchy, and MAG converge on Viele's Planet. Lance Reynolds, who for years whacked the skins for NIL8, Springfield's favorite punk-funk combo (and also engineered many of their most cherished recordings), comes down from his adopted Windy City home to give us Bitchy, a group he formed with ex-members of the Blue Meanies. MAG and NIL8 have been hanging together since they were both learning how to bang guitars and ride skateboards. Old home night starts at 10 and cruises on until 3.

If all that sounds a little loud--or you prefer two-stepping to mosh pitting--Andy Acree's Country Squires are playing old-fashioned country music at the Northender VFW on Stockyards Road this Friday from 8 to 11 p.m. Mr. Acree, a member of the Illinois Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Country Squires (remember the old Ford station wagons?) are a treasure not to be missed.

For the Saturday solstice celebration, choose from several titillating events.

This year's Washington Street Jazz lineup is a great balance of styles and attitudes. It starts at 5:30 with Black Magic Johnson's blues groove and ends after Frank Parker takes us to New Orleans in his 10:30 set. In between, you'll enjoy all kinds of jazz, dance till your feet are sore, and drink and eat yourself to unparalleled bliss.

It'll be "your own damn fault" if you don't get to Margaritaville on Saturday, when the Lincoln Land Parrot Heads hosts an Island Fever Party at the Ski and Boat Club on Lake Springfield. All things Jimmy Buffet will be the order of the day (from 4 p.m.) and night, including music from the Beach Bum Band and the Zydeco Crawdaddies. It may not be paradise, but I'll bet whatever you can render in your blender there will be plenty of cheeseburgers.

Down south in our friendly neighboring burg, the American Legion invites one and all to the 55th annual Chatham Village Homecoming. Bands, beer, food--and more fun than you could shake a stick at--will await you in the Chatham Community Park-South.

Next Wednesday, June 25, our old buddies the Cigar Store Indians make a stop at the Underground City Tavern. The fun-loving band entertained the folks at the now defunct Alley a few years ago with country classics, original keepers, and some AC/DC thrown in just to keep everyone honest.

If all that doesn't satisfy, feel free to try whatever form of entertainment necessary--within reason--to fully quench your particular summer party cravings.