Sorry, We're Closed

Saturday, September 24, 2005

60s Museum Event--the Playlist

I was lucky enough to serve as a DJ tonight at the 60s Museum Benefit at Chicago's Kinetic Playground club. The night featured sets by the New Invaders (with a guest appearance by Jimy Sohns, lead singer of Chicago's 60s punks The Shadows of Knight) and by the headliner, Country Joe McDonald (with three of the original four Fish backing him)!

Before the New Invaders, I played the following:

Arthur Alexander--You Better Move On
Beach Boys--I Get Around
Impressions--It's All Right
New Colony Six--At the River's Edge
Rolling Stones--Get Off My Cloud
Bob Dylan--Outlaw Blues
Aretha Franklin--I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)
Jefferson Airplane--She Has Funny Cars
Kinks--Tired of Waiting
Beatles--Paperback Writer
J.J. Jackson--But it's Alright
Herbie Hancock--Bring Down the Birds
Seeds--Pushin' Too Hard
Byrds--Artificial Energy
Mar-Keys--Last Night
Ray Charles--Mess Around
Little Annie--Lean Lanky Daddy
Nazz--Open My Eyes
Lovin' Spoonful--Summer in the City
Beach Boys--Good Vibrations
Nina Simone--I Put a Spell on You
Michael & the Messengers--(Just Like) Romeo & Juliet
Crosby, Stills, & Nash--Marrakesh Express

Following the New Invaders/Jimy Sohns set, I played:

Bob Dylan--She Belongs to Me
Shadows of Knight--Oh Yeah
Albert King--Crosscut Saw
Foundations--Baby, Now That I've Found You
Cryan Shames--Mr. Unreliable
Edwin Starr--Agent Double-O-Soul
Supremes--Love is Like an Itching in My Heart
Little Esther Phillips--Mojo Hannah
Yardbirds--I'm Not Talking
Doors--Touch Me
Bar-Kays--Soul Finger
Ides of March--You Wouldn't Listen
Kinks--A Well Respected Man
Byrds--Tribal Gathering

And, after Country Joe's long, but fun, set:

Otis Redding & Carla Thomas--Tramp
Etta James--Tell Mama
Jefferson Airplane--3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds
Strangeloves--Night Time

I'm tired, but It was a good time. If you're interested in learning more about the 60s museum, and events such as this one, go to

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Fire them both

Five reasons to fire Dusty Baker
1. Matt Murton batting sixth, seventh, or eighth when he's one of the only productive hitters on the team.
2. Using Neifi Perez at the top of the order, regardless of his endless fascination with hacking at any pitch he sees.
3. An unexplainable fascination with speed, resulting in players like Jose Macias and Perez getting far more playing time than they deserve.
4. His decision to rely on "proven veterans" who produce at a low, but predictable level, rather than unproven, but promising, players indicates a manager afraid to lose, rather than one who believes he can win.
5. Bunting with a man on second and Derrek Lee coming up next, which only leads to Lee being intentionally walked.

Five reasons to fire Jim Hendry
1. Overaggressive promotion of Corey Patterson, who came to the majors without strike zone judgement, has destroyed his career.
2. Hendry has never put together anything resembling a decent bullpen; this year's (reasonable) decision to dump Mike Remlinger without coming up with another lefthanded reliever meant that Will Ohman was overused, exposing his weaknesses.
3. Hendry has shown a glaring lack of regard for on-base skills.
4. Hendry has no organizational philosophy, resulting in a consistent inability to identify good prospects, sign them, and develop them.
5. Hendry signed Dusty Baker to guide a veteran team, then socked him with a bunch of reclamation projects (Dempster, Hairston, Ohman, Williamson).

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Dynamite! Late Last Night!

It was a night that a lot of us thought we'd never see--a reunion of early 80's pop group the dB's.

Saturday night, September 17, at The House of Blues in Chicago, the reunited band--Chris Stamey, Peter Holsapple, Gene Holder, and Will Rigby--played their second show of the day (the first, a shorter set at the Hideout's annual Block Party) to a fanatical crowd of pop consumers.

The band has reunited this year to work on new material, and one new original ("World to Cry") is available on A new album is hoped for sometime next year.

Amid pre-show rumors of on-stage band tension, and poor House of Blues sound system plaguing the dB's two opening acts, a good-sized crowd (including a huge dB's fan named Adrian, who had come all the way from the Czech Republic to see the reunion) buzzed with anticipation.

Would we be disappointed? Would Holsapple's pop smarts, wry vocals, and aggressive guitaring still ring true after all these years, what with his stints with the rootsier Continental Drifters and his day job as a keyboardsman/utility player with Hootie and the Blowfish? Could Stamey, whose guitar playing has become increasingly artful and deft over the years, channel his avant-garde tendencies into material now 25 years old? Could Rigby recapture the creatively aggressive drumming that characterized the band's work? Would Holder, a terrific guitarist who moved into the lead guitar role after Stamey left in 1982 after two albums, be satisfied playing bass?

These questions and others danced through the minds of many audience members. It was an older crowd of pop believers, as befits a group that hadn't played in this four-man lineup for more than two decades. There were faces in the crowd, who I recognized from other shows, that I hadn't seen for years.

It was interesting to see the four guys (plus keyboardsman Andy Burton) plug in their own equipment, although as a friend pointed out, it would have been nice to have some sort of dramatic introduction. As it was, the band got a rousing hand before they even started to play.

They opened with "Ask for Jill," the first of five songs from 1982's "Repercussion" album, which many (myself included) feel to be their finest hour. It was almost dreamlike to see a band that I've loved for more than 20 years back together, but harsh reality set in quickly: the sound was mediocre all night; the band was clearly under-rehearsed, having had just two days to run through the old material; and Will Rigby was hampered by having to play the House of Blues' house drum kit.

For several of the songs, Holsapple's vocals were strained, and Stamey's guitar didn't always come through. Some of the softer stuff, such as the great "She's Not Worried," got a bit lost in the mediocre audio mix. But the crowd's collective goodwill was well-founded; as the show went on, the band, especially Rigby, got stronger, and really seemed to come to life during "Black & White," perhaps their greatest moment--a classic single and the leadoff track from their first album, 1981's Stands for deciBels. Response to this song was rapturous.

Other highlights included a gorgeous new song of Stamey's, "Hang Around (With You)," which featured two-guitar interplay reminiscent of Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd's work in Televison, and a pair of standouts from the band's third album (post-Stamey), Like This: "Lonely is as Lonely Does" and the evergreen "Love is For Lovers."

The whacked science-rock of "Cycles Per Second," from Stands for deciBels, was even loopier on this night as the edgy Meters-like speedfunk of the recorded version gave way to an almost rockabilly-ish treatment and some goofy altered lyrics from Holsapple.

The band concluded the show with "Amplifier," which featured a rattling New Orleans-style piano-pounding solo by Burton and some intense guitar duetting from Holsapple and Stamey.

When called out for not one, but two encores by a fanatical crowd, the band seemed both genuinely grateful and genuinely tired. "We've run out of old songs," Stamey noted before the band played two new ones, an aggressive, raunchy number of Holsapple's entitled "That Time is Gone," a blistering Buffalo Springfield-meets-MC5 guitar cruncher, and the show's last song, another beautiful Stamey gem, which I believe contained the line, "because I've forgotten what it's like to feel pure."

Well, I remember now, for what it's worth...

Set List:
Ask for Jill
Big Brown Eyes
World to Cry
Hang Around (new Stamey song)
Purple Rose (instrumental)
Lonely Is (As Lonely Does)
Molly Says
Medley: She's Not Worried/Living a Lie/Dynamite
I'm in Love
Black and White
If and When
Love is for Lovers
Cycles Per Second
Amplifier (Encore 1)
That Time is Gone (Encore 2)
(New Stamey Song) (Encore 2)

Saturday, September 17, 2005

A few upcoming events

Just wanted to let you know about three things going on in the next couple of weeks.

Country Joe McDonald concert at Kinetic Playground, 1113 W. Lawrence, Chicago
This is a benefit for the 60s Museum ( and will feature not only Country Joe and his band (hopefully, he'll play the "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag," just as topical now as it was in 1967), but also the New Invaders, playing a varied and entertaining set of 60s covers (including a few with guest Jimy Sohns, original singer of the Shadows of Knight!!) and yours truly as a between-acts DJ, playing deep cuts from classic 60s albums. Not to be missed--$25 for two great musical acts and a disc jockey??? You kidding??

I'll be giving what may be my final talk on my book, "Wrigley Field: The Unauthorized Biography," at the Chicago Public Library Edgewater branch, 1210 W. Elmdale (at Broadway). The talk, a new one which will feature Major League Baseball's attempts to stop Wrigley from being built back in 1914, will commence at 2:00 and should go 45 minutes or so, followed by questions and a book signing.

The Captain Blood Orchestra--Steve Borgstrom, Ken Bergsvik, Don King, and myself--will be playing two long sets of 1960s rock (British invasion, American garage rock and psychedelia, soul covers, and the like) at the fabulous Kitty Moon at 6237 N. Clark (Clark at Thome). Plenty of street parking available, Warsteiner on tap, and, best of all, NO COVER--we'll be setting up a tip jar if you're so inclined. We should be starting around 9:30 p.m.

Hope to see all of you sometime soon, either at one of these events or on some other occasion.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Return of the dB's

If you were a fan of power pop in the early 80s, you may well have loved the dB's, a Winston-Salem via New York foursome that released two LPs on an English label (Albion) but had plenty of fans stateside.

The original four-man group is back together for the first time in more than 20 years and playing two shows on Saturday in Chicago. The first is at 6:00 p.m. at the Hideout's annual block party. The second, which I'll be attending and writing about, will be at the House of Blues at 10:00.

If you're interested in attending, tickets are still available. You can go to for more information. And while you're there, you can download a new, unreleased song, "World to Cry," for free. You can also make a donation to the Hurricane Katrina relief fund and get a copy of the band's new version of Jimmy Ruffin's Motown classic "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted" as well.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Good Argument for the Mute Button

Prior to today's Arizona/Pittsburgh game, telecast back to Phoenix and surrounding areas by KTVK, play-by-play man Thom Brennaman and colorman Mark Grace were speaking freely, certainly not aware that anyone subscribing to's live broadcast service could hear their open mikes.

Discussing pitcher Dustin Nippert, making his major-league debut for the Diamondbacks, Brennaman averred, "You guys are laughing now, but this guy may be the next Mark Prior. Only more durable."

Grace simply replied, "fuuuuuuuuuucccccck ooooooofffffffffffffffffff!"