Lollapalooza Recap of Awesome

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WOW!  What a weekend and I have only just recovered.  I actually got to play at Lollapalooza! What an amazing time I had.  Playing on stage with such talented people as Ralph Covert, Little Miss Ann, Mr. Singer, Jeanie B! and of course  Laura Doherty (who put the whole thing together) was such a great experience! Thanks to Laura’s band (Rich, Andy, Mike, Rob and Cat) for making me sound so good.   Many thanks to Tor Hyams for having us perform it was really fantastic!  I also got to jam on harp with Brady Rymer.  Truly a privilege as he is one of the finest entertainers around. Plus his wife Bridgett gave me their extra artist wristband and I was able to attend Saturday and Sunday with my daughter. Win Win!!!  Oh yeah!  There were all sorts of other bands performing and I wish I had been able to see more but the whole weekend felt like you could never catch it all so just enjoy the moment. There were some great moments.

Glen Hansard banana song

Portugal the Man, Ryan Beatty and Glen Hansard on the Kidzapalooza stage.  Short sets of really great music with the artists a mere 10 feet away.  Glen did a acoustic set with Adventure Sandwich coming on for Banana Man which was amazing.  Portugal the Man absolutely killed it and Ryan Beatty truly can sing and his two man band (electric guitar, drums) brought it.  Best stage to see an artist.  If you’re at Lolla next year visiting this stage and The The Grove are a must!

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Kidzapalooza village has so much to do for the kids if you bring them.  Temporary tattoos, Drum circles, art projects, etc!  The list goes on. One of the best areas of the festival.

Free Ice Cream in the Artist Lounge from Jeni’s on 3404 N Southport Ave.  Unbelievably good!

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When the daughter and I were walking  in the Artist Village Saturday there was a young platinum blonde woman wearing a spandex leopard outfit.  When we went to see Grouplove later the same woman was rocking on stage with this amazing band! We are totally fans.  My daughter insists I buy some of their CD’s very soon!

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The many folks I met riding on Golf carts (which is the official way to travel around for artists due to the size of the event) including a man named Rory. We had a nice conversation about where he’s from in Ireland (I have family there in County Mayo),  the guy he’s playing with named Hozier (he’s the drummer) and the fact he was flying out right after the show back to Ireland.  We caught the last 30 minutes. They were great!

Jeff Bogle of Out With The Kids is a big fan of the Avett Brothers and now I know why. Brilliant set.

 

Cage dancing girls

Cage the Elephant rocked the schnizzle out of their set with a group of girls dancing in the mud.

Eric Schnabel recommended Benjamin Booker and that man can play guitar.  He should be careful as to where he throws guitar parts after the smashing part… Ouch!

John Wicks of Fitz and the Tantrums and his family couldn’t have been nicer. In fact so many artists, fans and staff were just plain nice.  Whether letting my daughter move up for a better view or taking a photo for us it was refreshing to see courtesy and politeness as the norm.

Rianna coming out to sing with M&M.  The audience was electrified!

The always gracious Rymer family.  Seriously go buy a Brady Rymer CD. They’re pure joy.

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Hanging for two days with my daughter at the premiere music festival in Chicago.

Many thanks to my wife who let me go for three days to listen and play music.  It was very much appreciated. Go listen and support an artist today!

It just got Real!

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Tomorrow I have to arrive two hours before my set at LOLLAPALOOZA on the KIDZAPALOOZA stage!  Seriously!  SO I’m gonna get some sleep, get my stuffChicago kindie all stars ready for the morning and head off to sleepy time.  The Chicago Kindie All-Stars are gonna rock it. Friday is Little Miss Ann, Ralph Covert, myself and the lady who got it all together Laura Doherty with her band the Heartbeats.  Saturday Laura and Ralph remain with Jeanie B! and Mr. Singer.  A lot of fun talented people playing both days.  Stop on by if you have a ticket because it’s SOLD OUT!  Hope to see you there!lolla

I forgot the contest!

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What I failed to mention in the last post was the Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is running a very cool “Year of the Weird” contest which you can view by clicking on his name.  The idea is for the fans to write stories or songs based on the song Imaginary Friend or his new character Weirdo Calhoun from a soon to released book. All the details are on his website and the 2 winners will receive the GOLDEN TICKET! Which means you get free entry into any Secret Agent 23 Skidoo Show for life.  That’s a pretty long time!  So click on over and check it out!

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The Song and the Process. Imaginary Friend by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

 

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Here’s a crazy fun fact! Would you believe that Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and I lived within a half block of each other in 1994? Right here in Chicago by Belmont and Clark? Well it’s true!  What is also true is the genius of this song and writing from the view of an imaginary friend who looks at the world in the belief that he’s real and the boy he hangs with is the imaginary one.   It all started with the idea for a song about imaginary friends.  Mr. Skidoo let it marinate in the brain awhile.  Like myself 23 is a big fan of comics and the idea of the parallel or multiverse.  This is where the idea of what if the Imaginary Friend had a universe of his own.  Telling the song not only from the child characters point of skidoo-photo6-lgview but making it a duet by having Pickles (the Imaginary Friend) who believes he’s real and the child he’s with imaginary contribute to the story. Two universes in one song!   So the idea is set and now he sets up Pirate/ Sea Shanty hook.  Which is how the Skidoo Process works.  IDEA – HOOK – MUSIC – LYRICS.  He tends to write when he has to. He disappeared for a month writing for this CD though he is storing ideas all the time in his phone. The ideas use to exist on scraps of paper under a stuffed monkey (which may be a song idea of its own) but with technology he may be saving a few trees. But I digress…  Because he’s now living in California and likes to record back with his crew in North Carolina there was a bit of travel involved with the CD.  For him the funky music groove he needed was where he had done his previous album in NC. The musicians do a fantastic job (I love the horns and the spooky keyboard).   He has one ending written but ends up changing it under the advice of his wife (a honest sounding board is very helpful).  Now he needs a pirate voice so he calls his pirate buddy (Of Course Secret Agent 23 Skidoo has a pirate buddy) to lay down perfect quirka vocal but… too scary.  How about Jack Forman (We’re big fans of this Recess Monkey/KPL DJ)?  Too nice.  So Skidoo is showing another vocalist what he’s looking for and bingo.  He finds that groove he’s looking for within himself.  Not too scary or nice but just right!  If you like smart songs with a funky haunted house vibe and great horn play check out this song.  Right now Secret Agent is in the middle of a National tour, finishing up a Halloween song and putting out a 7” vinyl with The Not-It’s.  Imaginary Friend can be found on The Perfect Quirk. So go listen to Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and support a Kindie Artist today!

 

A Bit of Catch Up… Jeff Fest, Slab Fork and Lollapalooza!

WebBanner_960x338What a great time we had at Jeff Fest again!  The band sounded good and the sound folks did an excellent job.  Not to mention Rob and Sharon made us feel like a million bucks and quickly took care of any problems at hand.  It is really one of the best festivals in the City and many thanks to the Jefferson Park  Chamber for making it happen.  If you have kids this is a must festival.  For a mere $5 entry you get the bounce houses, arts and crafts, a fantastic family stage with many interactive acts not to mention the great music coming from the mainstage!  With plenty of great food and beverages available I highly recommend you to put this one on next years calendar.

slab forkI would be highly remiss here if I failed to mention the show my friend and fellow Poochamungas bandmate put together back on July 16th.  Alton Smith gathered some of the best musicians in the city (some of my favorite people too!) and once again paid tribute to the music of Bill Withers. For a mere $10 at the City Winery one got to behold the power and majesty of a tour de’ force musical experience.  When and if they perform again I shall let you know and you should make haste to wherever they are playing.  Thank you Bill, Wally, John, John, Gerald, Mike, Steve, Manny and Alton for doing what you do so well!

Kidzapalooza-6-photo-imageThis Friday I get to play on the Kidzapalooza stage at Lollapalooza with some of my favorite Chicago Kindie Folk!  Many thanks to Laura Doherty for setting it up and for Tor Hyams for having us perform.  If you’re at Lolla stop on by Friday at 1:30pm. I will be performing along with some super talented Chicago folks including Little Miss Ann, Mr. Singer, Jeanie B!, and Ralph of Ralph’s World not to mention Laura herself!  Make a visit it’ll be a lot of fun!

A Gig to the Wayback… Jeff Fest!!!

jeff park signThis weekend I am super pumped to be playing the Jefferson Park Arts and Music Festival, more commonly called JEFF FEST! We take the stage on Sunday 2pm.  Back long ago when I was a mere skinny lad with a full head of hair. Back in the summer of 1980 (I think). The place to be was the Jeff Park Pool.  My friends and I were part of the first twenty kids in line when it opened.  Finally we had a public pool of our own with a diving board!  Prior to it opening we had to go to Norwood Park Pool which had two significant problems. One you had to jeff park poolget a ride from a parent to get there.  Chauffeur us as they did, a lot (before the seatbelt laws you could get quite a few kids in a station wagon), they had things to do and weren’t always available.  Second was the fact it was the coldest damn pool in the Midwest.  I recall the pool leaked and instead of fixing it they just kept filling it.  I can remember jumping off the diving board, hitting the water and my eyes froze open. Arms and legs felt like they were encased in ice.  Did I tell my buddies how cold it was… well the scream as I surfaced may have given it away.  They all jumped in anyway.  It became a rite passage.  The Jeff Park Pool represented freedom.  No longer did we have to get norwood park poolrides because it was only a THREE BLOCK WALK and one major intersection to cross.   No longer was the pool freezing!   By the second week all the lifeguards knew our names and eventually made us junior lifeguards (swim tested at the beach).  We all became pool rats and swam every day. The next summer as well.  I did once manage to forget my sister once (she claims twice) and she never lets me forget it, Sorry (again) Mouse.  Other than that all I can remember is magical days of Marco Polo, can openers off the diving board (bigger splash than a cannonball) and seeing who could swim a length underwater.  So if I’m a bit nostalgic on stage on Sunday it’s because I’m remembering all those great times I had back in the day with the kids from this neighborhood. Sunday we’ll be creating new memories and making our own nostalgia.WebBanner_960x338

We’ve been on a 5 month hiatus due to work and life so we’re all primed and ready to rock.  Stop on by the show Sunday, July 27th at 2pm.  There are a lot of great acts over the weekend so if you can’t catch our show be sure to check a few out. Other than the food everything else takes place in the park proper and it is very family friendly. Drum circles, arts and crafts, kids stage, bouncy houses are all included in the entrance $5 entrance fee (kids 12 and under FREE). Plus don’t forget all the great music which is what Jeff Fest has become known for.   We’d be going to this fest even if I wasn’t playing as it’s one of our family favorites.  The action starts today.  Hope to see you there. Jeff Fest is where it’s at!

pooches at Jeff Fest

A year of music.

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The goal is a simple one.  To spend every weekend for a year attending different music festivals.  Ideally Poochamungas would play at a bunch of them as well.  I would prefer no Jumbotrons.  One should be able to identify all the performers onstage from anywhere in the audience.  I shouldn’t need a TV to see the band I’m viewing at a concert but not a deal breaker.  That’s why I really enjoyed the American Music Festival last week at Fitzgerald’s and today at Irish Fest at the Irish American Heritage Center.  It’s about music and then the festivities.  People come to see and interact with the bands.  Gaelic Storm had such a crowd standing and singing along. Dublin City Rovers spread a lot of joy as well.  Such fun energy to be a part of.  Unfortunately my youngest child had no more energy to spare and we had to head home early in the show. My daughter on the other hand stayed and closed the show.  A year may be to ambitious… Maybe start with a summer full of music and expand from there.  The kids are young and they follow in their fathers music loving footsteps. So maybe?