Reading Is Fundamental

10 04 2011

In case you haven’t heard, the Uptown Sound is getting ready to take another flying leap into the next project.  We’re the narrator/protagonist and house band for Bailiwick Chicago’s production of the Tony Award-winning musical “Passing Strange”.  You can read all about it here or get tickets over there, but while I had a second to breathe before we start tech week with the cast, followed by a week of dress rehearsals and previews, I was thinking about how much easier this whole endeavor was made by my ability to read music.  Kevin too.  Both of us have played in rock bands for 20 years, but before that we were playing in the school band.

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Keep It Together

30 03 2011

Winter keeps dragging on it, like it always does in Chicago. It’s almost April and the temps are still barely above freezing. Sigh. On the upside, we’re deep into rehearsals for our starring role in Bailwick Chicago‘s production of “Passing Strange”, and it’s shaping up to be another those weird wild experiences we find ourselves jumping into every year (like the Eccentric Soul Revue, who saw that one coming?). Billy’s been burning the candle at three ends, directing another Second City show, but we’ve finally got him back in the fold, especially helpful for finishing this new record we’re working on.

As we catch our breath for a quick second, dig the beautiful photos that QRO Magazine posted from the Soul Summit show at the Double Door two weeks ago.

photo by Nicole White, QRO Magazine

photo by Nicole White, QRO Magazine

photo by Nicole White, QRO Magazine

photo by Nicole White, QRO Magazine

photo by Nicole White, QRO Magazine

photo by Nicole White, QRO Magazine

photo by Nicole White, QRO Magazine

And since as they themselves said “This Is Happening”, this week marks LCD Soundsystem’s farewell extravaganza (a week of shows at Terminal 5 in NYC, culminating with a 3 hour marathon at Madison Square Garden, with punk-funk OG’s Liquid Liquid opening), I’m pissed that I never got to see them, but we can enjoy these records for years to come and James Murphy can get on with his creative life (like perhaps producing Spoon or the Arcade Fire, as he said he had to pass on those opportunities because of LCD commitments).





How you gonna make some time?

14 02 2011

Just in case anyone missed it in JC’s blog about the joys of winter in Chicago last week, we’re doing a musical. Yup, a full-on singing & dancing, bright lights, programs, ushers, curtain calls musical. Just like the Who, Green Day, U…. actually, scratch all that. While Stew’s “Passing Strange” did run on Broadway in NYC, (where Spike Lee shot it for the movie), we’ll probably be somewhere in between that and Ted Leo’s recent foray into musical theater:

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Diving For Pearls at Rock Bottom

10 02 2011

JCB purples-up some prose in an effort to out-drama this Chicago winter…

Winter’s working her wiles on us all. Some of us flourish out of sheer pigheadedness, like the fools who are racing down Ashland Ave. on bikes in the post-blizz road jizz. Others, myself included, act from a more instinctual cue and hunker down, burrowing deep while nature exacts her price for a wonderful summer past. Many who travel the latter path are saved by what they think of as the chains that bind them, i.e. their jobs: the rich grandma whose stubbly cheek must be kissed (and warmly, at that) if the rent is to be paid …the lumpy-lapped great uncle whose veiled leer promises to keep your phone’s data plan unlimited, etc. Many of us tend to think of our jobs with a mental sneer you reserve for thinking about long lines at the DMV and indifferent servers. I was one of the many until I recently found myself unencumbered with such things as firm wake up times, worries of what to wear, the social obligation to a standard of hygiene, and direct sunlight. You see, I was made redundant at the end of January.

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