On Shuffle - The Week In Rock: May 3, 2014

On Shuffle - The Week In Rock: May 3, 2014

The week in rock:  Random thoughts for the music fan on CIMMfest 2014 and Lucha VaVOOM... Plus the official 2014 lineup for the "Downtown Sound" series of FREE Monday night concerts featuring Bob Mould, Richard Thompson, Maps & Atlases and more... 


CIMMfest 2014 (The Chicago International Movies and Music Festival) got underway Thursday night featuring approximately seventy films and fifty music acts across nearly one hundred events over four days throughout the city's near northwest side.

Hoboken indie-rockers Yo La Tengo took center stage Thursday at Concord Music Hall veering wildly from calm to intense in a fantastic two hour set that showcased the band's ability to deftly shift gears both musically and instrumentally.  Phil Cohran opened the show on vocals and electric harp leading a trio that also included players on tuba and bass/keyboards.  Cohran, who worked with Sun Ra in the early sixties, reprised a pair of those songs later on with Yo La Tengo and expertly navigated a half hour set steeped in jazz and other ambient sounds.

 CIMMfest 2014 event poster

Earlier that night, Califone provided the live score to director Pat O'Neill's documentary Water & Power at Wicker Park's 1st Ward one of several such performances taking place during CIMMfest.  Mary Shelley (former Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, Matt Ulery on bass and Scott Lucas of Local H on guitar) continued that trend Friday night at 1st Ward, albeit in a slightly more rocking fashion, as a screening of classic silent film Battleship Potemkin was projected behind them.  For seventy-five minutes, the band never stopped, matching the emotional impact of the film with music that was at times psychedelic and other times punk.  While Chamberlin's propulsive fills were a highlight of the live score, it was the equally intense guitar playing of Lucas that fueled Neil Young's "Like a Hurricane" for nearly ten minutes during the encore.

 Mary Shelley - CIMMfest 2014

CIMMfest 2014 continues tonight with a Bloodshot Records 20th anniversary showcase at Logan Square Auditorium featuring Murder By Death, Andre Williams, Nora O'Connor and more while Booker T. closes things out Sunday night at City Winery.

(For a full rundown of CIMMfest events click HERE... and check back Tuesday for a full CIMMfest recap)


Once again wrestling - though not just any wrestling... lucha libre! - and burlesque signify the impending arrival of Cinco de Mayo as Lucha VaVOOM, in its inimitable style, arrives once again (TONIGHT) at the Vic Theatre.  With the larger venue comes more people and, presumably, more loco.  I'd be hard-pressed to explain it any better than the Lucha VaVOOM website already does...

"...at Lucha VaVOOM, we like a little sexo with our violencia.  Raucous aerial acts, Pogo-stick peelers, hula-hoop hotties; we’ve got it all."

Call me crazy but it seems hard to beat anything this weekend that embraces pro-wrestling, stripping, comedy, music and drinking.  The event is nearly sold out. Click HERE to purchase tickets.  See you there.


(Photo by Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune)

(Photo by Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune)

Free music Mondays have become a staple of the summer concert season in Chicago and, once again, the "Downtown Sound: New Music Mondays" series boasts an impressive array of talent beginning Monday, June 2, 2014 at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park and continuing weekly through Monday, August 11th (there will be no concert on July 28th).  The 2014 schedule is as follows...

  • June 2 - Robbie Fulks and Funeral Bonsai Wedding
  • June 9 - Omar Souleyman and Joshua Abrams' Natural Information Society
  • June 16 - Richard Thompson Electric Trio
  • June 23 - Bob Mould and Split Single
  • June 30 - My Brightest Diamond and White Mystery
  • July 7 - Joe Pug and Hurray for the Riff Raff
  • July 14 - Noura Mint Seymali and Ted Sirota's Heavyweight Dub
  • July 21 - Pillars & Tongues (headliner to be announced)
  • July 28 - NO CONCERT
  • August 4 - Maps & Atlases and Wooden Shjips
  • August 11 - Russian Circles and Colin Stetson

Admission to each concert is free.  Shows start at 6:30PM.  Seating area opens to the general public at 5:30PM CST.  Click HERE for more details.

- Jim Ryan

(Jim Ryan also hosts "The Rock N' Roll Radio Program" Sundays at 6PM central on WIMS and WHFB - streaming at wimsradio.com and via the free TuneIn Radio app for the smart phone or tablet - Just search "WIMS" to find it on TuneIn)

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