Latest news from The Southtown Star Online en-us Wed, 28 Jul 2010 14:10:16 PDT Southtown Star logo 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ A ‘Midsummer’ treat from Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks ]]> Lead story image

Chicago Shakespeare Theatre created Shakespeare in the Park to bring admission-free, family-friendly productions of the Bard’s plays to parks throughout the city. ]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:04:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ 4th of July weekend offers an array of concerts worth celebrating ]]> Lead story image

When the allure of listening to firework bombasts wears off this July 4th weekend, there’s a hefty lineup of concerts waiting for you. From an instrumental salute in Grant Park to a bonafide country queen and a trio of legendary rockers, here are 10 ways to spend your long weekend. Dave Matthews Band A DMB summer show has become ritual by this point, but this year’s gig at Northerly Island provides a stellar view of the night sky as the funk-fused rock band rips into instrumental explosions like “The Space Between” and “So Much To Say.” Look for dedicated acoustic … ]]> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 02:14:03 -0500 <![CDATA[ IN THE MUSIC SPOTLIGHT: Phish ]]> Lead story image

If Phish sells out one night of a multi-night stand, you can expect the entire run to follow suit. That’s because the band is the focus of a community that observes Phish dates like joyful family reunions. It’s easy to get caught in the crowd’s free-spirited chaos. As long as you know the words to deep tracks like “Possum” and new standards like “Sing Monica,” you’ll probably be shoulder-to-shoulder with your new best friend — just be careful not to bump the tapers. The band’s four virtuoso musicians have cultivated their broad-based following since collegiate roots in Vermont during the … ]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:04:03 -0500 <![CDATA[ in the spotlight Janelle Monae ]]> Lead story image

The Taste of Chicago includes a healthy side of pop music to accompany its main course of local cuisine. Running from July 9-13, the festival features headlining acts at Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park. Recent line-ups have included veteran talent like Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin and Ray Davies of the Kinks, in addition to breakout talent like this year’s Janelle Monae and Gary Clark Jr. Monse made an impression at the United Center last September, both as an opening act and performing a show-stopping duet of “Take Me With U” during Prince’s “Welcome 2 Chicago” tour. The artist … ]]> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 02:14:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sarah McLachlan celebrates new beginnings with ‘Shine On’ ]]> Lead story image

‘I started to write breakup songs again, but this time it felt boring to me.” Sarah McLachlan is throwing us all for a loop on her latest album. Since the beginning, the Canadian singer-songwriter behind such tearjerkers as “Angel” and “I Will Remember You” has built a 25-year career on pulling at listener’s heartstrings with her vulnerable ballads and that ethereal voice (not to mention the inescapable ASPCA commercials). Yet her own emotional struggles during the past four years started to shake the Canadian singer-songwriter’s foundation. Within a matter of months in 2010 she lost her father, ended her marriage, … ]]> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 02:14:26 -0500 <![CDATA[ Phillip Phillips hoping ‘Light’ shines brightly ]]> Lead story image

Two years removed from his “American Idol” win and gargantuan hit “Home,” Phillip Phillips is settling into the path that will define his career over the long haul. ]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 14:44:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ Leah Turner proving she’s got what it takes ]]> Lead story image

A California blonde who once lived on a dirt road off a desert highway, rising country music artist Leah Turner seems determined to convince fans, critics and the city of Nashville of her country origins. “It was the land of rednecks inFlip Flops,” says Turner, who moved to Los Angeles as a teenager to ultimately be discovered by pop music’s dream team of Humberto Gatica and David Foster. “My dad was a team roper, and we had horses and chickens and goats all over the place at home. Being raised by a cowboy, country was always the foundation I stood … ]]> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 06:12:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ in the spotlight Presidents of the  United States of America ]]> Lead story image

Presidents of the United States of America were least representative of the bands to emerge from Seattle during the ’90s. They were also the only one of the bunch to be described as daffy fun. Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Nirvana may have created lasting music, but they didn’t have catchy songs about summer fruit or bugs driving tiny dune buggies. Although his material often skews toward the absurd, frontman Chris Ballew crafts his lyrics to capture memories and evoke imagery. “If I experience something that strikes me in a visual, vivid way, that’s the makings of a good song,” he … ]]> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 06:12:27 -0500 <![CDATA[ IN THE SPOTLIGHT: ]]> Lead story image

Karl Wallinger has been making up for lost time. After a lengthy absence, he has brought the music of World Party to Chicago like clockwork for three summers. ]]> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 06:17:28 -0500 <![CDATA[ IN THE SPOTLIGHT — ROBBIE FULKS ]]> Lead story image

As a devoted practitioner of country music in a blues town, household name status has proven elusive for Chicago’s Robbie Fulks. Nonetheless, the attention generated by last year’s exceptional “Gone Away Backward” album has continued to grow. “I think this last year has seen more steps ahead than the ten before it,” he says. “That’s exciting.” OnJune 2, Fulks’ intimate residency at The Hideout takes a night off. Instead, he’ll launch the Downtown Sound series’ tenth season with a free concert in Millennium Park. (Fulks also performs at Ravinia on June 21 for A Prairie Home Companion.) “Gone Away Backward” … ]]> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 06:12:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ Meklit creates music with a message ]]> Lead story image

It wasn’t until she was 24 that Meklit Hadero realized that music was her destiny. Now 33, the Ethiopian-born singer/songwriter has perfected a folky/jazzy style that is being compared to a mix of Joni Mitchell, Norah Jones and Nina Simone. Meklit, who goes by just one name (pronounced Muh-kleet), says struggled for some time with her musical path. Then she stumbled upon a culturally rich community around the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco, and the pieces of the puzzle began to fit. “I met all sorts of artists of many disciplines from many parts of the world,” Meklit … ]]> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 18:52:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ A little more cello ]]> Lead story image

Ten years ago Ivan Trevino and Patrick Laird came up with an intriguing idea: Create a band that mixes classical music with rock. Break of Reality was formed while they were students at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. Wanting to take a break from the rigorous reality (thus the band’s name) of a classical conservatory, they were drawn to a side project that would fuse their course of study with other musical interests. Break of Reality features three cellists and a percussionist who perform classical and original works but also interpretations of rock tunes by the likes … ]]> Wed, 14 May 2014 13:52:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings ]]> Lead story image

With recent bands like Fitz and the Tantrums packing halls, and sweat-soaked old-school talent like Charles Bradley on the rise, the soul music revival that began in the late ’90s continues to percolate. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings have been at the vanguard, outlasting dabblers and trend-jumpers by producing impassioned material and electrifying shows since launching from Brooklyn in 2000. ]]> Mon, 12 May 2014 06:17:29 -0500 <![CDATA[ IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Gary Numan ]]> Lead story image

With an innovative streak extending 37 years, Gary Numan connects to his fans at different points along his timeline. Many initially heard him as a synth-pop pioneer who first charted during the New Wave era with “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” Recent converts are drawn to Numan’s exploration of industrial and gothic textures. Numan delves deeply into uncharted personal territory on his 20th album, “Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind).” The material will surprise those who expect the detached and untouchable character heard in 1979 single “Cars.” “I was diagnosed with depression in 2008 and spent the next few years fighting that,” … ]]> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 06:15:43 -0500 <![CDATA[ The art history of Johnette Napolitano is a ‘Rough Mix’ ]]> Lead story image

If Johnette Napolitano sounds like she could be one of the Italian Masters, it’s because she is. Although she is perhaps best known as the front woman for the early ’90s alt rock band Concrete Blonde, this modern-day Renaissance woman is also a sculptor, writer, film scorer, seamstress and activist/ ]]> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 18:56:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Julio Davis stays the course of Trio’s jazz/hip-hop soul ]]> Lead story image

‘I love hip-hop to my bones,” said rapper-vibraphonist Julio Davis, leader of Chicago’s masterly jazz-rap band J. Davis Trio, while steering his SUV post-rehearsal through a spitting March rain as it morphed into the five-hundredth snowstorm of this apparently immortal winter. “I have a blueprint, in my head, of how that music is supposed to sound. And luckily, people keep enjoying this journey I’m on, transcribing that stuff in my head into [actual] sounds.” Said journey, 19 years and counting, brings all seven current members of the Trio’s flexible lineup (plus guest vocalists Cara Dawn and Poi Dog Pondering’s Carla … ]]> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 18:56:00 -0500