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By Andy Argyrakis
Bonnie Raitt Weekend Report: A disco diva, Ravinia rules with top singer/songwriters
Friday, August 21, 2009


Considering she sells out every appearance at Ravinia, it's only fitting to find Bonnie Raitt headlining two shows sure to pull from her alternative country career with a handful of pop hits mixed in to highlight the familiarity factor. But Raitt faithful are best arriving early for opener Taj Mahal, a firehouse on the blues/jazz circuit in his own right that continues to dazzle even at 66. (Bet your life - Friday and Saturday at Ravinia- Highland Park, IL: www.ravinia.org).

Though her best days were in the height of disco turning in sizzling hits like "Bad Girls," "She Works Hard For the Money," "Heaven Knows" and "Last Dance," Donna Summer recently released the modern dance/pop effort Crayons. Though it doesn't quite match her radio glory days, it's a respectable effort bound to get some spins from DJs in dance clubs. As long as her voice remains it tact (which it was last summer at Ravinia)Elvis Costello a concert split between both eras could prove a little less predictable than the typical greatest hits fare. (Worth a shot - Sunday at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino- Hammond, IN: www.thevenue-chicago.com).

Faithful fans don't just get to catch pub rock icon Elvis Costello in concert behind his latest effort Secret, Profane and Sugarcane, but this show also introduces his latest collaborative band The Sugarcanes. Leading the pack for those players is Jerry Douglas of Alison Krauss & Union Station (who's front woman captivated Ravinia last summer alongside Robert Plant). (Bet your life - Wednesday at Ravinia- Highland Park, IL: www.ravinia.org).
Mute Math Street Week: Mute Math mania, Richard Thompson's royal treatment
Monday, August 17, 2009


After becoming one of New Orleans' most explosive bands and garnering loads of critical acclaim, Mute Math is slowly but surely graduating to household recognition status. The group gave nods to U2, The Police and Radiohead on previous records, but Armistice (Warner Brothers) finds the fellas turning in an even more experimental electro/alterative tint. However, as previous reviews on this very site have indicated, the studio doesn't do this band justice as the live show is truly where these instrumentally proficient players excel.

Sony's just tipped the iceberg of its Michael Jackson archives, but the five disc The Ultimate Collection is really a one stop shop for all things King of Pop. This re-released set features four audio compilations ranging Richard Thompsonfrom The Jackson 5's early years through its incarnation as The Jacksons, plus plenty of tunes from MJ's solo superstardom. But the true bonus is a DVD of an HBO special from 1991 when Jackson ruled the airwaves and could command the concert stage like no other.

And speaking of box sets, pensive troubadour Richard Thompson is also collected across Walking on a Wire (Shout Factory). The four disc collection covers the years 1968 through today, tracing a variety of record labels and artistic associations. Yet no matter what era or stylistic direction, Thompson remains consistent in his sophisticated craft and always has something to say. Just ask Elvis Costello, R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt and Los Lobos, all of whom have covered his tunes at one time or another.

The Dish Archives 2009

Aug. 10 - 14
Aug. 3 - 7
July 27 - July 31
July 20 - July 24
July 13 - July 17
July 6 - July 10
June 29 - July 3
June 22 - 26
June 15 - 19
June 8 - 12
June 1 - 5
May 25 - 29
May 18 - 22
May 11 - 15
May 4 - 8
Apr. 27 - May 1
Apr. 20 - 24
Apr. 13 - 17
Apr. 6 - 10
Mar. 30 - Apr. 3
Mar. 23 - 27
Mar. 16 - 20
Mar. 9 - 13
Mar. 2 - 6
Feb. 23 - 27
Feb. 16 - 20
Feb. 9 - 13
Feb. 2 - 6
Jan. 26 - 30
Jan. 19 - 23
Jan. 12 - 16
Jan. 5 - 9
Dec. 29 - Jan. 2
The Dish Archives - 2008
The Dish Archives - 2007

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