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By Andy Argyrakis
Weekend Report: Power pop from Smoking Popes, Classic country double dose
Friday, February 19, 2010
During its initial run, the Smoking Popes were amongst the most innovative alternative rock acts who even found fan fare from the almighty Morrissey. Though the band broke up and splintered off into solo projects, everyone's now back together to deliver a pure bred power pop sound oozing with delectable harmonies. Though perhaps not as potent as back in the day, there's still plenty to love during this '90s flashback. (Worth a shot - Friday and Saturday Reggie's Rock Club- Chicago, IL: www.reggieslive.com)
Two country legends team up for one night only and it's certainly a must see show no matter one's genre preference. Veteran Merle Haggard brings his rough necked, take no prisoners brand of the old school southern scene, which continues to earn respect and admiration across the music industry at large. His partner in crime Kris Kristofferson is one of the greatest singer/songwriters of all time, ensuring a story-filled evening of characters and charisma. (Bet your life - Sunday at Rosemont Theatre- Rosemont, IL: www.ticketmaster.com).
The group may not have a new CD at the moment, but Jack's Mannequin front man Andrew McMahon is currently featured on the heartfelt DVD Dear Jack. No, it's not the standard concert film or behind the scenes documentary, but rather an intimate look at his battle and recovery from leukemia. But as this tour will prove, he's back in shape and ready to belt out the teen-friendly piano pop with a hint of emo on his sleeve. (Worth a shot - Monday and Tuesday at House of Blues- Chicago, IL: www.ticketmaster.com).
Street Week: Cullum's fifth CD, Stars unite for Haiti
Monday, February 15, 2010
Taking cues from "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and "We Are the World," Simon Cowell is putting together a new benefit tune to benefit Haiti. The CD and digital single cover of R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" includes Kylie Minogue, Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, Michael Buble, Susan Boyle, Jon Bon Jovi, James Blunt and many more. Proceeds will be channeled to the endangered communities through the British Disasters Emergency Committee.
The deluxe edition of Santana's comeback CD Supernatural (Sony Legacy) is back in double disc, remastered format. Aside from the guitar slinger's serious skills, he's joined by several special guests including Eric Clapton, Rob Thomas, Dave Matthews, Everlast, Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and many more. The tenth anniversary edition also includes 70 minutes of unreleased material from those sessions, plus new liner notes.
He may be a piano man, but that doesn't mean it's easy to categorize Jamie Cullum. Sometimes he's as upbeat and entertaining as Ben Folds, other times he's a consummate storyteller a la Billy Joel, while sometimes he turns towards crooner territory that would fancy Harry Connick Jr. or Michael Buble fans. On his fifth studio CD The Pursuit (Verve Forecast), all of those qualities remain, which sometimes evoke the timeless sensibility of his breakthrough disc Twentysomething from 2003 and in other cases come across in less flattering contexts.
Feb. 1 - 5
Jan. 25 - 29
Jan. 18 - 22
Jan. 11 - 15
Jan. 4 - 8
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