Chicago Happenings 2/28-3/6


a couple of shows to see this week

Ryan Suzuka and Ty Maxon
Tuesday, March 2nd
8 PM
3159 N Southport Ave

Light Pollution

Wednesday, March 3rd
8 PM
3159 N Southport Ave

Steve Leaf

Friday, March 5th
9 PM
Underground Lounge
952 W Newport Ave

John Bellows

Saturday, March 6th
6 PM
Permanent Records (Record Release)
1914 West Chicago Avenue ShareThis

more videos from Feb 10, 2010 Singer-Songwriter Night


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Jeff Breakey and John Elstad Wed Feb 10 2010 at Phyllis' Musical Inn

Raul Cotaquispe playing a song from his set during the Songwriter night at Phyllis' on Wed Feb 10, 2010.

Guy Grace, Dr. Julie, and Hoyne along with Rob Reid - Feb 10 2010 Wed Phyllis' Musical Inn

more of that Guy Grace fella playing the Rascal's songs. ShareThis

Chicago Happenings 2/21-2/27


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Derelict Songs found a show every night of the week this week, except for Friday. So many great shows in the next few days!!

John Bellows
Sunday, February 21st
8 PM
Ruben's Palace
write for more info

Ryan Suzuka and Brian Walker
Monday, February 22nd
8 PM
Cubby Bear
1059 West Addison Street

Chris Darby and Ty Maxon
Monday, February 22nd
9 PM
Silvies Lounge
1902 West Irving Park Road

Graham Green Hosts 'Cover the Other'
(everyone playing will cover a song or two from another musician they know)
Monday, February 22nd
9 PM
The Grafton
4530 North Lincoln Avenue

Leaf Bird, The Sometimes Family, The Toughcats, and Ryan Suzuka
Tuesday, February 23rd
9 PM
Good Wolf House Show
write for more info

In Miniature
Wednesday, February 24th
8 PM
2101 N California Ave

Arthi Meera
Thursday, February 25th
8 PM
Strobe Sessions for more info

Facing Winter
Saturday, February 27th
8 PM
Tonic Room
2447 North Halsted Street

John Bellows
Saturday, February 27th
8 PM
Ottoman Empire
write for more info

Adam Faucett
Saturday, February 27th
10 PM
2338 N Milwaukee Ave ShareThis

Mixed Bag


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Ryan Suzuka at Phyllis' Musical Inn on Wed Feb 10, 2010.

Twenty-Three at The Foundry in South Haven, MI Jan 30, 2010.

Arthi Meera from the Singer-Songwriter night Wednesday Dec 9, 2009.

Arthi Meera at Phyllis' Musical Inn Dec 9, 2009 Wednesday.

Arthi Meera at Phyllis' Musical Inn Dec 9, 2009 Wednesday.

Here are a few things I have been meaning to get up and listed. The sets from Phyllis' on the 10th of Feb, 2010 remain incomplete, but the rest are due to be posted in the coming weeks. The Twenty-Three (Niles/Allegan, MI) song is one among many that were captured from that night. More to come....
Twenty-Three (Niles/Allegan, MI) doesn't have a website yet....we're going to keep you posted when one develops.

Thanks for reading! ShareThis



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Sometime during the winter of 2009 one of the bands I play in had a show at Ronny's Center for the Performing Arts on California Ave in Chicago, IL. It was frigid, dimly lit (a singular small lamp sat on the floor providing the only illumination), and everyone in attendance was bundled up inside the venue, as I'll never forget, yet all became the formula for a lovely evening of local music inside the old garage. The occasion, also, was another one of those evenings when one plays a show, shares the bill with other musicians, quite often other bands/musicians one doesn't have any prior knowledge of, and their music is so good it gives one pause, prompting the self and the audience to listen a bit more attentively, perhaps even causing a person to become a fan. That particular night, one of the other acts on the bill was a local Chicago musician going under the name, Meander. Her set consisted of a refreshing collection of songs and provided a fitting texture by which to conclude the evening of music.

I wrote Meander last week and she expressed interest in letting me post one of her songs (Snow Lightning Bugs) for the Derelict Songs blog readers. In most instances I immediately hear the sonic features of a song before being drawn in by the lyricism - that's just the way my brain functions - here is no different. Meander has a fantastic way of playing the guitar and organizing a tune, it was striking to hear some of the tones coming from her guitar during that night at Ronny's. I hope you'll enjoy this song and, perhaps, visit the website listed below to learn about the other song offerings from Meander. I seem to recall that her album is available at Reckless Records on Milwaukee Ave in Chicago, IL. Surely, Meander will have additional upcoming local shows listed, before too long, on her website. Be sure to catch a performance if you have a free night on your calendar!

Snow Lightning Bugs

Thank you for reading and listening!

- Updater ShareThis

Good way to spend Valentine's Day


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This was an interesting way to spend Valentine's Day. These are taken from some work done toward a yet to be released Chris Darby EP.

Erin Frisby on vocals. Erin is in a couple of bands: In Miniature and Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray. Erin actually spent time with us and then ran off to do vocals at another studio only moments after finishing her parts for this project.

Maxon on vocals and Breakey as Engineer.

Darby on vocals.

Schroeder on drums.

Darby on rhythm guitars and lead vocals.

Maxon on guitar.

Suzuka on harmonica and vocals and additional photography.

Breakey as Engineer and Maxon on guitars and vocals.

Darby on guitar and vocals

Gairroes on bass

Julio on guitar and percussion.

Somehow I was able to convince these fine folks to let me take photos of them while they recorded on Valentine's Day this past Sunday. Here are a couple of the whole lot to offer.

To keep abreast on Chris Darby developments, check out the following: ShareThis

Chicago Happenings This Week


some bird themed events happening in the next few days.

The Lesser Birds of Paradise
Tuesday, February 16th
10 PM
The Whistler
2421 N Milwaukee

Leaf Bird
Wednesday, February 17th
9 PM
2011 W North Ave.

Go Long Mule
Friday, February 19th
9 PM
Fitzgerald's Sidebar
6615 Roosevelt Rd

People Sometimes

Saturday, February 20th
10 PM
2101 N California Ave ShareThis

2 Shows on Sat Feb 13, 2010...take yer pick!


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Lest I go to sleep and forget in the morning....On Saturday Feb 13, 2010 there are two local Chicago shows of note. Either show is a great option. All participating musicians are good folk to chat with, say hello if you go.

Rebecca Sometimes (of The Sometimes Family) will be playing at:

The Store
2002 N Halsted
Chicago, IL
9PM start time (price is free! drinks cost money, though)
the show is with: As Forty Sleeps, Stealth Like a Canoe


A shot of Ty Maxon in-between songs in Hastings, MI Jan 29 2010 Friday.

The other option is to see if you can still attend a house show located in Chicago (right by the Rockwell Brown Line). To find out about details, go to: There is a link on the page where you can find out more. I hope I am not too late with this posting if you really want to go. The show is going to feature both Ty Maxon and Rob Reid. I can't post the address, but write to Rob at his website to find out the details. The show starts at 7PM, and it's BYOB with a requested $10 donation at the door.

Here's a shot of Rob Reid playing at Phyllis' Musical Inn on Wed Feb 10 2010


One fun little note about Rebecca is that she helps keep, along with the help of her band, a nice little blog about their band's life. Check it out below:

Listen well, and thank you for reading!

- Updater ShareThis

Singer-Songwriter Night - Chris Darby and Friends Feb 10 2010 Wednesday


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Here are a couple of quick photos from the evening of music that occurred last night at Phyllis' Musical Inn at 1800 W Division St., Chicago, IL. This is the 56th year of Phyllis' being in business. It was good to see Clem Jaskot, the owner of the bar, and Kenny, drummer from the band Anxiety High.

These such evenings are the brainchild of Chris Darby, local singer-songwriter. He has been doing these events for two years or so, and has been playing the local Chicago area and the midwest for the past 7 years. Chris will be embarking on an adventurous outing come this next July 2010. Please check out Chris's music at

Chris arranged for a few local musicians to play a set of songs that they might not be typically doing on any other night. The challenge of the night was to assign a cluster of six willing musicians to learn roughly 5 to 7 songs of one of the other participating musicians. The night ensued as follows:

Guy Grace played Rob Reid songs
Rob Reid played Guy Grace songs
Raul Cotaquispe play Jeff Breakey songs
Jeff Breakey played Raul Cotaquispe songs
Ryan Suzuka played Ty Maxon songs
Ty Maxon played Ryan Suzuka songs
Chris Darby played a song from everyone that participated

NOTES on the photos: the battery to the camera cancelled out right after the Ryan Suzuka set, so I focused on getting a full song on video before it faded out. None of the Ty Maxon photos turned out due to photographer error.

Guy Grace played Rob Reid songs during the Songwriter night.

Guy Grace and his backing band: Dr. Julie on violin/percussion, and Hoyne on guitars

Rob Reid playing Guy Grace songs

Raul Cotaquispe playing Jeff Breakey songs

Jeff Breakey and his guitarist John Elstad playing Raul Cotaquispe songs.

A pretty terrible picture from the back of the bar, but it offers a little perspective.

Another shot of Rob Reid playing the Guy Grace songs

This photo really typifies Guy Grace on stage. The fella barely remains still, and that made for a great performance.

This shot with Rob Reid, Hoyne, Guy Grace, and Dr. Julie.

Show Highlights:

Ty Maxon covered two songs of Ryan Suzuka's, one of which, I believe, was his last song of the night. Impeccable. A riveting performance. I wish I had a recording.

Chris Darby singing a cover of Guy Grace's 'Beautiful Man'. Darby went into a vocal range I had never seen before in the years that I have been fortunate enough to watch him perform live. The bar erupted in applause after that song. I wish I had a recording.

All told, it was a wonderful time and pleasant evening just to sit down and listen to these folks engrossed in their craft.

Quote of the Night: "Chris, Phil, she needs a husband." - Clem Jaskot

See other photos from the night here:

The next in the Singer-Songwriter Series is on April 28, 2010 Wednesday.

Stay tuned for videos to be posted on this here blog. And, thank you for reading!

- Updater ShareThis

heaven or graceland?


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most singer-songwriters play songs of a somber-variety. tennessee troubador henry daggs is more likely to inspire a shit-eating grin. in his songs, daggs tells you why he'd rather visit graceland than go to heaven and why bears are like giant dogs that want to kill you. the light-hearted nature of so many of henry's songs makes it that much more effective when he wants to drive home a serious point about loyalty or a friendship gone awry.

on a recent night in january, henry blazed through kansas city with his collaborators children of spy. henry played an early show at davey's uptown ramblers club with ben summers and chad rex and a late show at the riot room with the grisly hand, remarkably filling both venues--something out of the ordinary as any touring musician who has played kansas city will tell you. at the matinee show, henry played a solo set to a quiet and attentive audience. later on in the night, things got substantially more raucous as children of spy filled out the arrangements.
listen to "fuck heaven" off of henry daggs' record "effing the ineffable."

Fuck Heaven

Interview with Rob Reid


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Folks, I wanted to take a moment to post a recent e-mail interview that we completed with Rob Reid. He is a local singer-songwriter from Chicago, Illinois. One of the bands I am in has traveled quite extensively with Rob, for the past 5 years, throughout the Midwestern states playing our respective brands of original music.

The photos that follow are some vintage Rob Reid from Spring 2006. He was kind enough to come and play at my job at the time. He is always a big hit wherever he plays his songs.


Let's get on with the interview and let Rob do the talking. I hope you enjoy!

Interview begin:

1. You have a new album that was just released in recent weeks, can you tell us about it?

Rob's Response (R): I'm happy that it's finally done. Now I can focus on wrapping up 2009 and hopefully soon re-joining the rest of my friends in the year 2010 by some time in mid-February. I've heard from those who've been, that 2010 is a really good year.

2. Is there a larger story to this album that each of the songs touches on?

(R): There's as much of a coherent plan to this album as there had been to my life at the time I wrote the songs, which is to say almost none at all. The songs were written over a long stretch between 2004 and 2008 when I was struggling with trying to balance all my passions in life, including traveling to Africa, teaching ethnic seniors how to shout "Bingo!", volunteering in India, studying re-use of abandoned cinemas, playing broomball, drinking free vodka under mandate at Polish dive bars, thinking about building robots, etc. Sometimes the inside of my head resembled an old married couple, bickering back and forth and never resolving to consensus but all the while staying married out of obligation.

Back in '06 I hired something of a psychic brain surgeon/hypnotist to help me sort this all out. The title, "The Principles of Crop Rotation" comes from a concept she introduced me to called the "The Universal Cycle of Change". Just as trees know to let their leaves fall off in the autumn and regenerate in the spring, I could learn to more gracefully allow my hobbies to come and go like seasons. When I got tired of playing music, I could let that go and not worry about losing the plateau, while following some new hobby like trying to unlock the mysteries of Elston Avenue, one of the city's loneliest streets. Then when I got back to the music, I was that much fresher and often could fold my newer ideas into older projects.

3. Where did the recording take place? Can you expand a bit. Some of our readers are gearheads.

(R): The actual recording all took place in my home. I didn't want to waste anyone's time but my own. When I finished the tracks, Tim Sandusky mixed and mastered them in his attic.

My home is quintessential Chicago West Side, and not sound insulated, so if you listen real hard you might hear an occasional roaring engine, my neighbor's band in the basement, somebody yelling something about tamales, and possibly even a few gun shots. Most of the guitar tracks were recorded through an amp in the bathroom, where I got this cool echo-ey sound that I found much to my liking.

4. Any secret weapons (music gear) that you use to record Rob Reid albums?

(R): I couldn't distinguish quality gear from a Radio Shack deal if it struck me over the head during a guitar solo. But Populele, one of Avondale's most prominent gearheads, left two extended voice messages for me over the past month- one raving about the sound quality of the StudioProjects VTB pre-amp which I used to record my vocals, and the other proclaiming that he had just bought one himself. It's that good- and very reasonably priced due to its relative anonymity.

5. If there were albums from other musicians that you kept at the fore of your mind, for inspiration, during the recording of this album, what five albums would you narrow that list down to?

(R): Most of what I listened to during that period was anthologies of world music that I found through Chicago Public Library. This probably influenced me subconsciously, but with the exception of a few tracks this is not a world music album. Some more direct influences would include:

Catalpa (Jolie Holland)
The Charts' Greatest Hits
Tusk (Fleetwood Mac)
Nandolo with Love (Francis Bebey)
Living with Ghosts (Patty Griffin)

6. Tell us about any plans that Rob Reid, the musician, has in store for 2010.

(R): Ideas take a long time to germinate. I bought some percussion last winter in an effort to drown out my neighbor's band. I gotta tell you, I enjoy striking a drum more than I do plucking a guitar. I've been practicing. I put my thrift store kitchenware drum kit back together and have been playing that a bit. I can tell you this, my music in 2010 is going to be a lot louder than anything you've heard from me in the past. I'm going to start all of my sentences with the word "I" in 2010. I might have a band called Illinois Bovine Explosion involved in implementing my vision, or I might just hire robots to fill in as band-mates.

7. For live music, what are your top three places to play live Rob Reid shows at in the world.

(R): The Green Lantern, Winona Minnesota circa 2005. There's been nothing like it since- a coffeeshop with no profit motive, a puppet master as barista, and an eclectic magnetism for ballroom dancers and dungeons and dragons veterans alike.

Though it took me some time to warm up to it, I really like Uncommon Ground these days. Jen does a great job on sound. All my friends are getting old, and they're starting to like sitting down at tables instead of standing up at bars.

State Grounds in Hastings, Michigan is another favorite. It's really just the epitome of an unlikely class of songwriter-friendly coffee shops - a small venue owner in a culture-starved town willing to occasionally shell out gas money for a touring artist mostly for the sake of charity and/or his own entertainment. It's not like I've ever brought customers into the place, but he welcomes me back and pays more attention than the aggregate of a roomful of barflies.

8. What was the last album that was recommended to you, by any one of your friends, that you have found to be a very good recommendation?

(R): While I'm often buried in stacks of cryptic/obscure albums from the distant past and from abroad, I do a terrible job of keeping up with what's new in the music world.

My sister, now that she has mellowed out and no longer "drives like a getaway driver for a bankrobber on a Sunday afternoon" has gotten really good at finding new and interesting music.

This past Christmas, she picked up "Wooden Arms" by Patrick Watson for me, and I love it.

9. Of other musicians that exist in the world, name one artist or group that is active right now, and making great music, that just doesn't get noticed enough by other media outlets.

(R): Musicians all know that mainstream media outlets consistently ignore musicianship and talent in favor of slicker and more accessible sounds or images, but Portuguese fado music has received a knife to the back far more damaging than most starving American musicians could rightfully complain about, due to Portugal's longstanding underdog status as well as fado's association with the repressive regime of Antonio Salazar last century.

Ana Moura is my favorite fadista singing today- successful in her own right, but unknown to probably 95% of Americans.


Rob will be playing a house concert this Saturday Feb 13 2010. For those that are interested in seeing him live, go to the following website for more details: Rob will be playing a set and then Ty Maxon will also play a set of songs. Should be an amazing time.

Please visit the following for more information on Rob Reid and Ty Maxon.

Chicago Happenings This Week


This is a new (hopefully weekly) feature of this blog, where we will highlight great underground shows in Chicago. For instance, this week, you could go see:

Gia Margaret
Monday, February 8th
8 PM
3159 N. Southport

Heather Styka
Tuesday, February 9th
9 PM
Double Door
1572 N Milwaukee Ave

Chris Darby and Friends
Wednesday, February 10th
Phyllis' Musical Inn
1800 w Division St.

Everyone performing at this show will be playing songs of other people playing that night. This will truly be a collaborative evening of song.
Players this night will include Guy Grace , Rob Reid, Jeff Breakey, Ty Maxon, Raul Cotaquispe, Ryan Suzuka, and Chris Darby

Rob Reid and Ty Maxon

Saturday, February 13th
7 PM
Rockwell Crossing House of Folk
private house concert. write derelict songs for more info

Rebecca Sometimes
Saturday, February 13th
9 PM
The Store
2002 N Halsted ShareThis

5 videos from the weekend...


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video of Ty Maxon playing a song in Hastings, MI on Friday Night Jan 29 2010

Ty Maxon again. Same night.

video of Twenty-Three playing a song at The Foundry Hall in South Haven, MI on Jan 30 2010.

Steve Leaf at an amazing house concert in Haslett, MI on Sunday Jan 31, 2010. The backing band consists of members from Go Long Mule.

Another song from Steve Leaf's set at the House Concert on Sunday Jan 31 2010 in Haslett, Michigan.

Twenty-Three ShareThis

more from Twenty-Three at The Foundry Hall


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Here are a couple of more songs from Saturday Jan 30 2010 in South Haven, MI at The Foundry Hall. These are featuring the bluegrass band Twenty-Three.

Twenty-Three - audio from video 2.mp3

Twenty-Three - audio from video 3.mp3 ShareThis