Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

This weekend: Singer, Was (Not Was)

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Aptly named for a group including four solid vocalists, Chicago’s Singer, the new quartet featuring Rob Lowe (90 Day Men), Ben Vida (Town & Country) and Todd Rittman and Adam Vida (US Maple), has issued a strong debut called “Unhistories” for the local Drag City label, exploring an airy brand of psychedelic jazz. The band headlines over Detholz! and Cloudland Canyon at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, at 10 p.m. Friday. The cover is $12; call (773) 276-3600 or visit

The legendary and once-again reactivated Detroit band Was (Not Was) is back on the road in support of the new album “Boo!,” playing two-hour sets of its unique mix of R&B, funk, rock and pop. It comes to the Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, at 8 p.m. Saturday. Todd Snider opens, and tickets are $25. Call (773) 478-4408 or visit

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The other night I went see the band Vertikal at Morseland. They blew me away. The band consists of lead vocals by Stacy Rene, rapper/vocalist Butter, guitar, bass, drums, 3 piece horn section and at times keyboard and turntablist. They do all original music that will make you dance your ass off or sit back and enjoy the soulful funky jazzy vibe. The energy level of this band is contagious. They remind me a lot of the funk era bands I grew up on but with a modern sound. One song they did somehow combined a jazz swing feel with hip hop that I never heard done quite this way. All in all it was a great show. I recommend that you see them ASAP. They perform the last Wednesday of every month at Morseland as well as other gigs around the Chicago area.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on May 6, 2008 5:13 PM.

Demo2DeRo: Vertikal was the previous entry in this blog.

The city tries again to legislate Clubland — without any input from the music community is the next entry in this blog.

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