Weekend Shenanigans

Mother Nature is doing us a solid by giving us grilling weather temps (for Chicago at least). We’re creeping up on another weekend chock full of fun stuff to do around town. Here are a few for consideration:

Tonight:

Grape Juice Records will host their first installment of their 2011 showcase series at Subterranean featuring Julie Meckler, Rachele Eve, Jon Drake & The Shakes and Chaperone. 9p, $8, 21+

For those of you in the mood to start your Valentine’s Day a little early, Canale Art Lounge is hosting a shindig for the opening of its Erotic Photography Show featuring the works of my favorite rock photographer Jose Calvo, as well as Daniel Rangel, Jacinto Ariza and Julieta Alvarez. DJs Angelfuk and Tony Macias and will be on hand to spin some sexy tunes and will also feature a live set by Future Passion. 6-9pm, FREE, 18+

Saturday:

Brad Cole’s Acoustic Circus celebrates its one-year anniversary at Elbo Room with sets by: Andy D, Doug & Telisha Williams, Ben Bedford & Brad Cole.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Sonorama (the best podcast ever). Messrs Charly Garcia and Eddie Baca will be spinning some sweet vinyl at Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar in Bridgeport. Bring your dancing shoes! 9p, FREE, 21+

Sunday:

I’ll be playing my annual Grammy’s drinking game/bingo. You can follow that mess on Twitter.

Have fun and be safe kiddies!

5 With…Julie Meckler

Profiling people that are working/living/breathing music in Chicago, we’re chatting with Julie Meckler, a singer/songwriter/actress who comes to Chicago via New York via Paris.  Today we’re showing Chicago some much needed love.


* You’re from Paris, moved to New York in June of 2008 before settling in Chicago over a year ago. What was it about Chicago that made you feel like this could be home?

Chicago has everything that I like about America – good music, good people, and people who wanted me to be a part of their life. And it’s affordable to live here! And believe me you can get tired of Paris really easily.

* You survived your first blizzard! Still sure you made the right
choice by picking Chicago?

I did survive! During the winters in Chicago, when it’s not snowing, it’s blue blue blue – I love the light in Chicago, especially in the winter. I took a bunch of great pictures today.

* How has the city influenced your sound/music/lyrics?

The people who I’ve met here have influenced my sound a lot, especially the bands that I’m friends with – Musikanto, Curtis Evans, Jonny Rumble, etc – and obviously the people in my band – Brett Bakshis, Will Phalen and Shawn Rios. As far as my lyrics, being in exile, being far away (whatever that means), by myself in a foreign country, speaking a foreign language, it’s a big part of the new person I’ve become in Chicago. I think that whole feeling creeps into my lyrics.

* What’s up for 2011?

Finishing our first album and first of all trying to figure out what exactly I want it to be. Then we’ll release it and start promoting, hopefully touring. Brett Bakshis is our new manager, and I hope he’s going to book us a lot of summer festivals!

* And finally, the most important question: deep dish or thin crust?

Thin crust. Oh yeah. I need to find a good tomato sauce. That’s my big problem with pizza in the U.S. is the tomato sauce.

Julie Meckler will take the stage at Subterranean tomorrow night (Feb. 11) as part of Chicago’s own Grape Juice Records’ first installment in its 2011 Showcase Series.  The series kicks off with a stacked line-up that includes: Rachele Eve, Jon Drake & the Shakes, and Chaperone.  9pm, $8, 21+

Some Cool Free Music to Get You Through Your Trek to the Mall for Last Minute Gifts

The boys of Calm Palm Vapor just posted a fantastic cover of “Feliz Navidad,” it’s drenched in their lush signature ambient sound.  You won’t get sick of hearing this song. Trust.  Listen below and then click on over to their BandCamp page to download for free.

The folks over at Grape Juice Records have a little holiday gift for us: click HERE for a free download of the second annual “Friends and Family” compilation album featuring music from artists Grape Juice has worked with over the past year, including Julie Meckler, Jon Drake & The Shakes, Will Phalen and The Shams Band to name a few.  Big ups to August Forte of Novo Arts for sending this along.