"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


Wednesday Nite Retro

Shrieking Violet
@ Phyllis' Musical Inn
1800 W. Division St.
9pm, Wednesday August 13

There once was a time when Division Street west of LaSalle was not the place your average Chicago yuppie went for a weeknight out. If you wanted to bar hop in Wicker Park between Damen and Ashland you basically had about 3 options: run...and I mean RUN...between the Rainbo, the Innertown Pub, and Phyllis' Musical Inn.

Nowadays, these places are still open and considered the height of the hipster pantheon, along with Goldstar, but instead of running between them, you can now traipse lazily along between your choice of sports bars, cocktail lounges, wine bars, sushi joints, organic pizza, coffee shops, and faux-hipster dives.

But the originals remain at the heart of Wicker's lure, and nowhere is divier, scuzzier, or spits a heartier loogie in the face of your wanna-be hipster than Phyllis' Musical Lounge.

The sounds sucks. The beer is warm. The owner a degenerate, alcoholic psychotic.

But at least it's for real. It has a history that the other music venues in Wicker Dream of. It is a direct lineage to the old Polish Broadway.

And I'll be playing there Wednesday night with Shrieking Violet, a heavy-rock/blues trio of myself on bass, Tami Peden on drums, and Jan King on guitar. We are totally unironic. Have absolutely no shtick. Just in your face, loud rock and roll. Perfect for Phylis'.

I can't say much for my own musical abilities, but I've been playing with these ladies for coming up on 2 1/2 years now, and it is without a doubt the most real, true musical experience I've been a part of. Tami and Jan have been playing together for over 20 years, in such projects as Faster Pussycat, Medicine Ball, and Cane Corso. They met in L.A., where Jan had been working since her days as a fresh-faced, soon-to-be-defiled, young 17 year old with a band called The Orchids.

Not only does Jan play on the Les Paul that Billy Duffy recorded Electric with, you might also recognize her as the unlucky waitress from the late-80's vampire cult-classic, Near Dark, who gets her throat slit after serving a round of drinks to the marauding band of blood suckers in a small town tavern.

So take a break for a night from DJ Mashups, trash-disco, dance parties, and dirty hipster indie, and sit back, breathe in some stale spilled beer and admit you're not too cool for a little old time 80's biker-chick blues rock.

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