Chicago is a city built on its neighborhoods. Look beyond the metal of downtown, or the glean by the lake, and you'll find some real gems. One neighborhood which shines brightly is Logan Square. And for the next few months you need to look no further than the corner of Logan and Kedzie as the epicenter of what is sure to be musical diamonds.
The mainstay in Logan, is of course the Boulevard Cafe. Over the past few years, this jewel has carved out its niche, and created a home for the improvisational music scene we all crave. Anyone who has attended a show at the Boulevard knows this is not any ordinary hole in the wall. Whether its checking out the weekly residencies by such legends as Sugar Blue or Bill McFarland and his Funk Attack, or settling in on a Sunday night for the Grateful Dead jam, the Boulevard delivers a warm and comfortable atmosphere to fill your head with all the good things in life.
And who knew? Sitting literally on top of the Boulevard Cafe is the historic Logan Square Auditorium. Home for many years to swing dancing, community meetings, and ceremonial weddings, this hall is about to enter a place where one can only imagine if it will ever be the same.
So without further panning, here's the line-up...
This Thursday, May 17th, the always entertaining Dr. Didg and his band of merry travelers. Last time Didg played the Boulevard he busted out an amazing version of "Dark Star" in honor of taking the regular Sunday Night Dead Jam slot. Who knows what he will have in store this time around.
Wednesday, May 23rd and Thursday, May 24th is the MOFRO CD release party. Seriously, if you've got any sick days left, you might want to think about using one. Thanks to the cool cats at Silver Wrapper Productions (who, btw, threw one of the sickest parties of all time down in New Orleans during Jazzfest) and Fog City Records, Chicago gets blessed with the kind of event you usually read about. MOFRO is self defined as "Southern fried funk straight off the front porch." They will, without question, be bringing some high energy to town, and if that's your sort of thang, this is one not to miss.
Friday, May 25th, Silver Wrapper does it again, landing the interstellar groove machine which has been sweeping the country known as Sound Tribe Sector 9. This show will take place in the aforementioned Logan Square Auditorium, and I'm not sure if they'll be able to keep the roof on. Sector 9 takes their music and listeners to places very few have ventured before, sometimes never returning... I highly encourage everyone to come check out this event and especially this venue. Believe me when I tell you it could be the start of something very cool. Logan Square Auditorium is located at 2539 N. Kedzie Boulevard. Show time is 10pm, and last I heard curfew was yet to be announced!!!
You might as well pitch a tent in the middle of Logan Square because Saturday, May 26th its back to the Boulevard Cafe for a late night mind scramble. This time for a very special engagement with a band making serious waves on the West Coast, Garaj Mahal. Led by visionary guitarist, Fareed Haque, along with legendary bass man Kai Eckhardt, and drummer extraordinaire, Alan Hertz "so good," this band is sure to leave your jaws a'hangin'. The festivities begin at 12:30am, and if we're lucky, they'll let us stay for the Sunday morning brunch extravaganza!
One more show worth the early mention is Saturday, June 9th. The triumphant return of Carlos Washington's Giant People with funk masters the Greyhound to the intimacy that is the Boulevard. Last time through, the Giant People left a big giant footprint on this part of town, and their return is much anticipated. Check back often, as tickets might be available early for this one, and if they are, well, you know...
So there ya have it folks. All that fun happens on a quiet little street corner in a quiet little neighborhood called Logan Square. It truly is one of Chicago's diamonds in the rough.
JamBase Chicago Correspondent
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