Friday, June 16, 2017

A Chicago Walking Tour, Great Beauty, A Haunted Bar, Music & More

At ChiTownView we explore the history, mystery and beauty of Chicago, with the occasional video clip that has nothing to do with the windy city at all. Anyway part of my process is to go for a stroll and film things along the way. I usually have a rough idea of where I'm going and some spots I want to check out along the way. Then there are always the unexpected things that pop up along the way.

Last Wednesday 6/7/17 was a good case in point. The plan was to take the blue line downtown transfer to the red line and take that up to Belmont. From there I would walk south to the loop. Among the locations I wanted to check out was; the apartment where outsider artist Henry Darger lived for forty years, a north Halsted building that had been a bordello, gang hangout and headquarters for a cult, and a couple of beautiful 19th century mansions.

Henry Dargers Apartment 851 W. Webster

The Tonic Room 2447 N. Halsted, Illinois 4th most haunted bar.

After these two stops I headed a little further north to the Francis J. Dewes House at 503 Wrightwood. Unfortunately the trees are in full bloom making a good video of the house next to impossible. I'll have to return in the fall when the leaves drop.

From there I walked over to the lake and headed south. There was an old gold coast mansion I wanted to see and thought I'd go through Lincoln Park Zoo on the way. When I crossed Fullerton I saw a sign that said Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool which caught my eye. I went through the gate a found a quiet place of beauty that I never knew existed.

After that peaceful moment I went to the zoo and it was well a zoo. Packed with kids out on summer vacation or taking that last field trip. In any case I just kept going way too loud and crowded. So I continued south through Lincoln Park and into the gold coast area a 19th century enclave of the wealthy. There I came across this unique building full of blue stained glass and moorish arches.

Following the gold coast I passed through the river north area and into the loop. There I got to experience another great Chicago summertime tradition, free music. In the Daley Center their was a house party going on with dj's spinning the wheels of steel.

Then as I was heading for the subway entrance to head home I heard the sound of blues music coming from down the street. So I walked over to State St. and found a three piece band set up and they were cranking out some electric blues. A little preview for the blues fest coming up the following weekend. Which will be the subject of our next post.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

World's Greatest Garage Rock Band, The Amazing Heeby Jeebies

I've just bought my first new cd in the 21st century when I came across a cd/ep by Chicago's own Amazing Heeby Jeebies. A group that serves up high octane brand of classic garage rock that I've seen live twice in the last month. And that hasn't happened in a long time.

They are musical and cultural heirs to the the late great Cramps. The Jeebies are like what the Cramps would have been if Ivy had taken over vocals when Lux died. In one forty minute set recently they did two Cramps songs sprinkled in with their own originals. They also played songs by the Sonics, Velvet Underground and Slade.

The quintet is fronted by vocalist Ary Paloma Jeebie a slender burnett that packs a lot of power in her pipes and smooth in her moves. The rest of the band consists of a couple of electric guitarists; Thomas Klein and Bob Hyatt. With a rock solid rhythm section of Earl Carter bass and Dave Shapiro pounding the skins. Together they create a high energy brand of rock and roll that is most enjoyable.

The cd I bought came out in 2015, it's self titled and has four originals; We Got It All, Mummy, Heeby Jeebies On A Saturday Night and Lupe Garou. Don't know how available it is since there was nothing on eBay or Amazon by them. I've heard that they are recording music for a new cd. Like them on Facebook and you can keep up to date with their activities.

So if your into garage, punk, rockabilly or any kind of basic rock and roll spend an evening with The Amazing Heeby Jeebies you will not be disappointed. Below are a couple of live clips by them and if you go to ChiTownSoundz you will find more.