RSSLocal Scene By Tom Lounges

Lounges looks at the latest projects of local musicians and bands and lets people know about upcoming musical events.

Indie rocker, Bowie and Lira Ensemble

Indie rocker, Bowie and Lira Ensemble
September 18, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Transplanted region native Katie Schlesinger grew up in Munster and graduated as a “Mustang” before transforming herself into the trendy, indie rocker Katie Day and relocating to San Francisco. The term “indie” gets underscored in the case of Day, who writes, arranges, sings, produces and plays all the instruments (except drums and cello) on her original recordings.

Her latest batch has been collected and released as the 6-track EP, “Burn it to the Ground,” and has gotten great reviews and lots of attention. The most “buzz” on the Internet music sites has been for her quirky tech-pop single, “San Francisco (Before the West Falls).”

Day returns to the sparse, esoteric sound she is known for on the songs “Not Scared of the Devil”, “What Do You Got” and “Lower Haight Anthem,” before slipping back into trippy electro-pop mode with her loopy treatment of The Zombies classic “Time of the Season.” This former Hoosier has tasty tunes worth checking out. Find them at: www.katiedaymusic.com.

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Looking back on Survivor's Jimi Jamison

Looking back on Survivor's Jimi Jamison
September 11, 2014 1:00 am  • 

The damper on Labor Day had nothing to do with the thunderstorms plaguing the region, but it was the sad news of 63-year-old Survivor vocalist Jimi Jamison suffering a fatal heart attack. One of rock music’s greatest voices had been silenced.

"Jimi’s sense of humor and down-home charm never failed to warm up any room. As soon as I started taking life (or myself) too seriously, Jimi would be the first one to bring me down to earth," recalled his good friend and former band mate Jim Peterik on his Facebook page. "He always had plenty of time for his fans and even more for his friends. And his fundraising for St. Jude and other causes is exemplary."

Jimi grew up and lived in Memphis, but Chicago and its people became very special to him after becoming frontman/vocalist of Survivor in 1984 with the album “Vital Signs,” helping revitalize the Windy City band’s chart and radio success on songs like “The Search is Over” (#4), “High On You” (#8), “I Can’t Hold Back” (#13), and “Is This Love” (#10).

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Into the Light moves into secular success too

Into the Light moves into secular success too
September 04, 2014 1:00 am  • 

After hearing Into The Light’s 2010 self-titled sophomore album, I was impressed enough to rank it as one of the best regionally-released CDs of that year.

Some of the songs from that collection and the band’s 2007 debut album, “Peace Be With You,” will be performed Saturday afternoon when Into The Light fires up its amps at The 4th annual Fuel The Faith Family Fun Fest presented from 1 to 6 p.m. by The Lake Village First Presbyterian Church at the Lake Township Fire House (9728 N. 330 W.) in Lake Village.

The sextet – percussionist/drummer Brian Harding, guitarist/vocalist Bryan Bennett, vocalist/guitarist Ken McAloon, multi-instrumentalist Dean Stolpe, multi-instrumentalist Harry Karabel and keyboardist/bassist Jonathan “J.P.” Parker – came together in 2004 when Bennett and Karabel were asked by The First Presbyterian Church of Valparaiso to assemble a praise band for its services. In recent years, gigs outside of church have warranted the insertion of some classic rock covers into their live set.

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Three decades not “Z’Nuff” for South Side rockers

Three decades not  “Z’Nuff” for South Side rockers
August 28, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Has it really been 30 years since hippy revivalist band Enuff Z’Nuff first burst out of Chicago’s South Side (Blue Island) to conquer MTV and radio playlists with their Beatlesque brand of paisley pop?

It really HAS been three decades since the band, then spelling their name Enough’s Z’Nuff,” formed to play local clubs in 1984 as a quartet. EZ’s big break came when their song “Fingers On It” landed on the soundtrack of the 1986 film “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” starring Michael Rooker.

Three years later bassist/band leader Chip Z’Nuff, with a completely new line-up, released the group’s self-titled debut album for Atlantic Records. I remember writing the first national feature published on the Z’Nuff lads for the now long defunct “Song Hits Magazine.” In 1991, EZ was heralded as “Hot New Band of the Year” by Rolling Stone Magazine.

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'Doggie Days' celebrated with cars, bikes and bands

'Doggie Days' celebrated with cars, bikes and bands
August 21, 2014 1:00 am  • 

 “We’ve been wanting to do some kind of big outdoor event this summer and we love animals so this just seemed to be a great fit,” said Broadway Glass & Customs general manager Todd O’Day on how he and his staff came to do this Saturday’s “Doggie Days End Of Summer Fest” from 1 to 6 p.m. benefitting The Humane Society of Northwest Indiana.

Saturday’s event began as a car and bike show, but in recent weeks has grown to include live music, food by Amichi Grille of Highland, craft vendors, children’s entertainment and more. The event is now expected to fill the entire parking lot of Broadway Glass & Customs at 6491 Broadway in Merrillville. For registration information on car and bike show: (219) 884-6277.

Donating performances from atop a flat bed truck will be (in order) Travis Lane Fugate and Greg Pogue (country/rock), acoustic trio Jack Adams, Taylor Garrison and Aaron Harris (rock/pop) and classic rock band The Mall Rats.

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L.C. Fair's battle competition a tight match

L.C. Fair's battle competition a tight match
August 14, 2014 1:00 am  • 

As emcee for last week’s “Battle of Midway” at the Lake County Fair, this columnist was excited to see top shelf young talent coming up the region music scene ranks. The style of each competing band was completely different and ranged from hard alternative and classic pop/rock to country/pop and jazz fusion.

This year’s event was trimmed back from events of past years and featured four bands in the finals to compete from the many submissions sent. Each band had more performance time and change over time, creating a less stressful environment.

Congratulations to the country pop group Capernaum, who are ably fronted by spunky and energized singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist LeAnn Stutler, on taking first place honors in the 2014 “Battle.” The win was by a narrow margin of just one point over jazz fusion quartet Guffaw.

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A weekend of Beatles, Beatles, Beatles

A weekend of Beatles, Beatles, Beatles
August 07, 2014 1:00 am  • 

This is a great weekend for Northwest Indiana Beatles’ fans. There'll be three events over three days all celebrating the Fab tunes of John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Tonight at Lake County Fair marks the debut performance of Rooftop, a new Beatles tribute band who, according to band leader Jim Hillegonds, forsakes attempts to look like the four famous Mop Tops in favor of recreating the group’s music. They put an emphasis on the more complicated latter day material.

“Rooftop performs songs from the Beatles final live performance, known as the ‘Rooftop Concert’ from January, 1969,” Hillegonds said. “The band's main focus is on rarely heard Beatles classics with a set list that includes songs from their double L.P. record, ‘The White Album,’ ‘Let It Be,’ and ‘Abbey Road.’ We use the same instruments, i.e. guitars, amps and keyboards, to recreate those classic Beatle tunes. And every song is performed completely live without any pre-recorded tracks.”

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Front Porch teachers showcase their talents

Front Porch teachers showcase their talents
July 31, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Front Porch Music presents "The 2nd annual Front Porch Music Festival" from 3 to 7pm Aug. 3 at downtown Valparaiso’s Central Park.

"This event features many of the folks who make Front Porch what it is to the community," said Front Porch Music owner Chad Clifford. "Last year’s fest turned out to be a beautiful day and got a wonderful response, so it gave me great optimism about its ability to grow and to develop into an annual thing."

The fest is virtually seven hours of non-stop music of many styles and genres. It also includes activities like a free kid’s ukulele class, a free face painting class, plus food vendors and a beer garden. Tickets are $15 and $5 for kids (under 12).

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Kanisha K. grooves into the Region

Kanisha K. grooves into the Region
July 24, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Several months ago a radio promotion friend Tom Mazzetta suggested this 21-year-old R&B/pop singer from Holland, Mich. named Kanisha K. might be a good guest for my weekly Lakeshore Public Radio show, “Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges.”

It only took a couple of tracks from her 8-song, self-titled debut CD to convince me Mazetta was right. Kanisha K. – the K. is for her surname Kasten – proved to be a wonderful guest. She was poised, confident, well-spoken, humorous, and a gifted vocalist.

Since then, several radio stations have likewise discovered this sensational singer who also writes much of her material. Northwest Indiana music lovers can catch her live Aug. 1 for a 7:10pm mini-concert at Gary’s U.S. Steelyard prior to a Railcats vs. Kansas City T-Bones home game then again for a 90-minute concert Aug. 7 in the Lakeshore Public Radio Free Entertainment Tent at the Lake County Fair.

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Top names set to turn it up in Indiana

Top names set to turn it up in Indiana
July 17, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Summer has officially arrived in Northwest Indiana now that Hammond’s 11th annual Festival of the Lakes has kicked off at Wolf Lake Memorial Park (2338 Calumet Avenue).

The five-day summer celebration which began last night and ends July 20 includes all the carnival rides, midway foods and game booths one would expect to find – only the real focus is on the top name entertainment.

Gary, Indiana’s own Kinsey Report struck the opening chord last night while sharing the stage with reggae music icon Jimmy Cliff. Tonight features regional country favorites The Jimmy Sarr Band opening for Big & Rich (featuring Cowboy Troy).

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