Arguably one of the best groups to emerge from the “pre-wave” days of the 1970s was Chicago’s pioneering power-popsters, Pezband, a collective from suburban Oak Park formed in 1971.
Despite a trio of albums and two EPs full of infectious, hook-laden tunes, and having their 1978 LP “Laughing In The Dark,” heralded as “one of the best albums of the year” by Rolling Stone Magazine, Pezband never attained the level of success enjoyed by other Chicago groups who followed in their creative wake (i.e. Cheap Trick, Shoes, Off Broadway, etc.).
Pezband reunited last year with three founding members -- guitarist/vocalist Mimi Betinis, bassist/vocalist John Pazdan and drummer Mick Rain – and recently released “Dangerous People,” a collection of nine previously unreleased studio songs and two live tracks all recorded during the band’s late ‘70s heyday.
Not willing to rest on past laurels, Pezband have been busy in recent weeks recording tracks for an album of all new material pausing just long enough from that creative task to undertake a multi-city tour of Japan, the country where Pezband had their greatest success in the old days. This week finds Pezband rocking venues in Tokyo, Kyoto and Sapporo. Keep up with Pezband on Facebook.
• Portage Mall bars – Clancey’s, Boomers, Stone Quarry, Curly Joe’s and Moods -- partner up Saturday (6 p.m. to 1 a.m.) for the “Portage Mall Crawl” to benefit Portage native Jeffrey Metz who was brutally attacked in July, spent seven weeks in a coma and is now paralyzed. A variety of local club DJs and musicians are donating entertainment. Event info: (219) 508-8892. Info about Jeff: http://jeffreymetz.com/
• Longshots Bar (2251 US 41) in St. John presents a free to attend, multi-artist party Saturday celebrating the bar’s 20th anniversary. Music kicks off with Nicole Garza at noon and continues with 75-minute performances by (in order) Mike Green, Sweetleaf, Krooked Minds (reunion show), Taylor Garrison, Nicole Jamrose, and Fresh Hops. More: (219) 322-0080.
• The “One Night Jam” series continues Sunday with folk artists David Glaser and David Stoddard at Chicago Street Theatre with an intimate performance at "Edie's Attic,” in the venue’s loft.
Billed as the "Daves Of Our Lives" tour, Glaser and Stoddard are old friends and together the pair make for a very enjoyable, entertaining evening of music and stories. Tickets are limited, and only $15. More: www.chicagostreet.org or (219) 464-1636.
• Folklorist/blues guitarist Andrew Cohen (www.andycohenmusic.net) performs an 8 p.m. all-ages show Saturday at Front Porch Music (505 E. Lincolnway) in Valparaiso. Cost: $12. Raised on Dixieland jazz records, old school acoustic blues, and folk music makes Cohen’s performances very eclectic with plenty of music history and stories added for seasoning. More: (219) 464-4700 or www.frontporchmusic.com
• Still have a hunka hunka burning desire for more Elvis after last weekend’s “Elvis FANtasy Fest” in Portage? Tickets for Star Plaza Theatre’s annual “Elvis Birthday Spectacular” on Jan. 11 go on sale this morning. Celebrating what would have been Presley’s 79th birthday are Elvis clones Shawn Klush, Cody Ray Slaughter, and Donny Edwards each performing a specific era of Presley’s career with music from The Change Of Habit Band featuring Dan Lentino. Special guests are “real Elvis” back up performers The Blackwood Quartet, The Sweet Inspirations and drummer DJ Fontana. More: www.etaspectacular.com
• The musical guest this Tuesday on “MIDWEST BEAT with Tom Lounges” which airs at 6 p.m. CST via 89.1-The Lakeshore (streaming live at: www.lakeshorepublicmedia.org) is rising pop star Courtney Rau. Rau’s debut single, “SHAKE,” hit national pop charts in September. Joining Rau on Tuesday’s show will be her producer Joe Vulpis, whose credits include Lady Gaga.