Friday, September 30, 2011

Laura Doherty & Human Tim + Robot Tim Ticket Winners!

Big congrats to our family 4 pack ticket winners this week.   

Jake V. has won our 4 pack to Laura Doherty's CD release party this Saturday at noon at Martyrs.

Dorothy Z. has won our 4 pack to Human Tim + Robot Tim this Sunday at noon at Martyrs.

Check out our prior posts this week for show details and 6 live music videos of Laura Doherty's fun, folk rock and 2 live videos of Human Tim that ChiIL Mama shot at Schubas. Also check out our original video interviews with Laura and Human Tim. 

Boogie With Building Blocks Photo Filled Recap

ChiIL Mama was thrilled to sponsor Building Blocks Toys 15th Anniversary Bash on Saturday.   Shop owner, Katherine, was a gracious host to 500 people, one red, cuddly monster and two musicians from The Poochamungas Band.   As you can see from the smiles, everyone had a blast, despite a few intermittent showers.

There were toy filled goody bags for the first 150 families and a table overflowing with great raffle goodies.   We were happy to participate in the awesome lottery give aways, too.   We passed out hundreds of free, rockin' ChiIL Mama buttons and one lucky winner went home with:

"ChiIL Mama's Windy Kindie Favorites" CD package with all Chicago Kindie (Kids Indie) Artists:

CD-Human Tim + Robot Tim--Pop of the Tots w/ photo postcard ($13)

CD-Mindy Hester & The Time Outs--Juicebox Hero ($19)

Download Card from cdbaby-Mr. Singer & The Sharp Cookies--Muddy Water Beaver Dam Band ($10)

Total Value:   $56

But it's not over.    Building Blocks Toys has yet another great lottery going on.

GIANT Giveaway!
From Sunday, September 25 2011 -  10:00am
To Thursday, December 01 2011 - 7:00pm
Every day

Our 15th Anniversary
GIANT Giveaway!
Grand prize: 6-ft GIANT Uglydoll

Many additional prizes from Building Blocks Toy Store & our sponsors.
Check back as this list is growing weekly!

How to Win on Dec 1st

Shop at Building Blocks to get an entry for every $25 you spend now 'til 11/30
Follow Building Blocks on Facebook for special chances to get entries

We've donated ChiIL Mama's National Kindie Favorites CD Package With CDs by 4 Award Winning Kindie  (Kids Indie) Artists:

Total Value:   $65

At Boogie With Building Blocks, ChiIL Mama recorded The Poochamunga's whole second set and we'll have that edited and up for your enjoyment in the near future.   September was a whirlwind of activity.   We're still catching up on recapping events.    

More live footage, interviews, CD give aways and reviews can be found on ChiILLiveShows.Com, ChiIL Mama's YouTube Channel and Vimeo Channel

We have features coming on Indonesia, Hawaii, Kanani the American Girl Doll of the Year, Brunch & Boogie, Texas Kindie Musician-Andy Roo, Two great plays for parents nights out presented by Collaboraction and Broadway in Chicago, Blackhawks Training Camp, Ravinswood Art Walk and much more.   So check in like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kindie: Laura Doherty LIVE at Schubas-I'm A Tree & El Train

Enjoy ChiIL Mama's Kindie Count Down to Laura Doherty's brand new CD release party this Saturday at noon at Martyrs.   Be there or be....a tree?  

We're posting 2, never before seen, LIVE concert videos every day this week, so come ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama and enjoy some fun folk tunes with your littles.

October-November 2011 Shows On Our Radar With Age Guide

Of course, in Chicago we're lucky to have an overabundance of great shows to choose from.  Here's our entirely subjective list of bands we're planning to see, along with an age guide, so you know if the punk kin can tag along.   

We've got great live show shots of The Avett Brothers & Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band playing Summer Camp Music Fest, Urge Overkill from Bottom Lounge and Rubblebucket from Double Door.   We'll have a huge, photo filled recap of Rubblebucket's set at North Coast Music Festival up soon.   Check out more live show photos at our site,

Avett Brothers-at The Aragon
All Ages

The Avett Brothers (pronounced /ˈeɪvɨt/) is a folk rock band from Concord, North Carolina. The band is made up of two brothers, Scott Avett and Seth Avett, who play the banjo and guitar respectively, and Bob Crawford who plays the stand-up bass. Joe Kwon, cello, and Jacob Edwards, drums, are touring members of the band, with Kwon featured on recordings from 2007's Emotionalism to present.

                 DRI at Reggies Rock Club-Sunday, Oct. 2 (however they will have a sub for drummer, Rob Rampy.   Details at
All Ages


For about a year back in the 1970s the Mekons epitomized the risks, extremes and ludicrous promise of punk rock. It was a different time f’sure BUT eerily similar to NOW. For a while back THEN the Mekons were indeed very interested in punk rock but it wore off (for reasons too obvious & well documented to dwell on here). After the huge success of their Fast Product 45s and the reckless, doomed assault on the citadel that followed, the Mekons snuck off back to Leeds to lick their wounds only to emerge years later a wiser, stranger, multi-dimensional beast.

Maybe there’s a silver thread that runs all the way back to THEN through the collaborations and experiments of the 80s, 90s and Zeros, maybe there isn’t, but now we're talking a band looking at its 30th anniversary. Still, the music stands eternal, dusted down and probed for signs of life & to the amazement of all concerned no backward thrust of nostalgia was apparent, in fact quite the opposite. Layers of historical snot were scraped away to reveal a crop of songs oozing tough & timeless optimism for the now, the current, the necessary & the possible... and now the Mekons (with one eye on the past and both feet in the river) are very interested in punk rock again.

****all Congress Riot Fest Shows and X at Bottom Lounge are all ages.   Bring the punk kin.    However, Riot Fest doesn't do anything cool like North Coast (12 & under free) or Lollapalooza and Pitchfork (under 10 free).   If you wanna walk together and rock together, it'll cost ya the same as an adult ticket.

****Our top picks are in bold black

Riot Fest 2011 Chicago

Congress Pass - $135 - includes admission to all four Congress Theater shows October 6 - 9.
Punk Pass - $85 - includes admission to Social Distortion, Descendents, Danzig Legacy shows at Congress Theater, Oct 6 - 8

*X (play "Los Angeles) 
Film Screening of "X: The Unheard Music" 
Bottom Lounge 
Doors: 7:00pm,  
All Ages - SOLD OUT

*Social Distortion 
The Tossers 
Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band 
Congress Theater Doors: 6:30pm, 
All Ages 

ALL (with Chad Price) 
The Pavers (featuring Scott Reynolds of ALL) 
Banner Pilot 
Neutron Bombs  
Bottom Lounge
Doors: 9:00pm, 

*Danzig Legecy (Danzig, Samhain, Danzig & Doyle perform Misfits)

Youth of Today

Macabre Nachtmystium
The Infected 
Congress Theater 
Doors: 7:00pm, 
All Ages

ALL (with Scott Reynolds/Dave Smalley)
Down By Law 
Chinese Telephones 
The Holy Mess
Bottom Lounge  
Doors: 9:00pm, 
17+ - SOLD OUT (limited tickets might be available at the door day of)

Electric Hawk  
Double Door
Doors: 9:00pm, 

Secret Show
Cobra Lounge
Doors: 11:30pm, 
21+ - Wristband holders only

Secret Show
Doors: 11:30pm- Wristband holders only

Suicide Machines
Leftover Crack 
Strike Anywhere 
Flatfoot 56
The Menzingers
The Flatliners
Shot Baker 
Larry and His Flask 
Cheap Girls 
The Copyrights 
Congress Theater 
Doors: 2:30pm, 
All Ages 

The Business
The Crombies
Cobra Lounge 
Doors: 10:30pm, 

The Smoking Popes
Double Door Doors: 8:30 PM, 
21+ - Free Show

Secret Show 
Doors: 11:30pm- Wristband holders only  


*Weezer (performing The Blue Album in full)
Urge Overkill
Teenage Bottlerocket
White Mystery
Congress Theater 
Doors: 5:30pm,
All Ages

*7 Seconds
Dan Vapid And The Cheats 
Special Guests to be announced soon! 
Bottom Lounge  
Doors: 6:30pm, 
All Ages

Secret Show 
Doors: 10:30pm  
21 +- Wristband holders only

Congress Theater
2135 N Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60647
Cobra Lounge
235 N. Ashland
Chicago, IL 60607
Bottom Lounge
1375 West Lake Street
Chicago, IL 60607
Double Door
1572 North Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622

Primus at Congress Theatre-Oct. 14
All Ages
2 full sets

Primus started out as an underground cult phenomenon in and around the San Francisco bay area until their popularity grew to the point they became certified gold album sellers (with their 1991 album Sailing the Seas of Cheese).
Fronted by the inimitable Les Claypool, considered one of the most versatile and unique bass players alive, Primus offers up a zany and eclectic style of music all their own, throwing in a healthy amount of the bizarre for good measure.

Rubblebucket-Double Door-also Oct. 14

The Black Angels
Dead Meadow


The Damned-Metro-Oct. 25

35th Anniversary Tour...
Performing Damned Damned Damned and The Black Album back to back...

Alien Queen-Metro-Oct. 28

The Scooty & JoJo Show and Metro Present...
A Special HALLOWEEN Showing of

$16 advanced/$20 day of/$30 VIP

There's no better way to celebrate Halloween than Alien Queen! Alien Queen: The Concert combines the legendary music of Queen with an outrageous parody of the "Alien" films to create a top-notch Queen tribute band made up of H.R. Giger-inspired aliens, cross-gendered humans, and some of Chicago's best singers and rock musicians. The event will be a full evening of rock and ridiculousness, with special guests performing before Alien Queen: The Concert takes the stage. 

Mastodon-Riv-Nov. 11 (with The Dillinger Escape Plan / Red Fang)
All Ages

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Kindie: Laura Doherty LIVE at Schubas-2 Never Before Seen Videos

Welcome to ChiIL Mama's count down to Laura Doherty's CD release party this Saturday at noon at Martyrs.

Win A Disc Wednesday-It's All About The Music

 Perry Farrell signs Sagezilla's Paul Frank Tee with his likeness, while his 2 young sons check it out, Kidzapalooza 2010

Back when I started ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows, people said it couldn't be done.    Our thousands of readers have proven "them" wrong.   When I first asked for press/photo credentials to Riot Fest they said, "But you're a mommy blogger.   I think it's clear this is not your demographic."    I'm not "that kind of mommy", and neither are a zillion of you.   They kicked us photo passes, dug what we did with 'em, and the rest is history.

Parents go to shows, buy music, drink beer and get outta the house with and without our punk kin.  We still wanna see live shows, hear whose coming through town, check out band interviews, and get free new tunes.   Of course, ChiIL Mama doesn't discriminate.   Music lovin' non parents are welcome here, too.

Sure, we sponsor, shoot and promote cool kids show in the punk, alt rock, folk and other genres.   But we cover the 18+ and 21+ shows we wanna see, too.    We're the parents who drop $50 on a babysitter to see a $10 punk show.   And we're the parents in the bands who are still makin' music, despite makin' babies.   This blog's for YOU!

Over this past year we shot Jane's Addiction, Riot Fest, Lollapalooza/Kidzapalooza, North Coast Fest, Summer Camp Music Fest, Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Fest, The Pogues, Dropkick Murphys, Clutch (twice), The Dead Milkmen, Black Label Society, Children of Bodom, Urge Overkill, The Dwarves, Nashville Pussy, Van Ghost, How Far To Austin, Great Divide, World Inferno Friendship Society, The Shams Band, Rubblebucket, Gogol Bordello, Umphrees McGee, Moe, Keller Williams, Verve Pipe and many many more. 

We also gave away a bazillion concert and theatre tickets, CDs, books, and music related DVDs for kids and for grownups.   Thanks for reading and helping us spread the word.   In October we'll be ramping up the give aways again with a bunch of great DVDs like Iggy Pop, Jesus Lizard and more.   We also have 2 big multi disc packages of classical & alt. rockin' kids CDs for lucky winners on Halloween.    

So check back in early and often for music news, upcoming shows, reviews, live show photos and videos, and loads of give aways.   Cause at we know parents and kids rock, and life doesn't end with birth!

Hot Wheels Wall Tracks-Derail Toy Clutter #WallTracks

Ten tips for de-cluttering and organizing toys in your kids’ playroom or bedroom

I've gotta be honest, I'm a busy, working mom and sorting out game pieces, puzzles, and organizing clutter get bumped to the bottom of my to do list.    When I do break down and put everything back in it's place, it takes hours and hours.   Then the kids come home and in 15 minutes it's worse than it was!    It's like the Greek myth of Sisyphus who kept rolling the boulder up the hill, just to have it roll back down again.

So, we've compiled ChiIL Mama's Short List of Practical Tips to help out

1.   Shop the Playroom Party:   The best thing we ever did was invite our friends over to "shop the playroom" before the holiday season last year.    I'm a stuff saver--always recycling, passing toys and clothes along to friends with younger kids, and there's this mountain marked ebay in the attic I never have time to even look at, let alone sell!  I've been too busy to even get things rounded up to donate.   

Finally I just gave up and told a group of friends with younger kids to come on over and have at it.   They were thrilled and 4 families left with literal carloads of toys, clothes and books.    I reserved the final say in case it was still a favorite or a sentimental keeper.    Everyone had a blast and loads of our outgrown toys were recycled under the Christmas tree to new kids, making it easier for our kids to have space to play. 

2.  Helpful Works:  Sometimes when kids (especially the young ones) "help clean up", things get messier.    Still, it's good for them.    We instituted "helpful works" rather than chores or jobs.   These are age appropriate amounts of work and at 8 & 10 our kids are responsible for cleaning their room, clearing clutter, helping to put away their own laundry and loading the dishwasher.   The kids earn books, little collectibles, or cash at the end of each week.

3.   Shelves:   Shelves help.   It's hard to clean up when there's no place to put things.

4.   Bins Are In:   They hold a lot, can be sealed, and they can be rotated so old favs are rediscovered.   We have a couple wooden racks full of colored bins that tip for easy access to sorted art supplies and little pieces.

5.   Pop Ups Rock:   All our dress up clothes and bigger stuffed animals fit in pop up, mesh hampers.    They fold down when not in use and hold up to rugged play.   The kids love to get in them for imagination play.

6.   Hammocks Help:   Get toy nets and hooks and hang your favorite stuffed animals and dolls on the walls.   They're decorative, colorful and best of the floor!

7.   Don't Don't Don't Let It Start:   Think small and regift often.    Once your kids are past the small parts prohibition days, get them interested in collecting little things or cards.    Thousands of Pokemon cards or silly bands or glass miniatures will fit in the space of one giant stuffed animal.

8.   The Bigger They Grow:   Overwhelmed yet?   There is good news.   The bigger the kids, the smaller the toys.   By the time they're teens, they'll be happily entertained by easily stackable video games and a cell phone!    We were so jazzed to give away the giant play kitchen and assorted food and all the Fisher Price little people that had taken over our attic playroom.    They had a whole unstackable encampment including their own airport, carnival, zoo, school, farm, gas station.....    They were well loved, fun toys in those early days.   But it was time for them to find a new location for their city.

9.   Great To Donate:   We've found a local soup kitchen that takes kids' toys and clothes.   Our kids not only donated their outgrown goodies, but volunteer there, too.   It's great for our kids to see other little ones in need come in and get excited over the new-to-them toys.    

10.   Space-The Final Frontier:   Ever get the dreaded Lego foot--that painful malady that strikes when tender barefoot arches meet nubby plastic and sharp corners?!   Not fun.   I stepped on a wind up Thomas Train back in the day so hard the knob punctured my foot in the middle of perfect train shaped bruise I had for weeks!    I've become entangled in tracks, too, marble machine.    So, I was pretty jazzed to hear about Wall Tracks.    In all honestly we haven't tried them out yet, but the concept is great, and a huge boon to city dwelling families like us, where floor space is at a premium.

Kids can now take their Hot Wheels® races where they've never gone before - off the floor and onto the walls! Now they can perform stunts, speed, turns, and tricks, powered by gravity and set up any way you can imagine it - and it’s off the floor! Kids can mix, match, and combine with other Wall Tracks™ sets to create all-new Hot Wheels® track layouts. And the best part? No more clutter for us moms! 

About Hot Wheels®
Since 1968, Hot Wheels® has been passionate about creating thrilling vehicle experiences through innovative product and content. With a fan base of more than 41 million people, Hot Wheels® is the No. 1 vehicle property in the United States producing the coolest cars imaginable. The Hot Wheels® brand began as a line of 16 1:64-scale die-cast vehicles; today, it has evolved into a true, global lifestyle brand for boys of all ages with segments that range from aftermarket parts to licensed apparel to branded digital content from Team Hot Wheels™, a real-life race crew of professional drivers performing over-the-top stunts.

More on Hot Wheels® Wall Tracks™ sets

More info on Hot Wheels®:

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”