Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Gooeybots LIVE at FITL's Brunch N Boogie at Lincoln Hall in September

Check out The Gooeybots, with Jon Fishman on drums (no....not that Jon Fishman drummer--but this Chi-town father rocks the rhythm section nontheless).   The boys will be back again for Families in The Loop's Wonderland this Sunday.

If you missed 'em before, check out ChiIL Mama's photo filled recaps of past Brunch N Boogies right here.

Coffee & Dessert With Illinois Farm Families at Palmer House This Sunday

  Circle Pines Camp in Michigan-- resident goats

If you're like most urban parents I know, you try to feed your kids fresh, healthy food as much as possible.   You read up on potential toxic chemicals, agricultural practices and food additive health risks.   And you also read about the health benefits of eating well, so your kids can grow strong minds and bodies.

Earlier this year, I had the chance to meet with California Strawberry Producers and Illinois Farm Families, and we'll be featuring lots of great info on health benefits, farming practices, recipes and more in the coming year.   We'll even be giving away a strawberry recipe book as part of our huge Holidaze Gift Guide and Give Aways running from now through Dec. 15th.   Every few days we'll be running reviews and adding loads of great new give aways, so check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often!   Enter at the bottom of this post for your chance to win.

We have also tried to make sure our city kids have a good sense of where food comes from.    We've picked strawberries in Wisconsin, harvested eggs and fed chickens in Michigan, gone to summer camp with goats, and milked cows.  

Illinois Farm Families Says:  Beginning this fall, Illinois Farm Families will bring a group of city moms out to meet our families and tour our farms.  

We’re opening our doors to give these Field Moms a behind-the-scenes look at how we:
  • Grow your food
  • Care for our animals
  • Protect the land
Field Moms will see firsthand how we raise food that is safe and healthy for your family – and ours.  And they'll report what they see, hear and learn right here, on Watch Us Grow.     
If you're a Chicago Mom with questions about food you'll want to join us for a Sunday afternoon Meetup with Illinois family farmers.  You'll have the chance to meet the farmers, ask questions about food and learn what they do on their farms everyday. There will be coffee and dessert and time to have all your questions answered. 

Sunday, Dec. 4
Palmer House Hilton
17 E. Monroe
Grand Parlor Rm. 6th Floor

If you're interested in farm related events in the area, join their meet up group and/or talk to them in person this weekend.   Event is free and open to the public.   RSVP on their meet up group here.

ChiIL Mama's 2011 Holidaze Gift Guide & Give Aways
Remember, every few days we'll be running reviews and adding loads of great new give aways, so check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often!   You can enter every day between now and midnight 12/14 with documented social media shares, and check off as many gifts as you'd like.    It is a wish list after all...     So happy holidaze all, and good luck!

4 Free Tickets To A Christmas Story The Musical, Gustafer Yellowgold & Brunch, Mary Macaroni & Shayna Sings

Tickets are an excellent clutter busting gift idea for the holidays.   We'll get you started with weekly free 4 packs to a bunch of family friendly shows.   Enter below for your chance to win.   We'll be running rehearsal footage from A Christmas Carol The Musical and interviews with the director and Chicago kids and adults in the cast.   So come ChiIL Out with ChiIL Mama this holiday season and be sure to check back like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.

Click the link for THIS week's Free Ticket Tuesday Give Aways
4 Tickets to Gustafer Yellowgold at Schubas AND Brunch for 4!
4 Tickets to Mary Macaroni at Beat Kitchen Concerts for Kids 

Then enter below for next week's Family 4 Packs of Tickets to 
A Christmas Story The Musical
Shayna Sings at Beat Kitchen

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's Free Ticket Tuesday at ChiIL Mama-Did you win?

ChiIL Mama's photos from Brunch N Boogie September

And the very first Brunch N Boogie ever, last March

We have 2 Family 4 Pack ticket winners to announce today.   Check out our past posts for event info and upcoming Free Ticket Tuesday give away details by clicking this link.   Congrats to:

Pablo M. and his son, Xavier, who like to rock out to Disney music.   You've won 4 tickets to Families in The Loop's Wonderland this Sunday at Lincoln Hall from 10:30-12! 

Lori K. who likes to rock out to The Cars with her family, you've won 4 tickets to see Super Stolie at Beat Kitchen's Concerts for Kids, this Sunday at noon.   ChiIL Mama's stoked to be a sponsor.

We also just got a special invite to test out the beta version of Rafflecopter.   So we'll be taking off and giving it a flight for next free ticket Tuesday.   If it's easier and you like it, let me know.   If it's a pain in the posterior, let me know that, too.  I'm going to attempt to import our existing entries from Google Docs in, but bear with me and I'll let you know if you need to reenter.   As always, you can enter an xtra time, every day, with each new social media share.   So come ChiIL Out with ChiIL Mama and spread the word.

Fitz and The Tantrums' Drummer On Life After Birth & Live Video of Money Grabber

We were so jazzed to meet all the members of Fitz and The Tantrums, and have the opportunity to shoot their private showcase at Chicago's Comma Music last week, the day before the last of their Metro shows.   We caught up with their drummer/percussionist, John Wicks, after the set.   He's father to young, twin daughters and was happy to talk with us about life after birth and how he balances fatherhood with touring with an in demand band.   We caught this excellent, live version of their hit single, Money Grabber.

Check out our interview with 4 other members of the band and 3 more live songs right here.

We were thrilled to get to see them at Metro, for the final show of their sold out 3 night run.    FATT really shine live.   Highlights were a smokin' cover of Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams, the whole audience sitting on the floor, then jumping up and going nuts, an awesome cover of The Raconteurs' Steady As She Goes, and of course, all their own crowd pleasing favs like Money Grabber, L.O.V., and so many more. 

This week we'll be at a private showcase with Brandi Carlile, before her sold out appearance at Park West.   So ChiIL Out with ChiIL Mama and check back like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often!

Red Fang Video Interview and Live Show Shots from The Riviera 11-11-11

It was sweet to meet Red Fang when they recently opened for Mastodon.   The guys are as funny in person as their irreverent, hilarious music videos.   We interviewed the drummer and guitarist/vocalist who also happens to be a dad.   It turned out great as we could continue our video series on how creatives parent and how parents create.    It's been pretty amazing to hear insight from touring musicians and theatre people on how parenting influences and seeps into music and art, and how to strike a balance between being there for your family and still creating.

They had me cracking up over their beard band/beer band reputation, plans to pawn their 100% guaranteed metal Grammy , what's the big deal about 11-11-11, and  their wacky, off the wall advice for kids who want to be them.    When they came out on stage, they opened by saying "Tonight's 11-11-11".   The crowed roared.   Then totally deadpan, they continued, "Three a row."    If their music wasn't so freakin' heavy and fun, I'd suggest they hit the comedy circuit.   They're quick with the comebacks, well worth a listen, and even better live.   Here's our past coverage.

We had a birthday party coming up shortly after the show, and they signed a CD for Du-Jay's classmate and long time friend.   The 11 year old was thrilled to see the liner notes where they personalized it to him and wrote "To Judah, Stay metal."    Check out their main page for seriously funny videos, tour dates and merch.   A short excerpt from the interview we shot for ChiIL Live Shows is below.   Check out bass player/vocalist, Aaron Beam's take on life after birth.   He has a toddler son at home in Portland.   For the full interview check out Red Fang on ChiIL Live

RED FANG has announced a handful of headlining dates in addition to their current North American Tour with Mastodon and The Dillinger Escape Plan.  A complete list of dates is listed below.  Additionally, the band is currently sharing war stories from the road via an exclusive tour blog at

Renowned for their sense of humor and penchant for over-the-top music videos, RED FANG has recently finished shooting their eagerly-awaited new clip for Murder The Mountains track "Hank Is Dead". The video was directed by longtime friend of the band, Whitey McConnaughy (THE GOSSIP, MUDHONEY, FLOGGING MOLLY) in Portland, OR. RED FANG has previously worked with McConnaughy on their much-talked-about "Wires" & "Prehistoric Dog" videos that can be seen on their main site.

Additionally, RED FANG have teamed up with Etnies to offer fans and skate enthusiasts the chance to win some amazing gear and memorabilia from both parties.  More details on the contests, including entry forms are available now via and Metal Wreckage.

RED FANG are streaming Murder The Mountains in its entirety at this location. The band recorded Murder The Mountains with THE DECEMBERISTS' Chris Funk and the album was mixed by three-time Grammy Award winner Vance Powell (WHITE STRIPES, THE RACONTEURS). Murder The Mountains is now available on CD, 12" vinyl, and digital download via the official Relapse store or via iTunes.


Nov. 28         Norfolk, VA                    The NorVa          
Nov. 29         Asheville, NC                 Orange Peel           
Nov. 30        Charleston, SC               Jimbo's Rock Lounge        
Dec. 1       Lake Buena Vista, FL     House of Blues           
Dec. 2        Atlanta, GA        Tabernacle     w/ Mastodon, Black Lips, DEP 

**Dec. 3rd - Dec. 10th RED FANG ONLY**

Dec. 3        Baton Rouge, LA    Spanish Moon      
Dec. 4        Houston, TX        Fitzgerald's Downstairs       
Dec. 6        Tucson, AZ        Club Congress   
Dec. 7        San Diego, CA        Soda Bar   
Dec. 8        Sacramento, CA    Blue Lamp        
Dec. 10      Portland, OR        Wonder Ballroom    
April 12     Tilburg, Holland    Roadburn Festival      

For more info on RED FANG please visit:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Enter Through Midnight Tonight-4 Tickets To FITL Wonderland & Super Stolie at Beat Kitchen!

Just another friendly reminder for those of you with way under agers who love to rock.   ChiIL Mama is giving away family 4 packs to 2 kickin' kindie shows this Sunday!  

First we have tickets to the awesome shindig that Families in The Loop periodically puts on at Lincoln Hall.   The past few were called Brunch N Boogie, but this one's holiday themed and called Wonderland.  There are sweet swag bags for every family, loads of freebies from sponsors, and rockin' entertainment.    This event is loads of fun for the swing set set and their parents.   Tomorrow we'll have our own live video and stills from the last FITL bash at Lincoln Hall on...Lincoln's right folks, you guessed it--Lincoln Park.

The next 2 Tuesdays we're picking winners for TWO great kindie rock shows.   Enter through midnight Nov. 28th for December 4th shows and through midnight December 5th for the following week.  Winners will be announced during FREE TICKET TUESDAYS.

ChiIL Mama has free family 4 packs for Dec 4th to:

Families in the Loop-Wonderland (birth-8)
10:30-12pm at Lincoln Hall at 2424 N. Lincoln Ave.
$12 ($1.65 service fee)/ under 2 are free
(These tickets sell out VERY fast, so please reserve your spot right away!)

*ChiIL Mama shot some great stills and video footage from the last FITL Brunch N Boogie that we'll have up shortly.   In the mean time, don't delay.   Enter to win tixs today.

Oh, Come all Ye…. Families!  Families in the Loop is rockin’ the holidays this year by throwing “FITL Wonderland: Chicago’s Biggest Holiday Bash!” Local stars will have parents and tots on their feet, jamming to masterful music from all around the world. Together we’ll revel in live tunes and entertainment, with a splash of lights, mistletoe and menorahs thrown in. And don’t forget the brunchies, with oodles of treats from all our faves. What better way to celebrate the season, our families and our fabulous city, courtesy of your springboard to all that’s hip and heavenly in Chicago, Families in the Loop!

Super Stolie & The Rockstars (birth-8)
noon at Beat Kitchen 2100 W. Belmont 
Big fun guaranteed with Super Stolie & The Rockstars.   A Super Stolie & The Rockstars show is a super-fun good time. Kids will sing. Kids will dance. Kids will perfect their 'Rockstar Jump!' And kids and their grownups will most definitely have fun.

Plus Wishcraft Workshop will run a special craft activity after the show. Brought to you by Chicago Kids.

To keep up to date with Concerts for Kids, become our Facebook friend at

The following week, we're giving away 4 tickets for 2 shows December 11th, Gustafer Yellowgold and Mary Macaroni:
Family 4 pack of tickets to see Gustafer Yellowgold & brunch for 4 at Schubas!! (all ages)
3pm at Schubas
$10/$12 at the door/ under 2 are free 
$1 of each ticket sold will benefit Coat Angels.

ChiIL Mama adores Gustafer Yellowgold, the rockin' yellow, lemon headed alien, and we've given away show tixs, DVDs, and even a collector poster of his for years.   This time, we're offering something special--show tixs AND a gift certificate for brunch for four!

Gustafer Yellowgold concerts are a unique blend of live music and moving image. The minimally animated illustrations are accompanied by illustrator/songwriter Morgan Taylor’s catchy and original story-songs for a truly different multimedia experience that is entrancing children, teens and adults alike.

Gustafer is a friendly creature who came to Earth from the sun and has an unusual magnetism for making friends with some of Earth's odder creatures. His best friend is Forrest Applecrumbie the flightless Pterodactyl. Gustafer and Forrest built a small cottage-style home on the edge of an uncharted wooded area in Minnesota. He has a pet Eel named Slim (short for Slimothy) and a pet Dragon named Asparagus who lives in his fireplace and loves corn on the cob. Gustafer's pals, the Mustard Slugs practice their math under the shrubbery.

Since his creation in 2005, Gustafer Yellowgold has become an international phenomenon, acclaimed by the New York Times, which said, “The show is a cross between ‘Yellow Submarine’ and Dr. Seuss.” 

Entertainment Weekly praised “…The most infectious original songs. It’s like tapping into some pleasure center in the brain- both adult and kid…absurdly appealing. Grade: A.” 

New York Magazine named Morgan Taylor “Best Kids’ Performer” in its 2008 Best of New York Awards.

  A Christmas Story The Musical at Chicago Theatre-4 tickets to opening night-Dec. 14th!
ChiIL Mama had the awesome opportunity to shoot a rehearsal before the cast set out on a 6 city tour.   We'll be running live rehearsal footage of 3 big dance numbers, video interviews with the director, and interviews with Chi-Town adults and kids in the cast this week!    This is going to be an amazing show.

Save the Dates...    Check out our hot and happening Concerts for Kids! lineup.   ChiIL Out with ChiIL Mama...official sponsor.

Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont
shows at noon on Sunday, $6

Nov 20: Karen 4 Kids!
Dec 4: Super Stolie and the Rockstars
Dec 11: Mary Macaroni
Dec 18: Shana Sings! Special holiday show
Jan 8: Ice Cream Vendors
Jan 15: Little Miss Ann Band
Jan 22: The Boogers

Jan 29: Winter Fest, 11am-2pm, $8
Featuring Mary Macaroni, Sarah Parker, The Storybook Mom and Istvan & His Imaginary Band

Check in with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL.   From now through Dec 15th we'll be adding new give aways frequently.   We'll be reviewing and giving away hundreds of dollars worth of DS games, adult and kids' books, kindie and adult CDs, toys and games!    Right now we have 2 DVDs for adults/older kids featuring X and New York Dolls, and loads of great DS games from Activision, but we're making a list and checking it twice.   And we'll be adding to it often through Dec 15th.   Check off everything you'd like to win, share through social media then check 'em off again.   You can enter to win daily with new documented shares.

We also have great ticket give aways weekly including a 4 pack to the opening night of A Christmas Story the Musical at The Chicago Theatre, BRUNCH for 4 and 4 tickets to Gustafer Yellowgold at Schubas, and tickets to Beat Kitchen's Concerts for kids every Sunday!!   Winners announced on Free Ticket Tuesdays.

Like our Facebook Page and/or follow us by e-mail--both easily done from the right sidebar here--for updates on our give aways, photo and video filled reviews and upcoming events.    ChiIL Out with ChiIL Mama this season.

Mellow Yellow Monday-Thankful For Games

We had a game filled Thanksgiving with 17 relatives and a host of games to review from ChiTAG.  I love my job!  We put the 8-18 year old testers to work.   Here's our yellow hued sneak peek for Mellow Yellow Monday.

We'll have full game reviews and loads of give aways leading up to the holidays.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ace Frehley Rocks House of Blues

The Kiss Army is alive and well and swelling in numbers.   And all the Chi-Town recruits were at HOB earlier this month, proudly wearing their vintage Kiss Tee's and even bringing along the next generation.

Even though Ace Frehley gave up his face makeup long ago, some fans, fondly paid tribute to their childhood idols with the full deal--or in this fan's case, half and half.   

ChiIL Live Shows even spotted action figure Ace, swinging from the reserved balcony box seats!

As a child of the 70's, I remember Kiss well.   They had all Kiss days at the local amusement park, where their music blasted from every speaker in the park.   And every face painting booth at every school carnival featured their iconic face paint as a popular option.   It was front page news when the band was first photographed without their black and white paint.  I still have some crazy platform boots with ginormous metal heels, that Dug calls my Kiss Army boots.   Kiss is still in rotation today on our ipods, and the punk kin love their stuff as much as we did at their age.

When I got press access to shoot the show, I wasn't sure what to expect, but Ace has still got more than a few picks up his sleeves and brought the house down with eardrum bursting rock.   

He played loads of old Kiss classics along with his own later material.  He has an excellent backing band and an enthusiastic fan base.  



But Ace still holds his own as more than a nostalgia act.   Sure, Kiss had more flash, with their pyrotechnics and larger than life costumes.  

But what Ace lacks now in spectacle, he make up for in substance.  His show shocked me and made me feel better.

The Last Vegas open for Ace Frehley & The Biters at HOB--LIVE Show Shots

Check out music videos from The Last Vegas here.   They rock hard live and every one of them is seriously photogenic.   They were a pleasure to shoot and I'd go see them again in a second.   We hope to have a review of their latest release up soon.



AOL’s NoiseCreep ( released The Last Vegas new Video / Single, the “Other Side” earlier this month.  

Legendary cult actress and ‘Scream Queen’, Sybil Danning (Howling II, Halloween, Werewolf Women of the SS) stars in and produces this classic piece of Americana trash rock cinema.  Check it out.

After 3 years of extensive touring with some of rock's biggest acts (Motley Crue, AC/DC, Buckcherry, New York Dolls), THE LAST VEGAS are back in action with their latest single, "The Other Side".


That's right THE LAST VEGAS are offering three songs for free download at their website Head over there now and check out "The Other Side", "Evil Eyes" and "It Ain't Easy".  


The physical EP was just released this week on November 22nd.   THE LAST VEGAS' previous full-length, "Whatever Gets You Off" was one of iTunes Top 15 Rock Albums of the Year (2009) alongside Pearl Jam, The Dead Weather, Them Crooked Vultures and The Black Crowes. 

The debut single, "I'm Bad", hit over 300 thousand downloads on iTunes in the first week and was named iTunes Rock Single of the Year.


Black Tusk-Thou-Monstro-Live Show Photos From Ultra Lounge, Chicago

Black Tusk, Thou and Monstro

Black Tusk at Ultra Lounge

November's been so crazy busy, we're still catching up with the recaps.   Ultra Lounge is a sweet space.   Get over there if you haven't checked it out yet.   Black Tusk and Monstro murder it in smaller venues.   Catch 'em now before you're stuck at the back of an arena and all you can see are the back tats of the bearded 6'5" metal head in front of you.

Apologies for the flash, guys.   I know there were a bunch of photographers flashing, but I've never had to before.  But Ultra Lounge was ultra murky and too dark to get anything at all, otherwise, and I tried. Presents 
Black Tusk/ Thou / Monstro / The Swan King
Black Tusk In-depth Biography
Emerging onto the metal scene from Savannah, GA in 2005, Black Tusk specialize in a brand of sludgy metal they call "swamp metal." The band, consisting of members Andrew (guitar/vocals), Athon (bass/vocals), and James (drums/vocals), combines the drive of fellow Savannah residents Baroness with the thick and murky stoner sludge of High on Fire. 

In 2005 the band self-released its first demo, Demos and the Demons, as well as the album When Kingdoms Fall, which was released on Wrecked Signal. Two years later they self-released another album, The Fallen Kingdom, and kept their prolific release schedule going the following year with Passage Through Purgatory, released on Hyperrealist Records. Taking what for them is a long break from recording, Black Tusk gained attention through tours with bands like Weedeater, Pentagram, and Eyehategod. The band eventually signed on to Relapse, and in 2010 released its first album through the label, Taste the Sin, featuring cover art from Baroness singer John Baizley. ~ Gregory Heaney, Rovi.

BLACK TUSK is offering a free download of the track "Set the Dial to Your Doom" exclusively at RCRD LBL. The download comes from their brand new album Set the Dial which saw an October 24th release via Relapse Records.
BLACK TUSK is touring in December throughout the Southern U.S..  Support on these shows will come from MonstrO and Kyng.
BLACK TUSK is currently streaming Set The Dial at this location. The album is available for purchase via and iTunes.    
BLACK TUSK Tour Dates:
11/17: Nashville, TN @ The End (w/ Thou, MonstrO)
**All dates 12/8 - 12/17 w/ Monstro and Kyng**

Dec 8   Birmingham, AL     The Nick                        
Dec 9   Shreveport, LA       Riverside Warehouse   
Dec 10 Houston, TX         Rudyards                        
Dec 11  Austin, TX             Emo's                            
Dec 12  New Orleans, LA   Siberia                          
Dec 14  Gainesville, FL      Double Down Live       
Dec 15  Orlando, FL         Backbooth                      
Dec 16  Miami, FL             Churchill's                      
Dec 17  Tampa, FL           Brass Mug