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Coming And Going

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 30, 2005 4:25PM

Light FM returns to town this weekend to bid adieu to the current incarnation of The Bottom Lounge before they close down on Sunday.

2005_09_light_fm.jpgA few months ago Josiah Mazzaschi moved to California. This in itself wasn’t all that odd. As a local musician with a fair amount of critical praise under his belt from stints leading the dearly departed mid-90’s indie darlings Motorhome and the new millennial fuzz-pop of his current group Light FM, it only made sense that he would strike out and head towards the heart of the music industry. What was odd was his insistence that his leaving didn’t really mean the end of Light FM. People scoffed. People doubted. People were sure that as soon as the siren call of L.A. fame and glad-handing pinned him in its sights Mazzaschi was a goner.

There were plenty of reasons to think the same. Light FM has been an undiscovered gem in the Chicago music scene for a number of years now. Music critics can’t seem to spill enough ink extolling the virtues of the band as a whole, however even getting their songs placed in a number of TV soundtracks hadn’t garnered them the attention they deserved from the business side of the industry. It just didn’t, and still doesn’t, make sense. How can a band that writes songs that surf along with massive choruses and heart-rending verses not be on the radio? So it would’ve made total sense for Mazzaschi to abandon the group and start anew.

Well, Light FM is still a band – albeit one with members scattered across the country – and they have a new album coming out soon. And they are playing in Chicago at The Bottom Lounge tomorrow in a continuing effort to fight the good fight and get the recognition they deserve. This is one group that isn’t dying anytime soon.

The same can’t be said for The Bottom Lounge as it will be closing down its current location for good this weekend.

This is no big surprise since the CTA has had plans on using the land for years and the owners have been openly admitted that the venues days were always numbered. What makes the shuttering of the club’s doors such a pity is that it closes one of the last clubs in the city that regularly scheduled all-ages and 18+ shows while providing a stage for both local up-and-comers and touring giants. Brian Peterson’s MPShows took over booking the club a few years ago – and things started to really improve there once Fireside Bowl decided to (foolishly) become a full-time bowling alley. Peterson insists that they will be opening a new spot in the West Loop by February but that will still leave a gaping hole in the winter schedule for mid-sized bands that made the club a regular stop on their tours. It appears as if Peterson is using Beat Kitchen to pick up some of the slack but it just isn’t a venue comparable to what The Bottom Lounge offered.

Light FM will be playing the club’s penultimate show at The Bottom Lounge tomorrow night with The Assembly (another of our local favorites.) The final show is Sunday October 2 with a line-up that includes a number of MPShows stalwarts such as Velcro Lewis and his 100 Proof Band as well as DJ sets from such luminaries as Danko Jones and Cynthia Plastercaster.