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Dolly Parton Coming To Ravinia, Unlikely Reunions, And More Chicago Music News

By Justin Freeman in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 1, 2016 7:55PM

We've already talked about the documentary Pitchfork released that looked at Wicker Park in the '90s and the indie rock scene the neighborhood gave birth to. We also discussed Andrew Bird's recently-announced show at Millennium Park and the series of free shows the park will host this summer. Some other interesting things happened this week, too.

Smashing Pumpkins photo via twitter

Smashing Pumpkins Reunite With Their Original Guitarist For The First Time In 16 Years

Billy Corgan has always had an on-again, off-again relationship with his collaborators. The Pumpkins broke up in 2000 shortly after their album Machina/The Machines of God was released, and the members of the band scattered to embark on new projects. Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin formed the short-lived Zwan; D’arcy Wretzky stayed out of the limelight to focus on personal matters; and James Iha moved out to LA and became a producer while playing in other bands, including A Perfect Circle.

When the Pumpkins reunited about a decade ago, Wretzky and Iha did not take part, and it was widely assumed that years of bad blood and infighting would prevent them from ever playing with the band again. This past week, Iha shocked everyone when he reunited with Corgan's latest version of the Pumpkins during a series of shows out in LA. They performed a few songs from 1993’s Siamese Dream including “Mayonnaise” and “Soma.”

No word if Iha will continue with the band or if that was just a one-off. Watch footage of Smashing Pumpkins performing “Mayonnaise” with Iha this week below.


Folly Parton photo via Facebook

Dolly Parton Is Bringing Her Fabulousness To Ravinia

Holy crap! Dolly Parton is performing at Ravinia this summer! It was announced earlier this week that the Country Music Hall of Famer will be making a rare live appearance in the Chicago area—her first since 2011—on August 7.

Ravinia is the most intimate setting to see Dolly that we’re probably ever going to get, so to say this is a hot ticket is an understatement. Seats in the pavilion range from $115 to $150, while lawn tickets are going for $38. Tickets go on sale April 26th, at 5 a.m.. Don’t want to chance it? You can try to grab a pair of pre-order tickets—the catch is that you must be a Ravinia donor to request them, and that donating does not guarantee them.

Check out video of Dolly Parton performing “Jolene” at Glastonbury in 2014 below.


Celine Neon photo via Facebook

Local Pop Trio Released a Stunning New Video

In between an excellent EP that came out last year and their collaboration with ShowYouSuck, Celine Neon have become one of our favorite local bands. This week the duo debuted an absolutely stunning video of them performing an acoustic rendition of their song “My Main.”

Celine Neon’s next major show is opening for D∆WN, a R&B singer heavily inspired by art-pop who used to be in Danity Kane, at Reggie's Rock Club on April 22. Tickets are $15 online and $20 at the door. Check out the new acoustic video for “My Main” below.


Local H photo via Facebook

Local H Reunites With Original Drummer

Released in 1996, Local H’s landmark album As Good As Dead was an ode to a dead end existence in small town suburbia that was based on the band’s time in Zion, IL. Feelings of boredom, isolation and despair captured on the album struck a chord, and helped make their single “Bound For the Floor” a permanent fixture on Q101. Joe Daniels, Local H’s original drummer, recorded one more album with the band, 1998’s Pack Up the Cats, before departing to focus on other projects. Frontman Scott Lucas went forward with Local H with an assortment of drummers throughout the years.

This week, Local H posted a video on Facebook of Daniels laying waste to a drum kit with an ominous caption of “the rumors are true.” A few days later the band stopped by 101WKQX, the radio station formerly known as Q101, to make an announcement—that Daniels will be the Local H drummer during the As Good As Dead anniversary shows at the Metro on April 15th and 16th. Tickets are $17 online and $20 at the door.

We interviewed Scott Lucas about the reunion, and you can read it here; also, check out the video to Local H’s “Bound For the Floor” below.


HIDE photo via Facebook

Local Goth Darkwave Duo Released a Sinister New Single

HIDE may be one of the most entrancing bands in Chicago right now. Comprised of producer Seth Sher and vocalist Heather Gabel, their shows are murky and claustrophobic. Thick walls of smoke fill the dark room and blinding white lights flash to the rhythm of Sher’s nefarious drum machine. Gabel’s hazy vocals sound like a haunted conjuration as she dances like she's performing a sacrificial ceremony.

HIDE released their latest Friday, a 12-inch entitled Flesh for the Living. The new single is more immediate and urgent than some of their previous work and finds the band exploring a slightly more pop side of industrial. To celebrate the new track, HIDE is performing at Empty Bottle on Saturday. Tickets are only $5. Check it out, and stream HIDE’s “Flesh For the Living” below.


Kanye at the album release party for "The Life of Pablo" on Feb. 11 at Madison Square Garden (Getty Images)

Kanye’s The Life of Pablo Is Finally Widely Available

By the time you read this, Kanye’s latest album will finally be available to stream on services other than Tidal. As of this writing, The Life of Pablo is available on Spotify and Apple Music. You can also buy it digitally for $20 on Kanye’s website. Still no CDs though.

It wasn’t too long ago that Kanye tweeted that Pablo would be a Tidal exclusive. 400 million streams later, that attitude seems to have have changed. Earlier this week, the songs “Famous” and “I Love Kanye” were uploaded to major streaming services with the plan of pushing “Famous” as a radio single. In addition, Def Jam told the New York Times that “In the months to come, Kanye will release new updates, new versions and new iterations of the album.” This matches what Kanye said when he recently called Pabloa living breathing changing creative expression.” As we've said before, we think Pablo is a game-changer in this aspect.

This week, we’ve seen a few more updates to Pablo. Nothing major though, just minor instrumental flourishes, audio tweaks and small lyrical changes. In other Kanye news, on Easter he shared a new song ... sort of. Called “Ultraviolet Prayer” it’s an alternate version of “Ultralight Beam” that focuses heavily on Kirk Franklin's preaching. Check out a stream of it below.