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May File!

| April 28, 2006

Festival Of Sights

“I was eight-years-old and a camper at summer camp. The counselor was listening to Shout At The Devil, and that’s where it started,” Mike Mourning says, describing his introduction to Mötley Crüe. The 29-year-old Kenosha, WI resident, whose back is one big Crüe tattoo, was just one of the diehards who made the pilgrimage to Pop’s in Roselle April 15th for Crüefest Chicagö and celebrated all things Mötley.

And they did so in a way that would surely make Vince, Mick, Tommy, and Nikki proud. Tribute band The Crüe passed bottles of Jack Daniels through the crowd, females generously lifted their tops during Neil Wharton’s (Vince Neil’s son) Rock N Roll Junkies’ rendition of “Girls Girls Girls,” and a peek under the first stall in the men’s bathroom during Blackout’s (who looked and sounded more fit for Hoobastankfest) set revealed a set of men’s and women’s shoes. A pre-teenage boy sang along with “Home Sweet Home” while a towering vampire wannabe (host Lord Chaz) roamed the crowd, an attention-craving midget (special guest Mighty Mike) wouldn’t stay offstage, and a drunk in an Iron Maiden shirt bawled uncontrollably by the soundbooth, making Crüefest every bit the freak show Mötley Crüe embrace.

But a freak show with a purpose: More than $9,000 in proceeds will be donated to various childrens charities — proving leather, beer, pentagrams, and boobs really can save lives.

— Trevor Fisher

Easy Being Green
Annually, the May issue of IE devotes space to independent record labels throughtout Chicagoland and assorted downstate locales. While there’s no shortage of interesting tales and phenomenal taglines — 2006 marks Touch And Go’s 25th anniversary, which we’ll honor later this year — there isn’t a tale as colorfully wonderful as newly landed Smog Veil.

Formerly ground zero for the Cleveland punk scene (quick history: Rocket From The Tombs’ breakup birthed Pere Ubu and The Dead Boys), the move here will eventually consummate the first Unknown Instructors (featuring Mike Watt) album and a new Pere Ubu outing. But that isn’t the half of it.

Arriving here last fall, Smog Veil hopes to finish renovating its office space to become an entirely “green” (environmentally friendly) operation. Construction has involved recycled and reclaimed materials and power will derive from wind and solar sources. Recycled paper in your liners and their stalls? If they can do it, so can you.

Steve Forstneger

Cheecky Sunglasses
If the DJ Kanye West is totting around looks young, that’s probably because he is. But don’t mistake youth for inexperience — Alain Macklovitch is a 10-year hip-hop veteran.

A-Trak, as he’s professionally known, is the star of his own documentary DVD, Sunglasses Is A Must. Chronologically following his professional life, the DVD offers insight into the mischievous behavior of a young man while traveling the world DJing and playing Johnny Knoxville-like pranks on his friends (and vice versa).

“Ladies and gentleman, I’m tired, I’m Canadian, I’m 21-years old, I’m in China, and I’m tired.” In an empty hotel room A-Trak talks to a handheld camera as many of us have into our bathroom mirrors, the only difference is his idiosyncrasies are now on display for the world to see (although it’s a safe bet he probably doesn’t give a damn what people have to say about his peculiar behavior). The raw footage on Must is genuinely funny and entertaining, it could have (and should have) stood on its own, but hokey, staged attempts at comedy took the documentary from a cool, relatable place to an annoyingly less-funny destination. Think of Andy Milonakis’ MTV show, only more irritating. Must isn’t quite a must, it’s slightly off Trak.

— Angie Maldonado

Category: Columns, File, Monthly

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