Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

File: November 2009

| October 30, 2009


“My Bucket Song” by Psalm One from Psalm One on Vimeo.

As we mentioned last month, the Chicago Public Library capped a “we’re not just books” promotion with a music contest, challenging Chicagoans to write songs about the city. Through September, “Sound Off” garnered submissions from across the spectrum not only stylistically, but by age as well. The winner, however, wasn’t an unknown but rapper Psalm One (born Christalle Bowen). We’re not saying – this being Chicago – that the fix was in, though not only is Psalm a widely admired MC (she’s signed to Rhymesayers, home to Atmosphere, Brother Ali, and MF Doom), but, as was revealed when Trevor Fisher profiled her in IE three years ago, has a degree in biochemistry. (Jessica Hopper and Rhymefest were on the judges’ panel, if that tells you anything.) It’s kind of like Dwyane Wade coming home to win a park-district H.O.R.S.E. competition. A people’s choice vote went to Shawn Pennington‘s “Door Closing.” Psalm’s “My Bucket Song” and more entries can be heard at


The members of local-group Scotland Yard Gospel Choir have never espoused much religiosity, regardless of what can be inferred from their name. But there’s a chance they’re either cursing or praising a higher power after their van was destroyed on I-65 in late September. En route to Cincinnati while touring behind this fall’s And The Horse They Rode In On (Bloodshot), a tire blew and sent their van across the median into oncoming traffic. Frontman Elia Einhorn told the Chicago Tribune that drummer Jay Santana managed to steer the van back into the median, but couldn’t keep the vehicle from flipping several times. Everyone was injured, though Mark Yoshizumi had to be airlifted to Christ Church in Oak Lawn, while Mary Ralph broke her pelvis and collarbone and Einhorn’s head was sliced open on the torn roof. A benefit show goes down at Hideout with The 1900s and Brighton MA on the 12th, while Bloodshot Records has set up a Paypal account if anyone wishes to help the band pay for their medical expenses or replace their equipment, which was destroyed.


Even though our publication cycle prohibits us from delivering hard news the way we’d like, we do have the advantage of giving you perspective and closure in a manner your average source has no time for. (Remember Senator Larry Craig? Did he pray enough to get the gayness out of him? Hello CNN? ABC?) So. You might remember this little saga we followed all summer called “Aerosmith.” (They were on our June cover to tout a summer tour; the bandmembers endured various mishaps until the jaunt was eventually scrapped.) It turns out, since frontman Steven Tyler‘s stage-fall that ended their roadtrip, he had not spoken to any of the rest of the band until an October 17th concert in Hawaii. Guitarist Joe Perry released a solo record and told Reuters that he hasn’t written a song with Tyler in more than a decade (so much for the next band album happening anytime soon), and Aerosmith will be put on the shelf indefinitely. Adding insult, Perry’s wife Billie sent a Twitter that she has never listened to an Aerosmith album from start to finish. “Without the live show, the songs n [sic] lyrics don’t move me.” Wait a second, she has a Twitter page?


There seems to be some confusion. At various points in the last two years, we’ve been told the CD era is over, and downloads are the form. (Never mind that 29 percent of households in this country do not have regular Internet access.) Pitchfork proclaimed this transition at least twice: once for Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy, and again when The Beatles’ albums were restored – the post-Sticky Fingers Rolling Stones reissues were justifiably ignored. Jazz, of course, sees no boundaries, so if the key or time signature changes the band adapts and Jimmy Smith (tuning out his death) takes a 20-minute organ solo. That’s how come Columbia Records can justify its latest dip into the Miles Davis (a Dolton native!) pie: The Complete Columbia Album Collection, a 70-CD, single-DVD, $325 exclusive. The package, which is only undergoing a single pressing, also includes a 250-page book and all the rarities/outtakes that have been included with recent reissues. The irony is by the time the average Davis fan has time to absorb all this material and appreciate the remastering, not only will the CD era be over, but likely life as well. The cockroaches will thank you for your purchase.

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Columns, File, Monthly

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