1. Artist: Pastor Funkpleez (http://www.reverbnation.com/pastorfunkpleez)
    Venue: Elbo Room (http://www.elboroomlive.com/)

    I love Bootsy Collins, but not really for Parliament-Funkadelic reasons. He's also a sort of “hype man” for super-group Praxis, which features fellow instrumentalist masters Buckethead and Bernie Worrell. Relevant here, Bootsy didn't perform the prominent bassline of P-Funk's #1 R&B hit “Flash Light” – Worrell did (on keys). This becomes slightly less strange in light of the fact that Bootsy did funk up the track – on drums.

    All of this is to say: I'm pretty sure Pastor Funkpleez is the second coming of Bootsy Collins.
    Yes, Bootsy wears boots (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Play_with_Bootsy) and Pastor Funkpleez preaches funk (http://www.reverbnation.com/pastorfunkpleez/songs), but it's more than that. Pastor Funkpleez is first and foremost a bassist, structuring deliciously “funky things to play with” from the bassment all the way up to that funkified weathercock.

    And he's vocally compelling too, whether smoothly singing or delivering a string of funky utterances (all it takes is a few: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df7_skLvbsU). But in blending his vocals, Pastor Funkpleez's “Something' from Nothin'” crafts a vocal hook that rivals “So Fresh, So Clean” by funk contemporaries OutKast.

    Pastor Funkpleez has the requisite swagger. On “T.O.T.R,” our funk-master is shocked, positively “pissed, you don't notice [him].” It's the same flash that distinguishes Morris Day on the Time's “Jerk Out.” The titular acronym of Funkpleez's “T.O.T.R.” is fleshed out with its lyric, “T[urn] O[ff] T[he] R[adio],” as in “Turn off the radio / Let's go to a live show.” Indeed. Because there's not much funkier than Pastor Funkpleez, live, at the Elbo Room. This Saturday night.

    *** Pastor Funkpleez takes the Elbo Room stage Saturday, April 19th, with BabyBrutha, Redline Lounge, and Chip Ratliff & the ECS. The show starts at 8:00 p.m.

  2. Artist: Frances Luke Accord (https://www.facebook.com/franceslukeaccord)
    Venue: Elbo Room (http://www.elboroomlive.com/)

    Frances Luke Accord is not just a musician. It's actually two. And they share obvious similarities with Paul Simon. Like their father in folk, the Chicago duo spent time in Africa, recording with a Ugandan children's choir (http://franceslukeaccordkandote.bandcamp.com/). And like that other duo, Frances Luke Accord's are quiet landscapes painted with gorgeous string tones and gentle harmonies. [FLA also does a mean “Boxer” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2xZ2FW3e8k); and provided you've grown accustomed to CTA acoustics, their “Sounds of Silence” is worth checking out (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkSCjlQnuHQ).] But Frances Luke Accord aren't constrained by the Simon & Garfunkel mold – their debut LP, Kandote, is living proof of that – anyway, Simon broke that one long ago. 
    But if their newest single is any indication, their next EP, Queen for Me, will impress even beyond their promising debut. To the extent there was any room for improvement on Kandote, it was that Frances Luke Accord were selfless to a fault, in that they shared the spotlight with others. Kandote's “Amaholo” is a good example. Though it was truly fascinating, combining world music chants with choir backing, there was none of the characteristic vocal/guitar interplay that distinguishes Frances Luke Accord.

    “Over Your Roof” on the other hand (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV4wRoTPRkE) hints at an EP that fans of the duo's live show likely hoped for. The lead single is two-and-a-half minutes of melodically memorable harmonies, intricate interactions of lovely string instruments, and yes, humming and whistling. An EP full of FLA soundscapes would mean not only rewarding headphone listens, but also spot-on live renderings. So though the EP will be out tomorrow/Wednesday (April 2), the date to remember is next Thursday (April 10), the record release show. This is the Frances Luke Accord we know and love. Live. At the Elbo Room. (No choir required.)

    *** Frances Luke Accord takes the Elbo Room stage Thursday, April 10th, with Chris Dupont and Mike Vial. The show starts at 8:30 p.m.
  3. Over 80 great Chicago bands have choice tracks free-streaming on the Chicago Indie Music Live SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/chicago-indie-music-live/sets. If your band is from Chicago, and would like to jump on, link us to a significant number of free-streaming originals, and we'll take a listen! ChicagoIndieMusicLive@gmail.com