click to enlarge The Hangovers come to play the Blue Grouch this Friday.
The Hangovers come to play the Blue Grouch this Friday.

Here we are and here we go through the last weekend in January for 2022 and we have a bang-up bunch of stuff going on. After this week of chilling temps, do I contemplate using the "cold weather, hot music" cliche to discuss upcoming live music in our fair city? Then again, isn't music good when it's sounding cool, especially when hot licks are played? I know, it's not fair or polite to ask a question you already know the answer to, so let's just drop this line of questioning and see what's happening out there.

Thursday brings us right back to the Curve Inn hosting these continued diverse and interesting excursions into live music not generally featured on weekends. This week marks a night of what's listed as Slasher Metal, featuring three bands awash in the sounds of metal music. Now anyone in any music genre knows that within each specific style there are sub-genres and the like, but sometimes those not familiar with such an art form might be caught saying, "Hey, man, it all sounds the same to me," and that's just not true. What I'm getting at here is, I've heard people who don't know hip-hop, bluegrass, polka or blues say it all sounds the same, while those within the genre can identify a singer or even an instrumentalist with one listen. So for those prone to saying metal music (or any style) all sounds the same, be prepared to understand that it most definitely does not. Perhaps this is a pointless point to some, but I think it's valid to identify the issue and hopefully open up some ears, eyes, minds and attitudes.

So take a moment here to look up and listen to First Jason (Chicago-based group featuring Ari Lehman, the first and original Jason in the Friday the 13th film series), Ciraxis (self-identified as a "Progressive metal power trio" with new music out on Drift Loud Records) and Robot Army (Springfield group saying they play "music from the middle of metal land" with recorded tunes available on digital platforms and a new EP in the works for 2022). I'm waiting for you to listen and see what you think, but in the meantime, why don't you just go hear them live Thursday at the Curve, since it's almost always better that way anyway, in any way of music being made.

Here's another style of music that falls into a sub-genre, as The Hangovers, a Decatur-based group calling themselves "a psychedelic rock band" rolls into the Blue Grouch on Friday. A quick check on their Facebook page took me to their really nice, recently updated band website, which lists a gig last week at the Main Gate and a few other past places, plus this Saturday and Sunday at The Back Bar in Edwardsville, after Friday at the Grouch, all in support of their latest record, Planet Hangover, available on all your favorite streaming sites. That's some nice work in getting the band out and going so early in the year and, I'm assuming, with a hangover, too (or even three?).

Here's a reminder that Wayward Motel drops a new single, "Weary Hearts," this Friday, then hits the stage with special guests The Lovelorn and Spencer Stokes at the Gin Mill on Saturday night. There is all kinds of music being played all over town this weekend and my best advice is to go to our live music listings and get to making your own list of who, what, when and where to keep it all straight and un-narrow.

Until the next time... stay cool and be warm.

About The Author

Tom Irwin

Tom Irwin, a sixth-generation Sangamon County resident, has played his songs and music for nearly 40 years in the central Illinois area with occasional forays across the country. He's contributed to Illinois Times since 2000 by writing Now Playing, a weekly music column, as well as features stories and other articles...

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