JULY 3, 2003
Now Playing 7-3-03


                                                                                    Tony Dyer and the rest of F5                                                                                         play this Saturday at the                                                                                                Capital Street Celebration,                                                                                             Fifth and Capital

Hop aboard, fellow Americans. Get on your red, white, and blue, and let's take a patriotic trip on a musical merry-go-round this Fourth of July weekend.

Friday is the Fourth, and if you're off work that gives Thursday night a built-in excuse for going out. Just for you, old buddies, Black Magic Johnson has graciously considered extending its regular Wednesday gig at Floyd's by one night. On Thursday it will accommodate all partakers of the proffered pre-holiday party. But if you're in the mood for exposing yourself, check out the open mic at Andiamo on Sixth Street with Jeff and Keith, then wander through the alley to Stella Blue on Fifth for the open mic with Reier and Matt. Bring along your instrument and show them what you've got.

Of course, the big deal this week is Friday, when the celebratory senses take over. Downtown will be swelling with swilling revelers, enjoying the Capitol Street Celebration as City Limits, a superb contemporary country band, and Spongeworthy, crowd-pleasing rockers, take the outside stage on Fifth and Capitol. Frank "Ubiquitous" Parker (he's everywhere, he's everywhere!) makes some jazz happen at 11 West on the corner of Fifth and Adams. A little farther north on Fifth, at the Alamo, it's the return of Jimmy Van Zandt, a cousin or somewhat close relative of Ronnie Van Zandt, the late lead singer and driving force behind Lynyrd Skynyrd. The story goes, Jimmy's wife has kin in town, so they're cruising in for the holiday after an Indy gig to visit relatives and do a show.

If you've got the itch to get out of downtown, there's a wealth of entertainment on Friday in every burg bordering Springfield, including Edinburg, Chatham, Rochester, and Willliamsville, plus a big "Light up the Lake" shindig on the big pond known as Lake Springfield. (Didn't they really almost "light up the lake" a few years ago?) If that's too much hoopla, how about a relaxing night at the Springfield High School auditorium listening to Mr. Mark Gifford play a Fourth of July concert on the Mighty Barton Theater Organ from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Now that's some beautiful noise. Or, then again, a nice quiet night by the pond might just be the way to commemorate our national birthday.

On Wednesday Deke Dickerson brings his wacky world of rockabilly music and vaudeville-like stage antics to the Ameren/Cilco Summer Serenade on the north side of the Old State Capitol Plaza at 7:15 p.m. Ol' Deke is also plugging in at the Underground City Tavern next Thursday, July 10, if you prefer to hear him in the friendly confines of a nightclub.

Here's a heads up for the July 12 extravaganza on the Hilton parking garage roof. It's called the Rooftop Roots Festival, and through the good graces of the folks at Budweiser the Sangamon Valley Roots Revival has booked Junior Brown, Big Al Downing, the Tarbox Ramblers, and Roger Wallace to rattle the nests of the downtown pigeons. Get over to Recycled Records and pick up advance tickets. It should be quite a show.

Are you dizzy yet, or just seeing all the colors of the rainbow?