Friday, this Friday, we are back in Constellation

Last December we had our Yes Face CD release festival at Links Hall. I say festival, because that is what it felt like. The atmosphere was full of celebration, and we had four thoughtful and talented artists perform their responses to our CD. It filled me up until I overflowed, and I came onstage all grateful and shaky, but had to pull it together for our sets. We played all of the songs live, in order, and Beau told the most beautiful and simple love story I've ever heard, and we played an encore of what was then a new song full of affection and blue language. One of the best nights of the year for me.

I harken back to this evening because in two days we enter back into that building for another show. We will be in the Constellation space this time, rather than Links, but my good feelings extend into those rooms as well. We are playing this time with Chris Schoen, who has his own anthem, Ryan Wright, who is the most relaxed electric guitar wailer-on-er I've ever seen, and Jim Joyce, who I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting, but I am confident he is full of delights.  Briavael O'Reilly will come out from behind the sound board this time to play trombone with us, and it may be flurrying outside, and there will be just the right kind of holiday cheer to surround us all.

I'll speak for the band for a minute to say that we all hope you can join us. Tickets are available here for only $10. And you know what else is $10? Our CDs, if you come to the show to get 'em.

Happy end of 2014,

March! opening weekend and the Dysfunctionells

It's a busy week for The Crooked Mouth, my friends. Beau O'Reilly's latest play, written with Julie Williams—March!—opens on Friday, November 7 at 8:00pm at The Side Project. It features performances by Jenny and Vicki, among many others, and runs Friday through Sunday until December 7. Which is all well and good. Jump on over here for more info and tickets and maps and whatnot.

But then, on Saturday, November 8, after the March! performance in Rogers Park, the Crookeds will high tail it down to Bucktown to open the reunion show of Chicago favorites, The Dysfunctionells, at Gallery Cabaret at 10:30pm. It will be a night to remember, certainly, and we hope you can come along for the ride.

Grab your phone (or your paper calendar) and take note...

We are playing out quite a bit in the next couple of months, including our first trip to Urbana. I think you should take a gander at our gig page, preferably while you have the calendar app open on your phone so you can plug these dates right on in there.

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Beau sells the Roots birthday show

Beau wants you to come to our next gig. So do we:

"We know a lot of you tried to see us at Las Manos Gallery or Links Hall or the Poetry Foundation but the evil winter got in the way...well now that evil winter is past and it is spring...FRIDAY, May 16 and SATURDAY, May 17th...the Final performances of the 60 STORY ANIMAL: Short Plays of Samuel Beckett performed by Judith Harding and Beau O’Reilly at Jamie O’Reilly’s ROOTS. For reservations call Lincoln Square...On Friday it will be two Beckett’s THIS OLD TUNE and TEXT FOR NOTHING 1, with guest Jim Joyce ...on Saturday, Beckett’s THIS OLD TUNE and TEXT FOR NOTHING 1, with The Crooked Mouth doing a whole set!  At the end of the performance Beau will be sixty one and it will be summer ...isn't that all something?...I love most of you most of the time..."
— Beau

Yes Face pre-orders available now. Right now.

Yes Face pre-orders available now. Right now.

From our label, uvulittle: We are now accepting pre-orders for Yes Face, the second CD by Chicago's The Crooked Mouth.

All pre-orders will ship by Nov 25. Digital ships instantly and we're including the mp3 version for all pre-order orders. Yes Face picks up where their debut ended. A little less country, perhaps.. First, though, the recording is lovely. Simple, complex, beautiful... It breathes. Deeply. As expected, the vocal arrangements are well conceived and executed flawlessly by people with an obvious passion for such perfections. The instrumentation is tasteful - bringing banjo and bluegrass sounds to folky show tune-y (almost) rock numbers. There's a nod to the blues in there, too. Fun, serious, sad and furious. Actually, quite transcendent.

Treat yourself to some songs (there's 20 of 'em on there!) by one of Chicago's most creative musical outfits.

The official release party is on December 7 at Links Hall. See our Gigs page for more info.

Likely the rockingest Tuesday evening DeKalb has ever seen.

Likely the rockingest Tuesday evening DeKalb has ever seen.

Tuesday, Oct 8th at 8:00pm

The show is something of a reunion because 35 years ago Andrew Calhoun, Folksinger, met Beau O’Reilly across the street at the legendary JUICY JOHN PINKS where Beau was doing the booking.

Andrew is touring to support his new album and Beau will be playing with his band The Crooked Mouth who are just about to release their new cd, YES FACE, on uvulittle records. Beau, known somewhat for his theater and radio work on This American Life, has been working musically, for about 5 years with the multi instrumentalist Matt Test, the ethereal voiced Troy Martin on guitar and uke, the bass-playing fine harmonizer Vicki Walden and the eponymous lead singer and drummer Jenny Magnus, with whom Beau shared the drivers seat in Maestro Subgum and The Whole. If any of this rings a bell and you like well-made songs written by people who care about stuff and have a sense of humor, come out and hear us on Tuesday October 8th at 8 o'clock at the House Cafe in DeKalb.

have a listen to a song off the new record

have a listen to a song off the new record

If it's a dorkish thing to drive around listening constantly to your own band's CD, then I am the biggest dork there is. I can't get enough of this record that we are so very close to completing. It's called Yes Face and that is, in fact, the face I am making behind the wheel of my car as the songs go round and round. I hope that you all will like it as much as I do. Soon, my pets, soon a November or December release date will be confirmed on these very web pages. In the meantime, for your listening pleasure, here is the version of Spite that appears. 


Roots Fest IV: Untoward Sward

Roots Fest IV: Untoward Sward

We could not be happier to join Mistress of Ceremonies Jamie O'Reilly at her fourth annual Roots Fest this weekend. There are a host of talented O'Reillys and their cohorts on the musical bill, and no finer backyard venue in which to see them.

Click on that lil' linky up there for more info. We toast you with a frosty beverage in advance. 

Working weekend

The Crooked Mouth had an epic weekend of recording, with its petty trials, travails, and yes, triumphs. Looks like the next record is going to have 20 tracks on it. That's a lot o' material to get through, but we have succeeded in recording nearly everything. It is onto the mixing now. We're cautiously hopeful that all will be finished for a May time Beau/Jenny birthday bash release.

Cautious. Hopeful. Appropriate for February in Chicago.

Rhino ending switcharoo, Feb 17

Rhino ending switcharoo, Feb 17

The Crooked Mouth waves goodbye to Rhino 2013 on Sunday, February 17th at 7:00pm, not the previously boasted about Sunday afternoon.

What does that mean? The show's at 7.

When is it? It's at 7:00!!!

Is John Starrs still in the afternoon? Why yes he is, he just starts a little later, around three thirty.

Will Scott Vehill be with John? Why yes he will.

When's The Crooked Mouth? IT'S AT SEVEN.

Can I do everything on Sunday, the closing day, that I want to do? Why yes you can, I think you can, I hope you can.

Did the rhino brain trust cause this schedule flux on purpose just to test my commitment to the project? No, they didn't. They are working night and day, using all the tools god gave them to make it work out for you and yours.

Can I trust the accuracy of this news? Yes. Yes. Absolutely.

Will they play anything special for me? We think they will, we know they say we all.

The Rhinoceros Theatre Festival continues

The Rhinoceros Theatre Festival continues Now through February 17, the Rhino thunders on at the Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston.

The Crooked Mouth is involved on many levels: Beau and Jenny revisit the Madras Parables with "All the Ways to the Hidey Hole" on Friday and Saturday nights; Matt provides music for Sue Cargill's "Lizzie Borden is Smashing"; Troy is in the latest work from The Billy Goat Experiment, "Breath Boxes"; and Vicki is part of the staged reading of Barrie Cole's new play, "Clumsy Sublime" and curated the Rhino-inspired art show in the lobby.

As ever, the Rhino is chock full of excellent fringe theater. Go to the website for details!

Double Door with Elvisbride!

elvisbride Double Door with Elvisbride!

You likely know this already, but Matt and Troy have another band, a band that was a show and is now a band, Elvisbride. Their music is as excellent as the people involved: smart, funny, entertaining, and tight. We are delighted to be opening for them (with Darcy Lynn and Belmondos) as they headline Double Door on Tuesday, Feb 5 at 8pm. There will be staff manning the water stations keeping Troy and Matt liberally supplied with energy gel squeezy packets as they navigate two shows in one night.

Only 7 bucks!

The Other Side of the Elephant

Image Opening this Friday, The Other Side of the Elephant: Short Plays by Curious Writers features contributions from all of our band members. Vicki, Matt, and Troy are on the Friday night bill, with Summer of '76 and Birthday Boy (respectively written by Vicki and Matt with Chris Bower). Beau and Jenny have written/are directing and performing on the Sunday bill, with Advanced Placement, Crowns, and Rhino Tails: New Work by SAIC Students.

See the link above for more details and a full schedule. All shows are at Prop Thtr, and tickets are $15 or pay what you can. Running through June 10. There is a lot of energetic new work present here—don't miss it.

Us, and King Pignacious

We really did have an excellent time playing at the Ace Bar last week. What a treat to have an actual sound guy, and let Matt be banjo/piano/accordion player without the added burden of engineering. He is a man of many talents. Jenny recorded us on the ipad balanced atop her drum kit, so maybe we'll be posting some of it if sound quality merits.

But on to the future! Saturday night, we are playing with our good friends, King Pignacious at Center Portion. It's an early May Day fundraising effort for the Occupy Chicago Defense Fund. We honor their commitment to the 99%, and are glad to show our support. This should be an excellent, excellent time, so we hope you can join us.

Tickets are $15 or pay what you can. 8:00pm!

2850 W. Fullerton, Chicago

Spring shows at Center Portion et al

Spring is sprunging all over the place, and we are playing all over the place. We are so pleased about our special guests this go round—it behooves you, you, to come and see. The first three gigs listed here are at Center Portion, and the last is at Ace Bar. Exciting.

 Saturday, March 31 — 8:00pm with Chris Schoen

Sunday, April 1 — 7:00pm with Jeff Weisfeld and Friends

MAY DAY WEEKEND Saturday, April 28 — 8:00pm with King Pignacious A Benefit for Occupy Chicago Defense Fund

MAY BAND BIRTHDAYS Saturday, May 19 — 8:00pm with Ed Reardon and Sunny Fun Sisters

2850 1/2 W. Fullerton Avenue, Chicago Tickets: $15 or pay what you can 773.904.4310

ADDITIONAL SHOW—AT A REAL BAR EVEN! Friday, April 13 — 7:30pm with Wooden Rings and Rachael Sage Ace Bar
 1505 W. Fullerton Ave. 312-970-1505