Sound check: Ataris celebrate ‘Astoria’ anniversary with Guardrail, Bury Me

Childhood perceptions can defy explanation sometimes. Sometime in 1985, my young brain inextricably linked the movie “The Goonies” and Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer” over the “deadhead sticker” and “don’t look back” lines in the song. (Skull and crossbones, car chases and summer adventures with your best buds. Makes sense, right?) Imagine my sense of validation when in 2003 the Indiana-born pop-punk band The Ataris released “So Long, Astoria” (a song packed with references to “The Goonies”) on the album of the same name that also featured a cover of the Don Henley song. The band is celebrating the 15th anniversary of that nostalgia-laced, emo-punk classic with a show at Bottom Lounge, featuring Chicago’s own Guardrail and Bury Me in Lights, a hard-rocking alternative band with roots in the western suburbs. 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St., Chicago. $17. (312) 666-6775 or

Thriller night

Nightmare on Chicago Street takes over downtown Elgin Saturday, Oct. 20, with shuffling zombies, toxic waste and burning debris (but also food, drinks, entertainment and Svengoolie). The Main Stage at Douglas and Chicago streets features the Zombie Homecoming Pageant throughout the night, along with sets by Karma Committee at 7:30 p.m. and Recycled Percussion at 9:30 p.m. The Second Stage on Chicago Street features DJ Flipside and DJ Speed spin throughout the night. And the Lounge Puppets (6:30 p.m.) and Modern Day Romeos (9 p.m.) play the Third Stage on Grove Avenue. 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, in downtown Elgin. $12-$15. See for more information and entry points.

Jimi Falls and the ’90s

After touring the country, Chicago hard-rocking alternative band Jimi Falls is returning for a night of original and ’90s alternative rock in Palatine. Make sure you’re there early to catch the premiere of the music video for their recent single “For the Broken” before the set. 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at Durty Nellie’s, 180 N. Smith St., Palatine. $9.20. (847) 358-9150 or

Talking music on the radio

Tune in at 6 p.m. this Sunday for my makeup appearance with hosts Adela and Dan on “The Underbelly Hours,” their weekly radio show exploring the Chicago area’s underground music scene on Elmhurst College’s student-run radio airwaves at WRSE-88.7 FM. The show will also feature chats with and performances by 8-bit crEEps and The Weekend Run Club.

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