March 15, 2013

Friday night live at Transistor: Nana Zabic, Illinois Bovine Explosion and Ben Simon. Sound by Jon Monteverde.


Nana Zabic (pictured in photo with Frank Barbaric) resides in Chicago and hails from Croatia, by way of Serbia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. She was first a poet and a writer; she has been writing songs and playing guitar since 1998, performing and recording both solo and as a member of Patti's Breakfast (Belgrade), Good Apples (Chicago) and The Adaptations (Chicago), oscillating between indie folk and loud rock. Although she's been living in the United States since 2002, her style bears an imprint of her Yugoslav roots: She grew up surrounded by American and European rock and cabaret, as well as the traditional melodies and rhythms of her homeland situated between East and West. As a singer-songwriter, she sublimates diverse musical influences and churns out tunes that sound both familiar and unique.

For her Transistor performance Nana performed songs from her upcoming solo release, slated for release in the fall of 2013. Frank Barbaric will accompany her on bass.

Visit Nana online.


Illinois Bovine Explosion is the latest project ofRob Reid (pictured right in photo, with guitar), a songwriter who draws his influences as much from the Chicago Public Library's sprawling world music collection as from the eclectic songwriting approaches of Paul Simon, Andrew Bird and Antonio Zambujo. Building on a range of American and world roots music, Rob's songs tell stories about real and fictional characters involved in endeavors such as getting struck by lightning, ice skating in Detroit and holding up banks. His current band features A Wu-Li Conspiracy members Rami Atassi on guitar and Raul Cotaquispe on drums, as well as Ira Ochs on cello and Julie Jurgens on vocals, banjo and pocket trumpet.

For his Transistor performance, Rob was joined Jack McClain (The Damn Choir, Wooden Wings) on percussion and Julie Jurgens on vocals, banjo, guitar and pocket trumpet.

Visit Rob online.

Ben Simon is a New York City-based woodworker, instrument builder, teacher, mentor and subway musician. He frequently joins The Lisps on organ and guitar and has been in their productions of "Futurity" at the Walker Art Center and ART. Ben's band Get the People has been on two tours through Europe, and he can be found New York's subway playing his homemade guitar.

For his Transistor set Ben performed solo, playing originals, traditional covers and "soundscapes." His homemade, battery-powered one-man-band guitar contains contains a keyboard, drum machine, 20-watt amp, 4 channel mixer, mic, reverb unit and novelty sound effects device. Ben is a fingerpicker and warbling vocalist.

Visit Ben online.

Poster by   Chien-An Yuan

Poster by Chien-An Yuan

Find more live performance recordings on our archive page.