Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books----her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!

Tag: Seville Lilly

Tim Stop Trio Plays at “Market” in Chicago on 7/22

babiesthroughbirthday-223The Tim Stop Trio (www.timstoptrio.com) played Market, a trendy new tri-level restaurant/bar that opened May 1st. The restaurant at 1113 W. Randolph is the brainchild of White Sox General Manager Kenny Williams and partner of Mod Construction, and features a 2,500 outdoor garden seating area, an inner dining area with 20 flat screen TVs, and an upstairs roof garden, which is where Tim Stopulus and his Trio held forth on July 22, 2009.


The restaurant offers American cuisine, some served in unique ways. The popcorn shrimp appetizer is served in a look-alike popcorn box, and you can order cotton candy for dessert. The ribs were great, although the side dishes for the ribs (Peruvian corn; gack) were not. I had a girl from Columbia and a girl from El Salvador with me this night, and none of us recognized the Peruvian corn as anything even remotely like “corn.” It tasted mealy, like lima beans. On the bright side, the build-your-own pizza was very good. Waitress Brittany worked very hard to get our table done by the time the band started at 9 p.m. She cannot be faulted.


As mentioned in online reviews, it is noisy inside, so, if the weather is nice, try for the outdoor garden seating or the tables in front of the establishment. [A layer of acoustic ceiling tile might help.] When I called in the afternoon to try to make reservations for four people at 7 p.m. on a Wednesday night, whoever answered the phone said they did not take reservations, which, later, turned out to be incorrect. That person also did not know if there was any entertainment that evening. In fact, after arrival, when we asked our server about the band, she had to seek out a manager to find out that, yes, the Tim Stop Trio and a second entertainer, Chris Buehrle, a very good one-man band, would be playing that night on the rooftop. I had been told on the phone that no food was served on the rooftop but that patrons were welcome to bring a drink to the roof. This last bit of information turned out to be totally incorrect. When I attempted to take a full Diet Coke (in a glass) and a half-full Mojita (excellent) to the roof, a large bouncer outside the elevator refused to allow me (us) to take drinks from the ground floor to the roof, unless the drinks were in a plastic container. The bar said it had run out of plastic entertainers. A four-story walk upstairs was the solution (doors to the roof in front), which was not a bad idea as the elevator may be the slowest elevator in the city of Chicago. (I’ve experienced an elevator this slow once before, but it was in Paris on L’Isle de la Cite and appeared to be at least 75 years old.)


The group is touring behind this released statement: “With all these questions swirling around about Obama’s Economic Stimulus Package and its effectiveness, we, the Tim Stop Trio, decided that maybe it’s time we did our part in boosting the economy.  Sometimes, you can’t wait for your elected officials to do the right thing.


In that spirit, the Tim Stop Trio has been proud to announce a series of live free shows across the Midwest, beginning in Iowa City at the Piano Lounge on Wednesday, July 15 and continuing on to the Voodoo Lounge in Cedar Falls, Iowa on July 16 and July 17. On Saturday, July 18, the group performed at Headliners in Ames, Iowa, before moving on to Chicago for the rooftop show at Market on Wednesday, July 22nd.


Said the release, “We are tired of hearing about people missing concerts due to lack of funds.  Live music is not a luxury, my friends; it’s a necessity.  Like food, clean water, and SUV’s.  We’ve left you no excuse.  It’s time to set things right in America, and it starts here.” Brave words! And clever ones.


Group members Seville Lillie (always excellent) on keyboards, Tim Stopulus on guitar and vocals and Justin Hooke on percussion delivered enjoyable background music to a full house. It was difficult to understand the patter in between songs, however. The songs were great, but the talking was hard to hear or understand, if you could hear it.


 Among those in the audience were all age groups, enjoying the excellent mojitas and a variety of other signature drinks. The crowd seemed largely to be an affluent group, attired in casual to dressy clothing and it was very much a place to meet and greet.

The songs were often original compositions by group leader Tim Stopulus, a Wake Forest graduate, who said, “Our whole goal right now is to just play as much as possible and make the best music we possibly can.”  Later in the evening, a very weird band played on Jimmy Kimmel’s television show. The Tim Stop Trio (especially when the full band is involved) was at least ten times better than the strange guy in the Mohawk with the silver crap on his right cheek who sang in a voice an octave higher than Michael Jackson in his youth on live TV later that night. (Jimmy Kimmel scouts: listen up!)


The group was moving on to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Mo’s Irish Pub for the weekend of July 24 and July 25 saying: “Remember, these are all free shows. In fact, we went to take it one step further.  As many of you know, my last name is Stopulus.  We cut off the last half of that name (‘ulos’) because nobody could spell it.  Well, this week, we’re bringing it back, and we’re dropping the ‘Stop.’ After all, we want you to go see music, not stop.  And since we are doing this in the name of the economy, we will be known as the Economic Timulos Package for the remainder of the tour.”


As the group says, “If you love freedom, cone see the Economic Timulos Package in the next few weeks.  It’s going to be awesome.  And you can take that to the bank.”


You can read up on the band at www.timstoptrio.com and on http://www.facebook.com/timstoptrio. As we walked away…listening, in the distance, to the strains the Beatles “I Saw Her Standing There”, one of the few covers of the night (along with ‘If I Ruled the World,” we all remarked on a totally pleasant and enjoyable musical evening, with a fantastic view of the city from the rooftop venue.

Tim Stopulos Plays Redstone Room on Dec. 19th

tim-stopulus1Tim Stopulos, a Davenport Assumption High School graduate who attended college in Wake Forest (Winston Salem, North Carolina) after graduation, was in town on December 19th, playing at the Redstone Room of the River Music Experience.

His tightly knit combo played some covers of Billy Joel and Elton John (“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”) on which Steven Kretschmer guested and sang harmony, but most of the songs were original compositions from Tim’s album “The Long Drive Home.”

Tim’s band consists of Justin Hooks on drums and percussion, Seville Lilly on keyboards and bass guitar, Michael Tahlier, lead guitar. Tim, himself, plays keyboards and guitar and sings lead vocals while composing many of the group’s songs. Born in 1983, the 25-year-old singer/songwriter says he has been influenced by everyone from Dave Matthews to John Mayer, Ben Folds, Coldplay, Billy Joel, Radiohead and Jeff Buckley. He began 15 years of piano instruction at the age of 6, and it has definitely paid off.

I spoke with Seville Lilly, the bass and keyboards player (and the thin guy wearing the hat) and he said, “Tim is the most complete musician I’ve met. He has it all. He sings, he composes, he can play all the instruments. I’ve been in 13 bands in and around Chicago. This CD is really well-produced. It was hearing this CD that convinced me to join the band.” Seville went on to note that he is not on the CD. He gave kudos to band organizer and “main man” Tim Stopulos, who seems very upbeat and energetic and dedicated to making it in the crazy and unpredictable music business.

tim-stopulos2I bought one of the CDs, in order to listen to: “Weak and Willing,” “Too Close,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Love It or Leave It,” “Where I’m going,” “Loose Ends,” “Lie to Me” (I thought it was going to be Johnny Lang’s version; it wasn’t), “Wandering,” and “Wait it Out.”

What I liked best about the concert was that Stopulos is undeniably talented. I haven’t been as impressed with a keyboard player since I heard Joe Firstman open for Sheryl Crow and predicted a big career for the guy (who is now the house band on Carson Daley’s late night show). [22 years of piano instruction here, so there!]
The band’s members are mainly from the Chicago area, and they are playing in the Chicago area at the following places during the upcoming weeks:

December 20th – Bad Dog Tavern (solo) 9 p.m.

December 23rd – Nan’s Piano Bar (solo) 8:30 p.m.

December 27th – Reggie’s Music Joint

January 9, 2009 – 1:30 A, Bar Louise (solo)

January 16 – The Red Line Tap, 9 p.m.

January 31, Private party, 8 p.m.

Learn more about Tim Stopulos’ band, and vote for a name for the band, at his blog:www.timstopulos.com. It’s nice to hear a singer who can actually sing, for a change, and whose talent comes through loud and clear. Good luck to this  Iowa native as he takes on the world of entertainment.

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