Nobunny, Pookie & Slushy at Bric-a-Brac

Bric-a-Brac Records & Collectibles, a shop in Avondale just north of Logan Square, is really getting to be the go-to spot for free garage and punk rock performances. On Sunday afternoon, Oct. 11,  the store hosted short, very spontaneous sets by three Chicago singer-guitarists with goofy stage names: Slushy, Pookie and Nobunny. Their fans sang along to some of the songs, and it felt like a rock concert, even without an actual stage or full bands.


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Nobunny at Crown Liquors

A little advice to my fellow concert photographers: If you plan on taking pictures at a show by Nobunny, please consider wearing a protective helmet and kneepads. I’m willing to brave the pushing and shoving of a mosh pit once in a while to capture some action, but I really wondered if I might get bruised or rupture some organs when I was standing Saturday night (March 27) in front of the “stage” (i.e. makeshift platform) at Crown Liquors in Chicago. I lasted about one song in the mosh pit, getting zero photos since it was impossible to focus or do anything with my camera other than try to protect it from all of the beer droplets flying through the air.

So who or what is Nobunny? He’s a musician (actual name: Justin Champlin) who wears a mangy-looking vaguely garage/punk rock.

On Saturday, he was playing at a new Chicago venue, Crown Liquors, on Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square. This place is a bit like Cal’s or Ronny’s: an old bar or liquor store with a place for rock music tacked on. I don’t know if the venue was prepared for the mayhem that would result when Nobunny played. Some people in the crowd threw bottles at the stage, which prompted one of the employees to threaten an end to the show. The crowd calmed down a bit, and the music went on. (Nobunny’s backup musicians for this show included members of Yolks plus Brian Costello on drums.)

Once I’d escaped the mosh pit, I tried getting some photographs from farther away, which wasn’t easy. This isn’t my best work: grainy, blurry. But hey, it’s the best I could manage. This experience made me realize how I need to prepare better for using flash during dark concerts.

Nobunny’s set was the climax of a four-band lineup, chock full of noisy garage music. Yolks, Mickey and White Mystery played earlier, making for a lively night.

See my photos of Nobunny, White Mystery, Mickey and Yolks.