Frank's Weekend Faves, March 18, 2018

Frank's Weekend Faves, March 18, 2018

You know me — I'm all about faves. And while this week's No. 1 Weekend Fave isn't your typical arts and entertainment event, it, too, is all about faves. Your faves. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce News-Gazette Media's The People's Choice.

That's right. We want to know your favorites. Restaurant, clothing store, art gallery, movie theater, museum, gym, sports bar, coffee shop, pet kennel, pool, park or pizza, even your favorite plumber, roofer or auto mechanic. You name it — literally.

News-Gazette Media will be collecting those via a nomination and voting platform where people can go online to and, from March 21 to March 30, nominate businesses in 150-plus categories. Voting begins on April 2 and ends May 21, and the winners will be announced in a special edition magazine (called The People's Choice magazine) coming out in August.

Vote often, folks. Me? I've already made my vote known in several of the afore-mentioned categories. Remember? My favorite park? Allerton (Oct. 22). Movie theater? The Virginia (Dec. 17). Homegrown rock band? REO Speedwagon (Nov. 12). I've even revealed my favorite local burger (Esquire, Feb. 4), fajitas (Dos Reales, Dec. 24) and burritos (Moe's Southwest Grill, Jan. 28). Don't agree with my picks? Let us hear yours!

Not many entertainment events have intentions as lofty as this one, but this Saturday's first-ever Art in Equality Convention & Film Festival in Savoy doesn't aspire to be ordinary. It merely aims "to bring us all together in one place with equality, love and respect" ... and to do so every year hereafter.

Scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at the Savoy Recreation Center, 402 W. Graham Drive, Savoy, the convention and film festival focuses on equality for all — LGBTQ, all races, all religions, all sexes — by showcasing special guest speakers, vendors and films from independent filmmakers.

Guests will include pro wrestler-turned-actor Bishop Stevens ("Mom and Dad," "Empire" & "No Good Heroes"); artist Philo Barnhart (former Disney animator known for his work on "The Secret of NIMH" (1982), "The Little Mermaid" (1989) and "The Black Cauldron" (1985); cosplay entertainer Alexa Heart; comic book artist and writer Charles Moisant of Silver Phoenix Entertainment; and author/artist Ariana R. Cherry. Among the films to be shown are "Revealed," "Heaven's Rage," "Mute" and "Writing My Own Happy Ending." The Stygian Sisters, a local "metal belly dance" troupe, will also be performing at 4 p.m.

For more information, visit the event's website at

My favorite area concert this week? How about a group that takes the concept of musical fusion to a whole new level of combustibility? How about the Red Hot Chilli Pipers?

You read that right. I said Chilli Pipers, not Chili Peppers (as in, the 1980s funk-rock band I hear is still together and playing some South American Lollapalooza dates at the moment). No, these are the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, a nine-piece ensemble consisting of kilt-wearing pipers, guitarists, keyboardists and drummers and playing a groundbreaking fusion of traditional Scottish music and rock/pop anthems they call 'bagrock'.

We're talking bagpipes with attitude. Drums with a Scottish accent. A blazing rock band and show hot enough for its own health warning. Wonder if they play any AC-DC? They do, but find out for yourself at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 23, at the Effingham Performance Center in Effingham. Tickets are $24 to $36.

Have a question, suggestion or fave nomination for Frank? We'd love to hear from you. Please email it to