Strap on your specs, dear Surfers, and get ready for a full two weeks of Chicago summer music madness!! We checked out not one, not two, but three freaking festivals over the holiday weeks: Logan Arts Fest, West Fest, and American Music Fest all got coverage in this issue along with Car Seat Headrest at Millennium Park and Dressy Bessy at Sleeping Village from TLM, local jazz maven Joshua Abrams from MVM, and Stef Chura / French Vanilla and The Curls / Spirits Having Fun record release both at KPL’s favorite venue, The Empty Bottle. Like we said, this is one juggernaut of an issue, with plenty of new local, and even international, music to sink your ears into. So hit up the playlist, and take a gander at our biggest issue yet. You’ll be glad you did! See you next week for a full Pitchfork Preview and all the new releases we can throw at ya! ‘Til then...
Keep Seeing Live Music!
⬐ SHOWS ⬎
Logan Square Arts Fest
Monument on the Square
June 29th - 30th
Mykele Deville / 📷 : MVM
Logan Square Arts Festival, centered around the Illinois Centennial Monument, caters to every bit of the arts community and boasts a unique art vendor tent set-up better than any typical street fest and includes an eclectic lineup of music. Whether you want to hang out in the street and dance along to the music on the Milwaukee stage, or spread out on the lawn in front of the monument stage, LSAF has you covered.
July 5 - July 7
Mark Farina / 📷 : LPL
West Fest is always a total barn burner! Two stages on opposite ends of the musical spectrum bookend a collective fashion and dog show that puts most Chicago street fests to shame. The indie rock and house communities meet in a mashup of style and inebriation that ends up close to a Bacchanal on the city streets of Chicago. As anyone deep in the dance party at Chicago Ave. and Wood, or rockin’ out at Damen Ave. will attest, West Fest is where it was last weekend.
American Music Festival
The Waco Brothers / 📷 : MVM
Do you like country, folk, bluegrass, blues, and rockabilly? Then this is the music fest for you. Catching returning greats like Sarah Shook and the Waco Brothers and seeing newcomer Sunny War, there is just something about boot stomping, guzzling beers, and listening to American music over the 4th of July weekend that feels right. Throw in some bottle rockets and M80’s going off in the background to complete the ambience of a proper 4th of July party.
Car Seat Headrest / Naked Giants
Dressy Bessy / Colleen Green / Potty Mouth
Dressy Bessy / 📷 : TLM
Potty Mouth's music brought an instant party atmosphere to the Sleeping Village. There were cheers for the opening notes of "Do It Again," the lead track off their most recent album, Snafu. Their music is high-energy, aggressive, glistening pop-punk. Guitarist, Ada Brumback fairly glowed as she smiled. The drumming by Victoria Mandanas shimmered with cymbal crashes. Ally Einbinder was a spring-loaded bassist; she bounced and lunged, sometimes at the same time. Lead vocalist, Abby Weems attacked the microphone and shook her head constantly, her dark hair cutting the air around her.
FM-84 / 📷 : MGC
The Retro Wave genre was captured in its purest form of display over the weekend at Lincoln Hall. The trio known as FM-84 played to a nearly sold-out crowd on Saturday and didn’t dare to flirt with disappointment. This was a night of ‘80s-inspired songs that you remember hearing in the credits of your favorite John Hughes flick. One word: FUN.
Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society
Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society / 📷 : MVM
I was introduced to Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society at Pitchfork Music Fest last year. I only caught a small portion from a distance and was intrigued by what was going on. Fast forward to April of this year, and when I pick up a Chicago Reader newspaper, I see an article highlighting Abrams and his wife Lisa Alvarado. Alvarado plays in the band, and also does the artwork for NIS, along with individual projects by the contributing members of NIS. After reading this wonderful article and seeing that the group had an upcoming show in Chicago, I immediately bought tickets. (For $15 you would be hard-pressed to find a better deal.)
The Curls / Spirits Having Fun (Record Release) / The Hecks
The Curls / 📷 : TLM
Only in Chicago can you pull a double FREE show in one evening! After the amazing Car Seat Headrest set at Pritzker Pavilion downtown, we headed back to the hood for a Monday night local showcase at The Empty Bottle, arriving in time for the last half of the opening set by jangle jammers The Hecks. Impressive as always, the quartet stretches their tunes into opuses of weaving layers of guitar, synth and percussion that is as danceable as it is jarring.
Stef Chura / French Vanilla / Sean Green
Steph Chura / 📷 : TLM
Pulling off our second double show of the week, we jumped ship on the gothic pomp of John Maus at West Fest a bit early, just in time to hit the triple bill of indie rock glee down the street at The Empty Bottle. Local crooner Sean Green opened the evening with a set full of his down to earth indie rock, with just enough spacey jam quality to provide a freaky fun encounter.
Lots of SOLD OUT shows this week that are not included here
^ All Ages
THURSDAY July 11th
+ Glitter Moneyyy (Record Release) / ShowYouSuck / J Bambii / DJ Silent Hype @ Empty Bottle 8:30PM doors $10
+ Canter / Teenage Afterglow / Rasplyn / The Well Tempered @ The Burlington 8PM Cover
Connan Mockasin / Helena Deland @ Thalia Hall 'In The Round' 7:30PM doors $22
Deanna Devore / Fay Ray / Cordoba @ Sleeping Village 8:30PM $10
Together Pangea / Tijuana Panthers / Ultra Q @ Lincoln Hall 7PM $18
Son Volt / Logan Ledger @ SPACE 8PM $40
Banks @ House of Vans
^ Bomba Estéreo / Cultura Profética @ Taste of Chicago 5:30PM Lawn FREE , Seats $25 - $50
^ Pouya / Ramirez / Boobie Lootaveli @ House of Blues 6:30PM $29.50
FRIDAY July 12th
^ Square Roots Fest @ Lincoln Square 5PM $10 donation
+ Imelda Marcos (Record Release) / Big Syn / Not For You @ Empty Bottle 9PM doors $8
+ EGi / Groovy Louie & the Time Capsules @ Martyrs’ 9PM $15
Joan Shelley / All Together Now @ The Hideout “Picnic On The Porch” 6PM $15
H.R. / Downtown Brown / Top Shelf Lickers / OvejaNegra @ Reggies 7:30PM $12
^ De La Soul / Taylor Bennett @ Taste of Chicago 5:30PM Lawn FREE , Seats $25 - $50
SATURDAY July 13th
^ Square Roots Fest @ Lincoln Square 12PM $10 donation
+ Revolt Coda / Rotten Mouth / Mircrocosms / North and Wells @ Cubby Bear 8PM $10
+ Stoop Goodnoise / Denim Matriarch/ Fall Classic/ Flake Michigan @ Burlington 8PM Cover
Vocalo Summer Block Party featuring Jill Scott / Anthony Hamilton /and more @ Northerly Island 6PM $97 and up
Chris Forsyth & the Broken Mirror Motel Band / Health&Beauty @ The Hideout 9PM $12
Jake La Botz / Diamond Jim & Cookin Sherry @ Schubas 10PM $10
^ The Strumbellas / Lovelytheband / Joywave @ Taste of Chicago 5:30PM Lawn FREE , Seats $25 - $50
Golden Vessel / Instupendo / OSTON @ Empty Bottle 8:30PM doors $12
Taking Back Sunday @ House of Vans
SUNDAY July 14th
^ Square Roots Fest @ Lincoln Square 12PM $10 donation
+^ Kaina (Record Release) / Kara Jackson / Luna Luna / Sen Morimoto / Kahekili @ Lincoln Hall 6:30PM $12
Beach Slang / Wreath of Hogs / Young Man in a Hurry @ Empty Bottle 9PM doors $15
Alex Di Leo / Cody Lovaas @ Subterranean (Downstairs) 8PM $10
The Evening Attraction / The Go Rounds / Luke Henry @ Schubas 8PM $10
India.Arie / Meshell Ndegeocello / Bilal @ Taste of Chicago 4:30PM Lawn FREE , Seats $25
MONDAY July 15th
+ Ajani Jones (Dragonfly Listening Party) @ Chop Shop 6PM FREE w/ RSVP
Sophagus / Jackie Mendoza / Brent Penny @ Empty Bottle 8:30PM doors FREE
The Wild Reeds / Ian Noe @ SPACE 8PM $18
TUESDAY July 16th
+ Immortal Bird (Record Release) / Warforged / Barren Heir @ Empty Bottle 8:30PM doors $10
+ Modern Vices / Graveyard Club / Cold Beaches @ Sleeping Village 9:30PM $5
+ Fauvely / Gone Valley / Jessica Risker @ The Hideout 9PM $7
+ Claire and the Bears / Quiet Cove @ Martyrs’ 8PM $10
+ Ivy Dye / Engine Summer / Sci-Fi Sleep Cycles @ Burlington 8PM Cover
+ Spills / The Lispshitz @ Schubas 9PM FREE
+ Andrew Bird / Madison Cunningham @ Chicago Theatre 7:30PM $39.50 and up
WEDNESDAY July 17th
+ No Men / Oginalii / Douglas Slur @ Schubas 9PM FREE
+ Hanami @ Hungry Brain 9PM FREE
+ Genna Simon / Spooktacular / ChinaRose / Modern Nun @ Beat Kitchen 7:30PM $10
See you at the show Chicago!