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Preview Thu Sep 13 2012
Well folks, the time has come again. The 16th annual Hideout Block Party/A.V. Club Festival is upon us, and this year we are presented with some fantastic acts that are going to bring high-caliber indie rock music to (just outside) one of Chicago's most unique music venues. We here at Gapers Block have decided that there are several new acts that you should be sure to catch, and familiar acts that you should consider catching up with.
Where To Hear A Chorus Of 70+ Stringed Instruments:
The Hideout welcomes all ages to take their talents out in front of the crowd as they become a member of the festival's Guitarkestra, which is basically a giant instrumental jam session. Bring any string instrument you'd like, arrive at The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia) at 5pm on Friday, and gain free entry into the fest if you commit to play with the group at 5:30pm. Past Guitarkestras have had up to 70 members playing, and it will be an extremely unique experience both to participate in, and watch. Check out a video of last year's Guitarkestra session at the Hideout Block Party to see the sonic wonder for yourself.
Where To Go If You Enjoy Atmospheric Folk Music:
Slave Ambient, debut album by The War on Drugs, was one of my favorite releases of 2011. Beautiful and compelling, the atmospheric backdrop combined with Dylan-style crooning caught my attention and never released it since. Songs bounce from the quick-paced, mesmerizing ballad "Your Love is Calling My Name" to peaceful "Best Night," which emerges as a familiar, comfortable tune to simply get lost in. Friday at 7pm will be the perfect time for this group, as the sun sets, turning the city into an ambient landscape with The War on Drugs creating its soundtrack.
Where to Catch Sets By Ladies Who Know How To Rock:
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention Kelly Hogan as a Best Bet in this festival lineup. A Hideout favorite (where she worked at a bartender for 10 years), she is a member of Neko Case's backing band, and her recent solo release, I Like to Keep Myself in Pain, ponders life in lyrics that evoke a bygone honky-tonk era. Hogan plays at 2pm Saturday.
Immediately following Kelly Hogan, Sleater-Kinney alum Corin Tucker will doubtless bring high energy and a deep rock vibe to the festival. The new album from Corin Tucker Band, Kill My Blues, is due shortly (September 18) and will likely be central to their Hideout performance. For a preview, listen to the livestream of the forthcoming album before their 3pm set this Saturday.
Where To Refresh Your Soul:
Lee Fields & The Expressions aren't newcomers to the music scene. Playing their albums, the first of which was released in 2009, is reminiscent of spinning an old record, groovy, yet fresh. Their sound is rooted in pure blues and soul, condensed with feeling and an exuberant spirit. Their sound reminds me of a collaboration between James Brown and Otis Redding with a funky twist. If you're looking to sway to some soul music and dance it out, this is the set to be at. Let their music permeate your soul with its funky beats and refreshing rhythms, as it takes you back to another time and place. They get going at 6pm on Saturday.
Where to Fall in Love With Chicago, All Over Again:
It may come as no surprise to you that Chicago native band Wilco made the list of sets to see; their strong presence in the indie rock scene is undeniable, from frontman Jeff Tweedy's stint in alternative rock group Uncle Tupelo, to Wilco's inception in 1994, to their currently strong fan following and eight studio albums plus one live concert release under their wing. Never seen them before? Let me tell you what it's like...it's absolutely magical. Wilco's humble, down-to-earth presence allows the audience to feel completely at ease with their introspective, thoughtful tunes. Jeff Tweedy's conversational banter with the audience comes at you like a familiar chat with an old friend, sarcastic and witty, combining perfectly with the sonic journey they create for their listeners to embark on. Their headlining set on Saturday night will be perfect for a crisp late summer evening in this beautiful city's atmosphere.
Where to Purchase An Unconventional Festival Souvenir:
Official t-shirts sold at this year's Hideout Block Party & A.V. Fest were made from a rather unexpected material — recycled water bottles. Fred water is behind the creation of this sustainable souvenir, bringing a social conscience aspect to festival merch. Along with these eco-friendly tees, your festival ticket purchase also brings about a great deal of change for some extremely influential organizations; $4 from each ticket purchase is donated to local charities including Rock For Kids, Literacy Works, Drummond Elementary School, and Oscar Mayer Magnet School. Rock for Kids will also be offering festival-goers a chance to win autographed items from bands in their silent auction booth on Saturday. Look for their booth and bid for a chance to win items signed by the likes of Andrew Bird, Ted Leo, M83, fun., Andre Williams, and many more.
Full Hideout Block Party/A.V. Fest Schedule
Friday, September 14, 2012
5pm - Gates open
5:30pm - Guitarkestra
6pm - CAVE
7pm - The War On Drugs
8pm - Glen Hansard
9:15pm - Iron & Wine
Saturday, September 15, 2012
11:30am - Gates open
noon - The Lawrence Peters Outfit
1pm - The Waco Brothers w/ Paul Burch
2pm - Kelly Hogan
3pm - The Corin Tucker Band
4pm - Wild Belle
5pm - Wye Oak
6pm - Lee Fields & The Expressions
7:30pm - Wilco
The Hideout Block Party/A.V. Fest takes place at The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia) on Friday night and Saturday, September 14-15. The event is sold out.