It's seemed like a new music festival's popped up each of the last few summers. But this year's most exciting new festival brings something that Chicago hasn't quite had before. Primarily, it's not a lineup of recycled acts that played a different major festival last year. Ruido Fest is rooted in Latin alternative or alterlatino or rock en español, however you want to call it. And it is stacked.
From the headliners down to the bands in fine print, Ruido Fest bursts onto the scene with a powerhouse lineup. Cafe Tacuba and Zoe are the megastars with the Latin Grammys and the stage spectacles. (In 2007 while Pearl Jam was playing Lollapalooza, Cafe Tacuba was the only band opposing them. Even to just a fraction of Lolla's crowd they put on a show like they were the biggest band of the day.) But the rest of the lineup certainly doesn't fall off a cliff in talent or reputation; from Banda de Turistas' indie-pop to Cardiel's stoner thrashing to Dellarge's disco/house beats to Chicago's Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta's cumbia to Los Rakas' hip-hop/reggae... and on it goes.
Ruido Fest is July 10-12 in Pilsen. 3-day tickets are $154.99, or $254.99 for VIP. Daily tickets start at $54.99. Ruido Fest is at Addams/Medill Park at 15th & Loomis.
Those of us hoping to spend their Fourth of July at Thalia Hall with the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes just got a little bad news. It appears that the amazingly talented leader sing of the group, Alex Ebert, managed to over-work his voice after his first sold out show at Thalia Hall and unfortunately had to cancel the second completely sold out show. I had some fears that this would be the case after his Instagram post from a few days ago lamented the loss of his voice. According to Ebert, this would be the first cancelled show in seven years due to losing his voice. Hopefully he bounces back sooner rather than later.
If your feeling glum, don't fret missing out on the show too much. Ticketweb will be issuing automatic refunds to those who purchased tickets for the second night of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. If you bought the tickets through the box office you can send an email to email firstname.lastname@example.org to get your refund. You can read the full response from Thalia Hall on their Facebook page, where they shared Ebert's positive and hopeful message to fans wishing us a better night than even he and the band could have provided. That's quite a tall order, but luckily we're resourceful in Chicago.
We've reached the two week countdown for Union Park's glorious 3-day music festival, Pitchfork. This year's lineup is more diverse than ever, featuring an eclectic crop of artists, ranging from long-established favorites, to buzzed-about newcomers to the scene. Though there are numerous acts to choose from, we've rounded up our favorite recommended acts for you to take a listen to during this stellar weekend. Along with our recommendations, leave a comment on this post (make sure to use your email address) indicating who you're most excited to see at Pitchfork and why by 3pm today, and you could score a 3-day GA pass to Pitchfork! [Update! We've contacted our winner! Thanks for all your comments!]
Kehlani, 20-year-old Oakland R&B up-and-comer, is having a pretty decent year. After the "America's Got Talent" ex-contestant left a sizeable dent in last year's soundscape with her trippy debut Cloud 19, she signed to Atlantic Records, released an even more impeccable R&B mixtape You Should Be Here and is headlining her first tour to celebrate.
Her flow, blotchy vibratos sewn along the beat in a Kanye soul-rap cadence, elevates contemporary alternative R&B with a dynamic and textured swagger. Paired with glossy, '90s-inspired production, her honest, progressive rhymes about maneuvering relationships run circles around the album's rap features--local hip-hop soulsters BJ The Chicago Kid and Chance the Rapper.
Eclectic Chicago group Dastardly have drawn us in over the years with their signature Americana sound, laden with plenty of surprises. After a three-year hiatus to refocus and experiment with different genres, Dastardly has released their next full-length album today, The Hollow. Full of cinematic ballads bursting with lyrical expression and lush backdrops, the new material allows Dastardly to assert a new identity, brimming with innovation and an unshakeable confidence. I spoke with the group's frontman, Gabe Liebowitz, regarding their creative process, influences, and their next Chicago appearance.
Good news, North Coast Music Festival attendees! The daily lineup has been released, so you can now plan out your schedule for a jam-packed weekend of stellar musical choices. Single-day and two-day tickets have also been released, as well as the availability of discounted 3-day passes for a limited time.
Along with the lineup, North Coast Music Festival will also be partnering with Do312 to announce the 6th annual Toast of the Coast competition. Up-and-coming performers, including one DJ and one live act, will compete to perform during one of the fest's coveted time slots. Suggest an act, and you could hear them live from Union Park.
Dog lovers and music lovers will unite at Soldier Field this Saturday at Woofstock, honoring adoptable dogs. Sponsored by Animal Planet, the afternoon's festivities will include entertainment from comedian Eugene Mirman and bands like Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound and The Suffers. Plus, there'll be special appearances by celebrity animals Lil BUB and Manny the Frenchie. It all happens at Stadium Green at Soldier Field from noon to 5pm. The event is free and open to the general public — and their dogs.
Owners of rescued dogs are encouraged to being their furry friends to participate in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for "largest gathering of adopted pets," at 2:30pm.
Don't have a dog? Want to adopt one? There will be animals available from PAWS to meet and greet and maybe take to their forever home (aka your house). Details at PAWS Chicago.
Best Coast is revered for their sunny vibes, penchant for honest lyrics, and infusing that California energy within their music time after time. I got the chance to speak with the group's songstress, Bethany Costentino, regarding the group's musical identity, her thoughts on criticism, and what influenced the latest album, California Nights, in advance of their appearance at Taste of Randolph this weekend.
Tennis, revered dreamy pop duo, will be performing this weekend at Taste of Randolph Festival. From their celebrated unique musical styling, to their eclectic vibes that channel decades past, the accomplished group has much to celebrate following the release of their acclaimed album this year, Ritual and Repeat. I spoke with Alaina Moore regarding the signature sounds of Tennis, where she finds her muses, and their coveted Chicago memories.
This summer's Pitchfork Music Festival is a mere five weeks away and we're pretty excited here at Gapers Block. To celebrate the coming musical smorgasbord we've compiled a list of ten lyrical gems from artists who will be performing at Union Park this year (and a little something special for our readers):
1. "Don't try me I'm not a free sample" Shamir - "On the Regular"
Honestly this whole list could've easily been populated with Shamir lyrics - the young up and comer has some of the catchiest, smartest, funniest lyrics I've ever heard - but this one by far takes the cake. It's the perfect response to anybody getting on your nerves, although it loses something in delivery in the absence of Shamir's plus size personality. Catch the 20-year-old Nevada native on Saturday morning.
Will Butler is probably best known as little brother of Win Butler, lead singer for Arcade Fire, and fellow band member, but recently he's done quite a good job of breaking free of that moniker. In 2014 Butler was nominated for an academy award for his work on the music for the Joaquin Phoenix film Her, and then in May of this year he dropped his debut solo album Policy on Merge records.
The debut album is everything you'd expect from Will Butler - rambunctious, infectious, surprising, fun - and I'm happy to report that none of that is lost in the live setting.
All good things must come to an end. And that time has apparently come for Radar Eyes. The Chicago band has been fuzzing it up with their garage rock since 2006. While it once seemed like they were at the Bottle every few weeks, it's been a little different over the last many months as those shows have dwindled. So they'll call it a day at the Hideout on Friday. Radar Eyes have never been flashy and keep their chatter to a minimum, but, oh boy, can they spin a melodic psych-rock tune. They leave us with a handful of singles, one full-length and hopefully another one posthumously.
Radar Eyes plays their last show at the Hideout on Friday, the 5th. Walking Bicycles and Sun Splitter open the show. It's $8, 21+ and starts at 10PM. The Hideout's at 1354 W Wabansia.
In exciting music news for the city, the Museum of Contemporary Art has partnered with Pitchfork in order to present a series of curated talks, In Sight Out, which will focus on music, art, and culture. Guests will speak of their creative process and their artistry over time, much to the delight of attendees.
The first two artists participating as part of the series are the revered Jeff Tweedy and Carrie Brownstein. Tweedy will be discussing his time in the influential Chicago rock group, Wilco, as well as collaborations as part of Uncle Tupelo, singing with Billy Bragg, and his latest project, Tweedy, with his son, Spencer. He will be joined during the talk by Pitchfork's editor-in-chief, Mark Richardson.
Bummed Father John Misty and Cold War Kids are playing separate stages at Lollapalooza at the same time? Can't decide between Kid Cudi and Brand New? Lolla aftershows are the cure-all to the dreaded schedule conflict, besides giving you the chance to see your favorite bands from the comfort of an air-conditioned club rather than crammed between a bunch of shirtless dudebros under the beating sun of Grant Park.
Lolla put together an impressive roster for their aftershow line-up this year, from TV on the Radio at the Vic to The Kills at Metro to Charli XCX at Lincoln Hall. Check the complete aftershow schedule here. All shows go on sale this Friday, June 5th at 10 am.
If you're strapped for cash, don't forget there's still a plethora of free unofficial afterparties that will be announced in the coming weeks.