Mission of Burma plays a headlining set at Subterranean tonight and then plays the Wicker Park fest Saturday night. Suprisingly, the ’80s post-punk gods of Burma are merely opening for reunited emo rockers Cap’n Jazz at the Wicker Park thing.
There are a couple of new albums worth checking out. Best Coast just played Pitchfork. Its debut full-length, Crazy for You, got an official release today. This is the chill album of the summer. Menomena also released a new album, Mines. Both sound great.
Pitchfork’s Sunday lineup is strong from beginning to end with the reunited Pavement headlining. I actually saw Pavement play a pretty lackluster show to a small crowd back in the day. But I’m looking forward to this show. There’s so much hype around the reunion that these guys are up against pretty high expectations.
I’ll be checking out one half of Outkast, Big Boi, playing just before Pavement. I’m also eager to see the vey mellow Beach House, which made one of the best albums of the year. The band plays an early 3:20 p.m. set. Another afternoon set worth seeing: Surfer Blood at 4:45 p.m.
Other most recommended sets: Best Coast, Girls, Here We Go Magic and Neon Indian. But looking through the lineup Sunday, there really isn’t a stinker (with the exception of Sleigh Bells, which plays the small stage at 7:40 p.m.).
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Saturday and Sunday are blockbuster days for the Pitchfork fest.
Saturday’s headliner is LCD Soundsystem, part of the last tour for James Murphy and his band. Animal Collective’s Panda Bear will be previewing new songs off an upcoming album. And the great Wolf Parade will be playing songs off its recently released album. Any one of those three acts are strong enough to headline. That’s how good the lineup is this year.
Beyond those sets, my top picks for Saturday (in order of appearance) are: Real Estate, Kurt Vile, Titus Andronicus and Bear in Heaven.
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In its 13th year, the Chicago Folk and Roots Festival looks a lot different than the fest I discovered more than a decade ago. In the past few years the festival has taken on a decidedly more world music theme, which is interesting but becoming tiresome. Closing Sunday night is Etran Finatawa, a band from Niger.
In 1999, in the fest’s second season, I saw Steve Earle and a set from Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and Jay Bennett. Robbie Fulks headlined the first festival. Jon Langford performed with the Mekons in the third year. I saw Richard Thompson open for Patti Smith that same year. And while Smith’s appearance raised eyebrows about her folk and roots credentials, the world music lineups overwhelmed the Americana acts in recent years. That’s too bad given Chicago’s strong foundation of roots and insurgent country.
Here are some tracks from that Tweedy/Bennett show, a pair of Wilco songs and two covers, including Daniel Johnston’s True Love Will Find You in the End.
If you missed Fucked Up’s show at Empty Bottle Friday, you’re still in luck. The best punk band playing today will hit West Fest at 7 p.m. Saturday. A Fucked Up show is always very entertaining and highly recommended.
The band is a couple of guys from Cleveland’s Cobra Verde, the great guitar shredder J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. and Dave Sweetapple from Witch (a hard rock band that features Mascis on drums). The sound? Try to imagine Cobra Verde crossed with Dinosaur. Mascis plays guitar and drums for Sweet Apple. Not sure how that works live.
Big Boi plays the Sunday night of Pitchfork.
The Thermals, who just finished recording a new album, also play a gig at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park tonight.
In case you missed it, Animal Collective has a new video for Guy Eyes. There’s even some sex appeal.
School of Seven Bells just released Windstorm, the second release from the band’s upcoming Disconnect from Desire album.
The physical version of Wavves’ King of the Beach is still scheduled for an August release but the digital version is available today on iTunes. This is the first album Nathan Williams recorded with Jay Reatard’s former band.