Melting faces (and snow) this January is Chicago Psych Fest, returning for its fourth year at the Hideout January 11-12. Headlining a weekend of mind-bending laser soundbeam freakouts is experimental rock trio Mako Sica, making a rare appearance backed by Chicago psych heavyweights Dark Fog, Plastic Crimewave Syndicate, and Velcro Lewis Group. At $16, a two-day pass is cheaper than acid — and just as potent.
Our friends and former Pilsen neighbors at Thrill Jockey Records are celebrating their 20-year anniversary as the city’s premier purveyors of awesomely out-there weirdo rock, indie electro, and ground-breaking post-rock with a free (with RSVP) show December 20 at Empty Bottle featuring Tortoise and The Sea & Cake — who will, in their words, be “playing weird sets for the hometown weirdoes.” Rumor has it there will also be complimentary beverages from Goose Island and Virtue Cider. In addition to the show, specially commissioned posters, short films, and jokes from comics including SNL/Portlandia hipster Fred Armisen round out the 20th anniversary festivities.
A second round of acts has been added to this year’s “see them so you can say you knew them when” Tomorrow Never Knows Fest, including Memphis country-punksters Lucero and Brooklyn-based electro-psych purveyors Bear In Heaven. This is in addition to a heady lineup of previously announced acts including Free Energy, The Walkmen, Wild Belle, and Born Ruffians. Tickets for a 5-day pass for the fest, which runs at multiple venues January 16-20, will run you $100 — but it’s cheaper than going to SXSW to see the same bands in March.
Our friends at CHIRP Radio must have been sniffing around Chicago INNERVIEW headquarters, because they’ve announced the launch of their new site right around the same time we’ve launched ours. Scheduled for a November 29 launch, the new CHIRP site will feature personal accounts you can add music to, discussion forums, and a much simpler interface to help you dig up sweet new sounds to impress the chicks (and dudes) with.