Can’t wait for Lolla? Head down to Grant Park a day early to catch a free show featuring local hip hop wunderkind Chance the Rapper (pictured), hard-partying electro duo Cherub, and local alt-country outfit Rivals of the Peacemaker. The Red Bull-hosted show starts at 8 pm on August 1 and, while it is free, you need to request tickets.
The DIY indie showcase known as Gnarfest is once again happening over Lollapalooza weekend on August 3 and 4. The previous location was long-running DIY venue Swerp Mansion, but has been changed after the recent shutdown of the venue by police. The address of the new venue will be emailed to you after you purchase $20 tickets, although the event’s Facebook page has recently been updated to list the address as St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square at 2649 N. Francisco. Bands include Joan of Arc (pictured), Anwar Sadat, Lord Snow, Tiny Moving Parts, Secret Smoker, Alaska, and Half Milk. The fest runs from noon to midnight both days and the venue is all-ages with no booze allowed. View of video that caught part of last year’s Gnarfest here.
by matt pollock
Q magazine had it right when they named Elizabeth Grant (Lana Del Rey) 2012’s “Next Big Thing” — specifically, their use of the term “big thing.” Because despite Grant’s fresh brand of woozy chamber pop, Lana Del Rey remains more than a musician. Her on-camera persona is, in the vaguest of terms, a big thing: an icon, a brand, an amalgamation of American cultures past and present. In drawing upon an array of musical subgenres ranging from gangster rap to cabaret, Grant lays her sultry contralto over an anachronistic soundscape, cutting and pasting American music’s best-of moments into a soothing instrumental mosaic. She mixes a little bit of this and a little bit of that…the result of which is a whole lot of something. We’ll let you know when we figure out what the hell it is. In the meantime, enjoy the cinematic hodgepodge that is Lana Del Rey.
by Marissa Medansky
With his Biblical mane, ubiquitous social media usage and vast array of on-stage antics (including humping his equipment on stage), Steve Aoki is a high-energy DJ with an equally high-energy lifestyle. Known for his charismatic stage presence and endless resume of collaborators, Aoki is one of the most widely recognized producers in the EDM community — a title he’s earned after 15 years in the industry as a producer, promoter, record label owner, designer and (of course) globetrotting DJ whose Vegas residencies are the stuff of dance music legend. While Lollapalooza may not be able to match the busty strippers in bikinis and crowd champagne pours of his Vegas ragers, it’s fair to say that Grant Park has Sin City beat in intensity. Either way, he’s been known to surf the crowd in an inflatable raft, so best bring that bikini just in case.