Chicago will welcome yet another new addition to its ever-expanding festival scene on September 21, when Common brings his new AAHH! FEST to Union Park. The local music festival, designed to “let the city breathe and enjoy itself,” will be hosted by Dave Chappelle and will feature acts including Common, Lupe Fiasco, Jay Electronica, De La Soul, MC Lyte, and Lil Herb, as well as “a surprise guest.” The festival will also include a community showcase of young local talent hosted by Rhymefest and featuring acts including Diggy Simmons. Tickets are now on sale for $20 for the community showcase (which takes place from 10 am to 1 pm) and $55-$250 for the festival, which takes place from 4-11 pm. Tickets for both events are also currently on sale for $70.
BY Jonna Newberry
After a successful 14-year run followed by two years of inactivity, The New Deal has announced a comeback. Having pursued various other projects while adding new drummer Joel Stouffer, Dan Kurtz and Jamie Shields have finally rediscovered their love for playing together as a band. This Toronto trio considers their brand of music livetronica, which seems obvious since their first release was a recorded live show titled This Is Live. Staying true to creating beats on the fly and improvising every single note and key on stage, The New Deal seeks to incorporate a more human aspect to their electronic aesthetic while still sounding as crisp and clean as a brand new laptop. As a longtime contributor to the evolving jamband scene with everything from impromptu breakbeat house to old-school acid jazz, they’re here to remind us what EDM was like before iPhone apps and Auto-Tune.
BY Brandon Zachary
Slightly Stoopid describes their work as a combination of folk, rock, reggae, blues, hip-hop, funk, metal, and punk. That’s not the weird part. The weird part is that it’s actually a fairly accurate description of their output throughout the years. With sick beats and tantalizing rhymes, it’s a band to listen to when you’re in a relaxed state of mind or want to hear the musical equivalent of a particularly loopy brand of brownie from Colorado. It’s a band that combines a clean bassline with saxophone, electric guitar and actual, honest to god bongos — giving the group, who take their inspiration from all over the musical spectrum, a sound few dare attempt to replicate. They’re the closest thing to a modern-day Sublime but instead of utilizing their relaxed demeanor and funny thoughts for their sound, Slightly Stoopid relies on their inspiration to produce some of the chillest party music around.
BY Ryan Bray
North Coast’s gradual evolution beyond its roots as a predominantly jam/electronic-driven festival has seen it bring in a more diverse slate of acts in recent years. But even with that qualifier, few bands step so glaringly outside of that mold than Dr. Dog. But it’s a solid add to any festival set and this is, after all, a festival built around having fun. And so is this band. Philly’s favorite psychedelic indie poppers have been cruising a pretty solid hit streak in recent years, most recently with the release of last year’s airtight B Room. It’s been 10 years since Jim James was so floored with their debut release Toothbrush that he invited them on two My Morning Jacket tours, but you still never know what to expect. So while the North Coast experience might still be dominated by bass and beats, these dudes offer the perfect excuse to relax, unwind, and let it all just hang loose.