[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="445" caption="Loyal Divide"]
OK -- It’s the calm before the storm, people. There are only a few days before the Springtime monster known as South by Southwest Festival
awakens and all hell breaks loose. Despite the madness to come, we’re proud to highlight a tiny portion of the excitement bubbling around the city this weekend. Our finest musical acts may be readying themselves for a full-on invasion of Austin, Texas, like the mighty Napoleon going to battle but first they must tread our stages once more.
We’ve got two
SXSW send-off parties featuring the likes of Rabble Rabble
, Radar Eyes
and so much more at The Hideout
and Scott Lucas and the Married Men
and California Wives
at the Bottom Lounge
. We’ve also got Loyal Divide
at the Beat Kitchen
and a little band called Rodeo
at the Empty Bottle
. Let’s get it on...
Chicago’s Americana folk rockers Nelken will be at Mayne Stage
for The Future Laureates’
record release show. Consisting of members Cyndy Fike and Wes Lambert, this duo is a little June Carter and a little Johnny Cash with their intricate harmonies floating over light, yet profoundly created melodies. Also playing the stage are a string of folk and Americana specialists like Kingsley Flood
, How Far to Austin
, leading up to the guest of honor: The Future Laureates. (Britni Day
8:00 p.m., Friday, 3/11. Mayne Stage. All Ages. $10.
In the mood for some bluesy swamp-grooves? Look no further than Chicago's Mutts whose sound is powered by a heavy, southern-gravy thick organ and Mike Maimone's vocals that run the gamut from Texas drawl to metallic shrieks. Also on the bill are Bailiff
, who are perfect compliments to Mutts, as their take on blues-rock features mammoth-sized riffs and Zeppelin backbeats. Epic indie-rockers Suns
and anthemic poppers The Field Auxiliary
are also on the bill. So looks like the Beat Kitchen is the place to be if you want to check out a great showcase of some excellent Windy City talent. (Richard Giraldi
9:00 p.m. Friday, 3/11. Beat Kitchen. 17+ $10.
A trifecta of greatness will be taking over Lincoln Hall
as Gypsyblood, Light Pollution
and Maps and Atlases
rock the stage this Friday. All three bands have ended up on our recent plethora of “Top Ten” lists, so this show will be incredible. Indie hard rockers, Gypsyblood, are known for their acrobatic stage antics, big rock sound and intense vocals. Light Pollution will make you dance the night away (and probably shake it with you) with their upbeat, jangly indie rock sounds and swirling keyboards. And Maps and Atlases will be headlining with their eccentric prog-rock, open-hearted vocals, and sophisticated arrangement. Fans will absolutely enjoy all the musical love these three have to give. (Britni Day
10:00 p.m. Friday, 3/11. Lincoln Hall. 18+ $14.
THE ALL-DAY HIDEOUT SXSW SENDOFF PARTY
Like children heading off to summer camp it is that time of year again. The time that we proudly send our city's finest off to SXSW
to show those folks that Chicago's music scene is as rad as it gets. As always, we gather at the Hideout to see our local heroes live one last time before they make the trek south. This year's heroes include: Outer Minds
, Joan of Arc
, Radar Eyes
, Tiger Bones
, Skull Orchard
, Paul Cary
, Rabble Rabble
, Waco Brothers
, and Kids These Days
. Not bad, Chicago. Go make us proud. (Ross Meyerson
1:30 p.m. Saturday, 3/12. The Hideout. 21+. $10.
BOTTOM LOUNGE SXSW PREVIEW EVENT
What can I say about SXSW that wasn’t already said by Ross? Not much. While the Hideout has a formidable number of bands on its bon voyage show bill, the Bottom Lounge will not to be outdone. The West Loop venue boasts the likes of melodic indie poppers California Wives
, the folky side project of a certain Local H axeman Scott Lucas and the Married Men
, new wavers Big Science
, Montreal psyche-poppers Elephant Stone
, Minneapolis’ own Brit-pop inspired The Idle Hands
and upbeat dance rockers Blah Blah Blah
. (Audrey Leon
5:00 p.m. Saturday, 3/12. Bottom Lounge. 17+ $5.
When a band like Chicago’s Loyal Divide can create the perfect music video soundscape for some serious stick figure genocide
, you just have to see them live. The band headlines Beat Kitchen for the BeeBillion.com
launch party this Saturday. These electronic, psychedelic indie rockers take Brian Eno’s eccentricities, Animal Collective’s playful layers, and build it on a foundation of pure groove. And while they have been teasing us with EP’s for quite some time (I know, I know. The album is coming soon, my friends), fans can get their fix of the full Loyal Divide catalog at the show. Also gracing the stage are folk-rockers Derek Nelson and The Musicians
, quirky electronic specialist Nick Miller and The Neighbors
and alt-country rockers Bassel and The Supernaturals
. (Britni Day
8:00 p.m., Saturday, 3/12. Beat Kitchen. 21+ $10 (or free with RSVP)
Every week I look for little shows to write up and every week I find another hidden gem. This week's gem is the one-man band Options. Seth Engel has put together some nice little singer-songwriter indie pop tunes that he wisely augments with moments of noisy guitar mayhem. It just feels like 90's classic. There's also the hip hop stylings of Ssssnake
, the Canadian-ness of Pat Jordache
, and the gothic folk of Leaf Bird
. (Ross Meyerson
8:00 p.m. Sunday, 3/13. Panchos. 18+. $5.
Is it really here? So it seems, dear readers. So it seems. Our fearless leader's own rock 'n' roll band Rodeo is poised to hurl its debut EP, "Sarcastic Summer
", onto your anticipatory ears. To celebrate this, a show. Go revel in the glory that is this Pixies worshiping behemoth. Not enough? I understand. What if, let's say, we throw in some reckless rock all the way from England? You've got it. Chips For The Poor
seem to share a love for that weird part of the late 80's when it felt like anything was possible. And, because I say so, one of my recent favorites, Merlin Wall
shall open. It has been decreed! Seriously, go see Richard's band. He has a fragile ego and I'd hate to see him tailspin into a deep depression. Again. (Ross Meyerson
) [Assist. Ed. Note: Come on down! The Loud Loop crew will be out in full drunken force.
7:00 p.m. Sunday, 3/13. Empty Bottle. 21+. $3.