West Town’s annual street fair, West Fest, returns this weekend and will offer festgoers the chance to see some top-notch music acts. Head over to Chicago Ave. and Damen Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12 to to take in two full days of eclectic live performances, which, unlike many of the city's music fests, put a strong emphasis on homegrown acts. Local H and Red Red Meat will headline, and there’s plenty of other excellent Chicago bands on tap that will make it worth arriving early. Here’s a rundown of the lineup:
Saturday, July 11
8:30: Local H – Chicago’s perpetual alternative rockers are still going strong, as evidenced by their most recent release, 2008’s Twelve Angry Months.
7:00: Mucca Pazza – Self-described as a “circus punk marching band,” this 30-piece plays everything from TV theme show covers to their takes on classical pieces. They have released two albums, A Little Marching Band (2006) and Plays Well Together (2008).
5:45: Liquid Soul – A jazz-funk-rap fusion act that’s been going strong since 1994.
3:15: Coupleskate – This all-girl indie rock band recently released their debut LP, Don’t Scare the Horses.
2:00: Peacekeeper – This band moved from New Orleans to Chicago in 2008, and brought with them a unique sound that references everything from Americana to indie pop to Southern rock. They describe their music as “gentleman rock,” refusing to fall into any of indie rock’s PBR-drenched clichés. Click here for a review of the band’s recently released debut album, Fireworks.
12:45: Fluid Minds – Eclectic rock that’s been featured on ESPN, Cartoon Network and various local radio stations.
Sunday, July 12
8:45: Red Red Meat – These blues-influenced alt-rockers gained notoriety on the Chicago music scene in the ‘90s, but have seldom performed in recent years. Their West Fest set will be one in just a handful of 2009 shows.
7:45: The Aluminum Group – A longtime staple of Chicago chamber pop, these two brothers released their most recent album, Little Happyness, in 2008.
6:45: Richard Edwards of Margot & The Nuclear So and So's with Brian Deck - Deck, a member of Red Red Meat, will join So and So's bandleader Edwards for a set. Edwards recently announced that Deck, who produced the So and So's last two records, will be the drummer in his new side project, Vegetables.
5:45 The 1900s – One of the most notable bands on the current Chicago music scene, having released an acclaimed LP of charming folk pop, Cold & Kind, and two strong EPs, Plume Delivery and Medium High, via Parasol Records. The band is currently working on a new sophomore full-length.
4:45: The Vulgar Boatmen - A classic roots pop band best known for the albums You and Your Sister (1989), Please Panic (1992) and Opposite Sex (1995).
3:30: Freak Easy - Locals that perform both original material and covers of songs by bands such as Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles.
2:15: Sex Fist - A bluegrass act self-described as featuring "high-energy, hard-driving picking and angelic harmony singing."
1:00: Ian Torres Big Band - Local jazz/swing troupe playing original compositions and fresh arrangements.
The fest will also feature DJ sets at the BassByThePound Dj Stage (Chicago & Wood):
8: 30: Dj Craze
7:30: Million $$ Mano
6:30: DJ Zebo
5:45: Mark Gertz
5:00: Willy Joy
4:00: Dj MTM
3:00: Justin Reed
8:30: Derrick Carter
6:30: John Mork of TSR
5:45: The Beat Giants
5:00: John BID Simmons