Up next in Chicago's always plentiful supply of summer music festivals is Wicker Park Fest, set for this weekend, July 25 and 26 on N. Milwaukee Ave., between W. North Ave. and N. Wood St. Per usual, there's plenty of music worth checking out at each of the fest's three stages. Here are some of the highlights:
- Grand Duchy (9 p.m.) - Comprised of Pixies front man Frank Black and his wife Violet Clark, Grand Duchy play melodic, alluring indie rock with clear nods to new wave and synth-pop. The duo's debut LP, Petits Fours, features quite possibly some of the most accessible material in Black's career.
- Vampire Hands (4:35 p.m.) - Ambient pysch-rock out of Minneosta. Songs such as "No Fun" and "Invisible Stairs" sound both experimental and accessible, and should provide the ideal soundtrack to a lazy July afternoon.
- Treaty of Paris (8 p.m.) - Homegrown, radio-ready pop/rock.
- Cavashawn (4:30 p.m.) - Another local band focused on catchy guitar riffs, singalong choruses and all-around accessibility. Think Weezer meets Cheap Trick.
SUNDAY, JULY 26
- Company of Thieves (6:25 p.m.) - Playing sophisticated pop fueled by the smooth vocals of Genevieve Schatz, Company of Thieves have quickly become one of the most high profile bands out of Chicago - a fact solidified by their recent appearance on The Carson Daly Show. Check out the tune "Oscar Wilde" to hear why.
- Van Ghost (5:15 p.m.) - Formed in late 2007 by then concert promoter and band manager Michael Berg, Van Ghost have amassed a strong following with their appealing Americana-rock. This performance will mark the release of the band's debut LP, Melodies for Lovers. To learn more, check out my recent Q&A with Berg.
- Elvis Perkins in Dearland (9 p.m.) - One listen to the eclectic, affecting folk-rock of this act's new, self-titled record proves that Perkins (the son of actor Anthony Perkins) is a singer-songwriter worth hearing.
- Empires (2:25 p.m.) - Both charging and melodic, this local act's rock is tailor-made for a live festival setting.
- Smoking Popes (8 p.m.) - Undoubtedly one of the most enduring bands to emerge from the '90s local rock scene, these beloved pop-punkers always put on an enjoyable show. They released their latest record, Stay Down, last year.
- The Elms (4 p.m.) - Straight-up Midwestern rock 'n' roll out of Indiana. The band will release a new album, The Great American Midrange, in September.
For the fest's full lineup and additional information, click here.