The 3rd Annual Wicker Park Summerfest! - Oh My Rockness

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The 3rd Annual Wicker Park Summerfest!

July 24, 2007
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As you by now know, Chicago is THE place for summer music festivals. Most people probably went to Pitchfork Festival a couple of weeks ago. And sure, most people know that Lollapalooza is fast approaching (whether or not you attend is up to you). But one festival that is still a "best kept secret" nationally is the (3rd) annual Wicker Park Summerfest. It's a two-day all-day marathon that's sure to please people who don't want to pay Perry Ferrell's $80 ticket fee for his event. The Wicker Park Summerfest can be yours for only a $5 (suggested) donation! Now that's a deal. Here's some of our favorites playing: The Thermals: Who would have thought a catchy pop-punk concept album (2006's The Body, The Blood, The Machine) about the hypocrisy of religion (i.e. evangelical Christianity) could make one tap their feet and bop their head? I mean, one doesn't naturally think of the Old Testament as "rock-out material." But when Hutch Harris begins with a wail out about Noah, you just want to do air-guitar accompaniment to the impending forty-day flood that destroys the earth (that's how the dinosaurs died, don't you know).

Maritime: This supergroup features former Promise Ring singer Davey Von Bohlen and former Dismemberment Plan bassist, Eric Axelson. Maritime is a very pleasant band in the way that Stars is pleasant. It's synthy and sticky pop that never gets too gooey. You can listen to it while you work and not get a headache. They're like the musical equivalent of Sudafed.

Mannequin Men: These four guys are quickly gaining a reputation as a band that takes it to the next level when they take the stage. The Men play an exciting hybrid of art-garage-retro rock that sounds similar to old bands like Wire and The Revelons (an often overlooked group of the late 1970's) and new contemporaries like The Black Lips and The Ponys. When you want boozy punk rock, this is what you want.

Russian Circles: These Chicago dudes play powerful instrumental rock similar to their city mates (and practice space pals), Pelican. Man, I'm such a sucker for this kind of music. Who couldn't love guitars that slowly and surely build into a mighty release of distorted aggression? Their mighty riff rock-outs are backed by insane percussion that propels these "choruses" away from indie rock's frontier and into the edges of metal territory. Get ready.

The Race: This band sounds completely different than they did three years ago. Once just your pretty standard guitar group, these guys have evolved into all things digital. The Race still bust out the indie rock riffs, but they're supplementary now. At the forefront are layers of swirls, samples, bleeps and clicks. The result is a digitally lush listening experience that sometimes borders on gloomy, but is maybe even more accessible than before.

You can check out all of the bands playing Wicker Park Summerfest here!

The Wicker Park Summerfest is Saturday, July 28th, and Sunday, July 29th, in...Wicker Park.

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