Some endeavors start out anew, and turn out to totally blow. Think about The Cornballer on Arrested Development, Subprime Mortgages (depending on who you ask), or even The Baby Cage (Oh, haven't heard of it? It's just a cage you put your baby in if your apartment is too small for him to fit. Wait? The baby's cage is outside the apartment? Like an air conditioner? Oh, yea, you just affix it to the outside of your high-rise apartment to clear up some room for your definitely-more-important stacks of darned rugs. It is 1937 after all.)
Other ideas, however, turn out to be freaking awesome...like the light bulb, Diddy's pie episode of Making the Band, vodka, and North Coast Music Festival (September 2-4, 2011). In just its second year of existence, NCMF is comin' in hot with huge acts like Chicago's Common, David Guetta, and badass-ass Gogol Bordello, amongst many more, jerkin to spluge all ova your face Labor Day weekend. Not one to forget their audience (tons of hilarious, insane people), the creators of NCMF know that once their fest-goers get partying, they'll always want more. When it comes to music and fun...the NCMF guys know how to make it seem effortless, and have sprinkled tons of raging, musically diverse pre-shows and after-parties all over the fine city of Chicago. Beginning September 1 and closing out in the wee hours of September 5, I bet you can find whatever you're looking for, but it seems to me the place to be is the HOB. Here's why...
1. For one thing, The House of Blues is some dopeshit. Modeled after the Estavovski Opera House in Prague, and nestled on the Chicago River in the Marina City complex, it's a hot spot whether you're from in or out of town. In keeping with HOB tradition, the "Crazy Quilt" is on display and a metal box of mud from the Delta Mississippi is kept underneath its stage. Real life: I cannot believe I just typed that sentence? Those traditions are hilarious. Dads everywhere would say, "If that mud could talk..."
2. Chicago locals Loyal Divide are wearing jerseys, and their arms look great. About to release their upcoming album, Bodice Ripper, with Kilo Records on 10/4, I'm pretty sure this will be one of the last times you'll catch them somewhere as intimate as the HOB Foundation Room. Big fan of this band. Their evolution over the last seven years is like that one picture of the ape turning into a man, but instead it's like a halfie going full-mast boner... with squiggly lines representing feedback and pedal tones behind it. They will be kicking off your face-rage-weekend with the subtle sounds of Chicago's Ill Legit and a bunch of others on Thursday, September 1, at 9pm. Tickets are only $10 ... fo real doh. That's like, a pack of cigs, 1/6 of 1/8, or some shitty value meal at Jimmy John's. Do the right thing.
3. I think I cried when I found out this is the last time Chicago will see The New Deal. Forefathers of electronic-rock, these Canucks are throwing their LAST Chicago party at the HOB September 4 after NCMF's last mainstage shows (Doors-9 PM, Show-10 PM). This is the best way I could ever dream to close out what is sure to be a seriously amazing weekend of music and dancing and friends and laughs and happiness at NCMF. If you've seen these guys before, then you know what kind of talent and sound they emit from just three lovely gents, and if you haven't, well... it's kinda now or never. Tickets are still on sale (somehow?), but they'll definitely sell out...so if you want to do more than creepily stare through the window when showtime rolls around, you should probably get on that.
4. The HOB is hella philanthropic and shit. The International House of Blues Foundation reaches thousands of students, teachers and other down folks annually nationwide with arts and cultural educational programming. Encouraging creative expression, IHOBF programs are primarily offered to 5th-12th grade students looking for some artistic direction, which, is probably...most 5th-12th grade students. Who else will patter the djembes or wring out the tie-dyes of the future if we don't teach them?
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