There is just too much going on in Chicago this weekend! Awesome problem, I know.
Just for Laughs festival. I recommend checking out Pete Holmes at the Hideout.
Friends perform at Schubas. The Hundred in the Hand perform at Empty Bottle. As do 2:54.
Red Sox at Cubs. We’ll be there cheering on our beleaguered Cubbies on Saturday night.
Taste of Randolph. The Hold Steady and Los Campesinos PLUS make sure to say to hi Freckles the Firehouse Dog and pick up his new t-shirt.
Your Sister’s Sister and Safety Not Guaranteed open at local theaters.
Artists of the Wall Festival in Rogers Park at Loyola Beach. This is where I’ll be spending most of my weekend—painting a bench.
Chicago Park District FINALLY opens outdoor pools.
Willis Earl Beal has been on my radar since I kept hearing about an awesome show he performed at Cole’s a couple of months ago. When tickets went on sale for his show at The Hideout I purchased them based solely on the tremendous word of mouth rather than having ever heard his music. When I finally heard his music, first the lovely Evening’s Kiss single and then the entire Acousmatic Sorcery album, I was a little perplexed at all of the excitement. While I enjoyed parts of the album, a lot of the stuff seemed too much like outsider art to me. “Another Daniel Johnston,” I exclaimed to no one. After digging deeper, I started to enjoy the album more and more, yet I still wondered why he was being talked about so much. Then he was asked to perform at the Pitchfork Music Festival. Clearly, I was missing something. Well, holy fuck was I missing something.
Willis Earl Beal’s show at The Hideout last Thursday night was like watching a reverend preaching to an adoring flock of worshipers like The Rapture was coming. This wasn’t a performance by an outsider artist, but rather a show by a man who commanded the stage like a legendary soul showman. Think Otis Redding backed by a reel to reel tape recorder. He was funny, enthralling, and most of all, entertaining. After starting off the show with a poem by Charles Bukowski, he proceeded to unleash songs with the fury of a champion prize fighter. After the last song he said, “I am not a musician but a motivational speaker with harmonious inclinations.” Indeed.
Here’s a video of “Same Old Tears” via Chicagoist and courtesy of Robert Loerzel.
Openers Quarter Mile Thunder were also quite good. Stream their album Twist here.
I’ve been a fan of Cains & Abels since 2009 when I first heard the excellent “Call Me Up, Pt. 2″ from their debut album Call Me Up. The Chicago band has a new record out called My Life is Easy and I have been listening to it virtually nonstop since I played “Stay Home Tonight” on my CHIRP Radio show a few weeks ago. And even though I considered myself a fan, I had not seen the band perform live until I saw their performance at The Hideout for the SXSW send off party about a month ago. There were a ton of great bands on the bill that afternoon and night (Outer Minds!), but I felt that Cains & Abels were head and shoulders above the rest. If you want to check them out for yourself, head on over to Saki tomorrow afternoon for a show they will be doing for Record Store Day and check out the video for “Stay Home Tonight” below. LoudLoopPress has a comprehensive guide to all the events taking place in Chicago so make sure to map out a plan to hit all of your favorite stores.