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A Pitched battle

Like our cover stars Soundgarden, not every band has a slot locked down at Pitchfork or an afterparty — be they Moonface, Country Mice, Miguel on the Ravinia undercard, or the 2011 Metal Mergence festival.

While the perfect response to an indie-cognoscenti bash would be mook-rock mayhem of the highest order, but you’ll have to wait until August 5th for that. Country Mice loosely channel The Replacements or Two Cow Garage that they tinge with not-infrequent references to death. Twister opens with psychological terrors (“Get ‘em out of my walls”) before moving onto apocalyptic visions (“and they’re all dead”; “Sun is rising but there ain’t gonna be no one”), and the need to just run run run (“Pack up your sawdust, I’ll be close behind”). (Friday@Cal’s with Casket Showroom.)

For the fifth year running, Metal Mergence positions itself as the local metal industry’s DIY fest. Highlighting the bill, of course, is music from a slate spanning First Jason (fronted by the actor who first played Jason Vorhees in Friday The 13th; he also hosts), Maggot Twat, Sacred Dawn, Beneath The Stares, Withering Soul, Impale, and Den Of Vipers. But it’s also a networking event where graphic artists, label folk, booking agents, and more gather to bang their heads together. A Q&A session will also be accompanied by demo submissions and general, controlled mayhem. (Saturday@Reggies.)

Wolf Parade emerged at the head of the 2005/6 pack of wolf bands infiltrating indie rock, and have since used the distinction to proliferate side-projects. Handsome Furs have already dropped a second album and hit Bottom Lounge on the 29th, while Spencer Krug (also of Sunset Rubdown) takes the opposite track by coming to town first and then releasing Moonface‘s Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped (Jagjaguwar) the first week in August. As the title suggests, Krug relies on a souped-up organ and tames its ancient sound effects for fun and profit. (Saturday@Lincoln Hall with Shabazz Palaces and Flow Child.)

Sometimes records get pushed back so they can take advantage of holiday shoppers, one of the oldest tricks in the marketing book. Miguel certainly didn’t get a big advertising push when All I Want Is You (Jive) dropped last fall, however. It’s too bad, because its silky grooves and the sensuality packed into “Girls Like You” and the title track make him out to be Justin Timberlake with a deeper R&B fix. (Saturday and Sunday@Ravinia Festival in Highland Park with Jennifer Hudson.)

— Steve Forstneger

Filed Under: Stage BuzzWeekly

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