Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

Cold wind blowin’

| September 14, 2011

It seems cruel to talk outdoor music festivals on the coldest day since May, but we believe the heat will rise this weekend for Brilliant Corners Of Popular Amusements, Bash On Wabash, Edgewater Lounge’s block party, Uproar Festival, and the beginning of the week-long Chicago World Music Festival.

Unpredictable weather in September generally refers to rash, external temperature swings, and the internal cauldrons that erupt with frustration at Tom Skilling for failing to elucidate that 85 in Mokena could only mean 55 in Lincoln Park. Lollapalooza and Pitchfork at least provide a dress-code: South Beach attire. The inaugural Brilliant Corners Of Popular Amusements? Follow your parents’ “you can always take it off” standard. The Noble Square bash, from the 16th to 18th, melds carnival, comedic, art-house, and competitive accents with a stage boasting a Pitchfork-worthy lineup including Shellac, Bill Callahan, School Of Seven Bells, Dan Deacon, A Lull, Fool’s Gold, A Hawk And A Hacksaw, Cave, and more. There’s also the slightly interesting fact that the main grounds are free, though access to the big-top circus tents will require paid admittance.

Fool’s Gold made Lincoln Hall feel like the Mediterranean in November 2009, combining Hebrew lyrics with West African guitars and undulating grooves. The band’s second outing, Leave No Trace (Iamsound), retains those guitar elements but more closely resembles the band’s roots in another (active) band: Foreign Born. With words now in English, Fool’s Gold have become something of a hybrid of Beirut, later Talking Heads, and synths that blast light over the horizon. “Balmy,” “Narrow Sun,” and “Tel Aviv” swing momentum back to the debut like a mid-album commercial, but by then heading back in the new direction, the band make their intentions clear. (Friday through Sunday@Eckhart Park.)

The Greater South Loop Association and Reggie’s combine for the two-day Bash On Wabash. Mixing kids’ bands (The Boogers), kids (School Of Rock), and bands that were popular when your folks were kids (? And The Mysterians), all ages are pretty much literally covered. (As if to cleanse itself, Reggie’s hosts Weedeater and Bison BC in its club Saturday night.) Other stars include The Sadies, Andre Williams, White Mystery, and Mathien. (Saturday and Sunday@14th St. and Wabash.)

Edgewater Lounge has never done a great job of distinguishing itself. Its faded, green paint, drab sign, and solitary location have all been a setup, however. Because when it hoisted banners declaring its 10th-anniversary block party, everyone driving to Jewel noticed. With a modest lineup of Waco Brothers, Iggy Yoakam, Wabash Cannonballs, Stick Fight, and Chico Malo and free free free admission, it’s a welcome respite after a summer of paying for every g’damn music festival coming down the turnpike. Oh, and they serve Rogue and Three Floyds beers on tap, which is awesome.(Saturday@Ashland & Bryn Mawr.)

We were constantly reminded during Lollapalooza’s anniversary coverage that it was once had working legs. Traveling fests do still exist, and if one should be sponsored by an energy drink, it’s Uproar. Avenged Sevenfold, Three Days Grace, and Seether headline, with a supporting cast of Bullet For My Valentine, Escape The Fate, Sevendust, and Black Tide, among others. (Sunday@First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre.)

Speaking of anniversaries, the travel embargo following 9/11 gutted the Chicago World Music Festival in 2001, and stringent security standards the years following kept a number of performers stranded overseas. We can all laugh about it now, of course. The 2011 version boasts an absolutely exhaustive cosmopolitan roster, ranging from Abigail Washburn and Bomba Estereo to Sidi Toure and Boubacar Traore to the Creole Choir Of Cuba and Chicago’s Andreas Kapsalis & Goran Ivanovic. Along with them, some artists from Brilliant Corners will also perform, moving into clubs like Martyrs, Lincoln Hall, Empty Bottle, Hideout, and, oh, Grant Park. (Thursday through Thursday@All over the city.)

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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