Wow, some of these Chicago festivals are a little weird even for me, and that’s fu**in’ sayin’ something! I mean, I listen to Liars, for Christ’s sake (but not Xiu Xiu).
But then, that’s why the city’s there in first place, for us cookie-cutter South Bend boys. Nothing is ever “radical” enough for Chicago. I’m surprised the city doesn’t have its own David Blaine.
Let’s go down the road into the boondocks a bit, shall we? Oh, whadya know, it’s the second best Music Performance program in the nation in Bloomington, Indiana there. I went to school there, and there was literally always something musical going on, from jazz concerts, to various members of Wu-Tang gracing the Bluebird Theater, to perhaps most enjoyable, the college town’s local artists. And I’m talking baskets and baskets full of hard rock bands — punk, hardcore, new wave, metal, grunge, everything. The Harlots. Prizzy Prizzy Please. Sentinel. Metal in the Microwave. Tremendous Fu**ing. The Mathematicians. The list (grafted from how the scene was in ’06, mind you) goes on and on.
To top it off, we had, and still have the same, three prominent record labels. They’re all indie, sure, but they’re all more than pulling their weight: Jagjaguwar has housed the excellent Canadian noise band Women and most recently their offshoot Viet Cong, and also the grungy and delicious Black Mountain. Dead Oceans boasts my favorite band in the world, Chicago’s own Califone, as well as a brilliant new folky axe-slayer Kevin Morby. And just today I was looking at Lollapalooza’s own poster-boy, the evil of all evils, the once-indie now gone mainstream gobbledygook Major Lazer, and lo and behold his ’13 issue Free the Universe is by way of Secretly Canadian! I hadn’t even known there WAS still a Secretly Canadian! Hell, I barely even knew it existed when I LIVED in Bloomington. Wyclef never really went away, folks, he just went and had himself of good ol’ Indiana.