Blackout Fest Opens this Year’s Summer Festivals

One thing Chicagoans can expect during the summer, besides scorching temperatures and oppressive humidity, is the myriad of music festivals. Who, after innocently declaring to live in Chicago, hasn’t had to nod and smile politely as strangers rattle off how wonderful it must be to live in the city where Lollapalooza and Pitchfork are hosted? How many of us have had to battle downtown traffic and never-ending lines of wristband wearing alt-rock dilettantes to catch a free concert by the lake?

Do not fear, dear readers, as a sign that a higher power does exist and is watching over us, the almighty HoZac Record label, the fine people at The Empty Bottle and whoever is behind the mysterious Velvet Perineum venue, are bringing us the Blackout Fest in May.

Though new to Gozamos, the Blackout Fest has been a staple of debauchery for Chicago garage rockers since 2001. Blackout Fest ran from 2001 – 2006 and was a celebration of the annual release of the Horizontal Action magazine, a publication dedicated to up-and-coming underground rock bands and sprinkled with raunchy nudity. While the magazine folded in 2005 its visionaries continued their tradition to uncover the best in music through the establishment of HoZac Records and the Victim of Time website. HoZac has released albums from talent all over the States and the line up for Blackout 2011 features some of these artists.

In the tradition of Blackouts past, HoZac is bringing a couple of legendary punk progenitors to the Velvet Perineum’s stage to remind the drunk and disorderly where it all began. The Nervous Eaters are the quintessential Boston punk band, forming in the landmark year of 1977 and slaying audiences with slash and burn riffs, ear shattering leads, sex-beat rhythms and more swagger than Beantown had seen since the Boston Tea Party. You might have also heard of Tutu & the Pirates. Perhaps? In this neck of the woods they are famously referred to as Chicago’s first recorded punk band. They hail from the seventies, too, and embody the gritty sound of that era’s punk aesthetic beautifully.

The festivities will take place Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28, with an art show preview night on Thursday. The venue is identified as the Velvet Perineum, but no one seems to have heard of it before. It is only certain that the location is somewhere in Logan Square.

While the lineup promises not to disappoint, my refined taste incites me to suggest you do not miss the following noteworthy acts: The Spits, Mickey, Nobunny, and People’s Tempe.

Tickets for Friday night only are $20, $45 for Friday and Saturday and $30 for Sunday only. They can be purchased here.

Festival Preview Show on Thursday will feature artwork from:
Timmy Vulgar
Nathan Jerde
Mac Blackout
Christopher Ilth
Rob Karlic
Ben Lyon
Line up for Friday:
The Spits
The Brides
TV Ghost
The Happy Thoughts
Nervous Eaters
Tutu & the Pirates
Timmy’s Organism
Puffy Areolas
Idle Times
Reading Rainbow
People’s Temple
Heavy Times
Radar Eyes
Outer Minds

K-Holes “Short Zippers” from Micki Pellerano on Vimeo.

Mickey “Electric Dreams” from Chris Anderson on Vimeo.

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