Intense, surreal, remote, dynamic. Come along with us as we chronicle the adventures of the soul through psychedelic, drone, noise, experimental, pop music based around Chicago bands in particular and local bands everywhere.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chicago Metaphysical Circus / Psychfest

Finally, a collaboration among every local band I love! I must admit, I am sometimes bad at keeping a show calendar, and the fact that Chicago Metaphysical Circus is organizing these bands, rounding all of them up, and placing them at home at The Hideout Inn builds within me an anticipation I haven't felt for a local show in a least not since the first time I saw Cave at Hideout, or not since the Black Math set at Permanent's Anniversary show.

The batting order is a set of heavy hitting groups that provide space for emotional and psychological reflection in often-distorted passages, claustrophobic rhythms, never-ending-walkabouts (yeah, I went there), and a generally eclectic sonic palate. It's so easy just to say, "oh, these bands stradle the divide between punk and psychedelic," or something like that; I mean, it is true that in Vee Dee's driving rhythms or Plastic Crimewave Sound's abandon, you will find the spiritual grandchildren of that imaginary generation of music about which Lester Bangs often dreamt. A generation where punk is thoroughly grounded in abstract song structures, a measured aesthetic towards fuzzy guitar sounds and -- if you're lucky -- loads of phaser or reverb or wah wah or whatever else.....

It's more than that; this music reflects an environment. You might think I'm crazy, but I honestly think that if you listen carefully enough, you can feel the bizarre isolation of Chicago's scene, the distance that the city affords despite its size and density, the hopelessness the city promotes despite accessible wealthy neighborhoods never more than a stone's throw from the new, morphing bohemia. A lot of us grew up in the affluent 90s, which proved perfectly the despair of economic comfort, and we subsequently find ourselves in a city that begs us to reflect ourselves, our fears, and our desires -- our affectivity -- against its foundations and infrastructures, while those structures themselves often deny us the meaning we seek in our very reflection.

Psychedelic music is not necessarily a genre of music, but a form of technological manipulation in music, and a form of psychological and spiritual development in music. It is more than nihilism; yet it struggles to leave the loud disdain for artistic and pop forms proclaimed by the brief history of punk. So, to say that these bands straddle the barrier between punk and psychedelic indeed misses the point; this barrier is psychedelic adventure, psychedelic exploration, psychedelic development itself. A culture that shares a rich piece of the history of technological advances in music (from The United States of America and The Byrds to The Dandy Warhols and Darker My Love, yes I went there), a culture that matches the enthusiastic contradiction of surrealism, where high art form is matched with the spirit of dada destruction of anything from pop to societal convention; a culture that revels in the alienation of possession, property, commercialism, and totality.

These bands showcase where we are -- physically and mentally, and through their interludes and breakdowns and washes and drones and feedback, tell us exactly how we got there.

You're already there, so I assume you'll be going to the show.


Hideout Inn, January 22, 2010

Dark Fog
Plastic Crimewave Sound
Sadhu Sadhu
Vee Dee
The Great Society Mind Destroyers
Black Wyrm Seed
DJ Velcro Lewis

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