Cal's Fest Kicks Off Saturday

Tijuana Hercules, Photo by Canderson
Tijuana Hercules, Photo by Canderson
posted Thursday Aug 10th, 2006

On the southwest edge of the loop where the el tracks encase towering buildings like twine around a bundle of soft drink straws, sits Cal's Liquors, the liquor store/hole-in-the-wall bar that has sat perched on the same corner for nearly sixty years. Over the past five years Cal's has become the quintessential rock joint. The 400 square foot bar, filled with smoke, cheap-oh cans of beer and a pretty thorough sampling of urban inhabitants—from the natty scamp sect, to the quasi-homeless, to the corporate suits marooned on their way to the suburban-bound Metro train to wash their days away before they come home to their antiseptic bi-levels and Westiepoo terriers.
This Saturday the 5th annual Cal's Fest kicks off with a refreshingly unpretentious diametric sampling of bands.Pat Boone's Farm, a three piece outfit from Normal, Illinois, commence the event with a Supercharger-esque debasement of simple pop scrapings that should fit right in at Cal's. Next up, Ferdinand Fox hit the floor---there's no stage at Cal's, which is pretty fitting to the communal atmosphere there. The funk via hip-hop sound they blow through will definitely cause some whiplash in juxtaposition to some of the other acts playing the weekend. It's a good thing the event is taking place in the alley behind Cal's, otherwise, someone may have to hold open the men's restroom door so the trombonist can reach seventh position comfortably. Also playing Saturday is Chicago art-cum-gutter noise outfit, Functional Blackouts, who released their praised second album, Severed Tongue Speaks For Everyone, this year. Tijuana Hercules are set to play, their desperate bluesy ear tug is as “Chicago” as it comes and John Forbes' vocals sound as if he's had a lifetime of turpentine guzzling and tear swallowing. Then,The Phenoms will be performing their final set Saturday as the headliner. Their head stubbing punk sound should serve up as a nice sloppy ending to the first night of the festival.
Sunday kicks off early with the power-pop outfit Teenage Imposters, followed by theBroad Tosser, formerly The Spoken Four. The highlight of the day will be the mustache-rock outfit, Velcro Lewis and His 100 Proof Band, whose soulful hand slapping, blues-tainted rock could turn a math test into a party. Come on by, I'll spill a beer on you––they're only two bucks.