It's with great pleasure that we bring you the first annual Chicago Label Showcase this weekend, sponsored by our friends at Stoli Vodka with featured beer courtesy of Revolution Brewing, and last but not least, our sketchy new pals at Monsanto, and featuring eleven of the gnarliest Chicago bands across genre boundaries, and represented by some of the best underground record labels in town. Friday's debacle kicks off with one of Chicago's new nasties, Gross Pointe, who've de-pantsed audiences around town for a few months now, and who have their newest tape out on Dumpster Tapes, and are sure to not be missed, pure adrenaline with a drink thrown right in your face, just like you like it. Following them are Spike And the Sweet Spots, who you may have seen recently with a track premiere here on VoT, and featuring an all new lineup rotating around Spike from The Yolks, and always a rare treat. Their Wreckless Eric cover at the Dreamboat's latest shindig was hair-raisingly great, and they offer perfect contrast to the impending and raucous bands to follow.
If you've done your homework, you'll be familiar with ONO, the Chicago avant garde troupe dating back to the late 70s that spurned a howling, sprawling noise landscape that's been echoing out of loner's bedroom speakers ever since. A truly original band born during the zeitgeist of punk's most free-form period, and another slice of the modern underground you won't want to miss. Then, just as your head begins to expand, Basic Cable will fall through the ceiling and right into your face, gnashing pummeling Fang-meets-Mudhoney style riffs into a thick paste of indifference, smeared all over your expectations, and then as your mind starts to unravel. By this point you've had a super-soaker filled with Stoli shoved in your mouth several times and you're feeling unstoppable (in a literary sense), and you're probably ready to wash off all the stink with a refreshing pop in the back of the head with the always-party-ready crew known over the last decade as The Yolks. You know they know how to turn a show into a PARTY, and that's exactly what they're always doing, from staring down the cops and continuing to play despite the spotlight shined in their faces, to tearing the roof off the joint, you won't need to worry about anything else, just keep your pants on.
Saturday kicks off with the ALL-AGES & FREE RECORD FAIR from noon to 5PM, featuring not only wares from the area's most prominent underground labels, but a hefty grip of private dealers as well as poster artwork for sale from Drug Factory Press' Ryan Duggan, The Sueves Joe Schorgl, and Bill Connors. Check out new & current releases and meet the mysterious people behind the labels such as Grabbing Clouds, GARY Records, Randy Rex, Moniker Records, Permanent Records, Eye Vybe Records, Maximum Pelt, Dumpster Tapes, Why Pick On Me?, Tall Pat Records, Trouble In Mind Records, Automatic Recordings, and HoZac Records & Books, why dontcha?
The Saturday show kicks off with Whitegold, a synth-laden pop group taking cues from the non-punk side of the tracks, but still creating a hypnotic, pulsing wall of atmospheric sound that'll stop you like a deer in the headlights. Followed by The Sueves, another gritty rock'n roll four-piece with an axe to grind and the songwriting to back it up, they never leave any ass un-whipped, and for that, you should be thankful. Up next are those delinquent knuckle boys you just looooove to hate, Heavy Times, who have finally settled into their current lineup, and they'll be ready to warm your heart with a hot plate, or a hot poker, whichever fits. Following them are another new band, UFUX, featuring Dr. Ilth from (Daily Void/Functional Blackouts) and with only a few live appearances under their belt, they'll certainly be one to watch, with their throbbing Flipper/Germs devolving grooves burrowing deeper and deeper into your ear holes.
Then as your mind finally cracks wide open while regaling your contemporaries out on the illustrious Volcano Room skydeck, it's time to head into the home stretch, and The Rubs are here to rub it in as far as it will go without you screaming. Featuring Joey Rubbish (Joe Montanaro from Uh Bones), now as the frontman (the role he was born to play), along with a rotating cast of characters, you'll be screaming for more before you even know it's the end of their set. Then, as the bell tolls, Mickey rises from the ashes and crashes the stage in a tornado of blood, spit, and glitter. After being dormant for three years, the beast has risen and the spirit of GG Allin and Bay City Rollers will once again unite the runaways in the night. So get ready for one ballistic weekend of incredible music, meet the impresarios behind your favorite Chicago labels, and don't forget to eat something because there's gonna be a LOT of vodka. Thanks again to everyone that's helped make this weekend a great one!