A first-year festival is always intriguing. You never know if it will be successful or not. But Logan Square has been long overdue for a hip, expansive street festival. Metronome is a subtle success. Significantly less douchey than the recently fraternized Wicker Park and Bucktown, the White Sox caps outnumbered Cubs caps in this Northwest side neighborhood street fest by 10 to 1. (If you don't understand how I mean that as a positive thing, go sing some karaoke and get yourself a pitcher of Miller Lite.)
As a resident 60647-er, this is officially my neighborhood festival. Blocking off Milwaukee avenue from Armitage and nearly to California, I couldn't have been happier with my community's stab at the outdoor celebration. It wasn't crowded. There were plenty of families. The music was good. The skies were gray. What more could one ask for in a Chicago neighborhood festival?
John Vanderslice headlined the fest last night, but I want to talk about the band that played before him. There aren't many new bands that I find very noteworthy this year. The only album that has really made an impact on me is the independently released, self-titled Here We Go Magic.
This band pulls off a perfect slow burn. A muted rhythm starts things off, and is eventually greeted by a buzzing synth. Bass and guitars unassumingly join in, while indecipherable female vocals become barely audible until a melodic male vocal warms the tone. All the while, the drums are ringing louder. Guitars are becoming heavier and before you know it, we're five minutes into a distorted crescendo of noise and polyrhythm.
Here We Go Magic can drone like Stars of the Lid and rock danceable like Animal Collective. They're the best new band I've heard in 2009, and won't be surprised if they headline a few cities by 2010.
Life is officially good, summertime Chi is gaining momentum and the parties are many.
Until next weekend, and the weekend after that.
(Here We Go Magic video for Tunnelvision)