I was ready to write a really bitchy* piece yesterday. I decided to wait it out to make sure I was still pissed. And I am. But I haven’t decided yet if I even want to bother. So first off, I’m going to write about the Tomorrow Never Knows fest that I went to last week.
Brief rundown, TNK is a fest put on by a group of venues here in Chicago. It comprises Schubas, Lincoln Hall, Hideout, Athenaeum, Smart Bar and Metro (note, Schubas and Lincoln Hall and then Smart Bar and Metro are owned by the same people, which helps). So basically, my favorite venues. It’s five nights of music at all of these places going on at the same time. I got the pass so I could go to all of them if I chose to. I went to three and went for three nights. I got sick and then I got tired. The deal with this fest is that it pairs well-known acts with not so well known but with potential acts. Hence, you never know. (full lineup here: http://www.tnkfest.com/)
This is the worst winter I can remember since I had a friend from southern Georgia stay with me for a month during college, and I felt bad for her every single day. It’s been like that and yet, this year may have been my favorite year. I could write glowing reviews about Darkside (or DARKSIDE, whatever) and San Fermin. Both were shows that I left with that, “holy shit, that was, that was amazing” feeling. And I bought merch. But I’m not, because while that’s all well and good, and easy, it’s not entirely for me what the fest is about. It’s about the openers.
You are absolutely going to hear acts you’ve never heard before. It’s a fest you go to probably knowing the headliner but nothing about the openers. Ok, so that’s not a real stretch, except there are three openers at a lot of these shows, if you want a good spot to see the headliner, you get there early and are going to see the openers. I must admit to not being all that impressed by most of them. In fact, I only really took note of one of them.
Bad Bad Hats.
Great name, right? They’re really sweet performers and a little bit awkward and overall just fun. Fortunately TNK came at the exact right time, forcing me out of my cocoon of an apartment. This band had come down from Minneapolis, so they know. You gotta love a band that is so happy to be there, awed by the venue (Lincoln Hall) and just downright cheerful. I smiled along with them. Plus they were so normal. Their playing was a little rough around the edges, but had that quality that you can pick up on, where it’s just a matter of playing more and touring more that would put the polish on them. Y’know what I mean? It’s there, that something.
I’m going to leave off with a video that I really like of theirs (kazoos and ice hockey!) and if you go to their site you can get a free download of their EP. http://badbadhats.com/
*i’ll post the bitchy thing I was going to write about elsewhere, later.