In addition to already
impressive rosters featuring some of the most exciting underground buzz
bands on the current music scene, this summer's Intonation and Pitchfork
Music festivals both recently scored impressive coups by booking several
older, legendary rock acts that will be making ultra-rare appearances at
Chicago's Union Park.
Intonation has announced
the additions of Roky Erickson, the former leader of the 13th Floor
Elevators, and Blue Cheer, the reunited proto-grunge/psychedelic-blues band,
to its festival, which takes place in the West Side park on June 24-25.
And Pitchfork has added
Os Mutantes, leaders of Brazil's Tropicalia movement in the early '70s, to
its music celebration, scheduled for the same site in Union Park on July
Os Mutantes famously
combined the influences of Latin American music and psychedelic rock. The
group has been the subject of renewed interest in recent years, thanks to
the championing of fans such as David Byrne, and it will perform in Chicago
for the first time on July 30.
Blue Cheer has not
played in the Windy City in 25 years. It will perform at Intonation on June
Most exciting of all,
though, is the re-emergence of Erickson, who will take the stage on June 24.
The '60s rocker has long
been considered one of the most tragic casualties in rock history, having
dropped out of the music scene more than two decades ago because of mental
problems that left him living as a sheltered recluse in his native Austin,
As related in a
Sun-Times profile in the spring of 2005, Erickson has been nursed back to
health patiently by his younger brother Sumner, formerly an orchestral
musician who has devoted himself to helping Roky recover his place as one of
the greatest singers and songwriters in the psychedelic rock genre.
Recently, Erickson has
played several reportedly astounding shows in Austin, including one timed to
the recent South by Southwest Music Festival. The Intonation Festival will
be his first performance outside Texas and his largest anywhere since a
brief flurry of activity during the punk movement of the late '70s.
Other headliners at
Intonation include England's Bloc Party; Lady Sovereign and the Streets;
Japanese noise-rockers the Boredoms; Hollywood film scorer and Kanye West
collaborator Jon Brion; Guided by Voices veteran Robert Pollard; stoner-rock
gods High on Fire and rappers Lupe Fiasco and Rhymefest. Tickets are $20 for
one day, $35 for a two-day pass through www.intonationmusicfest.com.
Additional highlights at
Pitchfork include indie-rock darlings Silver Jews, Art Brut, Spoon, Yo La
Tengo, Devendra Barnhart and Mission of Burma. Tickets are $20 for one day,
$30 for both through www.pitchforkmusicfestival.com.