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Did Someone Say 'Party?'

By Lizz Kannenberg in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 6, 2007 4:08PM

2007_09_hidout.jpgIf you’re not totally familiar with The Hideout, you’re not alone. It’s not called “The Hideout” for no reason – it’s tucked away amidst warehouses and a U.S.P.S. processing center in the gritty industrial neighborhood just south of the North Branch of the Chicago River. A hand-painted “<---HIDEOUT” sign that looks stolen from a kid’s backyard directs patrons from the nearest intersection, which is all a part of the charm. It’s only this kind of no frills, destination joint that could host the annual Hideout Block Party, an unpretentious celebration of local, national, and international talent that ends in a nice donation to charity, and this year’s lineup challenges Pitchfork for the best of the fest season around here.

There’s something about the genuine love for Chicago that comes through in any interaction with Hideout owners Tim and Katie Tuten, and they really just strive to throw a good ol’ party every year. You’re not going to find the big corporate sponsors, tons of useless swag, and $7 beers that clutter the summer festival circuit, but you will find a level of talent that’s on par with big promotors’ shows from headliner down to the breakfast slots. Friday night’s big show is Bloc Party, who bless the event with the first show on their fall U.S. tour, but they’re supported by three of Chicago’s most respected and deserving acts (The 1900s, The Changes, and Scotland Yard Gospel Choir). Sleeping in on Saturday is not advised, as you’ll miss the heartbreaking, freakish folk of new Chicagoan-by-way-of-California Cass McCombs. The mid-afternoon sees the triumphant return to the Second City of Baltimore’s Dan Deacon, whose riot-inducing set at the Pitchfork Music Festival this summer inspired a visit from the CPD, and hometown carny punks-cum-marching band Mucca Pazza. Always down for a good time are Art Brut and the Frames, and the festival will bid its 2007 incarnation goodnight with the lovely and ambitious chamber pop of favorite son Andrew Bird. At $35 for the weekend, much of which goes right back into social and literacy programs for Chicago’s school-aged kids, you’re just not a music fan if you’re skipping this party.

The Hideout Block Party kicks off tomorrow at 5pm | 1354 W. Wabansia | $20 per day or $35 for the weekend