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Local Options

By Lizz Kannenberg in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 3, 2008 6:05PM

Time to lock and load this week's list of hometown shows, SXSW style.

2008_03_catfish.jpgMonday 3/3: Catfish Haven, Brighton, MA, Tall Dark Stranger at the Empty Bottle, 9:00 p.m., FREE!
Catfish Haven have the distinction of being the subject of one of our great music debates here on Chicagoist, but offline one constant has always been the loyal following of their frenetic, stomp-along swamp folk throwdowns. Catch one of Chicago's most recognized indie acts for free tonight before they take off for SXSW in Austin. Brighton, MA support with anthemic rock and pretty melodies from leader and ex-Scotland Yard Gospel Choir member Matthew Kerstein. Tall Dark Stranger are pure 60's Southern-styled rocknroll, complete with Lynyrd grit and early Doobie Brothers riffs. One can imagine this will sound rad in the Bottle.

MP3: Catfish Haven - Crazy For Leaving

2008_03_hideoutsxsw.jpgFriday 3/7: Mittens on Strings at the Empty Bottle
Chicago folk rockers Mittens on Strings are also headed to SXSW with their wry, deceptively soothing brand of acoustic-based rock. Not unlike Neutral Milk Hotel or Sparklehorse, it's easy to see why these guys are invited down to Austin every year.

MP3: Mittens on Strings - Big Brother

Saturday 3/8: 2nd Annual "Sending the Four Star City to the Lone Star State" party at The Hideout, 12:00 p.m., $10
And then there's the big pre-SXSW shindig, the Hideout's annual sendoff party for Chicago bands headed south to Austin. The $10 cover (and we mean it - no guest lists, everyone pays) is divided equally among the band members to provide everyone with a little cushion for gas, beef jerky, and beer along the way. It's an all-day affair, so bring your drinkin' shoes - among the 18 local hopefuls squeezing in one last warm up before the festival are Chicagoist favs Bound Stems, Cameron McGill, Hollywood Holt, Ezra Furman & The Harpoons, Tom Schraeder & His Ego, and Pit er Pat. Check out the Hideout website for set times.

Photo of Catfish Haven from their Myspace.

Hideout poster by Alana Bailey.