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Fest Watch 2010: Wicker Park Fest This Weekend

By Michele Lenni in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 28, 2010 4:20PM

wickerparkfest.jpg Well, summer is still here and we are slowly yet surely approaching another weekend, so yes, there is another festival to speak of in Chicago. As the end of summer is, sadly, approaching, we want to soak up as much outdoor fest goodness as possible.

Yes, the Wicker Park Fest has many of the amenities that many others this year have boasted, i.e. encased nitrates, local artists selling their handmade wares, family-friendly activities, kid stuff and the ever-so-important low, low price tag for entry. What has made this particular fest different from the vast array of others overtaking the streets of Chicago is the carefully selected music selection that has truly set this outdoor romp apart from many others. Past years have included acts like Junior Boys and local heroes Smoking Popes. This year's installment boasts some of our favorite local and national acts.

Locally speaking, we think you should definitely check out Chicago's hard rock staple Local H and another to catch Chicago's favorite twee-chamber-pop-heads, The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir who continue their triumphant return after last year's accident. Another important reunion to grace the stage will be early '90s angular-indie-rockers Cap n' Jazz on Saturday. Cap n' Jazz, who split in the mid-'90s after the release of their genre-defining record, Shmap'n Shmazz. The last two dates they played here upon their reunion sold out very quickly, so we recommend getting their early to get a standing spot.

Nationally, we think this year may be our favorite yet with two bands that we think you shouldn't miss live, especially for five bucks. Late '70s post-punkers Mission of Burma will be taking the stage Saturday night. After catching their sweaty yet inspired performance at Pitchfork a few years ago, we make sure we never miss them. Another past Pitchfork band to take stage will be Montreal's roots rock and Jeff Buckley disciples, Plants and Animals,another band that we think is completely worth much more than the price of admission.

Either way, we thing that both days are worth checking out, especially since the distance between stages is small, it's only five bucks and we just can't get enough encased meats this summer. Check out the fest's entire lineup.

Wicker Park Fest, Saturday July 31 and Sunday August 1, 12 p.m. until 10 p.m. both days, North Milwaukee Avenue between North Avenue and Wood Street, $5