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Park Makes Its Chicago Return This Weekend At Reggie's

By Katie Karpowicz in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 27, 2013 2:50PM

Park performs at the 2013 SOHO Music Festival/Photo by Pete Ridens via the band's Facebook page

It's been six years since Springfield, Ill. post-punk band Park broke up but that hasn't stopped frontman Ladd Mitchell from being productive. Right now he's living in a northern Chicago suburb raising his two children, concentrating on a masters degree in healthcare and working to complete his first novel.

When he decided to create a musical counterpart to his yet unnamed novel, he claims he knew the music would "wind up sounding like Park anyway." That's when he floated the idea of a reunion out to his former bandmates.

When Park broke up in 2007 (a competitive era in emo and pop-inspired punk music) Mitchell explains there was no stress, no falling outs between members. "It was just time," he told Chicagoist.

In May, fans of the band received joyous and unexpected news that Park would resume its career. They play their first Chicago show since being back this Saturday, Nov. 30, at Reggie's.

This time around though, Mitchell said the members all agreed it would be different.

"One thing we agreed on was that it was going to be fun," Mitchell told Chicagoist in advance of this weekend's show. "It's going to have a little more lightheartedness. We're out of the touring phase of our lives now."

With his three other band members in Springfield, St. Louis and Kansas City, a more relaxed approach to the band might be the only way to go about things. So far, they've been getting together once a month to practice and playing one-off shows. They recently recorded a three-song EP "just to let people know [they're] back."

The EP, titled Jack the Rabbit, will pair with the novel's prologue. Mitchell is halfway through writing the complete volume. While he's not ready to reveal the plot yet, he does reveal the book will be somewhere between 24 and 26 chapters, a length that will likely result in the LP accompaniment being a double-disc release.

Mitchell admitted the project has posed new problems for the songwriter.

"Instead of writing music first and getting the lyrics to intertwine, I thought I'd write the story first. I went home and watched a bunch of musicals."

He assured us that doesn't mean this will be a complete departure from the music Park fans have enjoyed in the past though.

Expect to see the EP out before the spring of 2014 and the LP later in the year. While the band "isn't opposed to" a label, they're currently unsigned and plan to self-release the new music.

Expect to hear some of the new tracks at Park's "return" show Saturday night at Reggie's. The show starts at 7 p.m. with notable Chicago pop-punkers Quiet Out Loud opening. Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door.