Riot Fest: GWAR

The best of Riot Fest Chicago 2012 (in photos)

On the final weekend of the summer, Chicago’s Humboldt Park hosted the city’s eighth annual Riot Fest, the punk-, rock-, and hardcore-filled festival that has since branched to Brooklyn, Toronto, and Dallas. This year’s installment was special for more than its consolidated location in the park; it also boasted a brand-new carnival — featuring a Ferris wheel, funnel cake, and impossible-to-win prize games — to enjoy between sets.

Riot Fest and Carnival Chicago 2012

ALARM’s must-see sets for Riot Fest Chicago 2012

For its eighth installment, Chicago’s punk- and hardcore-centered Riot Fest decided to go big, adding stops in Brooklyn, Toronto, and Dallas and expanding its Windy City weekend to include an outdoor carnival. Though tickets are almost gone, you still can grab two-day passes for Saturday and Sunday in Humboldt Park or buy single-day tickets for those two dates.

Here are our picks for the weekend. Rain isn’t in the forecast, but bring your poncho for GWAR either way.

Mixtape Premiere: Fort Knox Recordings’ Funk the World 03

Funk the World vol. 3Jay Clue: Funk the World 03 (Fort Knox)

DJ Jay Clue: Funk the World 03

Copy and paste this URL to download the whole mixtape:

In late 2011, “renegade funk ‘n’ soul” label Fort Knox Recordings launched a monthly mixtape series titled Funk the World. The first part of the series was presented by the label’s own Fort Knox Five and included an eclectic mix of world-music artists among remixes of songs by Fred Astaire and Louis Armstrong.

This month’s mixtape is presented by DJ Jay Clue (of QDUP Foundation) and features the likes of Gogol Bordello, Tim Tim, and The Correspondents, among others. You can listen to the entire mix here and read on for the full tracklisting.

North Coast Music Festival

Concert Photos: North Coast Music Festival

“Summer’s Last Stand,” better known as North Coast Music Festival, lived up to its self-given nickname this year, breaking a sizable inaugural attendance and raking in nearly 50,000 loyal fans for a sold-out sophomore year. Despite being slightly overshadowed by Chicago’s other popular summer music fests, North Coast surpassed them in diversity with a far-reaching lineup.

Heavy beats bumped Union Park for a straight three days, spun by dubstep producers SBTRKT and Rusko and electronic hypnotists STS9 and Bassnectar. Day performers Little Dragon and Of Montreal loosened crowds for each night’s main acts, including Wiz Khalifa and David Guetta, who were silhouetted by LED backdrops on both headlining stages. Other ALARM favorites on hand included Common, Gogol Bordello, Thievery Corporation, RJD2, and The Budos Band.

Chicago photographer Caleb Condit was present to document the good times.  Check out the massive gallery below.


DeVotchKa: New Direction from Rejection

Led by songwriter Nick Urata, DeVotchKa takes its wildly inventive Balkan pop in new directions on 100 Lovers — an album born of filmic discards and endless tinkering.

Austin City Limits Preview

Those familiar with the national festival circuit might get a sense of déjà vu when looking at the lineup for Austin City Limits.  No matter – there are plenty of quality jams to go around the fest’s eight stages, and we have our recommended itinerary ready for you.

Singing Bridges

Jodi Rose: Making Bridges Sing

When the Golden Gate was built, the San Francisco Chronicle called it a thirty-five-million-dollar steel harp. Its chief engineer, Joseph B. Strauss, probably didn’t mind. In fact, he seemed to think so too, writing, “As harps for the winds of heaven / my weblike cables are spun.” Australia’s Glebe Island Bridge elicited a similar response in budding sound artist Jodi Rose.

Interview: Dub Trio

Long car rides, too much gas-station coffee, and being surrounded by incompetent drivers on the California interstate have made the members of Dub Trio a little restless this afternoon, but the good-natured band from Brooklyn is taking it in stride.

Crooner Jeffery Osbourne’s 1982 R&B hit “On the Wings of Love” plays over satellite radio, a device, the band agrees, that has infinitely improved road trips. “Oh my god, yeah—it’s a beautiful thing!” guitarist DP Holmes exclaims.

The band is at the tail end of its West Coast tour with Helmet. Next week it’s back east to take off again with fellow New Yorkers and friends Gogol Bordello. Relentless touring is the life of an up-and-coming, hard-working band.

Gogol Bordello Announce Tour

After Gogol Bordello’s 2007 release of internationally acclaimed SUPER TARANTA!, the gypsy punk pioneers gained the favor of underground and mainstream pop culture alike faster than anyone could have predicted. Returning to North America for “Forces of Victory 2008,” their exultant month-long tour in early spring, the band will also hit up Coachella at the end of April for the second year in a row.