Friday, July 15, 2011

Play Locally: Pitchfork, BenFest, Windy City RibFest, How Far To Austin, Cowboy Mouth, Edgewater Arts Fest and much, much more


Of course Pitchfork is the major fest going down in Chi-Town this weekend. ChiIL Mama's own Du-Jay will be making his initial foray into interviewing bands with a bunch of 826Chi kids ranging from 5th-7th grades.

The kids wrote their own questions and did their "homework", by listening to tracks by their upcoming subjects.   Small groups of these young writers will be at Pitchfork 1 of all 3 days, reviewing the fest and getting the low down on some pretty sweet bands.   Du-Jay will be there Saturday interviewing:

Fleet Foxes

Gang Gang Dance

Sun Airway


Chrissy Murderbot

Wild Nothing

Cold Cave

No Age


DJ Shadow

Word is the bands are completely stoked to be interviewed by the kids!   

Wolf Pack,, and Kingtello Presents a Pitchfork Unofficial After Party on Friday July 15th - AC SLATER & AJAPAI with PSYMBIONIC l GHETTO SEXUUAL l PHARO at Bottom Lounge (1375 West Lake Street) in Chicago.  Complimentary Seagram's Vodka drinks with FanFound pre-sale tickets.  Doors open at 7pm, and this show is open to adults 17+. Tickets are $15 in advance, and $20 walk up if available. 

Friday to Sunday, July 15-17, 2011

Friday - 5pm to 10pm | Saturday - Noon to 10pm | Sunday - Noon to 9pm

Our friends in How Far to Austin are playing both of the above fests this weekend, and tonight they open for Cowboy Mouth.   

We dig Cowboy Mouth and have seen them numerous times, dating back to Folk and Roots Fest in New Orleans in the mid 90's.    We've seen members climb the sides of the stage and play over the crowd's heads.   They always put on a rockin' good show.   Back in the day, we met a couple of locals down in N.O. named Cora Lee and Rusty who were wearing matching Cowboy Mouth t-shirts.    They bought us a bunch of Turbo Dogs, a tasty local microwbrew, beat us in pool and treated us to dinner.    Their fans are good people.    Come hang out with a whole fest full of 'em, buy a couple t-shirts and treat a stranger to BBQ.   You never know what adventures will ensue!

Chicago rock and soul band How Far to Austin is excited to be opening for one of their favorite bands from the south, Cowboy Mouth, at the Windy City Ribfest at Broadway and Lawrence on Friday July 15.

How Far to Austin has been making huge strides over the past year, evolving from a well-loved local bar band to a Midwest festival-favorite. Their highly successful national radio campaign earlier this year led them to licensing deals with over a dozen shows on popular network TV channels including MTV, VH1, Discovery Channel and Fox Sports Network. Just this year the popular live act has co-headlined sold out performances at legendary venues like Double Door, and most recently the House of Blues.

Their upcoming set at the Windy City Ribfest marks another accomplishment for the band, as they are opening for a group-favorite, Cowboy Mouth. 

“It is such an honor to be opening for Cowboy Mouth,” said Tate Troelstrup, guitarist/songwriter of How Far to Austin. “They are one of our favorite national acts, not only for their incredible music but also for their work ethic as a band. They are always out on the road performing for and interacting with their fans in a personal way that earns them fans not just for an album or two, but for life. We strive to do the same and can’t wait to share the stage with them!”

The show is all-ages and begins at 5:45pm. There is a $5 donation at the entrance to the festival. How Far to Austin plays until 7:15, followed by Cowboy Mouth at 8:00pm. The festival will be in Chicago’s uptown area, at Lawrence and Broadway (one block from the Lawrence red line station).

Here's what Tate & Katie from How Far To Austin have to say:

It all kicks off tonight at 5:45 - we're opening for the always spectacular COWBOY MOUTH at Windy City Ribfest  (north side of Chicago, at Lawrence & Broadway), we're all tremendous CM fans and very excited at the opportunity to share the stage with them (Tate is keeping his fingers crossed that the band will ask him to rock out their hit "Jenny Says").  We've got a seriously sweet set designed to melt some faces and appropriately warm the stage up for our fearless headliners.  Windy City Ribfest is probably to best Ribfest in the Chicagoland area, so arrive early and stay late to sample some of the finest ribs around!  Rumor has it that there will be some cameras rolling on us from a new show on the OWN Network, so get yourself a good spot on front and you might get to see yourself on the small screen. . . 

Saturday - Benfest:   Tomorrow we keep it rolling with another awesome opening slot, at the city's finest family festival BEN FEST, held at St. Benedicts Church, we're fortunate enough to be warming up the stage for HELLO DAVE, one of the best known festival acts around.  We'll go on at 8:00 sharp, can't wait to offer up a few surprises and treats for your listening pleasure.  If you've got little ones, makes sure to arrive early as Ben Fest is geared towards the all ages crowd with awesome games & activities for younger kids as well as a fine food & adult beverage selection for the big kids!

St Benedict’s 2011 BenFest
BenFest, held July 15-16th, is a two-day summer street festival in the North Center neighborhood. For more than 35-years, the fest showcases some of Chicagoland’s hottest up and coming bands and offers family-friendly activities for all ages but especially fun activities and musical line-up at its Kids Block. This year’s main stage headliners are Dot Dot Dot on Friday night and Hello Dave on Saturday night.

Funding from BenFest 2011 will go to support three main needs at St Benedict’s. First, the immediate need is to repair the landmark Bell Tower (at the corner of Leavitt and Irving Pk), which the leadership has determined is looking to raise $1.3 million dollars from families and local businesses to restore the frail structure of the Bell Tower and bring it new life with a modern functioning clock and bell system. Secondly, funds will be earmarked for St Benedict’s Elementary School to support fine arts materials and classroom supplies, as well as PE equipment. And finally, funds will be allocated to St Benedict High School to support its new elective courses like Early Childhood, Sports Writing and Creative Writing.

All are invited to come on out for a great cause while having fun at the same time. Admission is only $5 and $10 after 8:00 p.m. A cash prize drawing for $10,000 and other prizes will be raffled off. Limited tickets are available. Visit the website for more information.

“BenFest predictably remains one of the most family-friendly gatherings of the summer.” Chicago Tribune, 2010.

Visit for an up-to-date schedule of events.

BenFest Facts
  • Name of the event: BenFest
  • Address: 2215 W Irving Park Rd
  • City: Chicago
  • State: IL
  • Zip: 60618
  • Phone: (773) 588-6484
  • Website URL (if any):
  • Date(s): July 15-16, 2011
  • Time(s): 4pm – 11pm
  • Cost: $5.00 donation, $10 after $8 pm
  • Recommended age range: All ages

BenFest is a summer celebration held in the North Center community of Chicago. This year’s BenFest has something for every age. Come join us for two-days of family fun including great bands, food from local vendors, activities for the kids and a chance to win some great prizes. Great performances on the main stage by acts such as Hello Dave, Dot Dot Dot, How Far to Austin, Open to Suggestion, the Jesse White Tumblers and more. Catch teen and kid performances by the School of Rock and Mary Macaroni. What keeps the kids coming back year after year? Maybe it’s the water-filled corkscrew inflatable waterslide, Euro Bungy, face painting, kids talent show, games, black cows, goldfish toss, popcorn, slushies and good old fashion fun.

Saturday Only:

 Sunday:Pitchfork and Ribfest continue

Pitchfork alternative and/or afterparty:

Vitamin Water Uncapped Party
No cost, complimentary entry with rsvp
-          Hosted bar
-          Complimentary Food
-          Air-Conditioning
-          Unofficial Pitchfork Afterparties
-          all blocks away from Union Park (Pitchfork)


21+: 6PM - 12AM
hosted bar + wolfgang puck nibbles | 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM
10:30pm | bird peterson
9:00pm | kill the noise
8:00pm | dani deahl
7:00pm | zebo
6:00pm | orville kline
4:30pm | kellen & me
4:00pm | ALLSAINTS pop-up shop

21+: 6PM - 12AM
hosted bar + wolfgang puck nibbles | 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM
10:45pm | treasure fingers
9:45pm | willy joy
8:45pm | hussle club (dj set)
7:45pm | team bayside high
7:00pm | makeshiftprodigy
6:00pm | greg corner (dark wave disco)
4:15pm | bambiraptor
3:30pm | alaya conscious
3:00pm - 11:45pm | ALLSAINTS pop up shop
12:15pm - 2:15pm | summer solstice stretch with smartwater & vzero (margo kellison instructor)
c9 champion informal activewear fashion show
light bites provided by chipotle

21+: 6PM - 12AM
hosted bar + wolfgang puck nibbles | 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM
7:00pm - 12:00am | nadastrom & special guests
2:30pm - 4:00pm | dj lady d documentary, poster signing, and dj set
2:00pm - 12:00am | ALLSAINTS pop up shop 

Save the Date:  

July 23-Art in the Park 
Unity Park 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

We did this last year and it was a blast!    Come check it out.    Advanced reservations are highly recommended.

Experience live painting in Logan Square's Unity Park. All our neighbors are invited! The Unity Park Advisory Council volunteers will have everything you need for an afternoon of painting fun including FREE paper, boards and canvases, paints and paint brushes, music and snacks and drinks. Please feel free to bring a sack lunch. You can take your works of art home with you or donate them the Unity Park and let them be shown and possibly sold during the Milwaukee Ave Arts Festival. Please visit for more information. 

Friday, August 19th-The Future Laureates are headlining a benefit fundraiser for Streetwise Magazine at Beat Kitchen.

We have loads of great theatre reviews, footage, stills and original interviews coming in the next few weeks including a special video interview at Cirque du Soleil's Ovo!   

In the immediate future, check out our reviews and/or photo filled recaps of A Tribute to The Blues Brothers, Ovo, Renaissance Faire, Our recap of Old Town Music Fest, Pinkalicious, Verve Life, Gilty Moms, 3rd Annual M.GO Fashion Salon's Spring Fashion Event, and a cocktail party/meet and greet with both the producer and director of Broadway in Chicago's upcoming Love, Loss and What I Wore.    

We're also featuring a bunch of rockin' kids in bands throughout the rest of July, as well as a count down to Kidzapalooza.    So check in and ChiIL Out early and often.

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