Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You're Invited to Ian's Party!

Posted By on 12.30.09 at 05:18 PM

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In case you're still not sure what to do on New Year's Eve (and the weekend after), my friends over at Cassette Deck are throwing their annual Ian's Party in Elgin. Now in its third year, it's a four-day festival of midwest (mostly punk) bands, with shows split between Mad Maggie's and the Gasthaus. Sets at the two venues overlap slightly, which will mean a lot of running back and forth to catch the maximum amount of music—but luckily they're on the same street, just a few blocks apart. The party begins New Year's Eve and runs through Sunday, January 3; tickets are $15 per day, $10 per show, or $30 for a weekend pass (which also gets you a copy of the new Vicelords record and a silk-screened Ian's Party 2010 poster). The full schedule and all the details are here. There are more than 70 bands to choose from, but after the jump I've listed a few especially worth checking out.

Thursday:
The Brokedowns play brawling punk rock that's excellent for fist pumping and crowd surfing, and not many modern bands can match their gritty DIY mentality. (Headlining the Gasthaus at 11:50 PM.)

Friday:
The Please & Thank-Yous sound like Weezer Lite, but in a good way. Their simple, dreamy guitar melodies, wishy-washy lyrics, and emotionally charged background vocals make for perfect bop-your-head-to-it pop punk. (Playing the Gasthaus at 10:10 PM.)

Vacation Bible School are another feel-good pop-punk band from Elgin with Screeching Weasel-style melodies and clever, fun-to-sing-along-to lyrics about parties and girls, sprinkled with just a little bit of self-deprecation. (Headlining Mad Maggie's at 10:25 PM.)

Tongues, whose members have played in Joan of Arc, Apocalypse Hoboken, and American Draft, make rock 'n' roll saturated with dueling guitars and come-hither vocals. They've been compared to the Eagles of Death Metal, but the Tongues are a little harder, a little filthier, a little weirder, and a lot better. (Playing Mad Maggie's at 1 AM.)

Saturday:
The Sass Dragons are as entertaining as they are indecent. They call their songs things like "Ass Scorpions" and "Bong Rip in E Minor," and their live sets—where their fast and disheveled kitchen-sink style of punk really comes into its own—reliably include public urination, nudity, and alarming levels of intoxication. (Headlining the Gasthaus at 11:30 PM.)

97-Shiki count among their number members of notable Chicago bands like Hewhocorrupts, Iron Reminders, Fourth Rotor, 8 Bark, and V.Reverse, and together they whip up mathy, noisy avant-punk full of rolling rhythms that give way unpredictably to convulsive stops and starts. (Playing Mad Maggie's at 8:30 PM.)

Heart Shaped Hate are a two-girl noise machine, screeching out songs about zombies, birthday parties, and being "Decapitated in Barbie's Dreamhouse." They slam their synths and pulverize their drums, creating a weird blend of electro, metal, and avant-punk that makes me think of a hyperactive Japanese cheerleader playing a Nintendo game where for some reason she has to score points by chewing out douchebag guys and punching bitchy women. (Playing Mad Maggie's at 9 PM.)

Sunday:
The Alright Alreadies are another all-girl group, this one featuring members of Rager and the Groodies, and they dish out pure rock 'n' roll with a glam attitude. (Playing Mad Maggie's at 4:45 PM.)

The Conniption Fitts feature members from the Sass Dragons, Das Kapital, Deth Warrant, and Bread & Bottle, and their fast, fun punk is heavy on the shredding guitars and wailing vocals. (Playing Mad Maggie's at 6:45 PM.)

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