Neon Marshmallow gets smaller, stronger; remains strange | Music Sidebar | Chicago Reader

Neon Marshmallow gets smaller, stronger; remains strange 

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A collaboration between Dan Smith (who runs the Neon Blossom cassette label) and Matt Kimmell (who maintains the concert-video site, the Neon Marshmallow Music Festival showcases notable names in experimental music, from drone to noise to ambient to electronic. For its second edition, the fest moves from the Viaduct Theater to the Empty Bottle and shrinks from four days to three (Fri-Sun 6/10-12). The lineup is also smaller—fewer than 30 artists instead of more than 90—but there are more big names. Friday's show features performances by Los Angeles duo Lucky Dragons, White Rainbow, Rene Hell, Mountains, James Plotkin (Khanate, Jodis), and Spiral Joy Band. On Saturday Pelt headlines; the bill also includes Oneohtrix Point Never, Sickness, Sword Heaven, and Outer Space, a synth project by John Elliott of Cleveland-based ambient group Emeralds. Sunday kicks off with local free-jazz-noise favorites Tiger Hatchery, playing their first in-town gig since September; also on the bill are Pulse Emitter, Mike Shiflet, minimalist beat maker Beau Wanzer, and pioneering electronic composer Morton Subotnick, who headlines with a rare solo synth set. Each show includes experimental films before the music and video projections throughout the night. On Sunday afternoon a fourth event, Sonic Celluloid, features live soundtracks to silent films performed by Sam Prekop (the Sea and Cake), Lichens, and David Daniell. Three-day passes for the fest are $70, and individual shows cost $25. Passes to Sonic Celluloid are $15. Music starts at 7 PM on all three nights, and Sonic Celluloid runs from 3-5 PM. For more info visit

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