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Kicking off at 8pm at the Bottom Lounge ($10, 1375 W. Lake) is an outstanding bill of local bands, headlined by the great psych-rock trio Allá - a great Pitchfork alternative or digestif.
A couple notes:
* Allá: My favorite local band, greatly looking forward to seeing them live. I started listening to them after Miles Raymer raved about them in the Reader - "the songs' ratio of hooky pop to artsy experimentation hits the sweet spot where you can almost hear that an indie record's gonna blow up" - and they're everything he promised. The obvious comparison is Os Mutantes, challenging, odd, Latin-influenced psych-rock, but Allá's sound is less explicitly weird and more influenced by rock, orch-pop, and ambient music.
It surprised me, but shouldn't have, when they covered songs by Faust and Terry Riley & John Cale on their recent "mini-album" (digs). Their verson of the latter's "Church of Anthrax" is a stunner. They've also got a slinky cover of Kanye's "Love Lockdown" for good measure. It's a great odds-and-ends album, but start with Es Tiempo, which is a masterpiece. You can check out cuts from both albums at their MySpace page.
* The Smith Westerns: Probably the city's buzziest band right now, having shown up in the Reader, Fader, Prefix, Pitchfork's best new music, Gorilla vs Bear, and lots of other hep outlets. Great lo-fi indie rock by freakishly young guys; download "Be My Girl" here.
NB: check out our complete critical guide to the Pitchfork festival.