When: Sun., Sept. 4, 7 p.m. 2011
Every good and heavy trip requires some setup, and Chicago psych trio Dark Fog sound like they've done years of groundwork in preparation for one epic peak experience—tonight's release party for the full-length cassette Drug Portal: Heavy Dilemma (Commune), their first effort with bassist and vocalist Matt Ginsberg. Stock up on everything from the mundane world you'll need to sustain yourself and get ready to settle in for a long time—this is the sort of extremely generous album where a 14-plus-minute track ("Sky Opening 1000 Times//Slowburn") might be the climax, but not the culmination. The band tests its endurance via a long journey that traverses wah-wah hallucinations, mournful keening for lost worlds, pulsing rhythms soundtracking inexplicable sky phenomena, and that inevitable moment when dawn's light appears and washes everything flat. It's the sort of experience that's never as spontaneous as it seems, yet can never be fully planned either. Drug Portal is one of the best psych albums I've heard in years, and I'm glad it's homegrown. —Monica Kendrick Great Society Mind Destroyers and Black Wyrm Seed open.