The Chicago House Party levels up to ‘music festival’ for 2018 | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

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The Chicago House Party levels up to ‘music festival’ for 2018

Plus: Andy Ortmann spends government money on subversive noise, and Sewingneedle celebrate their new album with a Spiteful beer.

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Louie Vega headlines Pritzker Pavilion as part of the first Chicago House Music Festival this Saturday. - KARL GIANT
  • Karl Giant
  • Louie Vega headlines Pritzker Pavilion as part of the first Chicago House Music Festival this Saturday.

For a few years now the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events has hosted a free house-music party on Memorial Day weekend, and this year it's getting supersized into the Chicago House Music Festival. On Saturday, May 26, nearly two dozen acts perform on three stages in Millennium Park. Gossip Wolf can't wait to see New York nightlife king Louie Vega, best known as half of Masters at Work, headline Pritzker Pavilion with his Elements of Life project, though his 7:30 PM slot overlaps with DJ sets from Chicago legends Paul Johnson (on the Chicago Stage) and Ron Trent (on the Deep House Stage). Before the fest, the Cultural Center hosts a series of DJ and dance-music workshops as part of the Chicago House Music Conference and Dance Summit, which spans Thursday (6-9 PM) and Friday (3-10 PM).

Since 2017 noise artist Andy Ortmann, founder of Nihilist Records and Panicsville, has won two Individual Artists Program grants from DCASE, and he's using them well—in fact, one of them is funding his first solo vinyl release in ten years! Ortmann says the triple LP Pataphysical Electronics is "a culmination of what I've been working on for the last six years, since I built a modular system. It includes excerpts from several cassettes, all recorded in 2017, and some new pieces to round it out." The other grant will eventually pay for a new Panicsville double LP. On Thursday, May 31, Ortmann celebrates with a free show at the Owl, sharing the bill with Body Love (aka Ka Baird of Spires That in the Sunset Rise and drummer Michael Zerang) and Spires member Louise Bock.

This week Sewingneedle drop an album of beefy, emo-tinged indie rock called User Error. On Thursday, May 24, they throw a listening party at Easy Bar, where Spiteful Brewing will release its User Error ESB. On Friday, May 25, they play Schubas, where they'll sell User Error LPs (via Aerial Ballet) and tapes (from Already Dead).  v

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