SUMMERSONIC enters its fifth year in 2015, presenting three shows in our ivy-lined rear garden on three consecutive Saturday afternoons. The lineups are as impressive as ever; twisted rockers Dead Rider, mystical enchantresses Spires That in the Sunset Rise, and metal saxophonist Bruce Lamont play on the 8th; you'll hear the throwback folk of Ryley Walker, the psychedelic rock of The Singleman Affair, and Weatherman's contemplative pop on the 15th; and the 22nd brings you Spirit Writing—an exciting new collaboration between Jon Mueller (Volcano Choir), Jaime Fennelly (Mind Over Mirrors), and Fred Lonberg-Holm—along with the post punk stylings of Toupée, and the virtuosic guitar folk of Matthew Schneider's Moon Bros. Join us for a beer and some tunes at the best-kept-secret of Chicago outdoor music festivals!


08.08, 08.15, 08.22




$10/8 students/members





Beer generously supplied by our friends at Lagunitas Brewing Company.


Lagunitas Brewing Co.

SS2015 Dead Rider, Spires That in the Sunset Rise, Bruce Lamont



Todd Rittmann, infamous from his daze in U.S. Maple, is a guitar warrior with intensive craft at his fingertips. For the past five years, he's been furthering his reputation by doing further damage with his instrument and others, and by spreading the carnage wide with Dead Rider (Matthew Espy - drums, White Christmas - bass/synth, and Todd Rittmann - guitar/vox/harmonica). It's all-out entertainment. Dead Rider move relentlessly around the borders of their sound, finding new textures throughout, which act as candy to our ears - future candy, like Day-Glo Good & Plenty in a variety of flavors approximating the savory taste of hair on flesh, the sweet smell of sub-gases and the ambivalence in the aroma of a cube of clear gelatin bombarded with micro-currents.


Sure, it's rock and roll music, and it's good fun - but Dead Rider isn't happy unless Dead Rider is reconfiguring sonic relationships, imagining the sound of a rock band reshaped into a gleaming spectacle, indulging in silly glove songs, delirious business, sweat-swapped juvenile fantasias. Lurching from pole to pole, pausing mid-stop, leaping and bursting into a double-twist and then resolving into a sweet glide; the dust they kick up in this fracas glitters gold, spicing the recipe with elevated powders of perception, deflecting metallically, hip-hoptically, free and jazzy, operatic, electronic, flashing like squad-car rollers.



Since 2001, Spires That in the Sunset Rise has released seven full length albums, Beasts In The Garden (2015), Ancient Patience Wills It Again Part 2 (2012), Ancient Patience Wills It Again (2012), Curse The Traced Bird (2008), This Is Fire (2006), Four Winds The Walker (2004), and their first self-titled (2003). Having once been a collaboration of up to five women all hailing from Decatur, Illinois, the music is now the more intimate expression of long time members Kathleen Baird and Taralie Peterson. The instrumentation remains varied and eclectic, toying with certain traditions but never fully embracing one. STITSR remains a truly unique vision of the personal and mystical and is not for the casual listener. Since its formation, STITSR have shared bills with John Zorn, Espers, The Incredible String Band, Bert Jansch, Lichens, Paul Metzger, Charlambides, Pelt, MV/EE, Faun Fables, Six Organs of Admittance, Larkin Grimm, Arrington Dionyso, Melissa Nadler, Lucky Dragons, Jack Rose, Kawabata Makoto, Daniel Higgs, Nautical Almanac, Samara Lubelski, P.G. Six, Mayor Daley, Old Time Relijun, Josef Van Wissem, and others.



Frontman of Chicago experimental metal band Yakuza, Bruce Lamont brings a wide swath of influences to his solo work. Augmenting his saxophone playing with hypnotic chants, folk guitar, and metal distrotion, Lamont has become a mainstay in the areas of the Chicago music scene where metal, jazz, and experimental music intersect. In addition to Yakuza, Lamont has performed and recorded with Ken Vandermark, Nahtmystium, Minsk, Wrekmeister Harmonies, and more.



SS2015 Ryley Walker, The Singleman Affair, Weatherman


Ryley Walker is a singer/songwriter from Chicago, IL. A lot of heady time spent improvising with jazz musicians and smoking doobies with the wrong crowd led to his newest LP, Primrose Green, available on Dead Oceans records.



The Singleman Affair is the lush 60s psych-folk of Dan Schneider. Following in the footsteps of such artists as Skip Spence, John Martyn, Tim Buckley and Fred Neil, the Singleman Affair drifts through the hazy inner thoughts of rainy afternoons set to fingerpicked acoustic guitars, spiraling strings and haunting atmospherics. This is towering psychedelia at its proudest.



Weatherman is a minimal, experimental pop collaboration between pianist/vocalist Annie Higgins (Singing in the Abbey) and drummer Jason Toth (The Handsome Family, Daniel Knox), with exploratory electronics from composer Joshua Dumas (Quarter Mile Thunder). Their inaugural recordings, engineered and mixed by Alex Inglizian at Chicago's Experimental Sound Studio, was released in a series of singles in 2015 on the La Société Expéditionnaire imprint.



SS2015 Spirit Writing, Toupee, Moon Bros.



Spirit Writing is the duo of Jaime Fennelly and Jon Mueller. Using harmonium, synthesizers, drums and voice, with occasional guest contributions, they produce raw, flowing music that is as much about the present as the past. While their sound is distinctly in the moment, the rhythms and harmonies reference patterns and layers that are seemingly timeless; the dreamlike familiarity of the collective human experience. For those familiar with the member's individual output, Fennelly's Mind Over Mirrors' rich tapestry of driven melodies, and Mueller's solo and Death Blues ecstatic pounding, this should come as no surprise. However, a new experience awaits all who will witness it. For this ESS performance, Spirit Writing will also include cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm.



"Toupee are one of Chicago's most interesting bands, both visually and sonically, and they put on a live show you won't soon forget. Everybody swaps instruments unrelentingly, so that Nick Hagen (guitar, some bass), Mark Ragassi (bass, some drums), Scott Frigo (guitar, some drums), and front woman Whitney Allen (guitar, bass, or just singing) never stay in the same configuration for long. Allen cavorts about in one of several hairy monster masks, drawing on a seemingly bottomless repertoire of odd sarcastic dances, ritualistic motions, and pure freak-out moves—and when the mask comes off, the mad staring eyes under her postapocalyptic hairdon't look like they can melt glass. The rest of the band keeps up with Allen's mesmerizing Wendy O. Williams-meets-Nico trip, veering from Killed by Death punk squalls to slow-building abstract rambles that would make NY art-punks like Television or weirdo New Zealanders like the Garbage & the Flowers sit up and take notice. In March Toupee released their first full-length LP, Dinner Parties, on the Rotted Tooth label (all screen-printed sleeves, all the time), but the way to hear this stuff is in the flesh—they're one weird-ass sexy band." —Steve Krakow, Chicago Reader



"[Matthew] Schneider’s work under the Moon Bros. moniker is time-out-of-mind cooing folk played at painstakingly patient speeds—a decorous and underheard contribution to the ambient folk fray. Perhaps his recordings are projections of future scores to Cormac McCarthy adaptations; perhaps front porch Dust Bowl blues gospel. Either way, Schneider is a pointedly preeminent experimental guitarist in this day and age." —International Anthem 

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