Tuesday, June 21, 2011

18 & 19 Jun 11 - Peace Fest 2011

...the whole world is watching...

It may not have been the actual Woodstock Music Festival, blogspot readers, but it certainly had the essence and free-love spirit for hundreds (or close to thousands) gathered at Chicago Peace Fest 2011! This three-day music, arts and more festival embodied the following main principles - love, free speech, peace, happiness and of course - the right to smoke weed within the heart of Lincoln Park. From the Baby Boomer hippies to Xers as well as Gen-Y and Millennials, everyone kept alive the vibrant spirit of the flower power youth while helping promote peace for all humankind.

Supporting free speech and local music at this longest running one of a kind festival, General Patton (of General Patton & His Privates) along with his staff organizers rocked out the park with one of the most colorful of all summertime fests happening in Chicago. And it was FREE for all who attended, blogspot readers. There were vendors selling organic/veggie eats and treats (i.e. Heartland Cafe from Rogers Park), bubbles guns to tie-dyed shirts as well as bongs and pipes ...rasta hats, jewelry, hula hoops (with free lessons) and a whole lot more amidst the ever flowing scent of weed (among other things) in the air. Don't worry, SouthSide pulled a "Bill Clinton" while attending the Peace Fest ...she didn't smoke just inhaled. Plus supporters for Ron Paul 2012 and Illinois NORML made their political presence known as well as many religious groups respresenting Jews For Jesus, Hare Krishnas and others congregating in the park this weekend.

And what's a fest without rockin' music to put you in the hippie free love mood? Throughout this three-day weekend, Chicago Peace Fest boasted some of the best within the local underground scene performing on stage. The lineup featured a wide variety of acts and music from reggae/ska to fusion/experimental, psychedelia rock and acoustic by Papa G, School of Rock, Environmental Encroachment and General Patton & His Privates. On Saturday, SouthSide rocked the fest to Flabby Hoffman Trio and its wickedly wild psychedelia/experiemental (and other eclectic rhythms) rock sound. Though not really a "Trio" per se, this lively band features a random cast of characters performing with the local masked legend known as Flabby Hoffman such as Sid Yiddish (yes, the one and only Sid Yiddish from America's Got Talent television show), Lizard, and Riff Raff (a teen phenom guitarist). Flabby's uniquely strange and unusual music stemmed from four guitars (two basses and electrics), keyboards, thermin, percussions, harmonica, saxophone and much more. In other words, blogspot readers, this crowd was rocked by Chicago's only psychedelically organic rock orchestra that totally fit the scene of the day. This band created a dynamic experience which included Sid Yiddish and his famous out of this world Pop Culture hiakus between songs.

During this hour long set (which didn't feel like an hour had passed when it was over), Flabby's music attracted a wide variety of listeners of all ages as well as expert hoopers and dancers groovin' and vibin' to the wild guitar riffs and psychedelia soundwave. Believe it or not, the Flabby Hoffman Trio doesn't really "practice" their show performances beforehand like most bands ...and that's the beauty of what makes the music (and experience) so magically unique. Flabby and the band simply "practice" on stage letting the spirit and vibe of the sound itself flow continuously which in turn took them and the crowd to wherever the charts unknown ended. Rocking the stage with songs like Naval Inscented Bong Loads and Tina Turner (yes, those are actual song titles, blogspot readers), one could appreciate the melodic rises and falls from the music that (sometimes) made no literal sense yet jammed to a tune reminiscent of the late 60s where you merely immerse yourself into the intense Flabby opus-sounding rock epics. Another thing to know about this artist's whacky and weird song titles - they contain a double meaning but are mostly political/socio commentaries like in the song Tina Turner, it's not about the legendary rock icon but about not belonging in a world of the bastards occupying the corner offices. If you truly wanted to hear something strange and incredibly groovy on the weird meter, listen to the Flabby Hoffman Trio version of the H.R. Puff-n-Stuff theme song which ended his rockin' set featuring H.R. himself (though he couldn't sing the words to his own song) and Rockasaurus! For more information about Flabby Hoffman and where his jam session band will be rockin' again, visit http://www.flabbyhoffman.com.

On Sunday, SouthSide rocked part of the afternoon at the final day of Chicago Peace Fest 2011 beginning with her good friends, Monk 9 (http://www.monk9.com) who kicked off the long lineup of hot local music. This rockin' costumed duo performed another electrifying set of space experimental/psychedelia music featuring songs like Down With Me and Nasty Girl in which this reviewer highly suggests checking out their YouTube hit about Charlie Sheen (it's nose candy, blogspot readers) and their Neil Diamond cover of Love On The Rocks. This reviewer also suggests checking out one of Chicago's oldest punk/rock band, Dead Steel Mill (http://www.myspace.com/deadsteelmill) however do not under any circumstances refer to its charismatic front man, Cornorator, as "old", blogspot readers. Yes, kiddies, this Boomer could definitely teach you a thing or two on how to truly rock a stage ...and he certainly did as if he was still in his twenties or even thirties. He tore up the stage with his lively jig-like dance moves while venting the most heated punk angst ever heard over the mic by this reviewer. And believe it or not, his young counterparts rockin' Dead's hardcore punk sound easily matched their leader's high energy note for note. Performing songs like Republicat (dedicated to our world leaders) and Ain't No Problems (the most venomous fervor ever witnessed), Dead Steel Mill rocked out their peformance with a classic Ramones' Blitzkrieg Bop before ending with three extra encores.

Good friend, Phillip Morris (http://www.myspace.com/phillipmorris) was also there rockin' the Peace Fest with a lively performance featuring his own style of lyrical hiphop/rap infused with programmed music set amidst his political/socio words. SouthSide has long enjoyed this local artist and his use of spotlighting the ills of society as well as the government though negative but trying to accenuate the postive as a way to "educate" the masses into action for change. Yet, this being Father's Day, his set had an extra special surprise when his son, Malik, joined him for the closing song (and SouthSide's favorite) It's A Nightmare. Next to perform was the lively alternative/rock band known as Poverty Tax (http://www.myspace.com/povertytax). Despite having a few technical difficulties (mostly mic issues), this band rocked out its performance with an extended drum-percussion circle jam session featuring members of Strange Ranger, General Patton and others keeping the happy dancers and crowd intuned to the rhythmic beats. It was one rockin' drum session that didn't want to quit as more musicians and happy dancers joined in the festival fun in front of the stage. Then it was another lively yet eclectic performance of the unusual by SouthSide's good friends, Strange Ranger (http://www.mypace.com/5trangeranger) featuring DJ I-Rock at the turntables/mixers. Jackson and his cast of characters rocked the stage with songs like Taboo, Take Some Acid - nice pelvic action too, and Popcorn & Watermelon (let's just say, they have funky eating habits in this band) as well as the ever popular Pork Chop "...greasy greasy ...spank that booty ...easy easy" song. Plus SouthSide along with General Patton received a huge shout out before Ranger performed the Facts Of Life theme song. Sadly this reviewer had to end her day at Peace Fest 2011 during her friend's Wally Dogger (http://www.wallydogger.com) performance due to her impending evening shows at Elbo Room and Double Door.

If you have never partaken in Chicago's Peace Fest (and you don't have to be stoner to attend), this reviewer highly suggests blogspot readers signing up for the Peace Fest Campout which will feature 30+ bands rockin' two stages! For two days and nights, peace loving hippie campers will converge at Vasa Park in Elgin, IL on July 29 thru 31 - admission is $40. Visit http://www.peacefest.org for more information and tickets.

Until next time, support your local scene,

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