Here’s Who to See at Chicago Psych Fest V

This annual event at The Hideout is the best winter music fest you’ve probably never heard of. The fun starts tonight.

Catch Outer Minds at Chicago Psych Fest this Friday.   Courtesy of Outer Minds

Ditch the bitter cold for another planet—without leaving the city—this weekend at The Hideout, as the tucked away venue hosts the fifth edition of its celebration of soaring psychedelia and its many interstellar musical micro genres.

Chicago Psych Fest V: Levels Of The Experience is the best winter music fest you’ve likely never heard of, featuring a lineup of buzzing and beloved locals churning out updated takes on the sounds of the ’60s and ’70s underground.

Here’s a look at the lineup and best bets for each day:

Thursday 1/23 (show starts at 8pm)

  • Verma
  • Mako Sika
  • Energy Gown
  • Crown Larks
  • The Hummingbird
  • DJ Dawn Aquarius

Thursday’s headliner Verma crafted one of my favorite local albums of 2013, Coltan, an array of swirling soundscapes that served as the soundtrack to a Vice web series. The band’s previous offerings tread in stellar heavy-psych and Krautrock waters, so expect equal sonic doses of each. Ambient rockers Mako Sica compose hypnotic, cinematic drones with razor-sharp texturing, guttural howls, and unusual instruments while folk artist Muyassar Kurdi performs as The Hummingbird, a sort of acid-laced angel with an autoharp and haunting vocal delivery. 

Friday 1/24 (show starts at 9pm)

  • Outer Minds
  • Killer Moon
  • Moonrises
  • Underground Symposium
  • DJ Psychedelax

Local ’60s psych-pop-inspired ensemble Outer Minds is a perpetual crowd favorite, with female vocals, 12-string guitar riffage and Farfisa keyboards. Killer Moon’s catalogue draws heavily from Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath while local space-rock trio Moonrises’ spooky platter features the alto incantations of frontwoman Libby Ramer and the woozy guitar stylings of Steve Krakow, known in the scene as the psychedelic illustrator and music historian Plastic Crimewave.

Saturday 1/25 (show starts at 8pm)

  • Variety Lights
  • The Velcro Lewis Group
  • Unmanned Ship
  • onYou
  • Red Deer Cave People
  • DJ Anjru Kettering

Mercury Rev founding vocalist David Baker started his dark, meandering solo vehicle Variety Lights about eighteen years after his last record with that important progressive act. Solid psych-folk locals The Velcro Lewis Group features everyone’s favorite electric washboard player, Hideout barman Lawrence Peters. Unruly trio Unmanned Ship, which courses almost every genre represented this weekend, features Kevin Cribbin, bassist of buzzing thrash punks Oozing Wound, whose 2013 Thrill Jockey LP, Retrash, made many best of lists.

The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia Ave. Get tickets here

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