It’s that time of year again. When the sun comes out a little more and the snow begins to fade… unless you’re in Chicago. These changes in season mean only one thing, SXSW is coming.

This year our fine city has dozens of bands heading to Austin to play SXSW showcases. Before they can enjoy the Texas spring however, we get to brave the cold for one last send-off party at The Hideout.


Saturday’s send off show brings together 11 local acts for an entire day’s worth of live music. Better yet, the proceeds go to help these bands make the trek south to Austin next week.

The festivities start at 1pm with the traditional group photo and continue well into the evening. Here’s the full schedule, as well as some tracks from the acts we’re most excited to see tomorrow night.

1:30 – 2:00 – Wrekmeister Harmonies

Chicago-based sound artist J.R. Robinson has been creating live, ambient tonefields in museums around the US and Europe over the past two years. Robinson has injected these recordings into collaborations with some like-minded heavy hitters from the noise, post-rock and jazz worlds. The result is a distinctive hybrid of sound art and avant-garde music.

2:30 – 3:00 – Ryley Walker

Ryley is a brilliant Chicago singer/songwriter. He recently put on a single on Addenda records called “Clear The Sky” and it’s quickly becoming a favorite of mine. He’s already becoming an underground folk sensation at the ripe young age of 23. Pick up this 7″ single and catch him live some time.

3:30 – 4:00 – Marrow

This four-piece is the newest indie rock project from 3 of the former members of Kids These Days. Even though they’re just getting started, the band has wasted no time finding a sound that fits them and making some great new music together.

4:30 – 5:00 – Basic Cable

A huge part of the Chicago garage rock family, Basic Cable bring a ton of punk rock energy to the stage and on their recordings. Their album, I’m Good to Drive is full of truly great drinking songs, come out and have a few with the boys.

5:30 – 6:00 – Absolutely Not

One of the many projects from local musician Donnie Moore, Absolutely Not falls somewhere between garage, punk, and glam. Like a modern day T-Rex with more synth. They’re celebrating extra hard this weekend with Saturday being the official release of their Haunted House Pizza Party EP.  Pick up the limited edition cassette at the show and preview it right now over on bandcamp.

6:30 – 7:00 – Jon Langford & Skull Orchard

Jon Langford joins Skull Orchard via his other popular project the Waco Brothers. The collaboration has resulted in a brilliant rock sound that is hard not to enjoy. There are elements of country, blues, folk and much more, but at it’s heart these guys just play Rock N’ Roll.

7:30 – 8:00 – Bonzie

Nina Ferraro, aka Bonzie, is not even old enough to drink yet but writes with an unwavering honesty that is extremely refreshing in a world of reheated teen pop stars.  With a powerful album under her belt already she’s recently hit the studio with Chicago’s legendary producer Steve Albini. We’ve featured her on the blog before but we can’t wait to catch her live set!

8:30 – 9:00 – Bailiff

After sometime collaborating with a rotating cast of musicians, Bailiff’s Josh Siegel and Ren Matthew decided to add multi-instrumentalist Owen O’Malley to the official roster and the band was complete. The bands has blues-rock beginning but their sound is anything but easy to place into one genre. Check out this track from their 2011 debut, Red Ballon, and you’ll see what I mean.

9:30 – 10:00 – Outer Minds

A Chicago showcase wouldn’t be complete without Outer Minds. They’ve continually put out some of the best ’60s inspired psychedelic pop in the country. It’s always a joy to see them live and I do my best to catch them every time they play. The vocal harmonies in “Gimme a Reason” just can’t be beat.

10:30 – 1:100 – Kins

Kins originally formed in late 2010, around a collection of home-demos by frontman Thomas Savage. Since then the band has gone on to make angst-filled, guitar driven indie rock like no other band can. The british based band is hitting Chicago before they join the party in Austin, playing a slew of SXSW showcases including the KCRW Official Nighttime Showcase and IFC Fairgrounds! Showcase. Don’t miss this chance to see them in the Midwest, who knows when it’ll come again.

11:30 – 12:00 – Radar Eyes

Hot off the heels of a sold-out show with Courtney Barnett and a new 7″ release on HoZac, Radar Eyes is getting more attention than ever before. Their brand of Lo-Fi psychedelic garage rock is filled with catchy pop hooks that really make them stand out among all the other reverb drenched bands out there. With two phenomenal singles out this year, their live show is better than ever. Stick around and see them one last time before they head to Austin this month.

It’s a long day of music but it’s a party you won’t want to miss. If you can’t make it all the way down to Austin this spring then this is a great way to see some of the Chicago talent that’ll be gracing the SXSW stages.

Admission is $10 at the door and it’s all going down at The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia). We’ll see you there.