Though the forecast predicts weekend thunderstorms, a Summer Breeze will be blowing into Hyde Park this Saturday. Summer Breeze, a day-long festival that gives UChicago students a much-needed opportunity to flee the Reg, forget about the “life of the mind,” and turn their attention to more typical summer college activities with multiple live concerts, a carnival, and formerly, University-subsidized day-drinking. The festival is a joint effort between the Major Activities Board (MAB), Council on University Programming (COUP), and WHPK 88.5 FM, the school’s non-profit radio station. Each group is hosting its own leg of the event, with MAB and WHPK organizing concerts and COUP throwing a carnival.
Location: Main Quads
A perennial favorite, COUP will be providing a huge spread of free food, featuring Jamba Juice, soft pretzels, burgers, and other grilled items, and an ice cream truck. After students get their sugar highs, they can head over to the six different inflatables, the hypnotist, or the digital photobooth. Also appearing at the carnival are ten different student performance groups: the Folk Arts Community, UChicago Bhangra, Gingarte Capoeira, Dirt Red Brass Band, Voices in Your Head, The Koong, RBIM Irish Dance, PhiNix, Maya, and Raas.
WHPK'S SUMMER BREEZE
Location: Main Quads
A daytime companion to the carnival, the WHPK [Punk] Summer Breeze show will feature six independent [punk] bands as an alternative to the MAB lineup. The WHPK acts for this year are from Chicago, Detroit, Louisville, and Austin, but will be showing up to campus to the tune of three chords.
Tyvek: Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, this alternative punk band played its first show in 2005. Its most recent album, On Triple Beams, was released last fall and, along with the band’s name itself, clearly draws inspiration from efforts to revitalize and rebuild the members’ hometown. In a review of its single called “Wayne County Roads,” a song inspired by the band members’ many young friends who have moved away from the Detroit area, Pitchfork called its sound “explosive and restrained, stupid-simple and arch in the same breath.”
Geronimo!: This Chicago indie-pop band is another group that has been praised for the “explosive” moments in its music. In addition to two full-length albums, the trio has a project called Buzz Yr Girlfriend, a collection of recycled cassette tapes with four new Geronimo! tracks on one side and mysterious music on the other (whatever the tape originally played before the band repurposed it). There are three editions of the project to date; the most recent, Vol 3 - The Metal David Byrne, was released in March.
OOZE: Another Chicago group, OOZE, is an industrial hardcore band. Its last.fm page says, “OOZE fittingly attacks the stage with their electro assault as if the apocalypse is here and they are the radioactive hot outer plume of the Mushroom cloud.” Founded in 1992, OOZE has released two EPs and went on a U.S. tour in 2002.
Anwar Sadat: Hailing from Louisville, Anwar Sadat is a post-punk group whose most recent record, Gold, dropped on February 12. Its titular track is full of growly vocals, distorted chords, and cries of, “Why does it take so long?/Why do you wait so long?”
Spray Paint: The Chicago Reader has praised Spray Paint, an Austin noise-rock group, for its “jumpy noise-punk with a wonky, sketchy vibe and a country-fried drawl.” Its LP, Spray Paint, was released on S.S. Records this January.
Dikes of Holland: Also from Austin, Dikes of Holland, a garage punk band, released its second album titled Braindead USA in July 2012. The group of five includes Liz Burrito, the only female performer who will take either stage of the Summer Breeze concerts this year. Her vocals are showcased on the verses of tracks such as “Meat Eaters,” a driving song with energetic, group-chanted choruses.
MAB'S SUMMER BREEZE
Cost: $20 Students, $25 Staff
Location: Hutch Courtyard
MAB received significant criticism from the 21-plus crowd this year due to the elimination of the traditional Beer Garden, which it cut along with the Winter Comedy Show. The savings bring UChicago the following line-up:
Nelly: Headlining this year’s Summer Breeze is hip-hop recording artist Nelly, from St. Louis, Missouri. His 2000 debut, Country Grammar, and its titular single are among his best-known works, as well as tracks like “Hot in Herre” and “Air Force Ones.” Perhaps his most known venture is his stake in Apple Bottoms, the denim label that has been made iconic by Flo Rida and T-Pain in their song “Low.”
Lunice: Lunice, a Canadian producer and DJ, entered the entertainment business as a competitive break-dancer in the early 2000s and began making his own music in 2007. Together with Hudson Mohawke, he performs as the group TNIGHT. On his own, he creates remix versions of artists such as The xx, Deerhunter, Ryan Leslie, and Foster The People.
Smith Westerns: Chicago natives Smith Westerns are replacing AraabMUZIK, the originally advertised act who is recovering from gunshot wounds. A refreshing addition that brings some much-needed diversity to the line-up, the indie rock group is no newcomer to Summer Breeze; it performed at WHPK’s festival in 2008. After a self-titled debut album on HoZac Records, it released Dye It Blonde in 2011, a Britpop inspired full-length album which received an 8.4 rating from Pitchfork.