johnandrachel_dip_final

City Arts Fest 2011: really, how can you not?

{John Roderick and Rachel Flotard / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Bands. Art. Comedy. Community. These are just a few of the things you can expect from the upcoming City Arts Festival, taking place at various venues throughout the city from Thursday, October 20th through Saturday, October 22nd. They've done a damn fine job of showcasing a ton of local artists as well as featuring some national acts, both sure to pack their respective houses — and thus, it's through a sea of tears that we give you some of our picks for what you should do to make the best of those seventy-two hours.

City Arts isn't bringing us to tears, of course, unless you count tears of JOY at reading the full lineup! But we are a little sad to report that part of our imaginary team will be in New York for CMJ this year {for those of you keeping score at home, yep: it's the same week / weekend}.

THURSDAY

The Don't-Miss: The Long Winters / Campfire OK / Cobirds Unite / Cataldo
Where: Showbox at the Market
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The Long Fucking Winters. At the Showbox. Seriously!! The rumors are true — we're presenting this show, it's going to kick ass, the night will be full of surprises, and the lineup is killer. Cataldo will be warming up the night, fresh off the release of their latest album Prison Boxing, Cobirds Unite will send the masses swooning, Campfire OK will undoubtedly win the house over… and all of this before John Roderick and Company take the stage. Any night when he and Rachel Flotard are in the same house, whether they perform together or not, is sure to go down as one for the books.

{John Osebold / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

The Runner-Upper: Seateeth
Where:
Theatre Off Jackson
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We've heard rumors that this newest project from John Osebold (of Jose Bold and "Awesome") will be premiering at City Arts. We've heard that it contains something about an island guarded by a whale. And we have no fucking idea what's going to happen or what it will be like, but we do know that John Osebold is a literal genius and that we trust his judgment.

The Honorable Mention: Allen Stone
Where: Triple Door
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FRIDAY

The Don't-Miss: Built to Spill
Where: The Moore
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Does there really need to be any discussion about this?

{Pickwick / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

The Runner-Upper: (tie) Ryan Adams / Rebecca Gates, Boxer Rebeillion / Pickwick / Canon Blue / Yuni in Taxco
Where: Benaroya Hall and The Crocodile, respectively
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If you haven't seen Ryan Adams live, trust us — heart-burstingly beautiful moments are waiting to be had. He aches some, he rocks some, and this most recent round of dates he's on has been getting nothing short of rave reviews. And if you haven't seen Pickwick live, shame on you! They've played plenty of shows (paid and free) over this past year and each one has been worth every chunk of time invested and/or every dollar spent. While many of the City Arts shows are first come, first served, you could try your luck at hitting both, but since Ryan is headlining and Pickwick is third of four, it'd probably be a tight squeeze to make both. Sad bastard theater vs. sad bastard dance party: it's up to you!

On a side note: Pickwick will be doing a free in-store at Sonic Boom this Thursday, so you might want to go there and get your fill if BTS or Mr. Adams are on your dance card for Friday night.

The Honorable Mention: All-Star Tribute to the Replacements fest. members of The Cops, Virgin Islands, Kinski, Fort Union, Concours d'Elegance, Cataldo, Kyle Bradford, Ben Fisher, Gabriel Mintz, and a special appearance by John Roderick
Where: Comet Tavern {ed. note: HOLY SHIT}
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SATURDAY

{Lovesick Empire / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

The Don't-Miss: Mudhoney, Hot Bodies in Motion, Thee Emergency, Lovesick Empire
Where: Neumos
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We can't not say the quiet part loud: it is a Major Fucking Bummer that the Fastbacks are out of this show. We don't know the story or the reason, since "members of" the FBs will be playing the night prior at the Comet for the Replacements Tribute night — but we've got to trust that all is as it should be in the music world and that the show will still go on. Mudhoney's a big ol' duh, and we are just as excited that the night starts off with one of our newer favorites, Lovesick Empire. Get there early, get up front and be prepared to have your face rocked the fuck off by the bookenders of this show!

{Thao with the Get Down Stay Down / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

The Runner-Upper: Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, Grand Hallway, Lemolo, Kris Orlowski
Where: The Crocodile
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Another one that needs no discussion. Thao WTGDSD is true to form, translating perfectly from live recording to stage, and Lemolo — well, we can't get enough of those two. Getting to see both on one stage is going to be a tremendous experience. Girl power x infinty!

Scheduling conflicts are the mark of a good festival, and this year's City Arts Fest has plenty! On top of what we've listed here, there's performances by The Hold Steady, Helio Sequence, Robyn, Daniel G. Harmann, David Schmader, Bryan John Appleby, School of Rock, Shelby Earl, The Half Brothers — the list goes on and on. You can check out the lineup, schedule, and tickets for all these shows over at City Arts Fest {dot com}.

We'll see you out at the shows!

{Photos from top: John Roderick and Rachel Flotard, John Osebold, Pickwick, Lovesick Empire, and Thao by Victoria VanBruinisse.}

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