Stop by A.V. Fest on Sunday night to see Tokyo Police Club. (Chrissy Piper)
The A.V. Club makes no apologies about its efforts to appeal to a certain kind of pop culture nerd, and the lineup of its inaugural A.V. Fest at The Hideout this weekend makes it clear that this kind of pop culture nerd likes indie rock. Counting on a big turnout from the thick-framed-glasses-wearing, vinyl-B-sides-collecting set, we pulled together some festival liner notes.
Cherish the memories:
Headliners Archers of Loaf (8:30 p.m. Sunday) and Hum (8:30 p.m. Saturday) are both standouts from the mid-’90s indie scene, but neither has succumbed to the pull of a reunion tour like many of their contemporaries. Each band is only playing a couple of dates this year, making their respective festival appearances particularly special occasions. It may have been a while since these guys have played, but both bands turn out the kind of high-energy rock that can’t help but be awesome.
Show up early:
Although capacity isn’t expected to be an issue, you’ll want to catch Chicago supergroup Like Pioneers (1 p.m. Saturday), which features members of Bound Stems, the Narrator, Chin Up Chin Up and Vacations playing upbeat, polished indie pop reminiscent of something between The New Pornographers and a harder-rocking Belle and Sebastian.
Expect some camp:
It’s no secret that the A.V. Club writers are fans of campy cultural ephemera, as their highly specific and frequently bizarre “Inventory” lists (“15 songs that make diseases [real and imaginary] rock”) make clear, so it makes sense that there are a few acts on the bill that seem willing to play up the cheese. Expect some goofiness from Eef Barzelay (4 p.m. Saturday), a folk rock singer covering Journey songs, and don’t be surprised if buzz band Cloud Nothings (2:30 p.m. Sunday) draw out the kitsch in their ’90s pop-punk sound.
Get into it:
Ignore the indie rock temptation to watch with your arms crossed all weekend. The Thermals (7 p.m. Saturday) and Tokyo Police Club (7 p.m. Sunday) both make shout-along rock that is ideal for stomping, fist-pumping or dancing. So let go of the pose and enjoy the music.
Kyle Kramer is a Metromix special contributor. email@example.com @metromixchi
Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave.
Time: Noon-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
Cost: $10 suggested donation