3 Million Tongues Festival Licks Chicago

Michael Yonkers with Plastic Crimewave Sound by Rob Karlic
Michael Yonkers with Plastic Crimewave Sound by Rob Karlic
posted Wednesday Nov 15th, 2006

This weekend in Chicago, the weirdest set of noise-dedicated denizens will come out en mass to partake in three swirling days of psychedelic revelry at the third annual 3 Million Tongues Festival, curated by the sonically insatiable Plastic Crimewave and his Galactic Zoo Dossier. Friday through Sunday is your chance to soak in all the off-centered sounds of rock'n roll music's most eclectic fringe universe with a talented variety of acts that spans from the 60s to the present day of mind altering, boundary-pushing original music. Among the dazzling menagerie of performers, Friday's headliner Bert Jansch (who co-founded the 60s British folk band Pentangle) is an unheralded and highly influential experimental guitarist who's inspired many of the mid 60s brightest musical minds, and he'll be supporting his newest album on Drag City. Celebrated proto-punk saxophonist Steve MacKay and the Radon Ensemble also grace the stage Friday along with the uncultivated seduction of Spires That in the Sunset Rise, and Nick Schillace rounded out with a few more oddly cool sidestage performances. Saturday's events are culminating with the droned-out Siltbreeze charmers, the Charalambides and the unparagoned genius of Michael Yonkers with his backup band, the Blind Shake. For those unfamiliar with Yonkers' epic 'Microminiature Love' and his other unsettling hymns of personal devastation and desolation, a great starting point would be to check out his 2003 Sub Pop collection of original 1968 recordings, which should instantly crush your will and have you scrambling to hear more. Once again, the rest of the evening's special supports acts are not to be missed and be sure to save some energy for Sunday's lineup as well.

With the psyched-out Portland 70s druids called Smegma headlining the final day of the fest, you know the paint will really begin to peel as the free noise builds momentum, and you'd better be ready to pick up the fragments of your withered soul before it gets swept up with the rest of the weekend's discarded rubbish. Also, look out for Chicago upstarts Alex & the Drummer to meld the orgone energy of the Silver Apples into the zooted nihilism of Magma, which should raise more than a few shaved eyebrows. Along with the other splendid special guests, they will effectively cap off another enduring lysergic weekend of uneasy listening in the arcane world of underground rock music. All three nights at the Empty Bottle is where you can catch this action, and tickets are still available HERE....

Check out Bert Jansch's "Blackwater Side" later adapted by Jimmy Page and made into "Black Mountainside"

...and check out a video from Smegma here: