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April 29, 2014

Downtown Sound Indie Rock and Pop Music Series Returns to Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, June 2 – August 11

Jamey Lundblad    312.744.2493 Jamey.Lundblad@cityofchicago.org

Downtown Sound, Millennium Park’s popular Monday night music series, returns beginning on June 2 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. The FREE series will continue on consecutive Monday evenings, June 2 – August 11 (no concert July 28). The innovative series offers an eclectic mix of indie rock music and pop. Highlights of the 2014 series include Omar Souleyman, Richard Thompson and Robbie Fulks.

Memorial Day through September, DCASE will mark the 10th anniversary of Millennium Park – Chicago’s showplace for cutting-edge art, architecture, landscape design, music and more. The Millennium Park 10th Anniversary Summer Celebration will feature dozens of FREE events and exhibitions including new, monumental sculptures by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, designer of Crown Fountain; indie rock, electronica, jazz, classical and world music; films, simulcasts and documentaries shown on an outdoor, 40-foot LED screen; family activities; workouts and more.

 

June 2, 6:30pm

Robbie Fulks + Funeral Bonsai Wedding

Robbie Fulks, Chicago’s prodigiously talented singer, songwriter and guitarist, has the soul of a country singer and the mind of a vaudevillian. Often lost in the deserved accolades for being a fabulously unique, clever, and heartfelt writer is the fact that he’s also one of the best guitarists around. Steve Dawson, leader of Chicago folk-rock group Dolly Varden, has joined forces with some of the city’s most revered improvising musicians to form a new band called Funeral Bonsai Wedding.

 

June 9, 6:30pm

Omar Souleyman + Joshua Abrams’ Natural Information Society

Hailing from Syria, Omar Souleyman not only changed the vibe of weddings throughout the Middle East with his Shaabi street sound, but also brought it to the West through his notorious late night festival slots. His latest release, Wenu Wenu, was produced by Kieran Hebden (Four Tet). Natural Information Society is the genre-defying project of Chicago bassist Joshua Abrams. In performance the music revolves around the sound of the guimbri (a Gnawan lute), integrating composition and improvisation to create hypnotic, highly rhythmic, sustained psychedelic environments.

 

June 16, 6:30pm

An evening with Richard Thompson and his Electric Trio

Named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of All Time, Richard Thompson is also one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and prolific songwriters. Having co-founded the groundbreaking group Fairport Convention as a teenager in the 1960s, Richard Thompson and his mates virtually invented British Folk Rock. By the age of 21 he left the band to pursue his own career, followed by a decade-long musical partnership with his then-wife Linda, to over 30 years as a highly successful solo artist. His last album Electric, was produced by studio extraordinaire Buddy Miller, and released by New West records in February of 2013. For his Millennium Park debut, Mr. Thompson will play a solo acoustic set followed by a full electric set with his trio.

After the show, stay for a screening of the 1998 film Rushmore at 8:30pm as part of Chicago Bike Week presented by the Goose Island Beer Company.Bob Mould + Split Single

 

June 23, 6:30pm

Bob Mould + Split Single

Bob Mould’s journey as singer-songwriter, guitarist, author, DJ and all-around MVP began in 1979 with the formation of Hüsker Dü. In 1988, Mould began the first part of his solo career with the albums Workbook and Black Sheets of Rain. In 1992, Bob gave the world Sugar, a reimagined power. Now well into his fourth decade as a singer-songwriter, Mould is as relevant, ferocious and poignant as he has ever. The new album Beauty & Ruin may very well be the most epic emotional roller coaster ever pressed into 36 minutes. Split Single is the new project from Jason Narducy. Narducy recorded the album “Fragmented World” with Spoon’s Britt Daniel, and Superchunk/Mountain Goats drummer Jon Wurster to craft a plush collection of rock songs. He will be performing these songs with Chicago musicians Tim Remis and Jake Smith.

 

June 30, 6:30pm

My Brightest Diamond + White Mystery

Shara Worden's voice and arresting live performances have left audiences thunderstruck from the Sydney Opera House to Lincoln Center to the House of Blues. A multi-instrumentalist and trained opera singer, she’s performed under the experimental-pop moniker My Brightest Diamond for the last seven years, and has collaborated with The Decemberists’ on their The Hazards of Love, Sufjan Stevens, David Byrne, Brooklyn Rider, Bryce and Aaron Dessner in The Long Count, and appeared recently in the work of Matthew Barney’s opera, River of Fundament. Her new album is released in fall 2014. Chicago brother/sister duo White Mystery, Miss Alex White & Francis Scott Key White, round out the bill with their bombastic rock attack.

 

July 7, 6:30pm

Joe Pug + Hurray For the Riff Raff

Joe Pug is a songwriter from Austin, TX, by way of Chicago. With a modern take on the folk tradition and a work ethic that reflects his years as a carpenter, Pug’s ascension to the national spotlight challenged the traditional rulebook of the industry, enlisting fans directly to spread the gospel of his songs which balance sharp narrative, social criticism and passionate delivery. Hurray For The Riff Raff is New Orleans-based songwriter Alynda Lee Segarra, but in many ways it’s much more than that: it’s a young woman leaving her indelible stamp on the American folk tradition.

 

July 14, 6:30pm

Noura Mint Seymali + Ted Sirota’s Heavyweight Dub

Noura Mint Seymali is one of Mauritania’s foremost musical emissaries and a nationally beloved star, having begun her career at age 13, as a supporting vocalist with her legendary step-mother Dimi Mint Abba. Drawing on Mauritania’s unique intersection of Arab and sub-Saharan African culture, Noura Mint Seymali pushes the dialectic of Mauritanian griot music forward into deep space. Heavyweight Dub is the brainchild of Chicago drummer and bandleader Ted Sirota. In 2013 they recorded with Reggae Dub legend Scientist for their debut album.

 

July 21, 6:30pm

The special headliners for this Downtown Sound concert will be announced at a later date. The evening’s opener is Chicago’s Pillars & Tongues, performing cinematic art-rock with lush soundscapes and haunting vocals.

 

August 4, 6:30pm

Maps & Atlases + Wooden Shjips

Maps & Atlases is a Chicago rock band who defies easy categorization. Their experimental and traditional song-forms collide with hymnal harmonies, percolating rhythms and maximalist creativity, resulting in boundary-busting, asymmetrical pop. Wooden Shjips, recording on Chicago’s Thrill Jockey label, transform heavy psychedelic rock into minimalist masterpieces.

 

August 11, 6:30pm

Russian Circles + Colin Stetson

Chicago’s Russian Circles bring their soaring, triumphant instrumental metal to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, showcasing their 2013 release Memorial. Opening is Colin Stetson, who spent the last two years playing saxophone with Bon Iver. Here he performs works from his 2013 solo album, New History Warfare Volume 3: To See More Light, using a stunning circular breathing technique and unprecedented approach to the instrument to create dense cascading layers of sound.

 

Downtown Sound is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and sponsored by 93XRT, Chicago Tribune, Cliff Bar, Goose Island Beer Company, Millennium Garages and Southwest Airlines.

Millennium Park is located on Michigan Avenue, bordered by Randolph St. to the north, Columbus Dr. to the east and Monroe St. to the south. The Park is open 6am–11pm daily. Convenient parking is located in the Millennium Park Garage (entrance on Columbus at Monroe or Randolph) and Grant Park North. For the latest news and events, visit millenniumpark.org, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, @Millennium_Park.

 

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.

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NOTE TO MEDIA

Working media seeking to review or photograph Loops and Variations concerts should submit their requests in writing to Jamey Lundblad at Jamey.Lundblad@cityofchicago.org. Please identify the concert, the media outlet for which you are reviewing or photographing – plus contact information, including phone and email. News crews are limited to shooting only five minutes of music performance.