Despite the decimation of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs—a story well-covered in this blog—the much-loved Downtown Sound: New Music Mondays series will return for its third summer at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park starting on May 23 and running through July 25, with performers including Iron and Wine, Blonde Redhead, Low, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Ted Leo, Seefeel, and more.
By no means was this a given when the majority of Cultural Affairs employees were laid off late last year, and sources say the future of the program remains uncertain beyond 2011. Some though by no means all of the Cutural Affairs employees were shifted to new jobs with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, including Mike Orlove, who previously ran New Music Mondays for the city and now serves as the tourism office’s director of music programming.
Orlove co-curated this year’s programming with the tourism office’s Jack McLarnan and Mike Reed, the Chicago independent promoter behind the Pitchfork Music Festival and some of New Music Monday’s biggest coups in the past two years.
But for this summer, at least, the music will play on. Here is the schedule of acts announced on Wednesday afternoon; all shows begin at 6:30 p.m.
May 23: Bonnie “Prince” Billy featuring the Cairo Gang, and special guest to be announced
May 30: Justin Townes Earle, Andre Williams, and the Goldstars
June 6: Iron and Wine and Head and the Heart
June 13: Special guest to be announced and the Campbell Brothers
June 20: Kings Go Forth and Ben L’Oncle Soul
June 27: Low and special guest
July 4: Seefeel and Cave
July 11: Delicate Steve and Bombino
July 18: Blonde Redhead and special guest
July 25: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists and Rachel Ries
Earlier reports in this blog about the battle between the Mayor’s Office of Special Events and the Department of Cultural Affairs: