This weekend: The Hideout’s 15th Block Party

September 22, 2011

Always the most welcome sign that summer festival insanity has come to an end, the Hideout’s annual Block Party is a different sort of beast: smaller, more friendly, much less sweaty (ah, fall!), and essentially a barbecue hosted by good friends rather than a big corporate hype-fest.

Oh, yeah: The music is much better, too.

“This is not some ‘street fair,’” declares the feistier-than-usual press release for this year’s event. (The strains of unending competition with the bigger summer fests obviously is showing on the tiny club.) “This is not some commercialized music festival. We can’t even get corporate sponsors. This is where the modern music festival ‘style’ all began, but where we still have the ‘substance.’ At the Hideout Block Party, you don’t need to bring your ‘survival kit,’ you just leave all that crap at home, and come to share, celebrate and dance. We bring it, and you loose it!”

The 15th annual shindig on the lovably seedy stretch of Wabansia just outside the club off Elston takes place on Saturday starting around noon. This year, indefatigable hosts Tim and Katie Tuten and their partners the Hinchsliff brothers have booked an incredible lineup heavy on the roots-rock legends, including the sublime Mavis Staples and soul giant Booker T. Jones.

As usual, there will be plenty of activities for the kids, too—those under 10 are admitted free—and proceeds from ticket sales ($25 in advance via the Web Site, or $35 day of show) benefit charity partners Rock for Kids and Literacy Works Chicago.

Here is an approximate list of performers and set times (and note that scheduling can be, um, a little loose).

Plastic Crimewave's Vision Celestial Guitarkestra (12:30 p.m.)

Once again, psychedelic rock mave Steve Krakow will kick things off with his 100 or more-member “Guitarkestra” and a blast of improvised chaos. Volunteer guitarists should arrive at noon with an ax and amp.

White Mystery (1:30 p.m.)

Kids These Days (2:15 p.m.)

The Eternals (3 p.m.)

Booker T. Jones (4 p.m.)

The Stax/Volt giant is touring with a full band in support of his recent solo album The Road from Memphis.

Jon Langford & the Burlington Welsh Male Chorus (5:15 p.m.)

Mavis Staples (6:30 p.m.)

Chicago-based but a national treasure, Staples clearly loves the Hidout: She recorded he 2008 live album there, she met recent collaborator Jeff Tweedy at the place, and this gig is her only Chicago appearance this year. Not to be missed.

Dosh (7:30 p.m.)

Andrew Bird (8 p.m.)

Alt-country’s finest whistler reportedly will preview tunes from his next album, due in 2012, and like Staples, he’s making his only full-band appearance this year at the block party.

Also appearing: Opera-Matic (7:45; 3:45; 4:45 p.m.) and Chances Dances (9:15; 6:00; 6:45 p.m.). More info here.