Chicago Noise Pop Festival To Include Experimental Jazz

Sleater-Kinney, Wire and Jeff Tweedy with Jim O'Rourke slated for May 10–15 festival.

A rare collaboration between alt-country songwriter Jeff Tweedy and avant-garde guitarist Jim O'Rourke is one of several showcases designed to set the first Chicago Noise Pop apart from other music fests.

In addition to indie-pop and punk acts such as Sleater-Kinney, Wire, Apples in Stereo, Grandaddy and Modest Mouse, experimental jazz makes up a hefty portion of the May 10–15 bill. Chicago Noise Pop, the Windy City edition of the annual San Francisco indie-rock festival, also will incorporate the fourth annual Empty Bottle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music.

"We wanted it to be a wider, more challenging thing that would cross audiences more and that would reflect what goes on in Chicago," said festival co-producer David Viecelli.

The festival will include the American debuts of several jazz and experimental artists, including German percussionist Gunter "Baby" Sommer, Dutch pianist Cor Fuhler, as well as Danish electronic-rock outfit Silo. Other players on the bill include rock singer/songwriter John Doe, Mekons member Jon Langford, Versus, the Bangs, plus Ken Vandermark's Sound in Action Trio (with Sun Ra drummer Robert Barry) and the Chicago Underground Quartet.

Tweedy, who as frontman for Wilco has penned such songs as "Monday" (RealAudio excerpt), and O'Rourke are expected to work on original material and covers beginning in April, Viecelli said.

"Jeff and Jim could very well put something together that will offend both their fans," he said.

Noise Pop launched in San Francisco in 1993. This year's edition of the Bay Area festival, held in the first week of March, included shows by X, Bob Mould, the Magnetic Fields, Man ... or Astro-Man? and the Fastbacks.