Chicago Gets Ready for a Riot

Sixth Annual festival fires up five days and four venues full of past and present punk.

There’s been much chatter about the sixth annual edition of Chicago’s definitive punk music festival, Riot Fest, which brings everyone from X to Danzig to Weezer to the city this weekend, October 5 - 9. Started in 2005 by Michael A. Petryshyn, a corporate whiz who had moved to Chicago for its roots in the punk/ska scene, the former New York club promoter had come up with an idea to bring together all his favorite bands into one saluted performance. The first year united the Lawrence Arms and Bouncing Souls while year two saw a reunion by Chicago mainstays Naked Raygun. In the years since, Petryshyn has further developed his brand, adding days and venues to each lineup, debuting Riot Fest East in Philadelphia this past September, and questionably bringing on Red Bull as a corporate sponsor while signing mainstream acts like Weezer to Chicago’s 2011 lineup.

Controversial or not, few would argue that the 2011 edition is a noteworthy addition to Chicago’s festival season and one of the few multi-day explorations of the much-loved genre that, due to its success, shows no signs of slowing. Here are our picks for each day of Riot Fest:

Wednesday October 5

X (playing all of Los Angeles) at the Double Door

Thursday October 6

Social Distortion, The Tossers, and Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band at The Congress Theatre

Friday October 7

DANZIG LEGACY: Danzig, Samhain, Danzig & Doyle (perform MISFITS), Youth of Today, Macabre, Nachtmystium, and The Infected at the Congress Theatre

Saturday October 8

Descendents, Suicide Machines, Leftöver Crack, Strike Anywhere, The Flatliners, Flatfoot 56, The Menzingers, Shot Baker, and The Co at the Congress Theatre

Sunday October 9

Weezer, Urge Overkill, Teenage Bottlerocket, and White Mystery at the Congress Theatre

Get information on each day’s lineup and purchase tickets at

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

Keep reading... Show less

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

Keep reading... Show less

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less

Gallagher's work often suffers unfairly beside famous husband's Raymond Carver. The Man from Kinvara should permanently remedy this.

Many years ago—it had to be 1989—my sister and I attended a poetry reading given by Tess Gallagher at California State University, Northridge's Little Playhouse. We were students, new to California and poetry. My sister had a paperback copy of Raymond Carver's Cathedral, which we'd both read with youthful admiration. We knew vaguely that he'd died, but didn't really understand the full force of his fame or talent until we unwittingly went to see his widow read.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.