Since 2004, musician, artist and historian Plastic Crimewave aka Steve Krakow of Galactic Zoo Dossier/Secret History of Chicago Music/etc has curated the celebrated Million Tongues Festival. The fest has included international folk, experimental, psychedelic, and underground musical artists from as far away as Japan and the UK. Million Tongues spanned over several days at Ukrainian Village’s Empty Bottle in the early aughts, then mostly turned into one-night events. For the club's 25th Anniversary, the two day summer festival is reborn, featuring many alumni who don't appear live often these days.
MEG BAIRD played in '04 with chamber-acid-folk ensemble ESPERS, but her new explosive/sublime ensemble HERON OBLIVION (Sub Pop) with Ethan Miller and Noel Von Harmonson of COMETS ON FIRE make their Mil Tongues – and Bottle – debut. Cosmic chanteuse FURSAXA returns, leaving her off-the-grid Philadelphia forest home to play her first show in Chicago in many years, as does TX transcendent soundscape duo CHARALAMBIDES, who've played MT three times!
Making his Chicago debut after a 40 year-plus career is fingerstyle guitar god MARK FOSSON, who caught the ear of JOHN FAHEY in the 70s. His lost LP wasn’t issued until the inimitable Drag City finally put out his Lost Takoma Sessions in 2006 and we’re lucky enough to have a new LP just two weeks before his MT appearance. Aptly titled Solo Guitar, it’s being released by the lovely folks at Drag City Records on July 28.
The weekend festival is going down the second weekend of August – Fri, 8/11 & Sat, 8/12 – right after that behemoth Lollapalooza steamrolls in and out of Chicago. A welcome respite for Chicago’s more adventurous listeners and about 10x more affordable, tickets are just $12 per night, with a limited number of $20 2-day passes available.