Show #1: The Sixtyeights, Fri. May 2, 9:30 p.m. @ Lyons Den, 1934 W. Irving Park, 21+
The Sixtyeights are four undergraduate students who can't keep from giving in to their Clash fantasies; they look comfortable playing their tight and fast punk rock, so you'll have no choice but to forgive them. In my humble opinion, their attitude is more "Vintage '77" than anybody else I've seen in the last year, and like countless Brits before them, they're not afraid to use solos to get their point across. The Sixtyeights play first of four bands, and it's punk rock night, y'all.
Show #2: First Coat & Leon Chance, Sat. May 3, 10 p.m. @ Martyrs', 3855 N. Lincoln, 21+
Leon Chance and the Longshots are an endearing little country band featuring members from old HP rock bands called Streganona, Galaxy of Mailbox Whores, and Libertine. They've carved out a wonderful new personality for themselves, so that's the last time I'll mention their forbearers. First Coat play a mixture of American music that's hard to describe. Their two vocalists are such competent singers and lyricists that I've never felt the need to overanalyze their sound.
Show #3: Millimeters Mercury & The Planck Length, Sun. May 4, 9 p.m. @ Lyons Den, 21+
Can't go wrong here: HP superstars Millimeters Mercury headline, joining forces with The Planck Length (featuring U of C undergrad Matt Kellard) and locally renowned Written In The Sand. Expect good things from all three; mmHg play the catchiest blend of math rock and pop around, so why aren't they signed by now? The Plancks play well-versed instrumental math/jazz rock as a trio.
Show #4: Starlister & Spooning With Nora & The Kallikak Family, Thu. May 8, 8 p.m. @ Hutch Commons
Starlister's first all-ages show since December 5, 2002. For those of you who don't know, I'm in this band, and we play four-piece pop music with an emphasis on honest intent. Our bass player is leaving us for graduate school after this summer. We will be joined by Spooning With Nora, who are relative (but strong) newcomers to the HP scene, and The Kallikak Family, who are rock-trapped inside of a sock spinning around. This show is a benefit for the international hunger relief organization CARE; there will be an auction and raffle happening between sets.
Show #5: P1xel And The Chronic Network, Sat. May 10, 8 p.m. @ the top of the parking structure, 55th and Ellis Ave.
This will be the biggest show in HP music history. It will be the first (and perhaps the only) complete performance of P1xel's own glam rock opera, featuring costumes, lighting effects, and countless surprises, and it will be shot to live DVD using several cameras. If you only go to one Hyde Park-related show this year, it should be this one. Rumor has it that Starlister will open, but this remains unconfirmed.