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10 must-see bands at Do-Division Street Fest

JC Brooks   The Uptown Sound | SUPPLIED PHOTO

JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound | SUPPLIED PHOTO

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Do-Division Street Fest & Sidewalk Sale

When: May 30-June 1

Where: Division Street,
from Damen to Leavitt

Suggested donation: $5


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Updated: June 30, 2014 12:34PM

The Do-Division Street Fest, now in its eighth year, is the “Memorial Day” of summer music festivals, kicking off the season with a swath of shopping, eating and most importantly, music. While the fest is officially named for the stretch of city blocks it covers (Damen to Leavitt), it might also be a subtle clue to do the math — 30 great bands divided by a suggested $5 donation and it’s a no-brainer. Here are our top 10 picks of must-see acts, presented by The Empty Bottle and Subterranean.

Oozing Wound

Their music videos look like cable access insomnia theater, they have a song called “Everyone I Hate Should Be Killed,” and they just released a split single with Black Pus (just picture that). The local trash metal trio is weird, comedic, undecipherable and as entertaining as they come. 7 p.m. Friday


When teenage titans Kids These Days parted ways last year, everyone knew it would only be a matter of time before the Whitney Young alums started offshoots. So came Marrow, a quartet featuring songwriting pair Macie Stewart and Liam Cunningham that trades the rap rhymes and horn solos for a more rock/pop approach. 7:15 p.m. Friday

High on Fire

Fight your way up front — the sludge metal troupe is worth the weekend ear drone. The Oakland power trio is led by frontman Matt Pike, whose massive guitar work is met with a vocal style recalling Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister. Six albums pad the set list at the fest and two Empty Bottle after shows. 8:30 p.m. Friday

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound

Bloodshot Records troubadours are some sharp-dressed men modernizing soul music with hints of post-punk, garage rock and instrumental funk, helped by a theatric Chuck Berry meets James Brown frontman. 8:45 p.m. Friday

The Arts of Life Band

Someone once said, “the only disability in life is a bad attitude,” and this high-energy collaborative project proves it. The group pairs developmentally challenged creatives with practicing musicians who together make beautiful music — and start up a dance party every time. 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Martin Van Ruin

The Bob Dylan and Neil Young comparisons are inescapable for this new folk rock supergroup featuring members of local groups Derek Nelson & The Musicians and Jenny Dragon, Planetsexplode. Jeff Tweedy would be proud. 6 p.m. Saturday

Screaming Females

New Jersey rock can sometimes get a bad rap but not for this raw, riot grrl-inspired trio that hints at its banshee frontwoman Melissa Paternoster. Earlier this year, the DIY group released their first live album, “Live at The Hideout,” which goes to show all their Chicago shows are memorable. 7 p.m. Saturday

Bass Drum of Death

No death wish here. Rather, a lot of life in this gregarious noise project. Started as a singular mission by Mississippian John Barrett, the now duo has produced two well-received garage rock opuses that recall Ty Segall and Wavves. 8:30 p.m. Saturday


Local punk/stoner rockers might make mix tapes popular again because the music from their few and far between EP and singles would be everyone’s pick to show off good taste. With the promise of new music and more gigs, they’re outgrowing basement culture. 4:30 p.m. Sunday

J Mascis

If you missed Dinosaur Jr. at Riot Fest last year or didn’t get your hands on that newly released limited-edition book, here’s a consolation prize: The group’s fearless leader J Mascis returns this summer with a set list that likely will include the ’90s notables and tracks from his acoustic-heavy solo debut. 9 p.m. Sunday

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