» Ribfest 2012 Bands

Band Called Catch – Founded in Chicago in 2008, BCC’s catchy, folk-influenced sound has landed them on the bill with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Drive-by-Truckers, and Dawes, just to name a few. The seven-piece band is set to release its third album, The Story, this June at Metro. Be among the first to hear the new tracks. Sunday, noon, North Stage
Common LoonThe members of Champaign-based Common Loon — Matt Campbell and Rob Hirschfeld — met in kindergarten and started out as a garage band in high school. Their sound has since evolved into layered psychedelic pop, described as “dreamy,” “lush,” and “hypnotic.” The duo have appeared at SXSW and released their debut full-length album, The Long Dream of Birds, in 2010. Saturday, 6:30 p.m., North Stage
The FeaturesYou may not have heard The Features on the radio but you probably recognize them from TV. The band’s song How It Starts is featured in a commercial for the Ford Mustang. This Nashville-based group has been kicking around the indie pop-rock scene for the past decade, gaining popularity in the UK and support from fellow southern rockers, Kings of Leon, who signed the band to their own imprint. The Features have been described as a collision between Ray Davies and Elvis Costello. Saturday, 7:45 p.m., South Stage
Gold MotelThe tight, sunny pop hooks and warm melodies of Gold Motel are infused with joyous exuberance as well as sweet melancholy. The Chicago-based quintet was originally conceived as a solo project by Greta Morgan but morphed into a full-fledged band in the fall of 2009, when they played their first show as headliners at the Beat Kitchen. Gold Motel’s new self-titled LP is due out in July. Sunday, 6:30 p.m., South Stage
Heartless Bastards – Championed by the Black Keys, to whom their sound has been compared, Heartless Bastard’s evolving lineup is anchored by singer Erika Wennerstrom. Credited by the Village Voice with “simple-seeming melodies that feel archetypal,” the band has expanded its sound to include violin, banjo and other elements of country music. The group currently is touring in support of their fourth album, Arrow. Sunday, 9 p.m., South Stage
J. Roddy Walston & the Business – Though currently based in Baltimore, J. Roddy grew up in Tennessee, which explains the band’s Rust Belt-meets-Bible Belt sound. “Our music is like a gospel revival,” says J. Roddy, who was raised on a steady radio diet of classic rock and hell-fire evangelists, and learned his fleet-fingered piano stylings from his grandmother. The band’s song, Don’t Break the Needle, was recently featured in the Mark Wahlberg vehicle Contraband. Friday, 9 p.m., South Stage
Kerosene StarsKerosene Stars pays homage to all the great power pop bands. Led by singer-songwriter Scott Schaafsma, this Chicago-based outfit fuses British invasion era influences with Midwest Americana to weave sincere, infectious rock tunes. The band produced its first release, The Killer EP, in fall 2011 (digital release only), with a full-length album in the works for 2012. Saturday, noon, South Stage
The Lawrence Peters Outfit – This scrappy honky-tonk band from Chicago has a sound deep-rooted in country music traditions. Their debut album What You Been Missin’ was released nationally in January 2012. Peters, a singer, songwriter, drummer and washboard player, also volunteers for CHIRP Radio. Saturday, 4 p.m., North Stage
Megafaun – This psych-folk trio is based in Durham, N.C., but all three members — brothers Brad and Phil Cook and Joe Westerlund — hail from Wisconsin. Having played in the band DeYarmond Edison with Justin Vernon, who went on to record as Bon Iver, the guys recombined as Megafaun. Their music has been described as “headily absorbing” and a “tapestry of sound collages.” Their fourth LP, the self-titled Megafaun, was released in late 2011. Saturday, 9 p.m., North Stage
Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts – Given his pedigree as the son of Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen, Miles could have easily gone the power pop/rock route. Instead, his songs have a folksy, Americana quality. Recording sometimes as a solo artist, sometimes with The Rusted Heart, Nielsen has been praised for his natural songwriting skills, penning lyrics that feature lived-in tales of life, lost love and regret. Sunday, 7:45 p.m., North Stage
Old ShoeThis five-piece Americana folk rock band is based in Chicago but its members hail from as far away as Alaska, which shows up in lyrics that offer a diverse view of American life. Citing influences that range from Radiohead and the Shins to the Grateful Dead and Phish, it’s no surprise that the guys describe their sound as a current version of “mid ’60s psychedelia folk music.” Saturday, 1:30 p.m., North Stage
Pet Lions – With the release of their full-length debut, Houses, in 2011, this Chicago-based quartet was named an “Artist to Watch” by Metromix and caught the attention of television shows such as Greek and The Vampire Diaries. The band’s pop sound has gained warmth and depth, hitting the sweet spot between influences as varied as Sonic Youth and Tears for Fears. Saturday, 5:15 p.m., South Stage
Precious BloodPrecious Blood is a joint venture between Amy Annelle and Ralph White, both of whom also perform as solo artists. The Austin-based duo share a love of old folk and country roots music, with their sound labeled as “primitive country/bluegrass.” Listen to Annelle’s warbling vocals with your eyes closed and allow yourself to be transported to a bygone era. Sunday, 5:15 p.m., North Stage
Sarah & the Tall BoysLead singer Sarah Potenza-Crossman has been described as a mash-up between Johnny Cash and Bonnie Raitt. Along with the Tall Boys, she performs a blues-infused style of alt-country. The band’s most recent LP, A Lifetime Worth of Sin, cracked the Top 20 on the Freeform American Roots Radio Charts. Catch this Chicago-based group around town at Honky Tonk BBQ, Smoke Daddy and Uncommon Ground. Sunday, 2:45 p.m., North Stage
Sissy Mena – Carrying on the shoegazer tradition forged by My Bloody Valentine, this sonic rock trio marries a pounding rhythm section with heavy reverb and distortion to create a wall of sound, described as “pulsating with fuzz.” Their debut LP, Record Machine, was released in late 2011. Friday, 5 p.m., South Stage
The Spinto Band – Named after frontman Nick Krill’s grandfather, Roy Spinto, who secretly penned lyrics on used Cracker Jack boxes, the Delaware-based band’s catchy yet textured pop sound draws from a broad musical palette, making room for instrumentation that includes bass clarinet and kazoo. Building on the popularity of the single Oh Mandy, the band released its third album, Shy Pursuit, in May. Friday, 7:45 p.m., North Stage
Stolen SilverWhat started as a side project for Down the Line’s Dan Myers and Levi Britton has grown into a six-piece band and full-time gig. With its layered harmonies, Stolen Silver’s brand of indie folk has drawn comparisons to Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver and Seryn, to which we’d add The Head and the Heart and The Lumineers. With violin, mandolin, banjolin, harmonica and the accordian all in their toolbox, expect lots of instrument switching during live shows. Sunday, 4 p.m., South Stage
The Van Goghs – Citing influences that range from ’60s pop rock to electronica, The Van Goghs’ sound defies easy classification, though “garage-pop” comes closest. On songs like Higher to the Sun, fuzzy, slightly discordant guitar riffs pull the music back from the brink of pop confection. Saturday, 2:45 p.m., South Stage
VillageSinger/songwriter Stephen Ucherek has been fronting bands since he was in high school. As part of the Blackouts, he opened for the Strokes, Arcade Fire and the Hold Steady. Village came together in 2010, playing a “jingle jangle style” of pop that’s been compared to a looser version of Spoon. The band is debuting a new lineup at Ribfest. Sunday, 1:30 p.m., South Stage
The Wanton LooksPlaying punk-inflected power pop-rock, The Wanton Looks combine the aggression of Joan Jett with tight harmonies and “well-placed vocal hooks.” The self-titled LP from this all-female quartet features fuzz-tone chords and thumping beats. Friday, 7 p.m., South Stage

All photos are from artist web sites or Myspace pages. Additional credits: Common Loon, Deb Campbell; The Lawrence Peters Outfit, Justin Reid Tvedt; Precious Blood, Amy Gawlick; Sissy Mena, Drew Reynolds




Ribfest Chicago Schedule

    South Stage (4000 N. Lincoln Ave.)
  • 5:00 p.m. Sissy Mena
  • 7:00 p.m. The Wanton Looks
  • 9:00 p.m. J. Roddy Walston and The Business
  • North Stage (4165 N. Lincoln Ave.)
  • 6:00 p.m.Rib Eating Contest
  • 7:45 p.m. The Spinto Band
    South Stage (4000 N. Lincoln Ave.)
  • Noon Kerosene Stars
  • 2:45 p.m. The Van Goghs
  • 5:15 p.m. Pet Lions
  • 7:45 p.m. The Features
  • North Stage (4165 N. Lincoln Ave.)
  • 1:30 p.m. Old Shoe
  • 4:00 p.m. The Lawrence Peters Outfit
  • 6:30 p.m. Common Loon
  • 9:00 p.m. Megafaun
    South Stage (4000 N. Lincoln Ave.)
  • 1:30 Village
  • 4:00 p.m. Stolen Silver
  • 6:30 p.m. Gold Motel
  • 9:00 p.m. Heartless Bastards
  • North Stage (4165 N. Lincoln Ave.)
  • Noon Band Called Catch
  • 2:45 p.m. Sarah & The Tall Boys
  • 5:15 p.m. Precious Blood
  • 7:45 p.m. Miles Nielson and the Rusted Hearts