Guide To: Tomorrow Never Knows 2012

January 10, 2012 2:00 PM

Despite our best attempts to peek ahead, summer is still buried deep within your one-a-day calendar, and isn’t getting closer anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait that long for a music festival. The fourth annual iteration of this multi-venue festival finds Schuba’s, Lincoln Hall, and the Metro hosting a bevy of local talent as well as a few special visitors. We’ve summed up all the dirty details of the event – who’s playing where, which bands are competing for your time, and whether or not there’s enough happening to warrant the full five-day pass (almost certainly).


The Details:

January 11th –15th
5-day pass: $100
Individual shows: $5 –$26



Day 1: January 11th

The festival kicks off with one of the more difficult choices of the week. Schubas hosts the blissed-out electronica of Com Truise (signed to locals Ghostly International). Opening first are far-out local rockers Chandeliers and Lazer Crystal, followed by the “electro-sci-trance” of East-coasters Dom. Across town, the Italo-disco electropop and haunting vocals of Ida No’s Glass Candy will be front and center, with Johnny Jewel’s other project Chromatics also making an appearance. Italians Do It Better label-mates Desire and local Mister Joshua.

Day 2: January 12th

Day two of the fest starts to pick up steam, with four shows competing for your attention. Design and music dual threat Tycho (also on Ghostly International) takes the state at Lincoln Hall, with his sun-drenched motifs being matched by up-and-coming opener Active Child. Schubas hosts analog-loving Canadians Plants and Animals as well as the ethereal Canon Blue. Those wanting to catch red-hot comedian Hannibal Buress at Hideout are out of luck – unless you have the full festival pass, single tickets are already sold out.


Day 3: January 13th

Don’t be scared – it might be Friday the 13th, but the shows that kick off TNK’s weekend inspire anything but horror. Golden-throated crooner/rapper Theophilus London and Diplo’s favorite Canadian collaborator Lunice should prove to be an electric show at Lincoln Hall. Smart Bar has the honor of hosting Craig Richards, the musical director of legendary London club Fabric. Schubas hosts a bevy of bona-fide rockers, with Denver’s Gauntlet Hair headlining a gaggle of bands including local lovelies Like Pioneers. The Moombahton Massacre with Nadastrom and Willy Joy should make for a down-n-dirty dance party at Metro, while Flight Of The Concords funnyman Todd Barry does a set at The Hideout.

Day 4: January 14th

Saturday has several hot shows in it’s lineup, but the 800-pound gorilla of the night is notable for a different number: ten. That’s what anniversary the critically acclaimed rockers in The Walkmen are celebrating, and they haven’t lost a step. If you’d rather get your song with a little dance, the local musical historians at Numero Group will be spinning their best dusty dance floor grooves at the Hideout. Chairlift brings their twee tunes to Schubas, while L.A.’s Grouplove headlines a sold-out (for single tickets) show at Lincoln Hall.

Day 5: January 15th

For the grand finale of the fest, four big send-offs are in order. Two Gallants bring their lo-fi indie folk to Lincoln Hall with the powerful pop of Iowa City-to-Chicago transplants Death Ships. John Langford and some regulars at the Hideout will be celebrating Shel Silverstein’s more adult arts – serious poetry and country songwriting. The Dollar Disco DJs will be bringing the house down at Smart Bar with Plastic Plates and Kid Color. The closing party at Schubas will feature a hosted bar from Goose Island, scuzzy hometowners Mannequin Men shredding it up, and local siblings White Mystery shaking the walls down to give a fittingly huge finale to the fest.

Dan Morgridge is a writer from Chicago’s Ukrainian Village. He enjoys his festivals outside, inside, or with green eggs and ham.