Brett Ray had proven his commitment to extreme music long before he launched Dreary North Fest last year. He’s been hosting shows for more than two decades, and he’s been releasing music through his label, Suspended Soul Tapes and Records, for nearly ten years. He also regularly tests strangers’ ability to endure high-decibel punishment in several bands, most notably as the leader of Midwestlust, whose knots of grindcore and hard-core noise bubble up like a Rat King trying to untangle himself. This group performs on night two of the second annual Dreary North, whose surprisingly dense and somewhat volatile lineup includes 65 other musical projects at the time of this writing – I expect even a few fanatics will see it a bit too much. (Most sets will last between ten and 20 minutes, otherwise the day wouldn’t be long enough.) To outsiders, extreme music may seem undifferentiated in its wickedness, but Ray recognizes its spectrum, and Dreary North’s offerings are a long way off. to be monochromatic; I’d be hard-pressed to think of another festival that spotlights longtime grind band Virgina Suppression, sludgy punk outfit Indiana Shih Tzu, and experimental Chicago hip-hop duo Angry Blackmen. Dreary North’s reach is global, with acts from Mexico (Violencia), Japan (Crimes of Love), Brazil (Test) and Belgium (Psywarfare), among others, but of course the lineup also makes a great work highlighting acts from Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois. Post-hardcore band Ableist and post-apocalyptic metal band Urine Hell help kick off the third and final day of the festival as part of a block of local acts who could play Subterranean any other night – if you’re curious about the extreme music, they would make a great entry point. The lineup is likely to continue to change after it is posted, but updates should be available on the festival’s event page on Facebook.
Morne North Fest first day Today’s bill consists of Suppression, Sirius Blvck, Landscape Collapse, Slutbomb, Hopeless Voyage, World Peace, Angry Blackmen, Sick/Tired, Spring Break, Scumbag Fred, Pig City, Magical Mind, Constituents, Choke, Utility, Breaking/Entering, Aseethe, Shitstormtrooper and Meredith Haines. Fri 9/9, 2:00 p.m., Subterranean, 2011 W. North, $40 day pass, $100 three-day pass, 17+
Morne North Fest second day Today’s bill includes Psywarfare, Crowhurst, Wake, Violencia, Pain Chain, Wounded Touch, Canadian Rifle, Midwestlust, Nunn, Intercourse, Chip7, Snuffed, Backslider, Sarin, Spit Pile, Dug, Hallucination Realized, School Drugs, Heel Turn, Citizen 2-13, Blackwater Sniper, Subservient Dominance, Blunt, Janna Lee and Stress Positions. Saturday, 10/9, 2 p.m., Underground, 2011 W. North, $40 day pass, $100 three-day pass, 17+
Dreary North Fest day three Today’s bill includes Merc, KST.DEX, Test, Niku Daruma, Rush Falknor, Sissy Spacek, Crimes of Love, Everlasting Light, Dental Work, Fuck It. . . Quit!, Swollen Organs, Nequient, Shih Tzu, Davis Ag, Dipt, DeathEnvy, Disperser, Canyons, Urine Hell, MWA, Shrivel Up, and the Ableist. Sun. 9/11, 2:00 p.m., Underground, 2011 W. North, $40 day pass, $100 three-day pass, ages 17 and up