I wasn’t into Wire when I was younger. It wasn’t until a friend gave me their 2011 album Red Barked Tree that I really gave them a serious listen. The album is solid; far better than you’d expect from a band 30 years into their career. And their latest album, a self-titled haymaker sure to take your breath away, is even more impressive.
But we’re not talking about either of those records today. 1991’s The Drill is almost 25 years old and is still one of the more original and interesting releases in the punk genre. The experimental album remixes one track, “Drill,” six different ways to deliver completely different takes on the tune. It’s a strange and beautiful hour of risks and pay offs. Indeed a fitting namesake for a festival that blends jazz, blues, punk, and rock into three great, sweaty evenings of fun.
This week in Chicago the band has curated one of their intimate festivals celebrating the album. It takes place over three days in three different venues.
On Thursday night The Hideout will host Ken Vandermark, Nate Woolley, and Olivia Block who will perform on their own and follow up with Vandermark and Wooley teaming up with Wire for “Map Ref. 41N 93W.”
Friday’s lineup at Thalia Hall features an embarrassment of riches: Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Fly, and White Lung all play, and then St. Vincent will join Wire for “The Drill.”
The main event happens Saturday at Metro when Wire headlines with Tim Hecker, Disappears and the pinkflag orchestra. Earlier in the day Wire will be recording an episode of Sound Opinions with Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis at Goose Island Barrel House.
Tickets for all the shows can be found here.