Everyone who’s sick of outdoor music festivals in Chicago raise your hand. OK, put ‘em down before the mayor sees, we’ve got a few more notable gatherings left, including this weekend’s West Fest, sort of a sister show to last month’s shindig in Wicker Park. If you’re not too exhausted from Lolla (and/or beat-up, courtesy of the Rage hi-jinks), the annual event at Chicago and Damen has two days’ worth of impressive local rock acts, as well as an even more agreeable collection of DJs. Among others, five high-quality local indie-pop acts perform: Saturday, the snotty garage-rock of Mannequin Men, the mid-nineties-inspired indie-rock of Sybris, the countrified acoustic-led musings of Catfish Haven, and Sunday, the intricate and bubbly sounds of Bound Stems and the high-energy pop of Office. (For my money, Saturday’s headliner The Redwalls should just go away, and Sunday’s headliner Meat Puppets is just too confusing a choice to finish off the festival that I doubt I could get past it.) If nothing else, it’s an opportunity to check out some must-see local outfits if you haven’t already. (Tom Lynch)
West Fest 2008 takes place at Chicago and Damen August 9-10, noon-10pm each day. $5.