TALsounds Credit: Anthony Nguyen

One of the best bargains in the Chicago scene, this well-established festival—currently co-organized by Plastic Crimewave, aka Steve Krakow (a Reader contributor), and artist Matt Ginsberg (Dark Fog, Underground Symposium)—celebrates its ninth installment. Named after a 1968 song by Marc Benno and Leon Russell, Icicle Star Tree has a killer lineup that showcases the diversity of what psychedelic music can be. Friday includes a collaboration between TALsounds (Natalie Chami) and Matchess (Whitney Johnson), two mesmerizing electronic artists. They duke it out with gritty fuzzmeisters Glyders, the greasy and galloping Hair (about to release an EP on February 25), the note-faithful Camaro boogie of Mexican-Chicagoans Los Black Dogs, and the hearts-of-space drone of Spiral Galaxy (Plastic Crimewave with flautist Sara Gossett). What a deal, right? Saturday brings trippy synth trio Bitchin’ Bajas, sound wizard Brett Naucke (who’s about to drop a new album in March that will feature collaborations with Chami and Johnson), the groovy eerie duo Courtesy, and Milwaukee jam unit Names Divine. None of these artists sound at all alike, but all lounge about happily together in the realm of the psychotropic. Beware: the fest sold out well in advance last year. Also, come prepared for the temptation of the merch table when you discover your new favorite artist.   v