Plants and Animals

The seventh annual Wicker Park Fest runs Sat 7/31 and Sun 8/1 from noon till 10 PM on the stretch of Milwaukee between North and Wood. As befits a street festival held in one of the city’s best-established enclaves of hipness, the music is excellent—probably the most impressive lineup of any comparable event all summer. The fest’s three stages—North, South, and Center—showcase everything from doom metal to hip-hop to retro soul. On Saturday the South Stage features proggy instrumentalists Holy Fuck in the top slot as well as Boombox, Auto Body, Gaslamp Killer, and others; reunited midwest emo trailblazers Cap’n Jazz (check out Jessica Hopper’s interview with front man Tim Kinsella) headline the North Stage after sets by fiery postpunk veterans Mission of Burma and local amplifier worshippers Indian, among others; the Center Stage hosts a dance-party getaway with LA Riots, Moneypenny, Team Bayside High, Hollywood Holt, and others. On Sunday the highlights on the South Stage include indie darlings Fun and Plants and Animals (two bands with an obvious affection for Queen) as well as Van Ghost and the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey; the North Stage is heavy on the metal, with Baroness, Torche, and the Yakuza Arkestra closing out the day; the Center Stage features marquee acts Local H and the Hood Internet. Admission is a $5 suggested donation, and extra bike parking for the festival is available at Milwaukee and Wood. The Wicker Park Fest Kids area (on Evergreen between Milwaukee and Wicker Park), open from noon till 6 PM each day, features a petting zoo, mini golf, face painting, music, and more; admission is an additional $5 suggested donation, which benefits the Jose de Diego Community Academy. For more info, see Fairs & Festivals listings by day, call 773-384-2672, or visit