Wolf Rd release show
As Des Plaines-based Wolf Rd rode out the pandemic, members of the foursome spent a chunk of the time playing around with the band’s pop-punk sound, leading to the March release of the acoustic duet “As Good As It Gets.” The single took things in an interesting new direction for the boys, so they headed through that acoustic door for the recent “Counterpoint” EP, which includes that new song along with reimaginings of three earlier favorites. This weekend, the band takes to the stage for the first time since March 2020 for the “Counterpoint” EP release show at Chicago’s Empirical Brewery, joined by lo-fi indie rock band OK Cool and electro-alternative from Sixty Lumens. 6 p.m. Saturday, June 26, at Empirical Brewery, 1801 W. Foster Ave., Chicago. $10. (773) 293-7896 or eventbrite.com.
Treat your ears as well as your taste buds at this weekend’s Strawberry Festival. Returning to downtown Long Grove after last year’s hiatus, on top of all the strawberry goodness, food and craft beer specialties, the festival also will serve up a helping of musical performances, including Hi Infidelity, Hello Dave, Purple Veins, Rumor Hazit, Six on Friday, School of Rock Arlington Heights and more. See longgrove.org for the lineup and schedule. Noon to 11 p.m. Friday, June 25; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 26; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 27. Admission is $5 (free for kids 6 and younger), with additional charges for food, activities and carnival rides. Schedule and tickets are available at longgrove.org.
‘S.O.S.’ for domestic violence
After hearing about how quarantines exacerbated incidences of domestic violence this past year, 22-year-old Lockport recording artist Reece Brunke took to his platform to do something meaningful about it. Friday, he celebrates his new electro-pop single “S.O.S. (Lost At Sea),” which sets its sights on renewal and rebuilding after a toxic relationship, as part of a livestreamed release show/benefit concert. The fundraiser, his second after last year’s successful Purple Hearts Concert for The American Suicide Awareness Foundation, is keyed toward benefiting the National Domestic Violence Hotline. All donations made during the concert, streaming on YouTube, will go directly to the cause. To add to the effort, Apex Gaming PCs has agreed to match the first $1000 of donations. 8 p.m. Friday, June 25, streaming at youtube.com.
Alternative art TV
When it became clear that last year’s pandemic shutdowns were going to last a lot longer than just a few weeks, Side Street Studio Arts organizers Erin Rehberg and Tanner Melvin and their team scrambled to find ways to continue in their mission of bringing art to the community. Part of that pivot — streaming performances by area musical acts — planted the seed for the Elgin art collective’s newest production: Side Street TV. “I really wanted to create a network for those alternative video artists that wanted to find a way to share their work with the world but may have needed some extra resources to get the job done,” Melvin said. “The pandemic has allowed us to really look at what we can do with our imaginations, and we have really focused in on how to make and showcase art out of all of the time and technology that surrounds us.” SSTV’s archive of recorded features is available pay-per-episode (and a few for free) or via a $5 monthly subscription. It includes concerts, dance and spoken word performances, along with alternative media and animation, art classes, a documentary, art installations, Going Dutch festival coverage and more. Funds raised will be shared by the studio and the participating artists. To explore the archive of episodes, visit tv.sidestreetstudioarts.org.
SSTV is also looking for artists to co-produce events for the service. Find more information and submit your ideas at sidestreetstudioarts.org/tv or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Email him at email@example.com, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@thatshamieguy) or Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck).