The album-release party for Outer Minds on Saturday at the Empty Bottle was more like a party for a whole scene of bands who are apparently pals with Outer Minds. With their electric 12-string guitar riffs, Farfisa organ, stomping beats and flower-children mix of male and female vocals, Outer Minds played melodic psychedelic rock that sounded like it was from another era. Then again, I long ago got used to the idea of previous musical eras co-existing in the present. I overheard someone in the crowd saying he felt like he’d traveled in a time machine — presumably to the 1960s, since that’s what it sounded like. Outer Minds’ self-titled debut LP is available from Southpaw Records.
The opening acts were a blockbuster billing of cool Chicago bands: Summer Girlfriends played fun Girl Group music of the sort you’d expect from their name. Radar Eyes were even fiercer than they were a couple of weeks ago at their own record-release party. And Mannequin Men played one hard-edged brand-new song amid a strong set of their best and catchiest tunes. Taken altogether, it was a great sampler of some of the exciting music happening in Chicago today.