Chicago’s Hozac Records was born into bloody existence as Horizontal Action, a mid-90s fanzine that gleefully celebrated trash culture. B-movies, hardcore pornography, copious alcohol consumption and, most notably, underground rock n’ roll, were splashed across brazenly Xeroxed pages in brutal black & white. As a record label, Hozac has championed The Smith Westerns, Black Lips, The Dutchess & The Duke, Fresh & Onlys, Jacuzzi Boys and so many more via limited edition vinyl releases.
In 2001, Hozac began promoting an underground music festival at Chicago’s Empty Bottle. From the debut year through 2006, garage and punk fans from all over the U.S. (and in some cases well beyond) converged on the (once) dingy venue for three days of rock n’ roll debauchery. The Hozac Blackout Festival took a hiatus from 2007-2010 and made a triumphant return in 2011. This year finds Hozac in top form as they once again prepare a Bottle takeover, 16-19 May.
Thursday, 16 May serves as an opening night art show with musical performances by Columbus, Ohio’s Mike Rep + Tommy Jay, Chicago’s Negative Scanner and Minneapolis punks The Sleaze. Friday night’s show will feature vintage Boston punks Unnatural Axe in their Chicago debut with support by five like-minded bands including South Africa’s Make-Overs. Saturday boasts San Francisco industrial pioneers Chrome w/ Wizard Sleeve, Chicago psych outfit Verma and more. Blackout 2013 comes to a close on Sunday, 19 May with classic power pop headliners Dwight Twilley (whose left-field hits include “I’m On Fire” and “Girls”) and Pezband.