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September 21-23, 2007
“Actually, Records.” Presents
Links Hall 3435 N. Sheffield, 8pm
Tickets $10, $25 for three-day pass

This three-day event benefits the Foundation for Asian American Independent Media, the Midwest’s premier organization dedicated to promoting film, video, and other media by and about Asian Americans, and supporting the artists who create them. FAAIM also stages the annual Chicago Asian American Showcase, which is the Midwest’s largest Asian American arts festival.

Hosted by Actually, Records, this is a showcase of the best of new indie-rock, experimental, electro-pop, post-metal, and other musical genres. Investigate the intersections between analog and digital, Chicago and both coasts, boys and girls, and everything in the cracks between harmonica players, soundboard operators, record collectors, laptop performers, and melancholic songwriters.


The Gold Medalists
Jienan Yuan
Kris Racer

Kite Operations
Joel Walter
Jack Tung



UNFORTUNAUT is a band conceived in a bar after shots of Irish whiskey and an intense discussion over the state of music. Memories of the original 120 Minutes, Rikki and Headbangers Ball, WNUR's Fast and Loud, and cassette tapes came to mind and the seed was planted. Imagine saddling up in an improvised noise group with the guitar player of your first high school cover band, familiar, but not rocking the same old Minor Threat or Husker Du songs. Their sound is based in the common musical past that brought them together and is unwound and bullied back with the energy of individual influences into eight minute epics.

”[Unfortunaut] weaves its sound blanket around the listener like a giant cobweb with no way out. Yet being held prisoner by Unfortunaut is a great experience and I can't wait to hear more of them soon.” – Lords of Metal

“Powerful instrumental rock… you’ll feel like you’re on an icebreaker plowing through Antarctic crust. The shredding guitar riffs are served cold and raw like sushi, while the drums capably fill in the gaps.” – Giant Robot


  KITE OPERATIONS is a rock band based in New York City which blends its taste for delicate melodies with an insatiable lust for feedback and abrasive noises. Although sometimes categorized as shoegazer, the band considers itself more indebted to artists such as Slint, Sonic Youth, and early U2. The band was formed in 2003 by former Theselah singer-guitarists Joseph Kim and David Yang, rounded out by Jie Whoon Kang, a classically trained bassist who quickly learned the ways of rock bass and Sung Shin, a self-taught drummer with a hard-hitting and unpredictable style.

The name Kite Operations was chosen for its richness of imagery and metaphorical meaning - the illusion of control one has over one's life, mirrored in the activity of flying a kite while one merely holds onto a thread.

"Shimmering, eardrum-shattering ore of blissful indie pop” – Westword

"A burgeoning lyrical delicacy” – Splendid

Official Site


THE GOLD MEDALISTS is "Part Animal Part Machine". Those are the words scrawled across Jason Jesse's back and a phrase well suited to describe San Francisco’s Peter Nguyen AKA The Gold Medalists. Famed as the drummer monster behind noise/metalheads Total Shutdown and indie-rockers eE, Nguyen (pronounced Win) is soon releasing his debut album, The City Lights Us on Fire, to the world, and woe to those who turn a deaf ear.

“Peter Nguyen is one of the finest drummers I know and now a fine songwriter. His first collections of songs only whisper at the enormous potential to come.” - Yoshi Nakamoto (The Aislers Set)

“Peter Nguyen is the best thing happening in the Bay Area right now.”
- Sooyoung Park (Seam)

Official Site


XYZR_KX is Jon Monteverde, Chicago-based Chinese-Filipino indie-rock/electro-pop wunderkind. With this project, Monteverde redefines the boundaries of the traditional pop song by simultaneously incorporating hushed vocals, serrated guitars, and chaotic beats.

"#2 EP of 2006" - WNUR 89.3 FM

"Best of Around Hear 2004" - Illinois Entertainer

“Enigmatic yet pleasing” – Giant Robot

”More passion than purity, more brash than composed, the sound explodes out of the speakers.” - Grooves Magazine

Official Site


  KRIS RACER AKA Kris Narunatvanich, but who wants to be responsible for that spellcheck?) came to Chicago and left the rest of the band behind, opting to unplug and become an acoustic, solo act. But staying true to his punkier roots, Kris Racer is more Mike Ness than open mic.

"Kris Racer plays sweet acoustic pop, the type of heartfelt music embraced by sensitive boys with shaky voices around the world. The obvious musical touchstone here would be Dashboard Confessional, but Racer mostly avoids that group's saccharine mewling." - The Onion AV Club

Official Site


JACK TUNG writes songs that are precisely composed instrumentals performed by Jack alone in real-time on an electric guitar, a drum machine, synthesizers, and a sampler. His moody aesthetic is equally informed by the exhilarating and harsh thrash of his youth in the Long Island hardcore scene, and by the atmospheric film soundtracks absorbed as a lifelong cinephile. In live performance, Jack uses no pre-recorded parts and no backing tracks, save for the spare drum machine patterns which propel his arrangements. His precise execution and control of multiple layers of sound is a feat to witness.

“Long Island hardcore veteran Jack Tung has no fear of playing whatever music he likes… great range… dreamy soundscapes… he can provide the soundtrack to just about anything, from aggressive stuff like skating and fighting to something more emo.” – Giant Robot

Official Site



JOEL WALTER Armed mainly with a guitar and harmonica, Central Ohio-based singer-songwriter Joel Walter examines the core of blue-collar life via portraits of broken souls worn down by hard living and the lost dreams that are often buried within them. He portrays these lost souls unsparingly, illuminating their fractured desperation and frustration yet always celebrating their fiery will to get by and survive.



backGAMMON is a large ensemble devoted to the exploration of group composition through both electronic and acoustic media. The ensemble uses a variety of acoustic and electric instruments for sound production, group processing, and dynamic sound distribution. From the vintage Arp Odyssey to contemporary laptops, the ensemble seeks to embrace the entire legacy of electronic music.

The primary aesthetic thrust of the ensemble is communication through group composition, resulting in a creative, transformative, and collaborative musical energy. backGammon's music is about sharing responsibilities, constructing sonic textures, building rhythmic structures, and exploring a vast array of musical idioms and languages. backGammon is Caroline Davis, James Diomede, Casey Farina, Matthew Golombisky, Theron Humiston, Jonathon Kirk, and Stephen Syverud.


OISHI is the collaboration between singer/songwriter Carly Oishi and Jon Monteverde aka XYZR_KX. Their music exemplifies the most charming and delicate qualities of indie-acoustic pop.



MAVEN rose from the ashes of legendary Evanston noise quartet What Now, My Love. They are better than a phoenix, and more powerful as well. In fact, one would venture to describe them as 'Mega-Phoenix'.

Official Site

  JIENAN YUAN is obsessed with creating electronic soundscapes steeped in emotional isolationism and internalized melancholy. He has composed the scores for three award-winning shorts, including ‘Hello Kitty is Dead’ and the Apple-sponsered Ipod Short ‘Walking Between the Lines’, and contributed a sound installation project for the 312 Gallery exhibition, ‘100 Cuts’.

Official Site