The music world has been clamoring for festivals to shake up their lineups, showering established institutions like Vive Latino and Coachella with critiques over the lack of women artists on their bills (This festival poster edit by Mexican graphic designer Daniel Carbajal effectively illustrates the point). Consistently on the vanguard of what audiences want to see, Chicago’s Ruido Fest listened and infused their lineup with a brilliant cast of badass women, one that doesn’t feel like compromise or pandering.
Welcome and overdue performances from Bomba Estéreo, Mon Laferte, and Julieta Venegas will be rocking Addams/Medill Park in Pilsen, where the annual Ruido festivities are hosted. Indie stars like Javiera Mena and Ruido Rosa will also be sharing their international shine after kicking down walls in their respective scenes and winning tough battles for respect from their peers. And the best part of this preview is that we still have enough women to showcase in our annual acts to watch list. Pack your sunblock and get ready to thrash with our Before You Go playlist.
Ruido Fest goes down at Addams/Medill Park in Pilsen, Chicago from July 7-9. Get your tickets here.
Jessica Hernández & the Deltas
Detroit and Chicago have always been kindred cities sharing culture, musical traditions, and similar immigrant groups, so you can expect Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas to feel right at home on the Ruido Fest stage. This Motor City outfit fronted by Hernandez, a badass singer and guitarist of Mexican and Cuban descent, has become one of the biggest acts out of Detroit in recent years, with a resume that includes two full-length albums, late-night TV appearances and performances at major festivals like Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo. The band is known for its smorgasbord of sonic influences, including punk cabaret, soul, and Detroit’s rock grit. For their new record, the ambitious double album Telephone/Teléfono, Hernandez decided to reflect on her roots by composing the album in both English and Spanish. It was important for Hernandez that the Spanish versions of the songs did not sound like stale translations, so she immersed herself in Mexico City and worked with local musicians to re-envision the songs in a way that retained the soul and poetry of the originals, without clumsy phrasing. Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas are sure to leave their mark at Ruido, and this is a show you won’t want to miss.
Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas play the Green Stage on Friday at 5 p.m.
Comprised of Sofía Cardich and Antonela Perigo, Las Piñas formed in La Plata, a college town outside of Buenos Aires. This trio-turned-duo radiates punky, garagy, surf-rock cool, and even after losing a member to love while on tour, they adjusted and carried on. Las Piñas burst onto the scene with their debut EP El Perro Beach in 2015, much of which went on to become their first album Espanto Caribe, released in 2016. Las Piñas sing about fun days at the beach, puppy love, and pizza, all with a lightning-fast quickness that never exceeds the three-minute mark. 2017 has already proven big for Las Piñas, starting with the release of their latest EP Pista de Fuego. With summer well under way, they are also about to embark on a US tour starting in New York and taking them through Ruido Fest in Chicago, as well as Denver, Los Angeles, and Phoenix. So make sure to come through and head bang with these girls, because it’s the most fun you’ll have all weekend.
Las Piñas play the Green Stage on Saturday from 2 to 2:30 p.m.
Chulita Vinyl Club
One of the most empowering acts on the Ruido Fest lineup comes with the landmark appearance of Chulita Vinyl Club, the all-female, multi-city, record-worshipping DJ collective. Formed in 2014 and spanning seven national chapters across Texas and California, the club leaves musical taste and direction up to individual members, instead focusing on giving womxn a platform on which to explore and spotlight their identities through the shared medium of vinyl. Each member is consecrated with the title of Chulita, which they incorporate into their DJ names, mixes, and online presence. Every week, a different Chulita is invited to create a mix for the club, featured like clockwork on their website and SoundCloud page. Brandishing the iconic slogan “El Disco Es Cultura,” the Chulitas are also reclaiming the glory of classic Latin music releases, keeping their place in musical history alive and relevant. In the past, Ruido Fest has mostly booked traditional rock bands and pop acts; in the case of Chulita Vinyl Club, they’re not only kicking that door wide open, but also making a statement by featuring countless women on their stage.
Chulita Vinyl Club plays the Silver Stage on Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.
Carla Sariñana is the bassist and cofounder of the all-female Mexican rock band Ruido Rosa, whom you will also have the pleasure of enjoying live at Ruido Fest this year. But Sariñana’s talents extend beyond what she has been able to display in Ruido Rosa, and in 2015 she unveiled her dreamy shoegaze-influenced solo project Silver Rose. After relocating to Southern California for a few months to write and record the songs that would eventually form her self-titled debut EP, Sariñana returned to Mexico City to launch her first single, the hypnotic “Take Me Home.” Citing influences like the Jesus and Mary Chain and Slowdive, Silver Rose embraces all the fuzz of shoegaze but incorporates lyrics and melodies that keep the songs buoyant and engaging. The highly stylized visual components of Silver Rose also help elevate the music, like the grainy 16mm video for “Take Me Home” and the exquisite pastels of her suicide rituals in “Sueños de Amor.” Silver Rose is a name on the rise and this is your chance to get in early before the hype.
Silver Rose plays the Blue Stage on Friday at 3:20 p.m.