This weekend's best concerts | July 19-22, 2012
So much music, so little time. TOC has compiled this weekend's very best concerts, which cover everything from classical to metal. Choose your poison and get out on the town!
Antony & The Tramps + Jennifer Hall + Rachele Eve + Joseph Messing
8pm, Schubas, $10
Antony & the Tramps reportedly recorded their debut, Nina’s Dream, in a variety of locations, many nontraditional, which perhaps helped imbue the disc with its loose but ambitious vibe. The group plays the album from start to finish tonight, all in one place.
8:30pm, Subterranean, $8
Though the band’s foundation (and carefully coordinated wardrobe) was built upon the likes of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, the new full-length packs a meaner punch on tracks like “Lords of the Nine” and “Sacred Cenote,” which offer pummeling, dramatic doses of Neurosis-style doom.
9pm, Metro, $16
Where the trio’s arty tics could occasionally be off-putting in the past, the bicoastal band's latest effort Sisterworld pumps up the jams on its latest with anthemic electronics and rave-worthy rhythms. What we get is a generous but thoroughly soaked-in-strange album. And you can dance to it.
Baker, Abrams, & Ra
9pm, Elastic, $8
The piano smarts of Jim Baker find a sympathetic ear in the gifted rhythm team of bassist Joshua Abrams and AACM drummer Avreeayl Ra.
Pink Frost + Nightmare Air + Touched By Ghoul
9pm, The Burlington, $5 donation
Pink Frost (formerly Apteka) pairs psych-drenched guitar with pounding drums to surprisingly cool and fruitful effect. Opener Touched by Ghoul pulls in members of Sybris and Coupleskate.
Lost Lander + Canoe Canoe
9:30pm, Empty Bottle, $8
Portland's Lost Lander hits Chicago in support of groovy full-length debut DRRT, which has moments of both Dirty Projectors and My Morning Jacket while maintaining a Peter Gabriel–esque vocal through line.
BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet
7pm, SPACE, $20-$40
It was a song by the British band Fairport Convention that prompted Louisiana fiddler Michael Doucet to investigate Cajun music back in 1973, and like the Fairports, Doucet takes joy in matching traditional means to contemporary ends with his band, BeauSoleil.
Marsha Ambrosius + Elle Varner
7:30pm, Country Club Hills Theater, $25-$60
Formerly a member of English R&B vocal duo Floetry, Marsha Ambrosius now works on her own. Promoting her solo bow, Late Nights & Early Mornings, Ambrosius shares a bill with rising songstress Elle Varner, whose voice you might recognize from the J. Cole–assisted "Only Wanna Give It to You."
Sweet Cobra + Black God + Harpoon + Lord
8pm, Ultra Lounge, $8
The tough metallic tension of steady-gigging locals Sweet Cobra shares a bill with Louisville's Black God, a post-hardcore supergroup of sorts calling on members of Coliseum, Endpoint and Young Widows.
9pm, Mayne Stage, $20-$30
Luísa Maita is a fast-rising songstress from São Paolo whose velvety voice may have helped Brazil secure the 2016 Olympics. Her sound incorporates samba, bossa nova and pop music, as heard on her critically acclaimed debut, Lero-Lero.
9:30pm, Lincoln Hall, $12 in advance/$15 at door
A decade beyond its inception, Baby Teeth is calling it quits as bassist-singer Jim Cooper heads to L.A., which brings us to the Last Schmaltz—the group’s outsized and gloriously hammy good-bye. Following in the Band’s model, the local group will be joined onstage by members of its extended family including Bobby Conn and folks from the 1900s, Outer Minds, Detholz! and Judson Claiborne.
Agalloch + Taurus
10pm, Reggie's Rock Club, $15
Though it formed back in ’95, Portland, Oregon's Agalloch didn't attain underground-heavyweight status until 2010. Just about every major metal outlet tagged Agalloch's fourth LP, Marrow of the Spirit, as album of the year. It's easy to see why fans of the grim and epic would eat up Marrow's fusion of headlong black metal and wintry folk. The dark journey continues on the band's 2012 EP, Faustian Echoes.
10pm, SPACE, $23-$42
Rhett Miller's Old 97's were never going to get Wilco-level attention for their spot-on alt country, but the act remains one of the best bar bands in the land. Miller is now touring with his solo band, the Serial Lady Killers, playing behind his brand-new record, The Dreamer.
11pm, Uncommon Ground Edgewater, $15
Brazilian jazzer Pedro Moraes brings his sumptuous, flute-festooned grooves to town. Rumps everywhere will delight.
Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival: Slipknot + Slayer + Motorhead + Anthrax + As I Lay Dying + The Devil Wears Prada + Asking Alexandria + Whitechapel + High on Fire
1:30pm, First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre, $31.50-$69.50
Ah, the energy-drink-sponsored metal festival: The only place where punishing forefathers Motörhead, Slayer and Anthrax thrash alongside holistically offensive modern garbage such as Juggalo-endorsed rap-metal act Slipknot. Well there, and in the Chevy Cavalier tape decks of said Faygo-sucking half-wits: hence, this bill.
Marina & The Diamonds + Ms Mr
7:30pm, Park West, $22
Flamboyant and frankly gorgeous Welsh singer Marina Diamandis hits town with her hyped British band and archly stylized new-wave material, as heard on the new Electra Heart.
Jimmy Webb + John Fullbright
8pm, SPACE, $20-$42
Jimmy Webb’s written many of pop music’s great masterpieces, enigmatic standards such as “Wichita Lineman,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “Galveston” that are hard to pin down but clearly possessed of a mysterious power. Live, however, Webb’s full of good humor and funny anecdotes to lighten the mood set by his evocative songs.
Akiko Tsuruga Organ Quartet
8pm, Green Mill, $12
The Osaka, Japan, native is known as the "Queen of the Organ" in the NYC scene. Tonight, she tickles the Hammond with Jerry Weldon on tenor sax, Joe Magnarelli on trumpet and flügelhorn, and Rudy Petschauer on drums.
Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience
9pm, FitzGerald's, $15
One of the younger stars of zydeco, Terrance Simien is also one of the names keeping the traditional Cajun music alive, whether it's onstage or in the studio helping out Randy Newman on the soundtrack to the Louisiana-set The Princess and the Frog.
White Magic + Joshua Abrams Natural Information Society + Magic Key
9pm, The Burlington, $8 donation
Pianist and singer Mira Billotte forms the nucleus of this amorphous band. She’s got an unambiguous vocal presence, shamelessly off-key and earthy, but onstage she’s serene, seated in comfortable anonymity.
Bobby Broom Trio
4pm, 8pm, 10pm, Jazz Showcase, $20
This four-night stand at the Jazz Showcase is notable for a couple of reasons, not least that it marks the group’s debut there. More important, it heralds Broom’s arrival as a songwriter, though many Pete Miller’s regulars already knew that.
Kathleen Keane & The Mini Machine
4pm, Abbey Pub, $10 in advance/$12 at door
A mainstay of Chicago's Irish community, singer-fiddler Kathleen Keane got her start in the late, great Drovers before moving on to projects as varied as Hollywood work and step dancing (yes, she can dance, too).
Boom Boom Room
8pm, Dolphin, $10
This legendary, polysexual Chicago house night is finally waking from its almost yearlong slumber at the newly revamped Green Dolphin Street, er, Dolphin. It remains an awe-inspiring blend of clubbers and regular city folk who like to party, and it's something of a Chicago institution. Rechristening the night, Detroit techno originator Kevin Saunderson hits the main stage, as do residents Gene Farris, Diz and Martin Stoy.
Ana Tijoux + Phero + Phillip Morris + Color Brown + Soulphonetics
9pm, Empty Bottle, $10
This Milwaukee Avenue Arts Fest after-show features the hypnotic Ana Tijoux. Hailing from Chile, Tijoux has a voice that goes down like honey as she delivers R&B swoons followed by hard-packed hip-hop verses.
Transmission Series: Stein, Adasiewicz & Roebke
10pm, Hungry Brain, $7
Tonight, three Jasons take to the stage: Stein (bass clarinet), Adasiewicz (vibraphone) and Roebke (bass) as part of Umbrella Music's Transmission Series, curated by Josh Berman and Mike Reed.