Best concerts this weekend | June 14-17, 2012
Ensemble Dal Niente
6:30pm, The Pritzker Pavilion, free
Ensemble Dal Niente is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of contemporary music through concerts, commissions and educational activities. Through innovative programming, they explore the wealth and diversity of music composed in the past century.
6:30pm, Bottom Lounge, $20
Battles' greatest achievement has been taking the listener-friendly experimentalism of ’90s post-rock (Tortoise, etc.) and grafting on a dance floor–commanding pulse. The band plays here behind its recently released Dross Glop, which—surprise!—features remixes of last year's Gloss Drop.
10pm, Bonny's, free
In its musical form, the stuff holding nightlife together is house and disco. It may sound different than it did back in the day, but on its most base level it stuck—and that's what this night is all about. Headed up by DJ Weaponry and Studio Casual, Glue explores the deeper side of house and disco monthly with special guests.
The Hoyle Brothers
5:30pm, The Empty Bottle, free
The Hoyle Brothers began their residency at the Empty Bottle in 2002, and their earthy, no-frills, authentic country always attracts a full house (come early if you want to snag one of the few tables).
Danielle Ate the Sandwich
7pm, Schubas Tavern, $10 in advance
There are comedians who play music, and then there are songwriters who are funny. Danielle Anderson of Danielle Ate the Sandwich is one of the latter, though mileage on her latest, Two Bedroom Apartment, may vary.
Walk the Moon + Morning Parade
8:30pm, Lincoln Hall, $12
Cinci's poppy, peppy, sometimes arty Walk the Moon has released its share of EPs, singles and albums. Now comes the major-label debut, produced by Ben Allen, best known for his work with Animal Collective. Sharing the bill is the U.K.'s Morning Parade, whose self-titled debut was released in March.
6:30pm, Bottom Lounge, $15 in advance
Bass-slapping daddy Lee Rocker's current billing ought to remind you where he came from; along with fellow Stray Cats Brian Setzer and Slim Jim Phantom, Rocker made rockabilly hip again for a blessed minute back in the ’80s. If you dug the Cats, you're certain to love Rocker's note-perfect re-creations of the trio's biggest hits, which he mixes with vintage rock classics and new originals in his current quartet.
Moonface + La Big Vic
7pm, Lincoln Hall, $13
Spencer Krug, the musician behind Sunset Rubdown and Wolf Parade, also fronts Moonface—tonight airing material from his latest Jagjaguwar effort, Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I'd Hoped.
10pm, Empire Liquors, free
Resident DJ Hiroki hosts every Saturday night, inviting in a rotating lineup of in-the-know selectors like Willy Joy, Zebo, Boy Wonder and more. Like the DJs, the genres stay in a steady flux with a mix of house, hip-hop, Top 40 and classics.
8pm, Lincoln Hall, $15
Of all the experimental indie, vaguely freak-folk bands, the one that would do best on America’s Got Talent has to be Cloud Cult. While the singer-songwriter skills of Craig Minowa certainly could get them past the initial audition, it would be his lovely partner Connie’s onstage painting that would impress Sharon and Howie. I think we all know why Howard Stern would like her.
10pm, The Empty Bottle, $12
A scuzzy grunge band is an odd inspiration for a dreamy girl duo, Hannah and Colette Thurlow, sisters from Bristol, England. Yet low-end is the key ingredient in the twosome’s bewitching goth-pop. The Thurlows sing with breathy voices, interweaving like vapor. You need not discern the lyrics to know the mood is bleak and romantic. The simple eighth-note basslines throbbing underneath give the songs shape and power. Dream-pop is typically more, well, sleepy.
10pm, Smart Bar, $5
Smart Bar begins anew on Sundays with Queen! Helping to fill the void left in the city by the loss of Boom Boom Room—the long-running polysexual house night—Queen! gathers former resident Michael Serafini, Donovan DJ, Garrett David and highlights from Chicago's rich house music past weekly along with BBR host Byrd Bardot. On Sun 20, Mr. Boompity, Derrick Carter, spins.