Best concerts of the weekend | June 28–July 1, 2012
It's the last weekend of June, but the summer's just picking up steam. You name it, the city's probably got it. Here are some of our very favorite shows to check out this weekend.
Brendan Benson + Young Hines + The Howling Brothers
8pm, Lincoln Hall, $20
Headlining tonight is Brendan Benson, who will forever be saddled with "of the Raconteurs" after his name, although his own emotionally charged power pop stands on its own. His new album, What Kind of World, came out in April on his own Readymade label.
Les Nubians + Aniba Hotep & The Sol Collective
8pm, The Shrine, $14-$24
Sophisticated, jazzy French-Cameroonian duo Les Nubians drops in for a rare visit, playing slinky, sexy grooves en francais from its most recent album, Nu Revolution.
Ministry + Blackburner
8pm, The Vic Theatre, $69.69
Never say never, at least where Al Jourgensen is concered; having declared his long-running industrial band Ministry finished after 2007's The Last Sucker, he stomps back into action behind a new album, appropriately titled Relapse. If it's not a stone classic like Land of Rape and Honey or Psalm 69—c'mon, what is?—the disc shows that Jourgensen still knows how to combine his caustic polemics with lacerating cyber-thrash.
Glen Campbell + Ronnie Milsap
8pm, Ravinia Pavilion, $32-$60
Glen Campbell, an icon of American music, courageously faces down Alzheimer’s disease with a final album and tour, the latter of which began in September, and which the 75-year-old singer-guitarist plans to continue for as long as he’s able. The autumnal, uplifting set shows his uncanny vocal and instrumental gifts to be intact, with deeply expressive readings of songs by Paul Westerberg, Jakob Dylan, Teddy Thompson and Guided by Voices’ Robert Pollard, alongside memorable originals cowritten by Campbell and producer Julian Raymond.
Jackson & Adasiewicz + Architeuthis Walks on Land
9pm, Elastic, $7
Fast Citizens members Keefe Jackson (reeds) and Jason Adasiewicz (vibes) get free after a set from Architeuthis Walks on Land, the alternately droney and harsh duo of bassoonist Katherine Young and violist Amy Cimini.
Cameron McGill + Rachele Eve + The Calumet Reel
9pm, Hideout, $10
Cameron McGill's thoughtful and introspective songs blossom into full, lively epics, as heard on his most recent album, Is a Beast. His band tonight includes Occidental Brothers guitarist Nathaniel Braddock and sax player Jonathon Edwards of the Right Now. Support comes from local songstress Rachele Eve, no stranger to the Hideout.
Coffin Pricks + Mayor Daley + Outside World
9:30pm, Empty Bottle, $7
Coffin Pricks is the latest vehicle to feature snot-punk mouthpiece Chris Thomson of Monorchid/Circus Lupus/Red Eyed Legends fame, whipping up a furious racket with his onetime REL bandmate Ryan Weinstein.
Three 6 Mafia + YP + GLC + Mikey Rocks
11pm, Metro, $27.50 in advance/$35.50 at door
Less a group than a hip-hop collective, the version of Three 6 Mafia that won an unlikely Oscar several years back for "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" is not the Three 6 Mafia that will play tonight, though the Southern rap mainstay hasn't strayed far from its unpolished roots. Support includes Cool Kids spitter Mikey Rocks, or Sir Michael Rocks as he's been billed lately.
8pm, House of Blues, $30 in advance/$35 at door
The daughter of soul legend Donny Hathaway and an estimable singer in her own right, Lalah Hathaway plays behind her 2011 Stax album, Where It All Begins.
9pm, The Green Mill, $12
Auguscik, members of eighth blackbird and Loom are among the album guests joining Ulery as he stepps the Mill in his stirring pastiche, a sound big enough to fill even the expansive Uptown Theatre next door. Though unlike that long dormant hall, this music is tailor-made to feel timeless.
Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca
9pm, Mayne Stage, $20
Ricardo Lemvo specializes in Afro-Cuban fusion, drawing equally from Africa and the Caribbean for inspiration. His infectious, propulsive band Makina Loca has been a globe-trotting mainstay for the better part of two decades now, daring you to play the wallflower when everyone around you is up and dancing.
Jack Oblivian + Channel Four
10pm, Township, $10 in advance/$12 at door
Memphis's Jack Oblivian and his band know enough about garage pop and rockabilly to combine the two styles into an effortlessly twangy package.
The Detroit Cobras + The Bama Lamas + Party Bat
10pm, Empty Bottle, $15
Like walking, talking, rocking jukeboxes, the Detroit Cobras draw their material from some of the more obscure or overlooked corners of garage rock. The resulting music might as well be original, as far as most listeners are concerned.
Fruit Bats + Yellowbirds
10pm, Schubas Tavern, $15
Sometime Shins guitarist Eric Johnson leads Fruit Bats in making mellow, rootsy music. The earnest folk-poppers play two nights behind their latest album, Tripper, a rollicking, lovely narrative-based record.
Pelican + Anatomy of Habit + Redgrave
10pm, Lincoln Hall, $12 in advance/$15 at door
Pelican's latest EP, Ataraxia/Taraxis, features weird forays into melody, but also includes some of the band's heaviest riffage yet. Anatomy of Habit's punishing doom-gaze sets the stage, plus the sultry, bluesy dirges of hometown duo Redgrave.
Grandmaster Flash + Zebo + Intel + Jon Huang
10pm, The Mid, $10 in advance/$20 at door
One of hip-hop's central pioneers, Grandmaster Flash is credited with inventing the crossfader, an integral mixing tool for DJs when it comes to the cutting, scratching and record acrobatics associated with the music. With a career stretching more than 30 years, he remains a relevant and talented figure on the scene. Local DJs Zebo, Intel and Jon Huang have the honor of sharing the booth, with any and all B-boys and girls invited to show off their moves in an early free soul battle for cash prizes.
7pm, Vic Theatre, $28.50
Swedish party punks slip back into tuxedos for more Mick Jagger moves and outrageous showmanship. The new Lex Hives is a blast.
Owen + The Rutabega
7pm, Schubas, $15
One of the many acts orbiting the Cap'n Jazz/Joan of Arc axis, Owen is the mellow solo project of Mike Kinsella.
Phil Angotti + Steve Dawson's Funeral Bonsai Wedding
8pm, SPACE, $12-$22
Dolly Varden frontman Steve Dawson steps out with his newly named Funeral Bonsai Wedding, which calls on vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Frank Rosaly—an industrious trio of improvisers known more for fearless free-jazz workouts than the warm, roots-imbued tunes heard on Dawson's most recent solo disc, I Will Miss the Trumpets and Drums. Sharing the bill is local power-pop player Phil Angotti, recently seen fronting the reunited Material Issue.
Sybris + Bully in the Hallway + Bananakin
9pm, The Burlington, $5 donation
Sybris's insistent guitars easily cut the gossamer separating the Cocteau Twins from My Bloody Valentine. Vocalist Angela Mullenhour's Robert Smith–like moan captivates as the group continues to impress live.
Eddy Clearwater + Fernando Jones
9:30pm, Buddy Guy's Legends, $20
A night at Buddy Guy's is always a hoot with Eddy "the Chief" Clerwater, the duckwalking Chuck Berry disciple with more than a hint of rockabilly in his blues. When the Chief plays live, he always sets a few asses shaking.
Black Cobra + Gaza + Earthen Grave
10pm, Reggie's Rock Club, $13 in advance/$15 at door
Black Cobra blasts off in the style of the Melvins' speedier, more blown-out numbers and adds a lethal dose of old-school hardcore. Helping to set the stage for the San Francisco duo are eerie Salt Lake City progressive-grindcore types Gaza and hometown hard rockers Earthen Grave, featuring violin shredder Rachel Barton Pine.
The Pines + The Canoes
10pm, Schubas, $10
Formed in Arizona by a pair of Iowans, the Pines eventually made their away to Minnesota to make their exceptionally atmospheric, dust-choked Americana.
10pm, The Mid, $20
Like his sometimes production partner Arno Cost, Norman Doray is a filter-disco-loving Frenchman with a deep-seated love of national heroes Daft Punk. Doray also happens to be a favorite of hotshot jock David Guetta, who's booked him to play everywhere from Ibiza to Sin City. His Mid set is bound to be a raucous one, covering electro, French house and dirty Dutch anthems. Residents Nathan Scott and Gus Karas get in on the fun.
6pm, Wavefront Music Festival @ Montrose Beach, $60 (all-day pass)
P. Diddy was the one who discovered Gerber in Ibiza, and he quickly became a fan, asking him to work on a collaborative project called 11:11. If everything goes according to plan, and I hope it does, we could be hearing a lot more from Gerber in the months to come.
Codeine + Brokeback
7pm, Lincoln Hall, $15
Given its association with the so-called slowcore movement, it comes as no surprise that legendary indie-rock trio Codeine took 18 years to give in to the reunion bug. Regrouped to promote the comprehensive reissuing of its influential LPs, the band is coming off festival appearances in Tokyo and London and a European tour, so it should be a well-honed machine by the time it reaches Chicago. Well-matched support comes from instrumental, Morricone-esque foursome Brokeback, led by Douglas McCombs of Tortoise/Eleventh Dream Day fame.
7pm, SPACE, $22-$42
For years Texas's most celebrate Semitic singing cowboy, Kinky Friedman became a cult star in the '70s with songs like "They Don't Make Jews Like Jesus Anymore"; he even worked with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. These days, he mostly concentrates on his (quite successful) career writing books.
Steve Lawler + Gregor Treshor
10pm, Spy Bar, $25
Brighton, England-based Steve Lawler is known for sleazy sets and dirty drums punctuated by tribal-style percussion workouts. Lawler rose to stardom as a resident at Cream, Liverpool's famed institution of higher clubbing, which converted many a rocker to dance freak over the years. The DJ-producer now takes his cues from the evolved underground, speciically the minimal techno and house that's been flooding out of Germany in recent years. The hell with the old-school; the new Lawler has an ear to the ground—which makes him right at home at Wavefront and this official after-the-fest bash with German tech head Gregor Treshor.
Dave Miller Group + Adolphe's Ax
10pm, Hungry Brain, $7
Once a steady presence on the local jazz-improv scene, Dave Miller split for NYC last year, but the guitarist is back in town for a run of gigs. Here at the Sunday Transmission Series, he spars with another guitar heavy, Jeff Parker, with Jake Vinsel (bass) and Frank Rosaly (drums) rounding out the group. Opening is Adolphe's Ax, the sax-tastic combo led by Cameron Pfiffner, featuring fellow blowers Anthony Bruno (tenor and soprano), Nick Mazzarella (alto), Caroline Davis (alto) and Nate Lepine (tenor).
10pm, Cuvee, $30
The mastermind behind Fools Gold Records, one half of Duck Sauce—which we can look forward to seeing at the Wavefront Festival this weekend as well—and one hell of a DJ, A-Trak returns to the Windy City to drop one of his inimitable genre-defiant sets at this fest after-party rager in the bottle-service-boasting ultra lounge.