Thursday, September 13, 2012

Shows to see: Antibalas, Pallbearer, Lightning Bolt, Odd Future

Posted By on 09.13.12 at 12:32 PM

Let's assume for the sake of argument that you didn't score tickets to the Hideout Block Party & A.V. Fest this weekend (I think we can safely blame Wilco for how quickly it sold out), and that you're in no position to get yourself in for free by showing up early on Friday with an ax and an amp to play with the Vision Celestial Guitarkestra. Furthermore let's say you're so burned out on giant outdoor festivals that not even Iggy & the Stooges and a Tilt-a-Whirl can lure you to Humboldt Park for Riot Fest. Whatever will you do to get your live-music fix?

Well, obviously that's a rhetorical question. There are a bazillion shows in Chicago this weekend, many of them excellent—in fact not even the most efficient planning humanly possible will save you from missing something great to catch something else great. Soundboard rounds up the best, as usual, and I've got four highlights from the next four days after the jump:

Thu 9/13: Antibalas at Lincoln Hall

Brooklyn band Antibalas focus more tightly on the hard-core Afrobeat at the heart of their sound on their fantastic new self-titled album. "Their playing is sharper and more exciting than ever, and the fiercely rhythmic arrangements are their strongest and most detailed yet, shifting from bar to bar so that one instrument might finish a phrase started by another," says Peter Margasak. "No other extant Afrobeat band is this good or this vital—as sacrilegious as it feels to say, sometimes I think they play it better than Fela."

Fri 9/14: Pallbearer at Beat Kitchen

Because I enjoy overextending my metaphors, I tried comparing Pallbearer's debut full-length, this year's Sorrow and Extinction (Profound Lore), to "crossing the taiga on horseback: lonely and exalting, incomprehensibly vast and devastatingly beautiful, driven by the stubborn rhythms of the body rather than by the hope of a destination." I wouldn't mind if these guys started a trend in doom metal: the riffs are satisfyingly thick, hooky, and sophisticated, with layers of melody and countermelody moving past one another in stately dances, and the clean, mournful vocals stick quivering in your brain like icy spears.

Sat 9/15: Lightning Bolt at the Empty Bottle

"Lightning Bolt will always belong on the floor in front of the stage," says Kevin Warwick, "surrounded by kids with yellow-pitted T-shirts in some broken-down art space whose dirty walls balloon and contract with the insane surges of Brian Chippendale's hopped-up drumming." The forthcoming EP Oblivion Hunter collects rarities and "lost" tracks from 2008, and unshockingly it sounds like Lightning Bolt: heavy, mind-bendingly bizarre grooves that crackle and scream with gusts of feedback and bouts of Chippendale-induced hyperactivity. "Stuff some toilet paper in your ears and wear an outfit you could give a shit about. The Bottle's going to get loud, and it's going to be a mess."

Sun 9/16: Odd Future at the Vic

"Now that the whereabouts of standout member Earl Sweatshirt have been ascertained (he was incommunicado at boot camp in Samoa, and now he's back), the issue of the group's supposed homophobia has been settled (Frank Ocean coming out brings them up to two gay members), and the novelty of their skate-rat-meets-Lisa Frank visual aesthetic has worn off, maybe we can finally get back to talking about Odd Future's music," suggests Miles Raymer. "In March they dropped The OF Tape Vol. 2, a sequel to the collaborative Tumblr-released mixtapes that initially made them famous, and it ranks among the strongest rap releases of the year." After this concert, Odd Future will also be the "special guests" at tonight's Trash Talk show at Subterranean. It's $10 and 17+, it starts at 11 PM, and it's guaranteed to be absolute chaos.

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