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James Adomian

4/23-4/26: Thu 8:30 PM, Fri 8:30 and 10:30 PM, Sat 7, 9, and 11:15 PM, Sun 8:30 PM

James Adomian makes an impression. Several of them, actually. The LA comedian is famous for his impersonations, most of which you can hear by listening to just about any comedy podcast on the Web, but seeing him live is the ideal experience. Chances are he'll bust out his spot-on impression of Kyle Kinane, the Chicago expat with the distinct guttural cadence. $25 plus two-drink minimum

Zanies (map)
1548 N. Wells St.
Old Town
phone 312-337-4027
James Adomian

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Fri., April 24, 1:30 p.m., Sat., April 25, 8 p.m. and Sun., April 26, 3 p.m.

Semyon Bychkov, conductor (Bruckner).

Symphony Center (map)
220 S. Michigan Ave.
Loop
phone 312-294-3000

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Omar Sosa's Quarteto Afro Cubano

Fri., April 24, 8 & 10 p.m., Sat., April 25, 8 & 10 p.m. and Sun., April 26, 4, 8 & 10 p.m.
Jazz Showcase (map)
806 S. Plymouth Ct.
South Loop
phone 312-360-0234

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Pharez Whitted Septet

Fri., April 24, 9:30 p.m. and Sat., April 25, 9:30 p.m.
Andy's Jazz Club (map)
11 E. Hubbard St.
River North
phone 312-642-6805

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18+
Adam Ferrara

4/23-4/26: Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 and 10:15 PM, Sat 7 and 9:15 PM, Sun 7 PM

$19 plus two-drink minimum

Chicago Improv (map)
5 Woodfield Rd.
Other Suburbs Northwest
phone 847-240-2001

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Mike Lebovitz

4/23-4/25: Thu 8 PM, Fri-Sat 8 and 10 PM

$20

The Comedy Bar (map)
500 N. LaSalle St.
River North
phone 312-836-0499

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Indie Comix Expo

Fri 4/24, 6-11 PM

C2E2, the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, is in full swing, but comic fans with less mainstream tastes needn't worry—the Indie Comix Expo has gathered some of the best underground comic aficionados, and they're here to shoot the breeze. Scheduled to appear are Andy Jewett (Sicko, Low Concept), David Brown (5D Comics), and Jennie Wood (Flutter, A Boy Like Me). There's also food, drinks, and live music. $8

http://kingbonepress.com
Reggie's Rock Club (map)
2109 S. State St.
Near South Side
phone 312-949-0121
Indie Comix Expo

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Laugh, Clown, Laugh

Fri 4/24, 8 PM

The Silent Film Society of Chicago presents a special screening of the classic 1928 silent drama starring Lon Chaney and Loretta Young. Attending the event is Christopher Lewis, Young's son, who will introduce the film and participate in a Q&A afterward. As always, organist Jay Warren provides live musical accompaniment. $10

http://silentfilmchicago.com
Patio Theater (map)
6008 W. Irving Park Rd.
Portage Park
phone 773-685-4291

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A Toast to Life

Fri 4/24, 6:30-10:30 PM

The annual Muscular Dystrophy Association fund-raiser includes cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction. If you're feeling really generous, you can put together a sponsorship package, helping raise awareness for ALS treatment. $95

http://mdatoasttolife.com
Park West (map)
322 W. Armitage Ave.
Lincoln Park
phone 773-929-5959
A Toast to Life

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Sufjan Stevens, Little Scream

Fri., April 24, 7:30 p.m. and Sat., April 25, 7:30 p.m.

The seventh album from whimsical Michigan folkie Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty), is named after his mother and stepfather. Lowell cofounded Asthmatic Kitty with Stevens in 1999, while Carrie, a schizophrenic who struggled with addiction, abandoned Stevens when he was a year old and was only sporadically involved in his life (she died from stomach cancer in 2012). Despite Stevens’s tenuous relationship with Carrie, he paints a loving, deep portrait of her (with all of her flaws), shading the silhouette of a mother we as listeners get to know as well as the man making the album about her. Many of the tender, disarming songs on Carrie & Lowell feature a cathartic vision of grief as well as an acknowledgment of the impression one person’s life can make on others, for better or worse. In remembering Sufjan’s final moments with Carrie, “Fourth of July” hits the hardest. The tune’s sparse, spectral instrumentation puts the focus on Stevens’s hushed vocals, which candidly recount a final conversation between mother and son. The pair ruminate on the process of death (“The hospital asked should the body be cast / Before I say good-bye”) and pepper their voiced regrets, desires, and final good-byes with pet names. Even though the declaration of eternal love fails to bring Carrie back to life—much to Stevens’s sorrow—it casts a blinding light on the rest of the world. —Leor Galil sold out

Buy Tickets
Chicago Theatre (map)
175 N. State St.
Loop
phone 312-462-6300
Sufjan Stevens, Little Scream

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Black Host, Nude Model

Fri., April 24, 8:30 p.m.

Detroit native Gerald Cleaver has long been one of the most resourceful and creative drummers in the New York jazz scene, shifting between playing straight-ahead sounds as part of trumpeter Jeremy Pelt’s quintet and executing mercurial improvisations with pianist Craig Taborn and bassist William Parker in the protean trio Farmers by Nature. But the group that’s made it most difficult to pin down his aesthetic has been his Black Host quintet—a fantastic postfusion combo that plays with piquant lyricism, rhythmic elasticity, ferocious power, and a rich timbre. Joined by a group of top-tier collaborators in saxophonist Darius Jones, pianist Cooper-Moore, electric guitarist Brandon Seabrook, and bassist Pascal Niggenkemper, Cleaver directs his own high-octane compositions, a trademark of which is their blend of elegant grace and seething fury. Most of the pieces on the group’s 2013 debut, Life in the Sugar Candle Mines (Northern Spy), include his routine layering of slow-moving melody lines over frenetic rhythms—but they can also be impatient, with constant shifts in tempo, energy, and feel. “Ayler Children” opens with a brisk swing: Cooper-Moore plays splashy free-jazz lines and creates a context for the delicate unison between Jones and Seabrook, both of whom eventually dissect the flow, first via Seabrook’s nimble picking of the guitar—his sound sits somewhere between instrumental surf and prog metal—and later with a fiery, gut-punching saxophone solo from Jones. The following piece, “Citizen Rose,” is a moody, viscous ballad that channels serious turbulence even at lower volume and a slower pace. I can’t wait to hear how the music and the band’s rapport have developed since the record was made. —Peter Margasak $10

Constellation (map)
3111 N. Western Ave.
Roscoe Village Black Host, Nude Model

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Sonics, Barrence Whitfield & the Savages

Fri., April 24, 9 p.m.

When the Sonics played the Double Door in early 2014, it was the first Chicago show in their five-decade history. Now these venerated garage-rock maniacs are back with another first—their first new studio album since 1967, last month’s This Is the Sonics (Revox), recorded by former Dirtbombs bassist Jim Diamond in what the cover calls “earth-shaking mono.” When the Sonics released their debut LP in 1965, rock ’n’ roll had been freaking out the squares for more than a decade, but these five kids from Tacoma, Washington, supplemented the usual juvie snarling about cars and chicks with sinister, bug-eyed derangement—they sound like a furniture-destroying house party that could turn into a B-movie bloodbath with the flick of a switchblade. The Sonics fell apart by 1969, after a disastrous flirtation with a more polished sound, but today they’ve got three members from their classic lineup: guitarist Larry Parypa (who founded the earliest version of the group in 1960), saxophonist Rob Lind, and inimitable howler Gerald “Jerry” Roslie (who also plays keys). The new album sticks to the band’s familiar mix of stomping, swinging caveman-club originals and in-the-tradition covers, including Hank Ballard’s “Look at Little Sister,” Marty Robbins’s “Sugaree,” and Nick Ashford’s “I Don’t Need No Doctor.” Roslie’s flamethrower of a voice has thinned and cracked (sometimes he definitely sounds like a guy who’ll turn 71 next month), but the Sonics still have the same pell-mell energy in their no-fucks-given slam-bang performances—and new bassist Freddie Dennis (who played with UK transplants the Liverpool Five in the late 60s) does a decent Roslie impression on several songs. The band’s lyrics on This Is the Sonics never get as dumb-brilliant as my favorite couplet in the immortal “Strychnine” (“Wine is red, poison is blue / Strychnine is good for what’s ailing you”), but on “Save the Planet” Roslie shares a sentiment I can get behind: “Everybody’s loaded, everybody here / We have to save the planet, it’s the only one with beer.” —Philip Montoro $25-$35

Buy Tickets
Thalia Hall (map)
1227 W. 18th
Pilsen/Little Village
phone 312-526-3851
Sonics, Barrence Whitfield & the Savages

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Omar S, Christina Chatfield, Sassmouth

Fri., April 24, 10 p.m.

The DJ-mix series at London club Fabric is typically a forum for artists to show off their eclectic tastes and exquisite sequencing skills, but the set by Detroit tech-house artist Omar S captured on 2009’s Fabric 45: Omar S—Detroit was instead a brilliantly woven compilation of an unprecedented run of dazzling self-released 12-inches. That mix became his breakthrough, but rather than use his newfound recognition and high-paying DJ gigs to up the production value of his music, he took the opposite approach. The following two albums, 2011’s It Can Be Done, But Only I Can Do It and 2013’s Thank You for Letting Me Be Myself (both released on his label, FXHE Records), are bruising and occasionally cosmic throwbacks to late-80s and early-90s lo-fi house and techno. Omar is one of the most dynamic and precise DJs I’ve ever seen, so if you haven’t witnessed one of his DJ gigs before and you’re a fan of Detroit techno then this is not a date to be missed. —Tal Rosenberg $16, $12 in advance, $14 before midnight

Smart Bar (map)
3730 N. Clark St.
Wrigleyville
phone 773-549-4140
Omar S, Christina Chatfield, Sassmouth

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C2E2

4/24-4/26: Fri 11 AM-7 PM, Sat 10 AM-7 PM, Sun 10 AM-5 PM

The annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, affectionately known as C2E2, is back to serve your nerdy needs. Seek face time with luminaries from the worlds of comic books (Stan Lee, Humberto Ramos), TV (The Walking Dead's Chad L. Coleman; Game of Thrones's Jason Momoa), film (M. Night Shyamalan, Paul Feig), and, for whatever reason, professional wrestling—seriously, Sgt. Slaughter, Al Snow, Scott Hall, and Jerry "The King" Lawler will be there, presumably kicking ass and taking names. And so will Kevin Smith, because obviously. $30, $60 weekend pass

http://c2e2.com
McCormick Place (map)
2301 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Bronzeville
phone 312-791-6300
C2E2

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