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Events Next 30 Days – Image

110 total results

San Fermin, So Percussion

Mon., June 1, 6:30 p.m.

Dynamic New York quartet So Percussion have long demonstrated a very broad view of what counts as “percussion,” whether that means thwacking amplified cacti or ceramics. Tonight they’ll perform Music for Wood and Strings, a 2013 work written for the group by guitarist Bryce Dessner of the National and commissioned by Carnegie Hall. The piece requires all four musicians to play hybrid instruments designed specifically for the project by Dessner with Aron Sanchez of Buke & Gase; each “chordstick” features eight strings tuned to a pair of open chords. So Percussion play them (including a bass version that uses frets) with bows, mallets, and even pencils, producing lush, resonant harmonies whether they involve all the strings or just one apiece. Some parts involve relatively conventional instruments such as a bass drum or wood blocks, but the focus is on these four novel dulcimer-like contraptions—on a new recording of Music for Wood and Strings released by Brassland, So Percussion use them to create hovering drones, lockstep polyrhythmic patterns, collisions of overtones, and repetitive, pulse-­quickening minimalist cycles. —Peter Margasak

Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park (map)
Michigan and Randolph
Loop
phone 312-742-1168
San Fermin, So Percussion

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Hideout (map)
1354 W. Wabansia Ave.
West Town/Noble Square
phone 773-227-4433
Robbie Fulks

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Paul Lytton

Mon., June 1, 7:30 p.m.

British percussionist Paul Lytton secured his place in the firmament of free improvisation more than 40 years ago, and he remains one of the most original and probing players ever to abandon the traditional rhythmic role of the drums in favor of texture and abstraction. By extending his kit with a phalanx of found objects, ad hoc devices, and metal percussion from around the world as well as with jury-rigged electronics, he creates tangled, engrossing fields of sound—frictive, harsh, sibilant, resonant—that let him go head-to-head with saxophonists, pianists, and the like rather than simply serving as a timekeeper or accompanist. That said, Lytton has always been skilled at driving music forward, even if his propulsion is rarely straight-ahead. Just as his playing stays in constant motion, Lytton continues to grow and try new things—and he’s provided listeners with an excellent chance to dig into his current practice on the new ?! (released by Pleasure of the Text, the label of trumpeter Nate Wooley), his first solo album since 1979’s The Inclined Stick. The playful curiosity of the record’s eight pieces (some include samples of the screams of domestic cats) extends to its strident, mind-warping layers of multi­directional movement. Lytton seems to be able to impart each thread of sound—whether scraping, gurgling, thwacking, pinging, or something harder to put into words—with its own distinct tempo or pulse. He fuels the boundless energy in his playing with equal parts open-hearted wonder and ruthless know-how. This rare solo performance kicks off a new weekly series at Experimental Sound Studio called Option, organized by reedist Ken Vandermark, drummer Tim Daisy, and guitarist Andrew Clinkman; after Lytton plays, he’ll sit down for a conversation with Vandermark. —Peter Margasak $10

Experimental Sound Studio (map)
5925 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Ravenswood
phone 773-769-1069
Paul Lytton

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Schubas (map)
3159 N. Southport Ave.
Lakeview
phone 773-525-2508
The Dø

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Hideout (map)
1354 W. Wabansia Ave.
West Town/Noble Square
phone 773-227-4433
Roommate

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Aragon Ballroom (map)
1106 W. Lawrence Ave.
Uptown
phone 773-561-9500 or 866-448-7849
Thievery Corporation, Beats Antique

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Aborted, Fit for an Autopsy, Archspire, Dark Sermon

Wed., June 3, 8 p.m.

If you want a little wit and wisdom with your brutal grinding metal about mass slaughter and explicit necrophilia, you could do a lot worse than Belgian five-piece Aborted. Their eighth full-length, last year’s The Necrotic Manifesto (Century Media), is a nonstop onslaught, dense and intense enough that the band probably didn’t have to bother writing good songs. But they did anyway, and even the lyrics are solid—when there’s no electricity after the anarchic meltdown of civilization, a fireside acoustic set from these guys would sound just fine while you’re chowing down on your charred human remains (at least the pieces not big enough to, um, get intimate with). That is, you’re not necessarily being spared from anything by the general incomprehensibility of the vocals on the record. Straight from an instrumental intro (“Six Feet of Foreplay”), Aborted roar right into it, absorbing a couple of guest vocalists (the Acacia Strain’s Vincent Bennett on “Your Entitlement Means Nothing” and Wormed’s Phlegeton on “Excremental Veracity”) without a hiccup. The iTunes version of The Necrotic Manifesto includes a cover of Sepultura’s “Arise” from the 2014 EP Scriptures of the Dead, and the limited edition adds three bonus tracks, including songs by Converge and Suffocation. —Monica Kendrick $20, $16 in advance

Buy from TicketWeb
Reggie's Rock Club (map)
2109 S. State St.
Near South Side
phone 312-949-0121
Aborted, Fit for an Autopsy, Archspire, Dark Sermon

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1349, Necrophagia, Vattnet Viskar, They Die Screaming

Thu., June 4, 8:30 p.m.

On their two previous releases, New Hampshire black-metal band Vattnet Viskar seemed to capture the harshness and beauty of a frigid, rocky, barely populated mountain forest. But they’ve brought the sprawling wildness of their earliest material under tight control, and on the new Settler, out June 16 on Century Media, they turn their attention to space travel—an atypical subject for black metal, despite its built-in drama, loneliness, and violence. The album and its cover take inspiration from a 1985 photograph of Challenger astronaut Christa McAuliffe during her zero-gravity training. “She looks so alive and glowing,” says guitarist Chris Alfieri. “It’s one of the most conflicted things I’ve ever seen: to be so happy, at the peak of life, only to have it all gone right after.” The music reflects that conflict: the throaty, sinister bass, bright tremolo-picked guitars, and spacious, pistoning drums suggest the gleaming surfaces and implacable momentum of a doomed and beautiful machine, while the aspirational chord progressions, labyrinthine yet briskly concise structures, and nimble, lyrical solos hint at a terrible but exhilarating journey of discovery. Hanging over everything, the bleak, elegiac mood and the furious gusts of vocals seem to say that the transcendence and transformation of this journey will come at an inconceivable cost. In “Impact” guitarist and front man Nick Thornbury sings, “Seven / Three / Eternity / I sleep when I reach the sea,” referring to Challenger’s explosion 73 seconds after launch. “Now I rest upon a pillar of smoke.” The lyrics to “Heirs” leap into the future, giving voice to the fear that colonization of other worlds will amount to little more than the spread of humanity’s untreated sickness beyond earth. “God help us all / We shouldn’t be here,” Thornbury sings. “Let’s not take this ride again / Let’s let it end.” Alfieri puts it another way: “Even though you know that the end of the path is your destruction and the destruction of everything you know,” he says, “you must do it, and you would choose no other way to live.” —Philip Montoro $20

Cobra Lounge (map)
235 N. Ashland Ave.
West Loop/Fulton Market
phone 312-226-6300
1349, Necrophagia, Vattnet Viskar, They Die Screaming

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In Fraud We Trust! The Live-Action Sitcom

Through 6/4: Thu 10:30 PM

In this satire of Chicago corruption from Off-Color Comedy, Drew, a volunteer serving in Africa, has an onscreen meltdown that goes viral; after losing his post he moves back to Chicago, where he acquires a job in the city clerk's office. A five-part series offering an episode per week, In Fraud We Trust serves as a satire of TV sitcoms as well, reeling in all the standard elements. The night I attended, the show had its amusing moments—especially a perfectly hammed-up shootout enacted as a slow-mo dream sequence. —Zara Yost $12

Stage 773 (map)
1225 W. Belmont Ave.
Lakeview
phone 773-327-5252
In Fraud We Trust! The Live-Action Sitcom

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Girlschool, Crucified, Barbara, Old James, Velvet Black

Fri., June 5, 7 p.m.

This pioneering all-female hard-rock/heavy-metal band has a fascinating backstory. Born during an era in the late 70s when just a blurry line separated British punk and hard rock, they had several moments of glory early on in the 80s, including but not limited to a collaborative single and multiple tours with Motorhead (Lemmy is a loyal fan). In fact, they rubbed a lot of shoulders, thanks in part to genre boundaries that were much less sharply defined than they appear in retrospect (Go-Go’s guitarist Kathy Valentine actually played in an early lineup of Girlschool when she was visiting the UK). That being said, the much-lauded early releases Demolition and Hit and Run place Girlschool pretty squarely within the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (some find Screaming Blue Murder inferior to those first two, but I always liked it). Though the band have dealt with lineup changes and hiatuses through the years, they never officially split: in 2013 they celebrated their 35th anniversary, and this year they’re celebrating their 37th with the brand-new Guilty as Sin, their first studio album since 2008’s Legacy. Amazingly, three of the four original members are currently with the band; the only one missing is guitarist Kelly Johnson, who died of spinal cancer in 2007—so pour one out for her. —Monica Kendrick $25, $20 in advance

Buy Tickets
Reggie's Rock Club (map)
2109 S. State St.
Near South Side
phone 312-949-0121
Girlschool, Crucified, Barbara, Old James, Velvet Black

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Songhoy Blues, DJ Warp

Fri., June 5, 8 p.m.

In recent years guitar bands from the Sahara like Tinariwen, Etran Finatawa, and Group Doueh have found an audience beyond the usual world-music market by pushing a bluesy sound toward open-minded rock fans. Tinariwen have even collaborated with American figures like TV on the Radio, Chavez’s Matt Sweeney, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band without appreciably altering their deep, hypnotic sound. It was only a matter of time before an African band would turn up the rock side of the quotient—and that’s exactly what Mali’s Songhoy Blues do on their impressive U.S. debut, Music in Exile (Atlantic). Coproduced by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (who also plays guitar on much of the record), the band generally eschew simplistic 4/4 patterns—though percussionist Nathanaël Dembelé does favor aggressively pounding a drum kit over playing clopping calabash grooves—and revel in heavy syncopation and guitar licks that cycle through one another (never mind a song like “Nick,” which choogles with almost as much gusto as a ZZ Top track). If the band seem to summon more intensity than their Sahel counterparts, it’s with good reason: Songhoy Blues formed in the wake of the early 2012 uprising in northern Mali, which drove guitarists Garba Touré and Aliou Touré and bassist Oumar Touré to flee their hometowns for Mali’s capital, Bamako (despite the members’ shared names, none are related). There the band became a huge attraction celebrated for their endurance. They’ve been known to play a four-hour set without a break; I’m sure they can handle the shorter performance they’ll give here on their first U.S. tour. —Peter Margasak $12-$17

Buy Tickets
Thalia Hall (map)
1227 W. 18th
Pilsen/Little Village
phone 312-526-3851
Songhoy Blues, DJ Warp

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