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Events Next 30 Days – Recommended

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Podcast Midwest

Sat 5/23, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM

Some of the best podcasters in the game are on hand to discuss the art and business of the booming digital medium. Colt Cabana of The Art of Wrestling is your keynote speaker; Erin Kahoa (WBEZ), Tricia Bobeda (Nerdette), and Mommy's Cocktail Hour hosts Beth Round and Tawny Fineran also appear. $99-$129

http://podcastmidwest.com/
Chopin Theatre (map)
1543 W. Division St.
Ukrainian Village/East Village
phone 773-769-3832

Tools

Health & Beauty, Invisible Things, Dark Fog, Plastic Crimewave Syndicate

Mon., May 25, 9 p.m.

On Time as One Axis (New Atlantis) Invisible Things, the wild duo of Chicago guitarist Mark Shippy (ex-U.S. Maple) and Philadelphia drummer Jim Sykes (ex-Parts & Labor), deftly expand and improve upon the sprawling racket of their chaotic 2012 debut, Home Is the Sun. Produced by Martin Bisi, the brand-new album begins like a detonated bomb, with screaming and feverish slide-guitar noise spazzing all over hyper­active beats, and though there’s a loose structure at work on opener “Rockets,” the pair seem intent on obliterating it. On the seven pieces that follow one can really hear how the group have refined their sound—or rather their loudness and rudeness. Storming workouts service the hazy melodies Shippy sings in a kind of distant, numb howl, and at times Invisible Things sound like a vicious math-rock combo, with a complexity that would do Mick Barr proud. But what makes the project rewarding to hear are moments when the two pull back to focus on texture: the chiming sounds Shippy produces before “Four Figures” eventually coalesce into a chugging art-rocker, and Sykes’s full-on free playing keeps the listener forever guessing what his next move might be. —Peter Margasak

Empty Bottle (map)
1035 N. Western Ave.
Ukrainian Village/East Village
phone 773-276-3600
Health & Beauty, Invisible Things, Dark Fog, Plastic Crimewave Syndicate

Tools

Oblivians, Running, the Sueves

Thu., May 28, 9 p.m.

During their original 90s run, Memphis-­born trio the Oblivians set such a high bar that nobody else playing trashy garage rock has cleared it to this day—they collided frenzied, primitive garbage-can drumming, guitars so blown-out they sound like a weed eater chewing at a wrought-iron fence, and unhinged vocals that split the difference between an old-school soul shouter and a belt sander. As a band they’re basically an oil-­smoking beater with no hubcaps doing 70 down a narrow alley, but with three strong songwriters, their repertoire has a depth and variety that belie that deliberate shittiness: they’re equally convincing on the white-hot blowtorch of “Strong Come On” and the moody, morbid gospel number “Final Stretch.” The Oblivians have been reuniting occasionally since at least 2006, when they played the HoZac Blackout, and in 2013 they released Desperation (In the Red), their first album in 15 years. The members’ time apart seems to have sharpened the distinctions between their styles: Greg Cartwright, who now leads the Reigning Sound, loves the driving, sentimental melodies of vintage soul, country, and R&B; Jack Yarber, whose recent bands include the Tennessee Tearjerkers and a solo project as Jack Oblivian, favors taut, smart-assed rock inflected with power pop and new wave; and Eric Friedl, best known as the founder of Goner Records, sticks to dirt-simple, bloody-pick-guard punk. (Everybody takes turns singing, drumming, and playing guitar.) The passage of years and trends notwithstanding, the Oblivians retain their golden ear for cover songs: Desperation includes a knock-down, drag-out garage-rock version of “Call the Police,” a 2002 regional hit from Louisiana zydeco and blues singer Stephanie McDee. These guys may be middle-aged motherfuckers now, just like me, but their songs throb with young blood—put on your dancin’ legs for this one, my pretties. —Philip Montoro $15

Buy from TicketWeb
Empty Bottle (map)
1035 N. Western Ave.
Ukrainian Village/East Village
phone 773-276-3600
Oblivians, Running, the Sueves

Tools

Black Mountain, Verma, Chatham Rise

Sat., May 30, 9 p.m.

Over the past decade, Vancouver psych-rock five-piece Black Mountain have honed their spacey aesthetic, growing into a slick, groovy vibe machine and pumping their epic records full of gorgeous vocal harmonies, Hawkwind-­style synth soundscapes, Jon Lord-­flavored organ madness, David Gilmour guitar wizardry, and stoner-rock stomp. It’s a sort of heavy metal for the masses, relying on a massive wall of guitar as much as it does a sunny pop sensibility. But Black Mountain didn’t always sound so festival ready: on their self-titled 2005 debut, they were a sleazy, desert-fried psych-metal outfit, toying with gigantic, evil riffs and bombastic Sabbath drums. Their style was loose, weird, and reckless, and they played it like the brand-new band they were—with tons of bite and nothing to lose. This tour is in support of the tenth-anniversary reissue of that first album: this time Black Mountain (Jagjaguwar) comes out on a two-LP set at the end of June. The new deluxe edition doubles the album’s length by adding early recordings, demos, and live cuts from the group in their scuzzy infancy. —Luca Cimarusti Black Mountain also plays at Do-Division Street Fest on 5/29. sold out

Buy from TicketWeb
Empty Bottle (map)
1035 N. Western Ave.
Ukrainian Village/East Village
phone 773-276-3600
Black Mountain, Verma, Chatham Rise

Tools

Another Kind of Love

Through 6/14: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2 PM

Life isn't about avoiding pain but plumbing its depths and managing the results wails Another Kind of Love, a female-driven punk-rock masterpiece by Crystal Skillman, now receiving a debut production from InFusion Theatre Company. Maybe masterpiece isn't quite the right word—it suggests something lofty and out of reach, where this play banks on raw and accessible if festering emotions. But an artistic achievement it is. The Brooklyn-based Skillman has previously tackled angsty relationships and paid fan-girl tributes, but this time she gives us sisters, those lovable/hateful creatures simultaneously in each other's arms and at each other's throats. Here there are three of them, ex-members of a Riot Grrrl-era band, now in their 30s and struggling to find a way forward. The oldest, Tanya, stayed in Seattle's suburbia with her 15-year-old daughter, Max, while the others, Kit and Collin, cashed in on fame to varying degrees. They haven't seen each other since the band broke up, but after urgings from Max—herself a punk rocker in the making—the sisters reunite on the anniversary of their rock-star mother's suicide. Continue reading >> $25, $20 seniors, $15 students

http://infusiontheatre.com
Chopin Theatre (map)
1543 W. Division St.
Ukrainian Village/East Village
phone 773-769-3832
Another Kind of Love

Tools

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