This Icelandic quartet, active in various forms since the mid-90s, move at their own pace: last fall’s Ótta (Season of Mist) is their fifth full-length, and their first since 2011. The album builds steadily on the momentum reached with its predecessor, Svartir Sandar, and freezes it in a long single day. Together the tracks constitute a daylong period that’s measured via an old Icelandic form of timekeeping, which produces a sort of moody, atmospheric Nordic analogue to the melodic tradition of raga in Indian classical music. As you can imagine, this isn’t a record where speed is much of a virtue—though, true to their space-psychedelic rock roots, Solstafir can hit a steady boogie gallop when they feel like it. Piano and unexpected instrumentation (yes, that’s a banjo on the title track) lend suspense and tonal color to the romantic grandeur of the constantly rising action, and the overall effect is as rewarding as a good day spent appreciating a bracing hike in a landscape that’s alien but beautiful. —Monica Kendrick $15, $12 in advance
Joffrey Ballet presents four new pieces including Christopher Wheeldon's Liturgy, a duet set to "Fratres" by Arvo Pärt, and Nicolas Blanc's Evenfall, which follows a couple's relationship from beginning to end. $32-$155http://joffrey.org
Will Eno’s very funny, curiously moving hour-long monologue is delivered by an unnamed foreign traveler (Michael Patrick Thornton) whose state of being neither here nor there prompts him to reflect on life’s basic riddles. "Time, place, happiness," he says. "A person should be able to figure it out. It’s only three things." The language is provisional and the mood comically bleak, though tempered by Eno’s compassion for the pitiful, beautiful creatures we humans are. Positioned on a bare stage surrounded by the audience on three sides, the wheelchair-bound Thornton is given nowhere to hide by director Marti Lyons, who entirely forgoes Lookingglass Theatre Company’s trademark acrobatics. Thornton doesn’t need them—his performance is just about perfect, combining an easy geniality with traces of some unspoken heartbreak. —Zac Thompson $40-$60
Where? Everywhere. When? All the time. This year's Chicago Dance Month, organized under the theme "Open Doors, Open Spaces," celebrates a variety of forms—from aerial to butoh—in venues across the city. See website for details.http://seechicagodance.com/festival/chicago-dance-month-2015
In the Art Institute's first exhibition in its new Modern Series, various artists explore the idea of fragmentation. $17-$39
The first museum survey of American photographer John Gossage's career.
5/5 show sold out