If you caught jangle-punk band Tyler Jon Tyler before they broke up last fall, I’m sure you were floored—just like everybody who saw them—by the power of Rebecca Flores’s vocals. Soulful and raw but with an unapologetic flamboyance, they put her in a class with Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females. Flores’s current project, Negative Scanner—whose first show was exactly one year ago tonight, and also at the Burlington—has more snarl and bite than Tyler Jon Tyler, and its occasional dives into dark postpunk let her brood and cut loose even more. An Empty Bottle set recorded in May by engineer Shimby McCreery testifies not only to Flores’s commanding presence but also to Negative Scanner’s fierce, filled-out sound—and the band is bound to be even better by now. It just finished its debut LP, with plans for a spring release; labels, take note. —Kevin Warwick Circles headline; Negative Scanner and Basic Cable open. $7 suggested donation
Joan of Arc’s umpteenth studio album, this summer’s Testimonium Songs (Polyvinyl), documents the band’s involvement in a multitiered performance piece put together by Chicago artists Lin Hixson and Matthew Goulish (aka Every House Has a Door), which premiered in October. Called Testimonium, it was inspired by the objectivist poetry of Charles Reznikoff, who in 1933 began transforming American criminal courtroom transcripts into poetry (eventually published in the unfinished 528-page book Testimony). In his liner notes Goulish writes that Reznikoff “imagined an alternate history of the United States, one that would include voices omitted from the history books.” Only the hooky opening track, “Amelia,” borrows directly from the poet, whose work can be quite specific to its period; for his original lyrics, bandleader Tim Kinsella devised present-day analogues to Reznikoff’s writing, delivering philosophical inquiries and gnomic observations. Joan of Arc developed this material over a two-year period, but it never feels overworked or fussy; though the songs complicate the objectivist notion of the poem as a kind of self-contained object, the knotty music carries its own weight, especially on the 14-minute “The Bird’s Nest Wrapped Around the Security Camera,” which unspools constantly shifting permutations of a simple set of phrases. Kinsella and company are coming off a long European tour, and knowing them this show will balance glad-to-be-home casualness with the dialed-in sharpness that comes from playing almost every night for six weeks. —Peter Margasak Pinebender opens. $10
Thirty-year-old Glaswegian electronic musician Russell Whyte, aka Rustie, is part of a generation of dance-music artists and listeners that seemingly overnight has almost entirely abandoned the practice of dividing things into genres. In the late aughts, in the wake of the first wave of UK dubstep, he made his name by applying some of dubstep’s production tricks to a bright, rave-influenced tonal palette and fusing the whole thing to a hip-hop framework. There’s no real consensus about what to call the result—aside from “bass music,” which is too inclusive to be helpful—but it’s remarkably fluid and easily tweaked to suit rappers and EDM kids alike. Rustie hasn’t released a full-length album since 2011’s paradigm-setting Glass Swords, but in October three tracks he produced turned up on Old, by Detroit MC and dance-music aficionado Danny Brown—including the standout “Way Up Here,” which channels the brash swagger of southern rap and the loopiness of old-school rave techno without sounding much like either. Rustie’s other big release of 2013, the single “Triadzz” b/w ”Slasherr,” is giddily euphoric EDM with swells and sick breaks, but it also shows the unexpected influence of vintage horror-movie soundtracks and the nascent cloud-rap movement. —Miles Raymer DJ Rashad, Zebo, and Intel open. $10
Handmade works by local artisans. Items include jewelry, ceramics, toys, accessories, and art. Koval Distillery and Angel Food Bakery will sling cocktails and cookies, respectively.
The LGBTQ chorus performs Christmas carols beneath the reflective gaze of Millennium Park's Cloud Gate. Presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
The wholesome twosome shows off its signature holiday cheer.