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Friday 22

ABBA: THE MUSIC About ten years ago, in one of those stranger-than-fiction moments, I was on a tour bus in Paris en route to Napoleon's tomb when Abba's "Waterloo" came on the radio. The song's hilariously formal take on the love-is-a-battlefield theme put me in even more of a continental state of mind: "At Waterloo Napoleon did surrender / Oh yeah / And I have met my destiny in quite a similar way." "Waterloo" was, of course, anything but a waterloo for Abba: the song won the 1974 Eurovision song contest, launching the band's hugely successful career. For its revue Abba: The Music, the Swedish cover band Waterloo has paid a frightening amount of attention to detail, roping in members of Abba's touring band and re-creating Abba's Mediterranean-yacht-enthusiast stage look, right down to the feathered bangs: "We listen very carefully to small things like where they breathe," says singer Camilla Hedren in one interview. Yikes. 8 PM, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay & Lake Cook Rds., Highland Park, 847-266-5100, sold out. All ages. --J. Niimi

DRAG THE RIVER This Colorado band started out as one of the many great acts on chronically underrated Upland Records, a division of Joe Carducci's Owned & Operated label that links modern alt-country to dark 80s cowpunk. A good-naturedly dreary bunch of guys, they're still touring behind last fall's Hey Buddies. . . EP (Mars Motors). It's a surprisingly friendly and inviting disc, considering that it captures the very moment when being drunk stops being fun and turns into something pathetic, disgusting, and drenched with regret, the mood elevated only by the sweet sadness of the cheesy music on the jukebox, which you cling to the same way a reporter covering a hurricane holds on to a telephone pole. They have a new drummer for this tour; a new full-length is due in the fall. Two Cow Garage, Halfacre Gunroom, and Ghost Buffalo open. 7 PM, Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton, 773-975-0505 or 866-468-3401, $6 in advance, $8 at the door, 18+. --Monica Kendrick

LOVE STORY IN BLOOD RED This show is a release party for Love Story in Blood Red (available for free at www.lovestoryinbloodred.com), the second full-length from this local band led by former Spiveys and Means front man Jason Frederick. The record has moments that are frighteningly good in a wild-eyed and hooky Modern Lovers way; the songs are straightforward and primal, and Frederick sounds twitchy and wired, as if he were constantly anticipating shocks from an electrified discipline collar. 9:30 PM, Buddy, 1542 N. Milwaukee, 773-342-7332, $7 suggested donation (includes a copy of the new album). All ages. --Monica Kendrick

SUPERPITCHER Electronic music is a night creature by nature, and Superpitcher's nocturnal. Not campy goth vampire nocturnal, not raver hamster nocturnal, but obsessive nocturnal--he's like the tired-eyed guy who can't fall asleep until the neighbors are getting ready for work. Upon blastoff of his latest DJ mix, Today (Kompakt), I thought, Here we go again: another lonely German shoving us up a womb, feeding us muted bass, and singing us fluttery Polygon Window lullabies. But after about two minutes it's clear that what threatened to be a New Age underwater exploration is filled with lonely sea-creature cries and seam-ripping electric eel shocks. You won't get whiplash listening to it, but it ain't gonna put your legs to sleep either. The Suburban Knight and M50 open. See also Wednesday. 10 PM, Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-4140 or 312-559-1212, $10 in advance, $12 at the door. --Liz Armstrong

Saturday 23

BLONDE REDHEAD The first five albums by this New York trio, made up of Kazu Makino and twin brothers Amedeo and Simone Pace, were mostly unremarkable explorations of no-wave-influenced avant-rock. But last year's Misery Is a Butterfly (4AD) made me a fan: the band has pared down its sound, forging pop-song-length tunes from heavy, cyclical drum-bass rhythms and grandiose string and organ parts. Makino's shrill, reedy voice can be a party clearer, but the band's obviously worked hard to craft melodies that capitalize on the expressiveness of her oddly androgynous timbre. (She had to relearn how to sing during the recording of the album--her jaw had been crushed in a 2002 horse-riding accident.) In chimerical mini rock epics like "Falling Man" and "Melody" they finally demonstrate that they're capable of sweeping emotion as well as sonic invention. This show is part of Lollapalooza; for a complete schedule see page 40. 5:30 PM, Parkways Stage, Grant Park, 866-915-6552, $67 or $125 for a two-day pass. All ages. --J. Niimi

KILL ME TOMORROW This intellectual, all-over-the-place new-wave trio seems determined to defend the honor of Skinny Puppy and Front 242 to the indie crowd, blending black-trench-coat atmospherics with the sort of pomo disjointedness that almost defeats the purpose of atmosphere in the first place. Formed in Portland but now ensconced in San Diego, they recently released a split 12-inch on Art Fag with tourmates Dance Disaster Movement; a new EP and a split 7-inch with Xiu Xiu are coming, and front man Zack Wentz promises he'll eventually publish the experimental novel that inspired their last full-length, 2004's The Garbageman and the Prostitute (GSL). ZZZZ headlines, Dance Disaster Movement plays third, and the Locks open. 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $8. --Monica Kendrick

MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK "Let's get fucked up and die / I am speaking figuratively of course." On their second full-length, Commit This to Memory (Epitaph), these puppyish pop punkers almost make lines like these feel fresh. It has something to do with Justin Pierre's nearly prepubescent yelp, perhaps, in which teenage blogger profundities acquire so much strained urgency the listener is driven to devise elaborate rationalizations for wanting to reach in through the dense thicket of cliches and pet the poor kid. It remains to be seen, though, if such tender responses can weather the ambience at this stop on the Warped Tour. For a complete lineup see page 42. a Noon, Tweeter Center, I-80 and Harlem, Tinley Park, 708-614-1616 or 312-559-1212, $29.75. All ages. --Monica Kendrick

THREE BLUE TEARDROPS This trio played a key role in building something like a local rockabilly scene during the 90s but broke up at the end of the decade, done in by passing trends, label woes, and loss of momentum. They reunited in 2003 and they headline this show, the Midwest Psychobilly Gathering, even though their sound is more traditional than psycho. But the emphasis here is more on gathering than on psychobilly or even the midwest: openers G-String hail from France. Koffin Kats, the Massacres, and Rigor Phallus also play. 7 PM, Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton, 773-975-0505 or 866-468-3401, $8 in advance, $10 at the door, 18+. --Monica Kendrick

DABY TOURE Though he spent most of his youth in Mauritania, Daby Toure's roots are in Senegal's Casamance region. That's where two of his uncles formed the pioneering Afropop group Toure Kunda in the 70s, mixing mbalax and traditional Mande melodies with gorgeous vocal harmonies, deep soul, and a heavy dose of reggae. Toure Kunda eventually relocated to Paris, and Daby's father later joined the group as well. Daby moved to Paris in 1989 and formed Toure Toure with his cousin Omar, exploring similar musical terrain. But on last year's Diam (Real World), his solo debut, Toure applies his gorgeous, creamy voice to gentle acoustic originals that in some ways suggest he's an African analog to the likes of John Mayer and Jack Johnson. Toure's a much better singer than either of those bores--he's toured with Peter Gabriel, singing Youssou N'Dour's part on "In Your Eyes"--and he's crafted some lovely melodies for Diam. But his aesthetic on the record isn't very African--part of "Bary" sounds like it swipes its ideas from "Just the Two of Us"--and I wish his tunes were a bit grittier and featured more of the dynamic rhythms of his homeland. 7:30 PM, HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo, 312-362-9707, $10 in advance, $12 at the door. --Peter Margasak

Monday 25

MIKE SHIFLET It's surprisingly difficult to track down recordings by Mike Shiflet, a prolific fuckbunny of noise who's spread his seed among a who's who of experimentalists. The bit of solo work I've found is some mighty fine droning gravel crunch as heard through the belly of a tanker, though as evidenced by projects like Burning Star Core he's capable of worse. Shiflet's saying good-bye to Columbus, Ohio, and moving himself and his label, Gameboy Records, to Japan; this show is part of his farewell tour and the first-ever show at Enemy, a new space above Heaven Gallery run by local noise boy Jason Soliday and pals. Melancholic tape looper Jason Zeh, subtle contrast engineer Jesse Kudler, and the Labycz Sprikut Duo open. 9 PM, Enemy, 1550 N. Milwaukee (third floor), 312-493-3657, $5. --Liz Armstrong

SOVIETTES This aggressively likeable Minneapolis pop-punk band recently jumped from Adeline Records to Fat Wreck Chords. Like their previous releases, LP III stretches the definition of "long player"--its 14 songs clock in at less than a half hour. But the band yanks you through so many densely packed hooks and vintage call-and-response vocals that you probably won't feel too cheated; tunes like "Paranoia Cha Cha Cha!" and "Hanging Up the Phone" stick in your head for days. Besides, the Soviettes' brand of post-teen crash-and-bash ebullience sounds best in short bursts. The Arrivals headline, the Soviettes play third, Mulligan Stu plays second, and Vacation Bible School opens. 6 PM, Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton, 773-975-0505 or 866-468-3401, $8 in advance, $10 at door. All ages. --Monica Kendrick

Wednesday 27

A NORTHERN CHORUS I can't argue with the aptness of the term "dream pop"--the stuff puts me to sleep. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, because I could always use some. I've probably clocked more hours listening to Sigur Ros asleep than awake, and I've always felt bushy-tailed after a 50-bpm disco nap. So I'm adding A Northern Chorus's new CD, Bitter Hands Resign (Sonic Unyon), to my arsenal of melatonin tablets, herbal tea, and Dharma & Greg reruns: on its third full-length the Ontario band borrows from the languid, sweeping textures of groups like Slowdive and Explosions in the Sky, with majestic swells, hypnotic drumming, and Thom Yorke-like vocals about something or other. Some might protest that the average song length of seven minutes is self-indulgent, but I think the tunes could be twice as long. Sianspheric opens. 8:30 PM, Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 773-281-4444, $7. --J. Niimi

RAISING THE FAWN Some ill-timed personnel changes have forced this Toronto outfit (led by John Crossingham, part of the Broken Social Scene scene) to go about things slightly ass-backward: the 2003 EP By the Warmth of Your Flame features the band's current lineup, while the 2004 full-length The North Sea doesn't. No matter, really: both are rich and lovely records displaying a wide variety of textures and terrains, from dreamy shoegazer pop to dense heavy-guitar trippiness--though there's more of the latter on The North Sea, in particular on the long, churning "Drownded." Palaxy Tracks headlines; Headlights play first. 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $8. --Monica Kendrick

SUPERPITCHER See Friday. DJ Mazi opens. 6 PM, Spirit of Music Garden, 601 S. Michigan, 312-742-4007. Free. All ages.

Thursday 28

DANILO PEREZ WITH ANGEL MELENDEZ & THE 911 MAMBO ORCHESTRA Panamanian-born pianist Danilo Perez has lived in Boston since the mid-80s, but some of his most exciting projects have Chicago roots--his large-scale composition Suite of the Americas, for example, premiered at the 1999 Jazz Fest. After a performance at the 2002 fest, he went to HotHouse to see Angel Melendez & the 911 Mambo Orchestra, arguably the city's best Afro-Cuban dance band, and ended up sitting in with them for most of the night. (His dad, Danilo Sr., sang a few songs as well.) That spontaneous collaboration led to this show: following a short set by the orchestra, Perez will join in to premiere a new composition he wrote "in honor of Chicago." A pair of percussionists from Panama will perform on some additional songs chosen and sung by Perez's father. These days Perez is best known as a member of the Wayne Shorter Quartet, whose intuition on the new Beyond the Sound Barrier (Verve) is dazzling. But Perez's new trio CD, Live at the Jazz Showcase (ArtistShare), better displays his knack for shaping modern improv with strong injections of Latin rhythms and oblique harmony--and further strengthens his Chicago ties. The King Marching Jaguars open. a 5:30 PM, Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 100 N. Michigan, 312-742-1168. Free. All ages. --Peter Margasak

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