Best shows to see: Azita, Jeb Bishop, Six Organs of Admittance, Foxygen | Bleader

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Best shows to see: Azita, Jeb Bishop, Six Organs of Admittance, Foxygen

Posted By on 12.06.12 at 01:02 PM

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As usual, recommendations from our Soundboard page—of which the four in the headline are only a fraction—can't do justice to the concert goodness that goes down every week in Chicago. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the great High on Fire is playing the Double Door on Friday with Goatwhore and Lo-Pan. HOF guitarist Matt Pike is out of rehab and in top form, if reports from the road can be trusted—though at least one photo from the band's NYC shows last week shows him in a shirt, which is like seeing Burt Reynolds without a mustache. Also on Friday is the last Country Calendar show at FitzGerald's, as Peter Margasak has already pointed out. You've also got two free chances to see M.O.T.O., first at a Permanent Records in-store and second at the Mutiny.

On Saturday the Hideout hosts a soul concert presented by the Secret History of Chicago Music, with Renaldo Domino and Andre Williams backed by the band Expo '76. Boys Noize and Le1f play House of Blues, and . . . you know what? I could keep going like this for a while, but I wouldn't be telling you anything you couldn't learn by browsing our listings. After the jump, more picks from the Reader's capable cadre of music writers.

Thu 12/6: Azita at the Hideout

Local pianist and singer Azita wrote the songs on the new Year for a musical, and for the stage version, she and guitarist Emmett Kelly alternately functioned as a kind of Greek chorus and as the voices of certain characters. "For the recording Azita is joined by an excellent band—guitarist Sam Wagster, bassist Toby Summerfield, and drummer Adam Vida—that makes the exquisite melodic density of her music easier to parse than it was on her 2011 solo album, Disturbing the Air," writes Peter Margasak. "The songs are supercatchy and elegantly constructed, filled with harmonic complexities and unexpected twists that put her in the company of classic pop songwriters such as Laura Nyro and Burt Bacharach, who also set rock melodies amid jazz-grade harmonies and chord changes."

Fri 12/7 and Sat 12/8: Jeb Bishop at the Green Mill

"This summer fantastic Chicago trombonist Jeb Bishop moved to Carrboro, North Carolina, near his native Raleigh, because his wife had landed a job there," writes Peter Margasak. Bishop has been an integral part of the local jazz and improvised-music community since the mid-90s, but fortunately he hasn't been making himself too scarce around these parts since his move—this weekend he's back to celebrate his 50th birthday. "On both Friday and Saturday the trombonist will play sets with three bands—his trio (with drummer Frank Rosaly and bassist Kent Kessler), the Engines (with saxophonist Dave Rempis, drummer Tim Daisy, and bassist Nate McBride), and a collective with guitarist Jeff Parker, bassist Joshua Abrams, and drummer Hamid Drake. Parker also guests with the trio both nights, and other musicians are expected to join in too, including New Orleans trombonist Jeff Albert (on both nights) and reedist Ken Vandermark and multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee (on Saturday only)."

Sat 12/8: Six Organs of Admittance at the Empty Bottle

"Nearly a decade ago guitarist Ben Chasny joined noisy Santa Cruz psych-rock band Comets on Fire after what was only meant to be a collaboration with his solo project, Six Organs of Admittance," writes Peter Margasak. "They made two albums together as Comets on Fire, and when the band went on hiatus in 2008, Chasny poured all his energy back into his solo efforts. For the strong new Six Organs album, Ascent, he recruited his old Comets bandmates to provide extra firepower on nine blazing songs."

Sun 12/9: Foxygen at Metro

"A current band pursuing a grab-bag sound that comprises much of the popular rock 'n' roll, psych-flavored folk, and theatrical flower-child music of the 60s and 70s is treading a slippery slope," writes Kevin Warwick. "But while many other revivalists obsessed with that era sound convoluted and self-indulgent, forcing together elements of the Stones, Elton John, Dylan, Iggy, Springsteen, and the stanky, travelin' hippie who plays acoustic guitar on the street corner, the bicoastal duo of Jonathan Rado and Sam France—who've been playing together since high school—are skilled enough weirdos that they can wield multiple instruments (accordion, piano, xylophone) to bring all those elements together in fun, gnarly melodies." Of Montreal headlines; Wild Belle and Foxygen open.

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