Best shows to see: Evian Christ, Shellshag, NRBQ, Swans | Bleader

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Best shows to see: Evian Christ, Shellshag, NRBQ, Swans

Posted By on 06.19.14 at 06:50 AM

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Shellshag
  • Shellshag
Local garage outfit the Orwells celebrate the release of their major-label debut Disgraceland tonight at Schubas—it's a free show, but you had to win tickets to get in. If you wanted to go but wound up without a way in there are plenty of other excellent shows to see this evening and throughout the weekend.

Tonight Jean Deaux performs at Double Door and Doleful Lions perform at Burlington. Tomorrow night Tigers Jaw and Pity Sex drop by Subterranean and Jonathan Richman hits SPACE. On Saturday there's Devo at Arcade Theatre and the first day of Green Music Fest kicks off with locals Geronimo! and Meat Wave. On Sunday Martha's Vineyard Ferries and Chris Brokaw perform at Saki in the afternoon and Hall & Oates play at Ravinia Festival at night.

Be sure to check out Soundboard for the rest of our concert listings and take a listen to our weekly "Best shows to see" Spotify playlist, which you can find at the bottom of this post (and follow us on Spotify). Read on for some more show selections from Reader critics.

Thu 6/19: Evian Christ at Primary Nightclub

"British producer Joshua Leary, also known by the cryptic stage name Evian Christ, first started attracting attention in online electronic-music circles for a series of tracks (collected on the 2012 anthology Kings and Them) that reimagined chopped-and-screwed Houston hip-hop as lo-fi ambient techno," writes Miles Raymer. "And when Kanye began assembling a dream team of digital avant-gardists to create his noisy masterpiece Yeezus, Leary was a natural choice. In March he released a four-song EP, Waterfall (Tri Angle), that adds big-room EDM to the mix, along with more outre styles such as footwork and gabber, and ends up sounding not unlike an interestingly bad trip at a mega-rave." Dutch E. Germ opens.

Fri 6/20: Shellshag at Township

"Shellshag are lovable in lots of ways," writes Kevin Warwick. "You have to respect the Brooklyn duo's integrity—they've toured the same dingy DIY spaces and little Podunk clubs for the past 17-odd years, building a modest but dedicated following. Plus John Driver and Jennifer Shagawat have maintained a charming simplicity in their songwriting and their setup, which goes a long way toward explaining their longevity. Onstage they use a guitar, a stand-up drum kit, and a squat pentagonal monolith covered in lights and speakers that has two mikes sprouting from the top for their dual vocals—the whole rig could probably fit into a Subaru Outback. Shellshag albums—the most recent being 2013's Don Giovanni release Shellshag Forever—are full of fuzzy, sometimes grungy pop-punk songs that only bother with a few chords at a time."

Sat 6/21: NRBQ at FitzGerald's

"For most of a career that stretches back to 1966, NRBQ has had a reputation as a great live band that makes inconsistent and frequently indulgent recordings," writes Peter Margasak. "The group's current incarnation—sole original member Terry Adams and a crew half his age, including Chicagoans Scott Ligon and Casey McDonough—doesn't play the wildly eclectic music that characterized NRBQ for so many years (the old version of the band split in 2004 because Adams had to get treated for throat cancer), but on the other hand, its albums have been satisfying and consistent. NRBQ has found the perfect balance of concision and looseness—it wastes few notes but doesn't sound fastidious—and its newest record, the new Brass Tacks (Clang!), bustles with hooky tunes, including Adams's Merseybeat confection 'Sit in My Lap,' McDonough's spot-on Buck Owens send-up 'Fightin' Back,' and an apparently heartfelt treatment of the Rodgers & Hammerstein standard 'Getting to Know You.'"

Sun 6/22: Swans at Lincoln Hall

"There's something rare and magical about Swans—it was always there, but now it's turned up to eleventy-one," writes Monica Kendrick. "They're one of very few bands to spend three decades reaching their greatest incarnation, and they've put every phase of that drawn-out development to use—including a 13-year hiatus, before original guitarist Norman Westberg returned and Swans rose again, during which bandleader Michael Gira and percussionists Thor Harris and Phil Puleo honed their skills in Angels of Light. Like its predecessor The Seer, the new To Be Kind (Young God) is a mesmerizing, transformational two-hour extravaganza—not the sort of thing a listener can take on lightly. Its rolling, surging long grooves are born of a distinctive hybrid of the blues, motorik chug a la Neu! or Can, and Swans' distinctive and irreproducible take on the art of headbanging, and they build to impossibly ecstatic climaxes."

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