Dessa, Grant Hart and Bobby Bare, Jr. Play Chicago
Monday, January 7
Tuesday, January 8
Dessa is an extremely talented poet, singer and rapper who is part of the Minneapolis hip-hop collective Doomtree. Her 2011 record, Castor, The Twin, features new arrangements (recorded live) of previously released songs (including the wonderful "Alibi") as well as the piano driven "The Beekeeper," the advance single from her forthcoming record. Currently in the process of mixing the new album, we'll hopefully get a preview of what is to come in 2013. Dessa kicks off her tour Tuesday at Schubas. Chicagoan Psalm One, whose 2012 record, Child Support, was recorded as part of the ASCAP Songwriter Residency at America SCORES contains songs made with over 200 students in underserved areas, opens the show. 8 p.m.
Experimental trio Bitchin Bajas, the side project of Cooper Crain from the excellent local band CAVE, begin a Tuesday night residency at The Hideout. The band, who will perform in the front bar, will debut new material during the residency. Bitchin Bajas will also play as part of Psych Fest IV this weekend. 9 p.m.
Wednesday, January 9
Marc Cohn’s 1991 self-titled debut record won him a Grammy Award for best new artist and featured the single “Walking in Memphis." Since that time, he married ABC News journalist Elizabeth Vargas, survived being shot in the head during a 2005 carjacking attempt, and put out four full-length records. Cohn's latest, Listening Booth: 1970, features interpretations of songs that came out in 1970 when Cohn was 11-years old. Highlights include Cohn's version of The Box Tops' “The Letter,” Cat Stevens' "Wild World," and Badfinger's “No Matter What” featuring Aimee Mann. Opener Rebbeca Pidgeon’s 2012 record, Slingshot, garnered the versatile singer, songwriter and actress, a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical category. City Winery. 8 p.m.
The 3-Penny Cinema was a little movie house tucked among the bars on Lincoln Avenue near DePaul University in the space that is now occupied by Lincoln Hall. Wednesday at Lincoln Hall as part of the 3-Penny Was Here series you can watch the Coen Brothers classic The Big Lebowski as well as High Fidelity, the outstanding adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel featuring John Cusack, Jack Black and many Chicago institutions including The Green Mill, The Rainbo Club, Double Door, and the gone-but-never-forgotten Lounge Ax, which was just a few doors north from where you'll be watching the movies. 7 p.m.
Thursday, January 10
Some of Chicago's finest local bands will be playing Thursday evening. Go see one of them.
Fake Limbs hit the Empty Bottle Thursday. Their latest record, Man Feelings, bursts with ferocious punk rock energy. Singer Stephen Sowley's wail is reminiscent of the Jesus Lizard's David Yow while the propulsive rhythm section recalls the heydey of the great Amphetamine Reptile label. Look for a new record in 2013. With Blasted Diplomats and We Repel Each Other. 9:30 p.m.
Radar Eyes had a terrific 2012 album which combined swirling psychedelia, melodic Jesus and Mary Chain style shoegaze and spastic garage rock. Watch the video for "Summer Chills" and then go see them at Lincoln Hall with similarily-minded Speck Mountain, who have a new record, Badwater, out January 22. Check out the video for "Slow So Song," the first single from Badwater here. 9pm.
This might be your last chance to see dynamic art rock trio Volcano! for some time as band member Mark Cartwright heads off to London. The band's 2012 record, Piñata, was one of the best local releases of last year. Give a listen to their recent Daytrotter Session and then catch them while you still can at The Burlington. 9 p.m.
Friday, January 11
Get to The Hideout Friday night for Chicago Psych Fest IV featuring Mako Sica, Variety Lights, Dark Fog, Plastic Crimewave Syndicate and Energy Gown. Definitley don’t miss Variety Lights, the new project from David Baker who was an original member of Mercury Rev. 9 p.m.
In 1986, MC Rakim and DJ-Producer Eric B, formed one of the most influential partnerships in hip-hop. Eric B. & Rakim's 1987 record, Paid in Full, consistently ranks among the best the albums of all time. Now that Public Enemy has joined the ranks of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, here's hoping it won't be long before we see Eric B. & Rakim gain their rightful spot among the greats. Rakim split with Eric B. in the mid 90's, but is still a pioneering force in hip hop. Rakim will be at The Shrine Friday. 9 p.m.
Saturday, January 12
Get the night started early and check out the Epitonic Saki Session featuring Krautrock enthusiasts Chandeliers and Deep Sleep, a project from Jeremiah Chiu of Icy Demons. "Unheard Intensities," the latest single from Chandeliers features inviting percussion awash in warm grooves. Their last full-length, Founding Fathers, is full of breezy synth-laden jams including the awesome "Le Corsage," featuring beautiful vocals from Emma Yohanan. Saki. 4 p.m.
Exanimate, the second full-length record from local band Geronimo! is full of crisp rock anthems that harken back to the glorious 90's. Check out the stompers "Downtown Pulse, "Love Conduit" and "Fluxxed." Look for new music from Geronimo! this spring with the release of the cassette series Buzz Yr Girlfriend: Vol. 3. With T'bone and Hospital Garden. Subterranean. 10:30 p.m.
You remember Grant Hart from Nova Mob, right? Just kidding. In 1979, guitarist and vocalist Bob Mould, bassist Greg Norton and drummer and vocalist Grant Hart formed Hüsker Dü, one of the greatest bands of the last 30 years. After Hüsker Dü broke up, and Hart's second band Nova Mob disbanded, Hart focuses on recording as a solo artist. There was a time in my life when the "Bob Mould or Grant Hart?" argument was equally as relevant as the "Paul McCartney or John Lennon?" argument. Keep an eye out for a new documentary film about Grant Hart from Gormon Bechard (Color Me Obsessed) called Every Everything, The Music, Life and Times of Grant Hart. See Hart perform at the Red Line Tap in Rogers Park. With Ripley Caine and Jeremiah Webb. 8 p.m.
It's night two of Chicago Psych Fest IV at The Hideout featuring Outer Minds, The Velcro Lewis Group, Miracle Condition, Underground Symposium and Bitchin Bajas. Outer Minds released two terrific albums this year and the latest, Behind the Mirror, contains many lean keyboard driven garage rockers with spooky psychedelic undertones. It should be the perfect way to end the evening's festivities. 9 p.m.
Sunday, January 13
Pennsylvania's The Ocean Blue achieved their greatest success in the late 80's and early 90's mining the same territory as their English counterparts Echo & the Bunnymen, The Smiths and the Mighty Lemon Drops. The band will release their first full-length record in over 10 years on January 15th so expect to hear plenty of new material along with the classics Sunday at Schubas. 8 p.m.
Bobby Bare, Jr. put out a number of criminally underappreciated records on the local Bloodshot label and his most recent, A Storm A Tree My Mother's Head, is equally as impressive. Watch the trailer for the documentary film about Bobby Bare, Jr. called Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost. With Angela James. City Winery. 8 p.m.
Buddy Guy's Friday and Saturday shows are completely sold out for his annual January residency, but you can end your weekend right by catching the blues masters' gig Sunday. Buddy Guy's Legends. 7:30 p.m.