Passion Pit, Toro Y Moi and EELS Play Chicago
Monday, Feb. 18
Celebrate Presidents Day with a cool triple-bill featuring the freak-folk of The Humminbird & Plastic Crimewave, the hushed vocals and gentle acoustic folk of Ty Maxon and the delicate harmonies of The Red Threads. The Burlington. 9 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 19
Playing at Metro tonight is the prolific Chazwick Bundick, better known as Toro Y Moi. Toro Y Moi recently released Anything in Return, his third album in four years (not including June 2009, a compilation that came out last year). While long associated with the "chillwave" movement and similar artists, such as Neon Indian and Washed Out, the new record is a predominately upbeat slab of synth-pop that shows the artist growing away from the chillwave genre. This record is loads of fun, and tunes like "Harm in Charge," "Say That" and "Rose Quartz" are up there with his finest work. Opener Dog Bite is the project of Atlanta's Phil Jones, who has played keyboards for the touring version of Washed Out. Velvet Changes, his dreamy debut for Carpark Records, is awash in '80s style breezy synths, killer beats and irresistible melodies. Also on the bill is Sinkane, the project of multi-instrumentalist Ahmed Gallab. Gallab has performed with Yeasayer, Of Montreal and Caribou and is touring behind his latest record, Mars. Metro. 9 p.m.
It's a double-bill of entertainment tonight at Township. First, test your knowledge of music trivia with the February Doldrums Edition of the CHIRP Music Quiz beginning at 7 p.m. After your trivia dominance, stay for some music from TEEN, the Brooklyn-based project of Teeny Lieberson, former member of the band Here We Go Magic. Lieberson recruited her sisters and a longtime friend to record their debut record, 2012's In Limbo. Produced by Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3, the record is marked by a driving, well crafted pop sound with lush vocal harmonies and tight propulsive rhythms. The band is going to record a new EP this winter and just announced a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the effort. With Gold Cult. Township. 9 p.m.
Get to Schubas for an unbeatable night of dreamy folk with the enchanting Marissa Nadler and the psychedelic leanings of Jesse Sykes and Phil Wandscher. Check out the video for "Wedding," from Nadler's 2011 self-titled record before heading to Schubas. 8 p.m.
Nice Night for a Knife Fight, the 2011 record and second full-length from local quartet Otter Petter was a satisfying collection of winsome pop with clear vocals reminiscent of a happy Benjamin Gibbard. The sunny and infectious, "Magazines," the insanely catchy,"Tie Your Hands," and the sugary sweet confection of "Tiny Words" will keep you wanting more. With The Rocket Boys and Mike Mains & The Branches. The Ace Bar. 8 p.m.
Also tonight: Advance Base, the new project from Owen Ashworth, who used to perform under the moniker Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, at Lincoln Hall. With The Bears of Blue River and Julie Byrne. 8 p.m.
And: The experimental pop of Sonoi at the Empty Bottle. With local post-punk trio Pool Holograph and Sabers, the newest project of Josh Chicoine, formerly of The M's, making their full-band debut. 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 20
Supergroup Swedish House Mafia, the biggest and arguably most talented band in Electronic Dance Music today, announced last year that they were calling it quits at the height of their popularity. The group is going out in style with this, their farewell tour. With Anthony Attalla. United Center. 8 p.m.
Oakland rapper G-Eazy has made a name for himself slinging slick rhymes and opening up for Lil Wayne and Drake. His 2012 record, Must Be Nice, features contributions from Hoodie Allen, Devon Baldwin and the hook by Johanna Fay on "Plastic Dream" is absolutely killer. See him at Lincoln Hall tonight. With Skizzy Mars and Ground Up. 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 21
Mumps, etc., the superb 2012 record from California's Why? continues the bands' unique and offbeat style of spoken word rap, hyper-literate lyrics and pop-culture infused rhymes. In "Strawberries," leader Yoni Wolf is able to successfully rhyme "curlers" with "Garrison Keillor." With Astronautalis and Dream Tiger. Lincoln Hall. 7 p.m.
Nashville based singer-songwriter Griffin House made a commercial breakthrough with songs such as the emotional "The Guy That Says Goodbye To You Is Out of His Mind" and the wistful "Better Than Love" from 2007's Flying Upside Down. In 2012 House successfully raised money to fund new music so expect to hear some tonight. But definitely stay for the hits. City Winery. With sister duo Larkin Poe. 8 p.m.
And: Brooklyn's K. Flay's newest jam features Eligh and Grieves and will be realeased on an upcoming mixtape. Check her out tonight with local rapper Add-2 and production duo Team Bayside High at Subterranean. 9 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 22
A powerhouse triple-bill tonight with Passion Pit, Matt & Kim, and Icona Pop performing tonight at the UIC Pavilion. Gossamer, Passion Pit's 2012 follow-up to their extremely succesful record Manners from 2009, is filled with high energy dance anthems like "Carried Away," "Take a Walk," and "I'll Be Alright" that surpass the promise of tunes like "The Reeling" and "Let Your Love Grow Tall" from the debut. Check out the recently released video for "Carried Away" here. Brooklyn duo, the super-cute Matt & Kim, have released another spectacularly loveable collection of danceable jams on their latest record, Lightning, including the hits "Let's Go" and "Now." And if you are lucky, you'll get to see them perform their version of Harlem Shake. Opener Swedish pop duo Icona Pop might have released the best single of last year with the monsterous "I Love It" featuring Charli XCX. Get ready to sweat. UIC Pavilion. 7:30 p.m.
Boston punks Dropkick Murphys recently released, Signed and Sealed in Blood, their eighth record. Expect to see many people dancing when the band plays their 2005 jock jam "I'm Shipping Up to Boston." With Old Man Markley and Jim Lockey & the Solemn Son. Aragon. 7 p.m.
There was a time in the early '90s when you couldn't turn on MTV without seeing Soul Asylum singer Dave Pirner. The band had hit songs ("Black Gold," "Misery," "Runaway Train), played in front of President Bill Clinton, and Pirner himself famously dated actress Winona Ryder. Since then the band lost original bassist Karl Mueller, who died of cancer in 2005, and original lead guitarist Dan Murphy left the band last year afer recording Delayed Reaction, their best work since 1995's Let Your Dim Light Shine. Tunes like "Gravity," "Into The Light," and "The Streets" are as good as their mid '90s output. See them at Double Door with the excellent power-pop of Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts and Ryan Powers and The Secret Weapons. 8:30 p.m.
Another good day to spend all night at The Hideout. First, check out The Triumphant Return of Funny Ha-Ha hosted by the marvelous Claire Zulkey featuring readings from such iluminaries as Samantha Irby, Steve Delahoyde and The Paper Machete's Christopher Piatt. Next, celebrate the release of Northern Automatic Music, the new record from locals Panda Riot. With the spacey dream pop of BIGCOLOUR and the shoegaze awesomeness of Lightfoils. The Hideout. 6:30 p.m and 10 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 23
Her older sister Beyoncé has the HBO documentary, garners the attention-grabbing headlines with husband Jay-Z, gets to perform for President Barack Obama or in front of the millions who tuned in to watch the Super Bowl, but it shouldn't be long before Solange Knowles has her time in the spotlight. Her 2012 EP, True, featuring songs like the good-luck-getting-these-out-of-your-head "Losing You," "Lovers in the Parking Lot," and "Locked in Closets" should demand a bigger stage. A new full-length should see the light of day soon. See her now at Bottom Lounge. 8 p.m. Update: This show has been postponed due to travel and weather concerns.
Reloaded, the 2012 record from Hempstead, N.Y.'s Roc Marciano was stacked with tight bangers and one of the best records of the year. With Julian Malone, Scheme x DJ Scend, VIPJ of The Cool Kids, DJ Timbuk2 and DJ Rude One. Schubas. 10:30 p.m.
If you want to learn more about the local music scene and easily explore some of the best music Chicago has to offer, you should look no further than the good people who run the Chicago Mixtape series. Sign up for the service, and you will receive high-quality mp3s mailed to you each week from Chicago's finest bands. One of the recent offerings included tracks from Plastic Crimewave, Software Giant, Flesh Panthers and Brice Woodall. Tonight, celebrate Chicago Mixtape's Two-Year Anniversary with a fundraiser featuring an eclectic night of music, including The Congregation, Psalm One, Santah, Animal City and DJ sets from Miss Alex White of White Mystery. The Empty Bottle. 9 p.m.
Check out local snyth-pop band Yawn play some new songs at Subterranean tonight. Their 2011 record, Open Season, was rollicking, arty and experimental in all the right places and would appease those who were dissapointed by Animal Collective's latest. With Sister Crystals and Grades. Subterranean. 9:30 p.m.
Wonderful, Glorious is the new record from EELS, the project from Los Angeles-based musician Mark Oliver Everett, better known as E. Tunes like the ferocious "Bombs Away," the fuzzy "Peach Blossom," and the bluesy stomp of "New Alphabet" rock harder than what we are used to from EELS. Thankfully, this new sound works well, and the entire record is a winner. With singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins. The Vic. 8 p.m.
Sunday Feb. 24
Don't miss another terrific edition of a Notes & Bolts Epitonic saki Session this afternoon featuring a couple of exceptional local bands, the shoegaze wonderfulness of Panda Riot and the lovely dream pop of StarTropics. Panda Riot will be playing tunes from their just released new record, Northern Automatic Music. saki. 4 p.m.
Do what you can to get to Evanston for the amazing Brooklyn eight-piece dhol and brass ensemble Red Baraat. Shruggy Ji, their 2012 record contains unbelieveable percussion combined with and a world class, high-energy fusion of New Orleans jazz, Parliament funk, and Indian beats. I'm just not sure how they are going to be able to keep the roof on the place. SPACE. 7 p.m.
New Zealand's The Ruby Suns latest record, Christopher, features synthy and highly danceable pop tracks. Songs such as opener "Desert of Pop"and "Dramatikk" are highlights. The lush electro pop of San Francisco's Painted Palms open the show. Check out their latest single, "Carousel" here. Schubas. 8 p.m.
Also tonight: Snowden's highly anticipated new album, No One In Control, is out in May and you can listen to the first single, "Keep Quiet" here. With local indie-rock quartet Sybris at Subterranean. With The Ragtones. 9 p.m.