Freakwater, Big Boi, James Blake & Titus Andronicus Play Chicago
Monday, April 29
FIELDED is the project of Lindsay Powell, singer and keyboardist in local progressive rock band, Ga'an. She is performing behind her magnificent new record, "Ninety Thirty Thirty." Accomplished tunes like, "Doctor," "Arms of Heaven," and "Gabrielle" show off Powell's unique vocal delivery on top of catchy synth-pop songs. With Gel Set and The Alienists. The Burlington. 9 p.m.
Local psychedelic four-piece Nude Sunrise headline a free show Monday at Empty Bottle with Austin-based post-punk quintet Marriage, who recently dropped their debut album, "For Brötzmann." Listen to the pulsating psych jam "Billy Gibbons Knocked Down My Fence," here. Matchess opens. Empty Bottle. 9 p.m. Nude Sunrise and Marriage will also be performing at Permanent Records at 6 p.m.
Also Monday: Catchy Brooklyn-based indie-rockers Motive play Schubas in support of their recently released, "It's Illicit EP." Watch the extremely fun video for the highly danceable Late Guest (At The Party) Remix of "It's Illicit," here. With Fall Classic. Schubas. 8 p.m.
Tuesday, April 30
Janet Bean ends her amazing April residency playing music from her outstanding country-folk band, Freakwater, with bandmate Catherine Irwin. The band played the Hideout back in January, and have some festival dates scheduled for the summer, but Freakwater appearances are still quite rare, and this is a great opportunity to see them in an intimate setting. The Hideout. 8:30 p.m.
Grammy-Award winning sextet eighth blackbird will perform Tuesday and Wednesday with The National's Bryce Dessner, prolific composer Nico Muhly and singer and mult-instrumentalist Shara Worden, a.k.a. My Brightest Diamond, at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The program will include the U.S. premiere of Dessner performing, "Murder Ballades," a new work co-commissioned by the MCA, Muhly's Chicago premiere of, "Doublespeak," composed for the ensemble in honor of Philip Glass' 75th birthday and Worden singing two songs that appear on, "Death Speaks," the new recording from composer David Lang. Museum of Contemporary Art. 7:30 p.m. p.m.
Local quartet Twin Peaks are garnering much deserved acclaim for their brand of fun, fuzzy and catchy rock-n-roll. This summer, Autumn Tone Records will be re-releasing their debut record, "Sunken," and I imagine that the buzz is only beginning to build. Take a listen to "Sunken" scorcher, "Stand in the Sand," here. With Brooklyn-based psych trio The Numerators, who will celebrate their new 7", "Dead," recently released on Suicide Squeeze Records. Street Rash opens. The Burlington. 9 p.m.
Also Tuesday: California-based folk duo The Milk Carton Kids will fill Lincoln Hall with their gorgeous harmonies as heard on their new record, "The Ash & Clay." Singer-songwriter Aoife O'Donovan possess a beautiful voice and she'll open the show playing songs from her forthcoming full-length debut record, "Fossils," which is due in June. Lincoln Hall. 8 p.m.
Wednesday, May 1
U.K. buzz-band Palma Violets come to town behind their debut album, "180." The record is full of fists-in-the-air jams including, "All The Garden Birds," "We Found Love," and rousing anthem "Best of Friends, " which was voted NME's 2012 Song of the Year. "In Guards We Trust," the latest album from New York-based trio Guards is a thrilling collection of sunny indie-pop that mines similar anthemic territory. Both Palma Violets and Guards are scheduled to play Lollapalooza later this summer, but if you prefer to watch bands in a lovely room with terrific acoustics rather than an enormous field in the sweltering heat, this is your night. Schubas. 9 p.m.
"Clash the Truth," the second full-length record from Brooklyn-based indie-rock band Beach Fossils is stacked with compact and driving pop tunes that are filled with lovely melodies and catchy hooks. If you are already a fan of bands like Wild Nothing, Surfer Blood and Cloud Nothings, you should also put Beach Fossils on your radar. With Twin Peaks and local indie-poppers Ivy Dye, who recently released the impressive, "Continuations EP." Subterranean. 8 p.m.
EmptyMansions is a new band started by Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino that includes the amazing guitarist Duane Denison (The Jesus Lizard, Tomahawk) and The Secret Machines' Brandon Curtis, who plays bass, keyboards and provides backing vocals. The groups' debut record, "snakes/vultures/sulfate," which was produced by Curtis, was released in April. Check out the video for "snakes/vultures/sulfate" track, "That Man," here. Scott Lucas is back on tour with his band The Married Men after recovering from an attack during a robbery attempt while on tour in Russia that damaged his vocal cords. In June, Scott Lucas & the Married Men will release a new EP, "The Cruel Summer," which includes "Cruel Summer," their cover of the Bananarama song the band originally performed for The A.V. Club's Undercover Summer Break series. T'bone opens.. Empty Bottle. 9 p.m.
Also Wednesday Big Boi remains one of hip-hop's essential artists, as half of the trailblazing duo Outkast and as a solo artist. He brings his "Shoes for Running Tour" to town in support of 2012's, "Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors," an album that features collaborations with indie-rock artists Wavves, Phantogram, and Little Dragon. Supporting Big Boi is Killer Mike, who released the brilliant, "R.A.P. Music," last year. Listen to a remix of Big Boi's track, "In the A," with Killer Mike adding a verse to the original that appeared on "Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors," here. Park West. 8 p.m.
Thursday, May 2
S. Carey is probably best known as a percussionist and singer in indie-rock juggernaut Bon Iver. After releasing, "All We Grow," a highly-acclaimed full-length record in 2010 and, "Hoyas," an equally acclaimed EP last year, Carey is proving to be a formidable solo artist. While their are some similarities to Bon Iver including gentle acoustic guitar and lush arrangements, there are also plenty of nice electronic touches that are reminiscent of The Postal Service. Local singer-songwriter Jonathan Allen Guerra opens. SPACE. 7:30 p.m.
"Time Stays, We Go," the new record from London-based quintet The Veils is an upbeat set of big, catchy indie-rock. Tunes like "Through the Deep, Dark Wood," "Train With No Name," and "Turn from the Rain," are bright, sunny and contain seemingly endless hooks. With blistering Philadelphia-based garage-punk trio Lantern and locals The Island of Misfit Toys. Subterranean. 9 p.m.
The brooding U.K musician James Blake comes to town in support of, "Overgrown," his recently released second full-length record. The album effortlessly combines elements of dubstep, soul, R&B, electronic, folk and even hip-hop with Blake's collaboration with RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan on "Take a Fall For Me." Luckily, the record never sounds cluttered and the disparate styles are masterfully produced. New York-based producer FaltyDL opens. Metro. 8 p.m.
Socially-conscious Oakland-based hip-hop duo Zion I come to town behind their excellent 2012 full-length record, "Shadowboxing." The duo is currently working on a new record which is set for release this fall, and just released, "The Vapors EP," a set of jams celebrating 420. Watch the video for "The Vapors," here. With Young General, ProbCause and DJ Trew. Bottom Lounge. 9 p.m.
Qwel & Maker headline an exemplary night of hip-hop when they celebrate the release of their magnificent new record, "Beautiful Raw," at Reggie's. "Beautiful Raw," their fourth full-length record, isn't out officially until next week, but you can watch the video for the banger, "Long Walkers," here. With Qwazaar and Batsauce, Lady Daisey, Psalm One, theWHOevers and DJ Big Once. Reggie's. 9 p.m.
Also Thursday: Brooklyn-based indie-pop five-piece Lucius will play songs from last year's charming debut EP featuring the gorgeous vocals of singers Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig. The group was one of the highlights at SXSW and will release their first full-length this fall. With Tall Tall Trees. Schubas. 8 p.m.
And: Sweden's psych-rockers Goat make their Chicago debut at the Empty Bottle. While the band itself is shrouded in mystery, there is nothing mysterious about the epic jams on their 2012 record, "World Music." Give a listen to, "Dreambuilding," from a new 7" that will be released in June, here. Austin-based psych-rock quintet Holy Wave open. Empty Bottle. 9:30 p.m.
Friday, May 3
Los Angeles-based garage-pop artist Colleen Green just released "Sock it to Me," the follow-up record to 2012's excellent "Milo Goes to Compton." Accompanied by a drum machine, Green's songs are fun and catchy with the perfect amount of sweetness. Catch her with the California-based quartet Cosmonauts, who released the fuzzy, "If You Wanna Die Then I Wanna Die," last year and will release the follow-up, "Persona Non Grata," in late summer. With Milwaukee's garage-rock four-piece Jaill and the psych-punk of The Garden. Empty Bottle. 9 p.m. Colleen Green will also be doing an in-store performance at Permanent Records with local garage-rock duo Ocelot. 6 p.m.
Edmonton-based duo Purity Ring play two shows Friday at Metro. In 2012, the duo released their debut record, "Shrines," a gorgeous set of electro-pop highlighted by the infectious, "Fineshrine." Earlier this year, Purity Ring released an awesome cover of Soulja Boy's, "Grammy," which you can listen to here. Montreal electro-pop duo Blue Hawaii open both shows playing songs from their recently released debut album, "Untogether." Metro. 7 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
Also Friday: Brooklyn-based garage rock quartet Chappo play Schubas in support of their phenomenal debut record, "Moonwater," which includes the catchy fuzz-rocker, "Come Home," which I first heard in an iPod commercial. Los Angeles-based quintet The Lonely Wild recently released, "The Sun as it Comes," their full-length debut album full of rich, heartfelt Americana. Local rock and rollers The Kuhls get things started. Schubas. 10 p.m.
And: Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (and daughter of the late singer-songwriter Chris Whitley) Trixie Whitley made a name for herself in 2010 as the powerful-voiced singer in producer Daniel Lanois' project, Black Dub. The Brooklyn-based Whitley brings that powerful voice to Evanston behind her excellent debut full-length record, "Fourth Corner." With New York-based singer songwriter Johnny Nicholson. SPACE. 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 4
New Orleans-based duo Generationals play Lincoln Hall behind their new record, "Heza." , While nothing on the album is as immediate as the sugary-sweet confection "When They Fight, They Fight," from 2009's, "Con Law," the near-perfect indie-pop of tunes such as "Spinoza," "Say When," and "Put a Light On," will do the trick. Louisiana-based quartet Brass Bed recently released their terrific third full-length, "The Secret Will Keep You," a crisp collection of shimmering pop including the can't miss songs "Please Don't Go," "I'll Be There With Bells On," and "How to Live in a Bad Dream." Sabers, a new band from Josh Chicoine (The M's, Cloudbirds), opens. Lincoln Hall. 10 p.m.
Titus Andronicus will carry the rousing rock-n-roll torch at Metro playing songs from their 2012 record, "Local Business." Watch the killer version of Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run," as performed by Titus Andronicus leader Patrick Stickles and the great Nashville-based band (with a horrible name) Diarrhea Planet, here. The video proves that you can take the band out of New Jersey, but you can't take the New Jersey out of the band. Frequent Titus Andronicus tourmates, Brooklyn's DIY punks The So So Glos, will get fists raising early with songs from their sophomore album, "Blowout." Last week the band made their network television debut on "The Late Show with David Letterman," and performed the fiery "Son of an American," which you can watch here. Opening the show is the ambitious pop of Sharpless, who come armed with, "Summer 2012 (~*~Spring Fling Version~*~)," one of the catchiest songs of the year, which you should listen to here. Metro. 9 p.m.
Also Saturday: Austin-based indie-rockers Pure X come to town ahead of their eagerly anticipated new record, "Crawling Up The Stairs." The record is due next week, but listen to the latest single, "Thousand Year Old Child," here. With local shoegaze band Lightfoils and singer-songwriter Julie Marie Byrne. Beat Kitchen. 9 p.m.
Sunday, May 5
"Bye Bye 17," the groovy new record from Har Mar Superstar is packed full of '50's style Doo-Wop ("Everywhere I'm Local" and "www"), '60s-era Motown ("Restless Leg"), taut R&B ("Lady You Shot Me") and horn-infused funk ("Prisoner"). There isn't anything too original here, but who cares when it sounds this good. Listen to the irresistible lead track, "Lady You Shot Me," here. With The Chalice and My Blue Valentine. Empty Bottle. 8:30 p.m.
The always engaging Kelly Hogan comes to the Hideout behind her brilliant 2012 record, "I Like to Keep Myself in Pain." Hogan has always been a knockout vocalist (with Neko Case and most recently with Iron & Wine, as seen last week on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon"), but with, "I Like To Keep Myself in Pain," she finally has the songs that measure up to her powerful voice. Tunes written by artists including Robbie Fulks, Stephin Merritt, Robyn Hitchock and M. Ward and performed by Hogan and a stunning roster of musicians like Booker T. Jones, The Dap-Kings' Gabriel Roth and longtime collaborator Scott Ligon make this one of the best records of the last couple of years. With writer-artist-and one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter, Dimitry Samarov. The Hideout. 7 p.m.