Monday, February 4
After releasing an impressive debut record Violent Sun/Violent Fun in 2010, Stephen Paul Smoker followed it up with the "Neon Green/No You No Me" 7" in 2011. Ripe Fruit, a proper full-length album released last year is the first Stephen Paul Smoker effort involving a full band and is a tasty slab of psychedelic pop. Opening track “In Cairo,” will have you hooked. With Creepy Band and Sleepy Kitty. Empty Bottle. 9:30 p.m.
Honeyhoney bring their infectious brand of languid roots oriented honkey-tonk to the Bottom Lounge tonight. The duo’s video for “Angel of Death,” off their 2011 record Billy Jack, featured cameos from Martin Starr (Freaks and Geeks, Party Down), Jason Ritter (Parenthood), Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds) and Joe Rogan. Michael Scott would approve. 7 p.m.
Tuedsday, February 5
Canadian electro-poppers Young Empires debut EP, Wake All My Youth, featuring upbeat anthems like the excellent "White Doves" was released last year. See them tonight with Royal Teeth and Shuteye. Schubas. 8 p.m.
Wednesday, February 6
U.K. indie rock outfit The Vaccines formed in 2010 and blew up virtually overnight with their 2011 record What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? and tunes like "If You Wanna" and "Post Break-Up Sex" that harken back to the early days of Britpop. Last year's Come of Age mines similar territory and songs like "Teenage Icon," "No Hope," and "All in Vain" are a gas. This is the first U.S. headlining tour for The Vaccines. Awkward, an EP released last year by the excellent Australian pop band San Cisco, features cute boy-girl vocals, tons of hooks and just the right amount of sweetness. The band never sounds more charming than on songs such as "Golden Revolver" and "Awkward." A full-length album on Fat Possum should be out soon. Lincoln Hall. 9 p.m.
Collide and Conquer, the 2012 record and third full-length from Canadian rockers Hunter Valentine is a raucous and aggressive blast of pop-punk. Catch them tonight at the Ultra Lounge with Chicago’s very own The Cathy Santonies, cleverly named after Kathi Santoni, the rarely seen friend (or enemy) of D.J. Tanner on Full House. The Cathy Santonies 2010 EP I’m Yr Friend! I’m Yr Revolution! is full of brash, high energy jams that are also extremely fun. Also on the bill is the terrific female-led Chicago pop-punk band, The Wanton Looks, who remind me of the great Fastbacks or The Muffs on their latest, self-titled record. Ultra Lounge. 8 p.m.
Oklahoma's Broncho will fuel the Empty Bottle with blazing scorchers like "Pick a Fight," "Try Me Out Sometime," and "Blown Fuse" from 2011's Can't Get Past The Lips. Skating Polly is a duo from Oklahoma City consisting of 12-year old Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse, who is 17. The girls' understanding of punk rock belies their young ages. 9:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 7
Artist and musician Tim Fite is pretty tough to categorize. His 2012 record, Ain't Ain't Ain't is a striking melange of indie rock, freak folk, and alt-country. See what he has up his sleeve tonight at Tonic Room. With Mos Scocious and Greg Gibbs. 8 p.m.
Traveling Alone, the 2012 record from New York based singer-songwriter Tift Merritt features an all-star band and includes a guest appearance from Andrew Bird on the standout, "Drifted Apart." With Chris Koza. SPACE. 7:30 p.m.
Also tonight: The legendary Paul Collins, who co-founded the power-pop icons The Nerves, returns to Chicago for a gig with his current band, the Paul Collins Beat. With Little Boy Jr. and Blizzard Babies. Township. 9 p.m.
Friday, February 8
Milwaukee’s Jaill have been around for a while but took a huge career leap in 2010 when they signed with Sub Pop, who have released their last two records. 2010's That's How We Burn contained plenty of upbeat garage-pop including the excellent opener, "The Stroller." Traps, last year's follow-up, shows the band evolving, and lean tracks like "Waste A Lot of Things" and "Perfect Ten" are never lacking for hooks. With Slushy and The Bingers. Beat Kitchen. 9:00 p.m.
It has been over a decade since Cody ChesnuTT released The Headphone Masterpiece but last year's Landing on a Hundred, with its masterful fusion of soul, funk and R&B provided a great re-introduction. "Til I Met Thee" and "Don't Follow Me" brim with Marvin Gaye style soulfulness while funky numbers such as "I've Been Life," "Don't Wanna Go The Other Way," and "That's Still Mama" elicit memories of '70's era Stevie Wonder. Welcome back, Cody. With whysowhite. Martyrs’. 9:30 p.m.
General Dome is the latest record from exciting Brooklyn duo Buke and Gase released on Brassland, the record label started by writer Alec Hanley Bemis and Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National. See them tonight at Lincoln Hall with Ahleuchatistas and Hemmingbirds. 10 p.m.
Saturday, February 9
While it takes an entire career for most artists to release two great albums, prolific garage rocker and the favorite musician of the WGN morning news team, Ty Segall, released three great records (Hair, Slaughterhouse and Twins) in various incarnations just last year. Segall shows no signs of slowing down in 2013 having already released a 7" as Fuzz and reissuing a 2008 project called The Traditional Fools as well as his 2009 record with Mikal Cronin called Reverse Shark Attack. Segall was one of the highlights of the 2012 Pitchfork Music Festival so seeing him at a small club like the Empty Bottle should make for an amazing evening. Ty Segall performs two shows tonight. With Memphis garage punks Ex-Cult and Trin Tran at 7 p.m. With Ex-Cult and Zath at 10 p.m.
Actor, writer and metalhead Brian Posehn spends a lot of time talking about music. His latest record, Fart and Wiener Jokes, contains ruminations on iTunes (“Wham still sucks"), metal music, (“You never see a guy with his shirt off going, R&B! Easy Listening!”) and how much he hates the term “Party Like a Rockstar” ("If you are going to use the phrase you should be forced to be specific about which rock star you intend to party like.”). He's also one of the best comedians out there. He'll sling the comedy tonight at the Abbey Pub. With Jeremy Essig. 8 p.m.
Ken Stringfellow is a founding member of The Posies, power-pop champions and one of the vastly underrated bands to come out of the Pacific Northwest scene in the late 80's. He's also been involved with The Minus 5, the reformed Big Star and R.E.M. Stringfellow will play selections from his latest record, Danzig in the Moonlight, tonight at Schubas. With Jeremy David Miller. 7 p.m.
Retribution Gospel Choir is the side project of Alan Sparhawk and Steve Garrington of the band Low (See them when they come to Metro in March). While the last two Retribution Gospel Choir releases, 2010's 2 and The Revolution EP in 2012 were crisp and compact indie rock, the bands' latest release, 3, is a two-song monster full of sludge and heavy riffs. The meaty "Can't Walk Out" clocks in at just under 20 minutes and the 21 minute "Seven" is augmented by some fiery guitar courtesy of Wilco's Nels Cline. With Stagnant Pools. Schubas. 10 p.m.
Girl Group Chicago is an extraordinary 20-piece all-female group of local musicians (members come from some of the best Chicago bands including Bare Mutants, Rabid Rabbit, Lightfoils, Outer Minds, Mucca Pazza, Hollows, etc.) who manage to squeeze on stage, dazzle you with their style and then proceed to absolutely crush songs from '60s girl groups like The Crystals, The Shirelles, The Chiffons and The Shangri-Las. See them now. With Puterbaugh Sisterz and The Baby Magic. The Burlington. 9 p.m.
Sunday, February 10
Mikal Cronin is the bass player in Ty Segall’s band and also a pretty great solo artist himself. In 2011, tremendous Chicago record label Trouble in Mind released his self-titled garage pop masterpiece. This morning (yes, morning) at saki, Cronin will play a short set of music in celebration of a couple of new Trouble in Mind releases, Jacco Gardner's Cabinet of Curiosities and Shadows by Maston. This is part of the monthly Off The Record series and the event today will feature treats provided by ¡Bang Bang! Pie Shop and drinks from 312 Urban Wheat Ale. saki. 11 a.m.