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The Gaslight Anthem, Ra Ra Riot and Major Lazer Play Chicago

By Pete Zimmerman | February 25, 2013 7:08am

Monday, February 25

Start the week off right with a spectacular night of music at Empty Bottle. "True Hallucinations," the recent record from Brooklyn's Ex Cops features tons of jangly guitars and soaring melodies on tunes such as "Ken," "You Are a Lion, I Am A Lamb," and the lovely "Spring Break (Birthday Song)." Australia's Henry Wagons displays an ominous and haunting croon on his excellent new record, "Expecting Company?," which features contributions from The Kills' Alison Mosshart, Canadian singer-songwriter Jenn Grant and Robert Forster of the Go-Betweens. Local orchestral pop band Panoramic & True open the show as a streamlined quartet. Empty Bottle. 9:30 p.m.

Normally when you see the wild antics of the dynamite local punk marching band Mucca Pazza, enthusiasm abounds in a circus-like atmosphere. Lately, the band has been trying something different by performing while sitting in chairs. Fortunately tonight, you can replace the energy with fine beer when Revolution Brewing presents, well, Mucca Pazza Sitting in Chairs. Revolution Brewing. 9 p.m.

New York City's The Postelles bring their crisp brand of indie pop to the Bottom Lounge. The band's self-titled debut record, partially produced by Albert Hammond of The Strokes, is a tight collection of radio-friendly '60s-influenced power pop including "White Night," "123 Stop," and "Can't Stand Still." The follow up record, "...And it Shook Me," will be out in April, but you can listen now to the slick first single, "Pretend It's Love," which features Alex Winston. Canada's Arkells' latest record, "Michigan Left," is full of capable indie rock. With Brooklyn's Ambassadors, whose well-received full-length debut, "Litost," came out last year. Bottom Lounge. 7:45 p.m.

Tuesday, February 26

Innovative German electronic duo Mouse on Mars play tonight at Mayne Stage. In 2012, the duo released a mini-album, "WOW," as well as "Parastrophics," a proper full-length. This is their first U.S. tour in six years so expect to be entranced by the IDM masters. With Svengalisghost. Mayne Stage. 7:30 p.m.

Trust, the alter ego of Toronto-based artist Robert Alfons, brings his moody synth-heavy tracks to Lincoln Hall tonight. With ERAAS, Taught Abroad and Cabrini Murphy. 8 p.m. Update: Trust had to cancel this performance due to visa issues.

Daniel Knox finishes his month-long residency at The Hideout by performing Music for Projection, a collaboration with photographer John Atwood. With Quartet Parapluie. The Hideout. 9 p.m.

Bosnian Rainbows is the latest project of multi-instrumentalist Omar Rodríguez-López of At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta. The band features powerful vocals from Teri Gender Bender of Mexican punks Le Butcherettes and new song "Torn Maps" is a lean, rock gem. A debut full-length record is expected to be released in May. With the moody riffs of Los Angeles-based duo Marriages. Bottom Lounge. 8 p.m.

Also tonight: The Man in Black, Johnny Cash, would be 81 today so celebrate tonight at a Birthday Bash at Uncommon Ground. Eight performers will each perform 3 songs from the country legend. Uncommon Ground on Clark. 8 p.m.

And: Experimental duo Lucky Dragons perform tonight at The Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the monthly series Face The Strange, curated by Jeremy Lemos and Matthew Hale Clark of local duo White/Light. 6 p.m.

Wednesday, February 27

Nashville singer-songwriters Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale are longtime friends, collaborators and radio partners. The duo combined forces once again in 2012 to release "Buddy and Jim," another classic take on Americana, which brings them to Lincoln Hall tonight. Newcomer Max Gomez opens the show playing tunes from his new record, "Rule The World." Lincoln Hall. 8 p.m.

Brooklyn-based duo Mountains' new record, "Centralia," features beautiful instrumentation, lush soundscapes and a keen sense of melody including the 20-minute epic, "Propeller." Also on the bill is White/Cream, a duo featuring audio wizards Jeremy Lemos and Tim Iseler on analog synths and Frank Rosaly on drums. With Bitchin Bajas, the project of Cooper Crane, of the amazing local kraut-rock outfit Cave. See them all at The Hideout tonight. 9 p.m.

Head to the Empty Bottle for a night of moody electro pop with Sweden's The Deer Tracks, and local duos Glass Lux and Love and Radiation. The Deer Tracks are touring in support of the final installment of "The Archer Trilogy." Glass Lux released an EP of terrific synthpop last year and Love and Radiation's debut full-length, "You Will Know Me," comes out this spring. Empty Bottle. 9 p.m.

Do you like sensational local soul outfit JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound? How about Steely Dan? Wine? If so, tonight is the night for you because singer JC Brooks and Uptown Sound members Andy Rosenstein and Ben Taylor will talk about and perform some of their favorite Steely Dan songs with a wine pairing accompaniment. What goes best with "Pretzel Logic?" A sauvignon blanc, perhaps? City Winery. 8 p.m.

Thursday, February 28

Grammy Award winning guitarist Eric Johnson spends an intimate evening at the Mayne Stage. In 2012, the Austin-based guitar wiz released an album in North America called "Up Close." In April, the record will be released in the U.K. and it's called "Up Close-Another Look" and contains remastered and remixed versions of the 2010 release, which included contributions from Steve Miller, Johnny Lang and Sonny Landreth. 8:30 p.m.

Check out the rad garage pop of Slushy tonight at Subterranean. With local fuzz rockers Vamos and the song-a-day-pop of Todays Hits. Subterranean. 8:30 p.m.

Also tonight: Local jazz-funk-hip-hop artists Sidewalk Chalk headline a benefit tonight with proceeds from the show going toward relief efforts in war-torn Syria. With local indie rockers Carbon Tigers and Bassel and the Supernaturals. Empty Bottle. 9:30 p.m.

And: Singer-songwriter Howie Day settles in for a two-night stand at City Winery. It has been nearly 10 years since Day released his breakthrough record, "Stop All The World Now," which contained the radio singles "Collide" and "Perfect Time of Day." With "America's Got Talent" runner-up Cas Haley and local singer-songwriter MER. 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 1

New York indie pop band Ra Ra Riot recently released their third studio record, "Beta Love" featuring high energy anthems such as "Dance With Me," "Beta Love," and "Angel, Please." Opener Pacific Air, the Los Angeles-based brother duo formerly known as OK OK, recently released their debut EP, "Long Live Koko" under their new moniker. Metro. 9 p.m.

New Jersey's The Gaslight Anthem's latest record, 2012's "Handwritten" is full of stadium-ready pop-punk and high energy fist-pumping jams that would make their hero Bruce Springsteen proud. The band recently released a 15-minute short film, "Every Word Handwritten," centering on the lifespan of a single vinyl record. Hey, does Governor Chris Christie know about these guys? Fellow New Jersey punks Bouncing Souls open. The Riviera. 8 p.m.

Gabe Liebowitz, frontman of local band Dastardly records a live album tonight at Schubas. With the terrific local songstress Ami Saraiya. Schubas. 9 p.m.

A night of local indie-pop at Lincoln Hall with Pet Lions, Minor Characters and Brother George at Lincoln Hall. Pet Lions just released "Popular Nature," a five-song EP which incudes the lead single, "Lighting Bolt" that was released last year. Minor Characters will also celebrate the release of a new EP, "Heal Me, Healing Times." Opener Brother George released "Big Piney" last year and it was one of the best local pop records of 2012 with great songs like "A Man in Water," "Place," and "Keep U Mine." Lincoln Hall. 10 p.m.

Check out the haunting folk of local band Many Places at The Hideout. Their 2012 record, "Another Oath," was a striking, reverb laden effort that would appeal to fans of My Morning Jacket's softer jams. With Marko Casso and Project Film. The Hideout. 10 p.m.

It's March, so it's not too early to get your St. Patrick's Day festivities started on a more refined note by seeing The Chieftains at Orchestra Hall. 8 p.m.

"American Idol" runner-up singer-songwriter Crystal Bowersox brings her country-tinged Janis Joplin-inspired howl to SPACE. 8 p.m.

Check out the garage rock triple bill at Empty Bottle with Los Angeles' Lamps, Nashville's Useless Eaters and local garage punk rockers Running. Empty Bottle. 9:30 p.m.

A great night of hip-hop headlined by Los Angeles based MC, MURS at Abbey Pub. Check out his amazing ode to the great Eazy-E of NWA from his 2011 record, "Love and Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation," here.  With Prof, Fashawn and Black Cloud Music. 9 p.m.

Also tonight: Celebrate the release of a new tape from local rockers Strychnine tonight at The Burlington with the heavy psychedelics of Dark Fog and Post Child. The Burlington. 9 p.m.

And: Don't miss Houston rapper Bun B and a DJ set from Talib Kweli tonight at The Shrine. 9 p.m.


Saturday, March 2

Check out the ethereal sounds of Danish band Indians, who will play songs from their debut album, "Somewhere Else," tonight at Empty Bottle. With Nashville's Night Beds, who will play tunes from their recent record, "Country Sleep." The band recently performed "Country Sleep" standout, "Ramona" on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon." With Brooklyn's Cat Martino. Empty Bottle. 10 p.m.

It'll be a high energy dance party when DJ/producer Diplo brings his Major Lazer project to the  Congress Theater tonight. Diplo recently announced that the groups' highly anticipated second album, "Free The Universe," will be delayed once again. The good news is that the band will be releasing three volumes of music online until the album is finally released. Check out "Get Free" featuring the vocals of Dirty Projectors member Amber Coffman from the "Lazer Strike Back Vol. 1" mixtape here. With Dragonette, Rockie Fresh, Gent & Jawns and Zebo. Congress Theater. 7 p.m.

U.K. soul singer James Hunter comes to Lincoln Hall to play tunes from his new record with The James Hunter Six, "Minute by Minute." "On My Mind/In My Heart," The new record from fellow R&B and soul singer Jesse Dee is out now. Lincoln Hall. 9 p.m.

Local band Bailiff will preview some new songs from their forthcoming album tonight at The Hideout. The band will start recording a new record in April and you can help them fund the effort through their Kickstarter campaign. The Hideout. 9 p.m.

You've no doubt seen videos of Pentatonix covering "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Psy's "Gangnam Style," and even a medley of 'N SYNC hits. Tonight, catch the five-piece a capella band at The Riviera. Suck it, Andy Benard and Straight No Chaser. 7:30 p.m.

Patrick Krief, guitarist and vocalist of excellent Canadian indie rock band The Dears brings his solo act to Township tonight. His latest record, "Hundred Thousand Pieces," is out now and features terrific indie rock on tunes such as "Simple Lives" and "Forever Goodnight." With Cobalt and the Hired Guns and Darling. Township. 8 p.m.

Also tonight: A hard-to-beat local bill tonight with Suns, Soft Speaker, Shiloh and Rocket Miner. Beat Kitchen.9:30 p.m.

And: Brooklyn's Autre Ne Veut perfectly combine smooth R&B and '80s pop on the just released new record, "Anxiety." Give a listen to "Play by Play," the terrific first single, here. With Montreal duo Majical Cloudz tonight at Schubas. 10 p.m.

Sunday, March 3

Check out Ben Harper and blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite when they play tunes from their very nice new collaborative effort, "Get Up!" at The Riviera. 8 p.m.

Seattle-based indie rockers Minus The Bear hit Metro playing soaring jams from their outstanding fifth full-length record, "Infinity Overhead." With Rah Rah and Eighteen Individual Eyes. Metro. 9 p.m.

The Ike Reilly Assassination begins a three-month residency tonight at Schubas. The band will be performing new songs from their yet-to-be-released sixth full-length record as well as material from their back catalog. 8 p.m.

Also tonight: Simon Townshend, the younger brother of Pete, plays tonight at Martyrs. With power pop mainstays Steve Frisbie and Liam Davis. 8 p.m.

And: Check out the amazing young talent at The 13th annual Chicago Poetry Festival Louder Than a Bomb Semi-Finals and Mixtape Release Party today at Lincoln Hall. Noon and 7 p.m.