Monday, April 15
Solange Knowles' February show was postponed due to travel and weather concerns, but Beyoncé's younger sister is back for a show at Bottom Lounge. Solange's 2012 EP, "True," featuring the infectious, "Losing You," "Lovers in the Parking Lot," and "Locked in Closets" prove that Solange should be a bigger star very soon. She also gets bonus points for her brilliant cover of Dirty Projectors' "Stillness is the Move." And if you can't find a way in to the show Monday, she'll be back at the Pitchfork Music Festival in July. Bottom Lounge. 7 p.m.
Minneaplis-based trio Now, Now come to town in support of "Threads," their 2012 record full of infectious, shimmering indie-pop. See them at Lincoln Hall and then later this week on Record Store Day, head to your favorite shop and pick up a copy of a deluxe edition of "Neighbors," which contains Now, Now's 2010 "Neighbors EP," as well as 2011s "Neighbors: The Remixes." It's a limited edition of 500 so make sure to get out early. Washington-based pop band The Lonely Forest released "Arrows," in 2011, a rousing collection of powerful arena-ready anthems including, "Turn Off This Song and Go Outside," and "(I Am) The Love Addict." The Lonely Forest are working on a new record, so expect to get a preview of new songs as well. Both "Threads" and "Arrows" were released by Trans Records, the label run by Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie. Local band The Kuhls open the show playing songs from their recently released debut album, "Holy Rollin'." Lincoln Hall. 7 p.m.
Also Monday: "Water on Mars," the new record from Philadelphia-based indie-rock trio Purling Hiss is a fuzzy, rock-n-roll monster. Watch the video for "Water on Mars," highlight "Mercury Retrograde," here. See them with TeePee and Axis: Sova at Empty Bottle. 9 p.m.
Tuesday, April 16
Get a preview of "Sub Verses," the forthcoming record from the experimental folk outfit Akron/Family when they headline a nice bill at Empty Bottle. Watch a video for "Sub Verses track, "Until the Morning," here. Wisconsin-based indie-pop quartet All Tiny Creatures head to town in advance of their forthcoming record, "Dark Clock," due out in May. Listen to the upbeat new jam, "Quickest Cut," here. M. Geddes Gengras opens. Empty Bottle. 9:30 p.m.
Shuggie Otis, the man who famously turned down an offer to join The Rolling Stones, has often been called a recluse, but he's out Tuesday for the first show of a two night stand at Lincoln Hall. The son of legendary bandleader Johnny Otis, Shuggie released a few highly influential R&B records in the late '60s and early '70s including the cult-classic, "Inspiration Information," in 1974. Otis found a new audience in 2001 when David Byrne's Luaka Bop label reissued "Inspiration Information," which included four songs from the 1971 record, "Freedom Flight," including the song, "Strawberry Letter 23," which was a hit for The Brothers Johnson in 1977. Today, Otis will celebrate a deluxe reissue of "Inspiration Information," which also includes a second disc called "Wings of Love," comprised of previously unreleased material recorded between 1975 and 2000. Otis recently appeared on The Late Show With Jimmy Fallon to perform, and you can watch that here. Manchester-based singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop comes to town behind her 2012 indie-pop record, "The House That Jack Built." Watch the video for "Ode to Banksy," the third single from "The Houe That Jack Built," here. East of Edens Soul Express DJs get things started. Lincoln Hall. 8 p.m.
Also Tuesday: The Black Crowes bring their "Lay Down with Number 13" tour to town for two nights at The Vic. The Black Crowes recently released, "Wiser for the Time," a live album recored over five-nights in New York City in 2010. The two-disc collection includes a disc of acoustic songs and a disc of the Crowes' plugged in. The set includes a nice cover of Little Feat's, "Willin'" as well a version of Bob Dylan's "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You," from Dylan's 1969 record, "Nashville Skyline." The Vic. 7:30 p.m.
And: Janet Bean continues her April residency at The Hideout exploring the many projects she's been involved with over the years. The show will be "Dealer's Choice," so the night should be filled with surprises. 9 p.m.
Wednesday, April 17
Marnie Stern comes to the Empty Bottle behind her latest record, the awesomely-titled, "Chronicles of Marnia." The album is another rifftastic set of punishing tunes combining elements of classic and progessive rock with a catchy pop sound always fighting to stay near the top. And watching her shred on the guitar is a near religious experience. Watch the video for "Chronicles of Marnia" scorcher "Immortal," here. Baltimore-based quartet Roomrunner will set things up nicely with a ferocious and explosive sound as demonstrated on new single, "Ideal Cities." Local noise-rockers Mayor Daley open. Empty Bottle. 9 p.m.
Multiple Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, the legendary Dr. John will bring some voodoo to Evanston for two shows at SPACE. Dr. John's 2012 record, "Locked Down," produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, is another dazzling collection of funk, swamp rock and classic New Orleans R&B highlighted by Dr. John's masterful keyboard work. SPACE. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
English pub-rock legend Graham Parker hits town behind, "Three Chords Good," his first new record in over 30 years with his band, The Rumour. This tour also coincides with the DVD release of the Judd Apatow film, "This is 40," in which Parker appears as himself. Parker also contributes two songs to the "This is 40" soundtrack, so expect to hear some new songs sprinkled in among classics such as, "Passion is No Ordinary Word," "Discovering Japan," and "Local Girls." With Danny Black. City Winery. 8 p.m.
Nashville-based indie-rock trio Leagues were just in town helping the Cubs open thier season and are back at Schubas playing songs from their recently released debut record, "You Belong Here." Local three-piece Tall Walker open the show. Schubas. 9 p.m.
Celebrate the one-year anniversary of local record label Notes & Bolts t at The Burlington with performances from local electronic wizards Chandeliers and local dream-pop duo Architecture, who are celebrating the release of their new 7", which you can listen to here. Architecture will also be releasing the single on clear vinyl exclusively at Reckless Records for Record Store Day. The Burlington. 9 p.m.
Thursday, April 18
Pop-star Alicia Keys brings her "Set The World on Fire" Tour to United Center, but make sure to arrive early for Miguel, whose magnificent 2012 record, "Kaliedescope Dream," consisted of of sultry R&B and contained the wonderful singles, "Adorn," and "Do You..." Miguel ripped up the stage on the last episode of SNL and you can watch that steamy performance here. United Center. 7:30 p.m.
"Honeys," the new record from Philadelphia-based punks Pissed Jeans is a blistering set of aggressive and pulsating rock and roll that never eases up. See them at the Empty Bottle before they come back later this year to melt your face at the Pitchfork Music Festival. Local garage-punks Fake Limbs will play the unrelenting punk from their 2012 record, "Man Feelings." Opening the show is the excitng local surf-punk quartet Blizzard Babies. Empty Bottle. 9:30 p.m.
Indiana-based folk-rock quartet Houndmouth play the Hideout in advance of, "From The Hills Below the City," their full-length debut record which is due out in June. Opening is local singer-songwriter Angela James, who released a fantastic debut EP, "Down and Out," last year. The Hideout. 8 p.m.
It's an annual benefit concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music with Alison Krauss & Dan Tyminski and featuring a solo set from legendary actor and singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson. Kristofferson comes to town in support of his new record, "Feeling Mortal." Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall. 8 p.m.
Local Kraut-rock quartet Disappears released the excellent, "Pre Language," last year, and have recently released, "A New House in a New Town," a 12" record featuring demo versions of two new songs as well as an alternate version of "Pre Language" track "Love Drug." The B-side of the record features etched artwork from Belgian photographer Stine Sampers. This week the group released, "Kone," another 12", and expect to have a new album out this fall. See the band with Pinebender and The Cairo Gang, who released the stellar, "The Corner Man," last year. Lincoln Hall. 9 p.m.
Elia Einhorn, leader of the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, moved to Brooklyn in 2012, but contiues to travel to Chicago to record with his terrific indie-pop group. The resiliant band is back in town for a show at The Burlington and will preview songs from a forthcoming new record. With The Kuhls and Rivals of the Peacemaker. The Burlington. 9 p.m.
The Chicago International Movie and Music Festival kicks off with an evening with Van Dyke Parks and his son Richard Parks. There will be a screening of a series of documentary shorts centered around the amazing career of Van Dyke Parks, a conversation with Van Dyke and Richard moderated by John Anderson, as well as a performance featuring Van Dyke with Don Heffington and players. Constellation. 7 p.m. Other films that I'm excited for are the feature documentaries "Stones in Exile," "The Jesus Lizard: Last Concert," and "Greenwich Village: Music that Defined a Generation." For the next four days Chicago will be awash in music and movies at various locations throughout the city. See cimmfest.org for more information and the complete schedule.
Also Thursday: Good for You, the new band from Black Flag founder Greg Ginn and musician and professional skateboarder Mike Valley, plays Reggie’s behind their debut album, "Life is Too Short To Not Hold a Grudge." Opening the show is local trio Mutts, who just released, "Object Permanence," their terrifc new record. Reggie's Music Joint. 8:30 p.m.
Friday, April 19
The Chicago International Movie and Music Festival presents a Bloodshot Records showcase with Lydia Loveless and Luke Winslow-King. Loveless' Bloodshot debut, 2011s, "Indestructible Machine," is a near perfect country-rock album highlighted by Loveless' powerful and commanding voice on tunes such as, "Bad Way to Go," "Can't Change Me," and "Steve Earle." "The Coming Tide," the new record from Luke Winslow-King isn't out until next week, but you can get a preview. The Hideout. 10 p.m.
Austin-based band The Black Angels, come to town behind, "Indigo Meadow," their new album. The band expertly marries garage rock, psychedelia and post-punk for a winning formula. L.A.-based garage-rockers Allah-Las released an impressive debut last year. Montreal-based indie-rock band Elephant Stone open in support of their self-titled new record. The Vic. 8 p.m. The Black Angels will also perform an in-store at Reckless Records (Broadway). 2 p.m.
"Love," the new record from Minnesota-based environmentalists and indie-rock band Cloud Cult is yet another sprawling collection of soaring chamber-pop deftly handled by leader Craig Minowa. A documentary about the band, "Cloud Cult: No One Said it Would Be Easy," is out now. JBM, the musical project of Jesse Marchant, open. Lincoln Hall. 10 p.m.
Zeus' second full-length record, 2012s, "Busting Visions," immediately call to mind '70s-era classic rock bands like Queen and Led Zeppelin and tunes like "Are You Gonna Waste My Time?," "Anything You Want Dear," and "Love in a Game," are nearly impossible to get out of your head. Make sure to pick up the deluxe edition of "Busting Visions," which includes an EP of cover songs including Big Stars's "The Ballad of El Goodo," The Flaming Lips' "Fight Test," and a pretty excellent version of R. Kelly's "Ignition (Remix)." The Toronto indie-rock band headline a show with Atlanta-based indie-rockers Ponderosa and local trio Fletcher. Beat Kitchen. 8:30 p.m.
And: The Chicago International Movies and Music Festival is in full swing and Friday, at The Logan Theatre, check out, "Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me," a documentary about one of the most influential power pop bands of all time. Logan Theatre. 10 p.m.
Saturday, April 20
It's Record Store Day so make sure to get up early and get to your favorite shop to guarantee you are able to snag that Brian Eno x Nicolas Jaar x Grizzly Bear 12". Here are some of the best events happening at record stores around town:
Saki in Logan Square will be serving free Gaslight Coffee in front of the store around 8:30 a.m. for the people in line. The shop will open at 9 a.m. and will give away free limited edition tote bags designed by Ryan Duggan to the first 10 people who make a purchase. The live music starts at 1 p.m. with local garage rockers Twin Peaks. Other bands scheduled to perform throughout the day are The Oarsman, The Beets, Radar Eyes, Fake Limbs and Pink Avalanche. There will also be a live taping of the Revolutions Per Minute podcast hosted by local comics Nick Rouley and Joe McAdam. Blizzard Babies will be the guest, and they will perform a live set. Still not enough for you? Well, CHIRP DJs will be spinning tunes all day. And there will be plenty of opportunities to win prizes (shirts, concert tickets, gift certificates, buttons, posters, etc.) from places such as Metro, Schubas and Lincoln Hall, Dill Pickle Food Co-Op, New Wave Coffee, Empty Bottle and more. UPDATE: Radar Eyes have canceled and will be replaced by Daniel Dorff and Ronnie Kuller.
Not to be outdone, Laurie's Planet of Sound also has a monster day on tap including food, live music, celebrity guests, and giveaways. The store will open at 9 a.m., and the first 40 customers will receive a free newly designed Laurie's tote bag filled with random treats. If you aren't one of the first 40, the first few hundred customers will receive the free tote minus the goodies. The live music schedule is killer and will kick off around 12 p.m. with Nicholas Tremulis. Following Nicholas Tremulis will be Edward Burch & the Grand Ennui performing Mike Nesmith's, "And the Hits Just Keep on Comin'" album in its entirety. The rest of the afternoon will feature performances by Luke Winslow-King, Dolly Varden, CLAPS, UNUR and Cinchel. There will also be a special appearance from legendary WXRT personality Terri Hemmert, and Chubby Wieners will be around serving up breakfast and lunch. After record shopping and eating, take a quick walk down Lincoln Avenue to wash down the hot dog with some fine Half Acre beer and receive ten percent off your purchase with a Laurie's Record Store Day receipt. Awesome.
Dusty Groove will get a head start and open at 8 a.m. and will have free coffee and bagels for anyone in line before they open. DJ Joe Bryl is scheduled to spin in the store for the early birds from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. The first 100 customers will receive a special suprise gift, and everybody who makes a purchase can spin the Wheel of Fortune for a chance to win other prizes. There will also be refreshments provided by local food trucks and a magic show in the afternoon. At 4 p.m., there will be a special appearance from Chicago jazz legend George Freeman, who will perform a set on guitar and also share memories from his storied career playing with Charlie Parker and John Coltrane.
Reckless Records on Milwaukee will feature live performances starting at 1 p.m. from Their/They're/There, Speck Mountain, Jar'd Loose and Lair of the Minotaur. Reckless' location on Broadway will have a solo set from Tim Kinsella (Cap'n Jazz, Joan of Arc), an acoustic set by JC Brooks and a set from folk-rockers Houndmouth. 2 p.m.
Permanent Records on Chicago Avenue also has a packed line-up including Sros Lords, The Soupcans, TV Ghost, Wax Idols, Gel Set, Matchess, Verma, The Hecks and the night ends with a Brainbombs cover set by Maybe & The Sick Fucks. 1 p.m.
Record Breakers will open early at 8 a.m. and will have in-store performances from Joan of Arc (solo), Cloud Cult, The Kickback, Flatfoot 56, Kangaroo, Suns, Magicks, Super Minotaur, Free Drugs and The New Diet. Come for the records and stay for the music, free hot dogs and soda.
For the third consecutive year, the outstanding local record label Numero Group will host a special retail pop-up store at the Comfort Station in Logan Square. They will have every Numero Group release currently in print, as well as some exclusive Record Store Day items. 9 a.m.
And if you aren't too exhausted, many great shows are happening:
Montreal-based indie-rock band The Besnard Lakes are in town behind their stunning new record, "Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFOs." Opening the show is another band from Montreal, Suuns, whose new record, "Images Du Futur," is out now. Schubas. 10 p.m.
Also Saturday: My Morning Jacket leader Jim James recently released, "Regions of LIght and Sound of God," his debut solo record. Catch him at The Vic with Canadian singer-songwriter Al Spx, who performs under the moniker Cold Specks. The Vic. 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 21
The long-running experimental pop band Stereo Total hits town behind yet another fine effort, "Cactus Versus Brezel." Check out the video for the groovy indie-pop gem, "We Don't Wanna Dance,' here. The Heligoats recently released, "Back to the Ache," a fine record highlighted by the distinctive warble of leader Chris Otpeka. Cross Record, the project of artist and musician Emily Cross, open this excellent night of music. Empty Bottle. 9:30 p.m.
Chad Valley is the solo pop project of Hugo Manuel, frontman for the terrific Oxford-based electro-pop band Jonquil. Chad Valley will play songs from 2012s, "Young Hunger," at Schubas. New York-based duo Ghost Beach and Chandeliers will start the night with their catchy synth-laden jams. Schubas. 8 p.m. Ghost Beach will also be taping a live session at JBTV tomorrow, April 22. 1:30 p.m.