Best shows to see: Henry Butler, Action Bronson, Los Campesinos!

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Action Bronson
  • Action Bronson
Chicago Psych Fest V kicks off tonight at the Hideout with Verma, Mako Sica, Energy Gown, Crown Larks, and the Humminbird—if you can't make it out this evening, you have a couple more chances to see the annual psych celebration as it continues through Saturday. If psych isn't your bag there are plenty of other shows worth checking out through the weekend.

Tonight there's Prichard at Quenchers and Wailers at House of Blues. Tomorrow night you can check out Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing the music of Vertigo at Symphony Center or Bonerama at SPACE. On Saturday there's Destruction Unit at Empty Bottle and Chicago Afrobeat Project at Township. You can wrap up the weekend by taking in Bassekou Kouyate at Old Town School of Folk Music or Abigail Williams at Reggie's Rock Club.

There are plenty more shows to check out this weekend—head to Soundboard to scope them out and read on for a few picks from Reader critics.

Thu 1/23: Henry Butler at SPACE

"Henry Butler is probably the most technically dazzling pianist in blues and R&B today," writes Dave Whiteis. "The New Orleans native's first recordings, released in the mid-80s, featured collaborations with some of the era’s most prestigious and forward-looking jazz musicians. He didn’t begin carving out a niche in roots-wise, progressive blues and R&B till the early 90s, with Orleans Inspirationand Blues & More, Volume 1, where he showed off fresh and often audacious takes on ideas codified by Crescent City piano masters such as Jelly Roll Morton, Tuts Washington, Professor Longhair, and James Booker."

Fri 1/24: Action Bronson at Metro

"While it's true that Action Bronson sometimes sounds a little like Ghostface Killah, in most other ways he's defined himself as a sui generis rap star in the nearly two years since his breakthrough mixtape, Blue Chips," writes Miles Raymer. "One thing in particular that distinguishes him is how he spends his newfound money—while his contemporaries invest in custom chains and pet tigers, Bronsolino pursues a conception of luxury defined by fine dining, vintage European sedans, and increasingly exotic THC-delivery technology. Recently he and Blue Chips producer Party Supplies (whose Tough Love was 2013's most tragically overlooked electro-pop record) reconvened for Blue Chips 2, which continues in the casual, supremely stoned vein of its predecessor: Bronson piles up dizzying, off-the-dome imagery, and Party Supplies makes beats out of left-field sample sources such as Tracy Chapman's 'Gimme One Reason' and the Champs' 'Tequila.'"

Sat 1/25: Los Campesinos! at Metro

"As Los Campesinos! and their toy-box sound continue to 'mature' at an accelerated rate—they certainly release records at an accelerated rate, with five albums in less than six years—I keep waiting for the band to get boring and overearnest, at which point I'd tip my hat to these Welsh kids' bygone knack for snarkiness and fondly spin an early winner, maybe 2008's We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed," writes Kevin Warwick. "Like the previous couple Los Campesinos! albums, last month’s No Blues (Wichita) is more conventionally radio friendly. But 'Cemetery Gaits' (the puns ain't stopping, obviously), whose simple, ascending Krautrock-ish keyboard line uses its simple repetitive catchiness to burrow into your skull, ends up being just as good as any of the band's earlier cuts—albeit with a derivative Arcade Fire-style superdramatic gang climax."

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