Best shows to see: Maps & Atlases, Tori Amos, Billy Martin's Wicked Knee

Posted by Luca Cimarusti on Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Tori Amos
  • Tori Amos plays tomorrow night at Chicago Theatre.

Chicago's floating around in a post-Lolla haze right now, but if you still want to take in some more live music after this weekend's massive festival, you've got some great options during the first half of this week. On Tue 8/5, there's Casket Girls at Subterranean, and Wiz Khalifa and Young Jeezy are playing out at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park. On Wed 8/6, Cherry Glazerr is at Beat Kitchen while Baathhaus plays Empty Bottle.

If seeing bands in parks is your thing, and you want more of it after Lollapalooza, Maps & Atlases and Wooden Shjips are playing for free tonight in Millennium Park. More details on that, as well as a couple more top picks, are below.

Mon 8/4: Maps & Atlases at Millennium Park

Local math-pop band play at Pritzker Pavilion for free this evening. Kevin Warwick writes, "Local foursome Maps & Atlases began as a math-focused indie-rock group, apparently more fascinated by the odd time signatures of instrumental savants such as Don Caballero than by the craftsmanship required to make a proper pop record. But as time has passed, they seem to have made a compromise with themselves and with their prodigious, almost wonky musical talents. Maps & Atlases have stayed in touch with their weirder, more complicated side—you can't really unlearn shredding—but also settled on a melodic-pop style, a la Minus the Bear (only more frenetic). Their 2012 LP, Beware and Be Grateful, opens with a TV on the Radio vibe: Dave Davison's vocals turn up the soul, and the ascending backing vocals sound like TVOTR's falsetto singing."

Tue 8/5: Tori Amos at the Chicago Theatre

"Flame-haired and with a fiery lyrical style to match, piano-bashing troubadour Tori Amos has been the patron saint of a particular strain of confessional-yet-cloaked, exquisitely put-together pop for a solid two decades," writes Maura Johnston. "On 2013's Unrepentant Geraldines (Mercury Classics), Amos's penchant for fusing the otherworldly and the mundane is on full display; brushed drums underscore the creepiness of the folktale 'Trouble's Lament,' and the stark 'Selkie' uses the myth of a seal who becomes a human woman on land to tell a story about star-crossed lovers and feeling comfortable in one's skin. The dropped-in heart-monitor beeps and ticking clocks of '16 Shades of Blue,' meanwhile, make that track's depictions of the everyday humiliations that come with womanhood even more crushing."

Tue 8/5: Billy Martin's Wicked Knee at SPACE

Medeski Martin & Wood drummer Billy Martin comes to town with his outfit Wicked Knee. Peter Margasak writes, "Drummer Billy Martin has a reputation for keeping bodies moving no matter how out-there the music around him gets. As the engine behind Medeski Martin & Wood he keeps the jammiest passages buoyant, but he's at his best when he doesn't have to do all the heavy lifting himself—like when MM&W plays actual tunes. As such he's also at his best in the mini brass band Wicked Knee, where he's got help from trumpeter Steven Bernstein, trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, and tuba player Marcos Rojas. On its scrappy 2013 debut album, Heels Over Head, this nimble quartet often comes off as a post-New Orleans funk combo—albeit one elastic enough to tackle moody postbop (Bernstein's atmospheric charger 'Theme One'), coloristic free improv (the richly abstract 'Noctiluca'), and a bottom-heavy blitz through a White Stripes song ('Button to Button'). With its mix of melodic generosity, rhythmic heft, and free blowing, the group is more like Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy or Ray Anderson's Pocket Brass than the Rebirth Brass Band, and despite its compact size, it puts out a big, boisterous sound."

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A writer you aint

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Posted by yambones on 08/04/2014 at 8:17 PM
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