Best shows to see: Patti Smith & Her Band, Black Pus, Momo



Patti Smith
  • Steven Sebring
  • Patti Smith
Summer touring season is ramping up, and while more bands are getting routed through Chicago there are some that can't quite get here for one reason or another. Sweden's Hypocrisy was supposed to play Ultra Lounge tonight, but the group had to cancel its whole tour; according to the metal band's site the members of Hypocrisy recently learned that they would not be able to pick up their travel visas until late June due to an influx of work at the department of Homeland Security.

Although Hypocrisy won't be performing at Ultra Lounge this evening, the venue is hosting Krisiun, Arsis, and Starkill; elsewhere tonight there's Bill Callahan at Garfield Park Conservatory, Pomegranates at Empty Bottle, Robbie Fulks at Hideout, and David More and KG Price at Myopic Books. Tuesday night there's Deer Tick at City Winery, Patti Smith & Her Band's second night at the Vic, and Chandeliers at Hideout. On Wednesday there's Dillinger Escape Plan at Reggie's Rock Club, Little Boots at Lincoln Hall, Him at House of Blues, and Deer Tick at City Winery. That's not all that's on tap the next few days—be sure to check out the rest of the Reader's concert listings in Soundboard and read on for a few in-depth picks from our writers.

Mon 5/6: Patti Smith & Her Band at the Vic

"In the fascinating liner notes to her latest album, Banga (Columbia), Patti Smith details the four-year journey that produced it, during which she also wrote her fantastic memoir Just Kids and acted in Law & Order: Criminal Intent, among other things—for me the notes rival the music," writes Peter Margasak. "It’s not Smith’s greatest work, and it’s even more contemplative and hypnotic than usual, but few living artists can compete with the magnitude of her presence—even when she’s speaking over somewhat shapeless backing, as on “Tarkovsky (The Second Stop Is Jupiter),” which borrows from Sun Ra, she’s so compelling the music is almost irrelevant." Tonight's show is sold out, but there are still tickets available for Smith's Tuesday night performance.

Tue 5/7: Black Pus at Empty Bottle

Kevin Warwick is among the legions awestruck by perpetually masked Lightning Bolt drummer Brian Chippendale, who performs solo tonight as Black Pus. "The new All My Relations (Thrill Jockey) bubbles and crackles with thick sci-fi bass tones and ecstatic noise in hypnotic swirls and loops, complementing Chippendale’s urgent drumming and telephonic, sometimes cartoonish vocals," writes Warwick. "Much like Lightning Bolt, Black Pus makes its home in dense pockets of repetition—often the meter-dicing snare accents seem to be resetting a looping pattern with every hit—so that it’s easy to lose track of time inside a song (“Word on the Street,” for example)."

Wed 5/8: Momo at Old Town School of Folk Music's Maurer Hall

Peter Margasak praises Rio's Momo (aka Marcelo Frota) for a back-catalog indebted to fellow Brazilians such as Milton Nascimento, Alceu Valenca, and Fagner and Belchior. "But his latest album, the self-released Cadafalso, strips his music down to its essence—just voice and acoustic guitar—so that his songs can step out from behind all those stylistic trappings," writes Margasak. "Frota’s lovely voice is hushed and his crisp arpeggios are vibrant and cunningly shaped, and only his Portuguese lyrics make him sound particularly Brazilian."

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