Best shows to see: Kwaidan, Lee Fields, the Evens, Burning Love



The Evens
  • Courtesy of the artist
  • The Evens
After a week of celebration, it almost feels anticlimactic that it's July. A defeat for defenders of DOMA, a victory for the Blackhawks. Parade after parade. Now we have to muster up the energy to party for independence? How about a couple days off to just listen to some good music, pound some Motrin, and restock the liquor cabinet? Self-medicate with Soundboard. And drink lots of water.

Tonight, the Polyphonic Spree plays at Subterranean. The Dunwells come to SPACE by way of Britain, and Caravan Palace comes to House of Blues by way of France. Tomorrow, Reggie's Rock Club hosts a huge local hip-hop bill that includes Alex Wiley, Vic Mensa, and Planet Asia. Stirrup plays for free at the Whistler.

On Wednesday, FitzGerald's American Music Festival kicks off; it runs through Saturday with three stages, more 40 bands, countless banjos, and Tom Cimms's Cajun/American barbecue. Also on Wednesday, The-Drum plays a DJ set at the Empty Bottle.

More Soundboard picks after the jump:

Mon 7/1: Kwaidan at the Empty Bottle

The new Make All the Hell of Dark Metal Bright by Chicago trio Kwaidan is a curdling, patient soundscape that Peter Margasak enjoys as much for what it doesn't do as for what it does. The group spins "delicate sound webs, interweaving atmospheric gurgling and the occasional roiling analog synthesizer tone with jagged arpeggios, knot-strewn guitar lines, and acid-spattered fuzz," writes Margasak. "But Kwaidan is all about restraint—these guys hold back their power and make that denial seem more powerful than any other choice."

Mon 7/1: The Evens at Logan Hardware

In the early 90s, the building that houses Logan Hardware served as the U.S. distribution center for UK label Southern, a partner of Dischord Records since the 80s. So when Logan Hardware owner Jim Zespy pitched the idea of an in-store show to Dischord duo the Evens, it made too much poetic sense to pass up. Donations at the door are suggested, as is listening to the group's 2012 LP The Odds. The Evens are Ian MacKaye of Fugazi and Amy Farina of the Warmers at their most collaborative—trading lines, exploring each other's tempos, coolly harmonizing.

Mon 7/1: Lee Fields & the Expressions at Pritzker Pavillion

Lee Fields's 2012 album Faithful Man is a great showcase for the soul veteran's masterful singing. "Fields rips into every song with gusto, swinging his raspy, serrated voice like a thorny bough through tunes about heartbreak, loneliness, and temptation," writes Peter Margasak. That's easily worth the zero dollars it costs to hear him with his band the Expressions in Millennium Park tonight.

Tue 7/2: Burning Love at Cobra Lounge

Burning Love's Rotten Thing to Say "is full of hooks and flashy rock 'n' roll guitar solos and shines with sweaty glitz and a haze of sleaze," writes Kevin Warwick. "But Colohan's raspy, almost choking vocals keep it rooted in the scrappy hardcore sound he made his name with."

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