Shows to see: Black Dice, Schoolboy Q, Lee Fields, and more | Bleader

Shows to see: Black Dice, Schoolboy Q, Lee Fields, and more

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Lee Fields
  • Lee Fields
If you visit the Reader online mostly via our blog, you already know that we recommend shows here—last week, for instance, Peter Margasak previewed a Tue 5/1 gig by Tomas Fujiwara's new trio and the Fri 5/3 reception and performance celebrating the completion of Nick Butcher's Free Jazz Bitmaps project. But there's also an online analog to the Soundboard spread we run in print every week, and it's easy to miss from here on the Bleader. The dead-tree version features writeups on more than a dozen shows, plus a curated collection of listings, all arranged chronologically and by genre for easy browsing. The Soundboard page at ChicagoReader.com includes all those writeups, plus other notable and recommended shows, arranged by day—three choices every day at minimum, and sometimes many more. Refresh the page and the selection will often change.

After the jump, some Soundboard picks for the next few days.

Mon 5/7: Black Dice at Bottom Lounge
Of these oddball RISD alumni, Kevin Warwick writes, "On the new album Aaron Warren and brothers Bjorn and Eric Copeland combine fractured beats, gnarly guitar accents, and manipulated vocals into a frenetic, synergistic collage with the energy of a rave and the feel of a noisy old video arcade (I keep thinking of the sad little Pac-Man death song)—except it sounds like it's all been cut into vinyl and played back at half the proper speed."

Mon 5/7: P.G. Six, Spires That in the Sunset Rise at the Empty Bottle
P.G. Six, aka singer-guitarist Pat Gubler and whoever's on board for any given record, sound like "a less florid version of the folk-rock of Fairport Convention or Steeleye Span, with intricately interwoven tendrils of guitar and understated, elegant vocals that all become more potent with repeated listens," according to Peter Margasak. And Monica Kendrick has a great deal to say about Decatur avant-folk band Spires That in the Sunset Rise: "The new album's five long songs have some of the time-suspending properties of Tony Conrad's minimalist drones, some of the unsettled otherworldliness of Kendra Smith or Current 93, and some of the transhuman evocations of nature you find in Mongolian and Siberian music—plus something that belongs entirely to Spires That in the Sunset Rise and isn't available anywhere else (believe me, I've looked)."

Tue 5/8: Schoolboy Q at Reggie's Rock Club
The new album from this LA rapper is "full of references to some of the druggier moments in hip-hop history—Three 6 Mafia's gothic paranoia, the promethazine-purple haze of Houston rap—but Q isn't content just recycling ideas, and songs such as the sinister 'Nightmare on Figg St.' sound trippy in an all-new, boundary-pushing way," says Miles Raymer.

Wed 5/9: Lee Fields & the Expressions at Lincoln Hall
On his new album, this veteran soul singer "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. "His killer backing band, abetted by vintage-sounding strings and plush horns, reminds me of the groups at powerhouse Memphis labels Stax and Hi—the gut-punching snare sound is a lot like the one Willie Mitchell got from drummer Howard Grimes, and 'Walk On Thru That Door' could be a lost Isaac Hayes joint, with fuzz guitar cutting through orchestral swells."

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