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Mon 5/28: Kelly Hogan at Millennium Park
Kelly Hogan only wrote one of the tracks on the new I Like to Keep Myself in Pain, her first album in 11 years, but as Peter Margasak writes, "Her greatest skills are interpreting and curating material." The album features covers of songs by Robyn Hitchock and Charlie Rich, but Margasak favors the darker numbers, like Vic Chestnutt's "Ways of the World," which "brings out the Dusty Springfield in Hogan's voice," and Robbie Fulks's "Whenever You're Out of My Sight," on which Hogan "imparts a sweet Bobbie Gentry vibe to lyrics about debilitating jealousy."
Tue 5/29: Enabler at Beat Kitchen
The PR tag line "The world is fucked and this is the soundtrack to its demise" was really all I needed. Enabler's ferocious blend of hardcore, punk, and metal on the upcoming All Hail the Void (out July 17 on Southern Lord) is a "cinder block of nuclear-charged contempt, in the same bulging, hate-filled vein as contemporaries like Trap Them and From Ashes Rise—and with hints of Slayer in its most excellent thrashy moments." It's a pissed-off album to the maxx—I can't stop blaring it and playing air drums while sitting in my cube at work. This one-off show is a preface to the Southern Lord tour the band will embark on with Black Breath, Martyrdod, and Burning Love in late June (it hits the Bottle on July 9, sans Martyrdod).
Tue 5/29: I Break Horses at Schubas
The shoegaze duo of Maria Linden and Fredrik Balck have a way with structure, says Monica Kendrick: "The deep layerings of sound on their beautiful debut full-length, 2011's Hearts, show an architect's attention to detail and a construction worker's doggedness." The group's "swirling electric fog" and inherent sensuality should pair beautifully with the intimate space of Schubas.
Wed 5/30: In the Country at the Hideout
Pianist Morten Qvenild continues to pay tribute to the "patient note-spread style" of Paul Bley, but Norwegian piano trio In the Country has "slowly moved away from its jazz roots," says Peter Margasak. On last year's Sight and Sounds, the trio "mostly sticks to meticulous arrangements that favor slow elaborations and deconstructions or majestic ebb and flow, not lots of solo space." And in case the lean toward pop weren't evident enough, there's a remake of Dire Straits' "Brothers in Arms" ("not their most brilliant decision," according to Margasak), which proves that In the Country is at the very least adventurous.