Shows to see: Mark Sultan, Third Coast Percussion, Big Jay McNeely, and more | Bleader

Shows to see: Mark Sultan, Third Coast Percussion, Big Jay McNeely, and more


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Big Jay McNeely
One thing we take great pride in at the Reader is covering the huge variety of musical genres Chicago hosts and cultivates—whether it's a Bridgeport loft show on the fringes of experimental noise or a megaconcert at Allstate Arena where everyone learns how to shuffle, Soundboard is going to find it. And this week's no different. So before you get to cleaning the grill and making gallons of sangria, take a look at some of the shows on deck through Sunday:

Thu 5/24: Mark Sultan at the Empty Bottle
Probably best known for his collaborations with King Khan and his one-man band (contexts where he calls himself "BBQ"), Mark Sultan is a prolific garage rocker who releases albums more often than you file your taxes. Miles Raymer writes that Sultan "personally sparked a fad among garage musicians and their fans for doo-wop and other golden-oldies sounds that predate garage rock's British Invasion birth pangs." Outer Minds and Magic Milk open, and tonight's show doubles as a record-release show for Shimby Presents: Live at the Empty Bottle.

Fri 5/25: Third Coast Percussion at Mayne Stage

Though an early mentor, composer Arnold Schoenberg, told John Cage that he would never be able to write music because he lacked a feeling for harmony, Cage decided to have a go at it anyway. I suppose he did OK for himself during his six-decade run. From the mid-30s through the early 40s, not long after that advice from Schoenberg, Cage wrote some of his greatest works for percussion—many of which Third Coast Percussion will perform tonight. Peter Margasak writes, "For the third movement of Quartet, they'll play a soundboard and harp extracted from an upright piano, using knives, hammers, coins, sandpaper blocks, and other objects; for the first, second, and fourth movements they'll focus on wooden instruments, metal instruments, and drums, respectively."

Sat 5/26: Busdriver at Reggie's Rock Club

LA rapper Busdriver, aka Regan Farquhar, usually shoots for the weirdo margins of hip-hop, but as Leor Galil notes, his new Beaus $ Eros is almost a pop album: "Its synth-based production ranges from sprightly and twee to flat-out ribcage rattling, but Farquhar holds it together with his chameleonic voice, which can transform itself from a gnarled growl to a pleasant croon." Buck 65 headlines.

Sun 5/27: Big Jay McNeely at Mayne Stage
"It's too often forgotten that the tenor saxophone, not the electric guitar, was the original top gun of the rock 'n' roll insurgency," David Whiteis writes. In the late 40s and early 50s, the flamboyant Big Jay McNeely helped pioneer a rock sax sound that terrorized middle-class conservatives and jazz hipsters alike, and at the age of 85 he's still at it. "He's no longer the onstage acrobat of old, but the velocity and volume of his playing are virtually undiminished, and his showmanship is as over-the-top as ever."

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