Shows to see: Jason Moran, Urizen, Iggy Azalea, and more | Bleader

Shows to see: Jason Moran, Urizen, Iggy Azalea, and more



Iggy Azalea
  • Iggy Azalea
I guess summer unofficially kicked off on Memorial Day, but as Chicagoans know the season really starts with the first big street festival, and this weekend there's a doozy: the annual Do-Division Street Fest. Two stages of music Friday through Sunday bring us the great DJ Peanut Butter Wolf, Le Butcherettes, the return of Pinebender, Craig Finn, the Besnard Lakes, and much more. For those averse to the smell of stale beer and shirtless dudes displaying empty plastic cups like trophies, though, there are plenty of indoor options—in fact, two of jazz's greatest guitar players are visiting Chicago venues. Pat Martino holds court at the Jazz Showcase tonight through Sunday, and Peter Bernstein plays a rare solo concert Saturday at the Old Town School. Naturally, this week's Soundboard has even more, and four great choices are after the jump.

Fri 6/1: Urizen at Reggie's Rock Club
The latest album from this hard-to-categorize Texas geek-metal band, 8-Bit Universe, is a chiptune remix of their previous record. "As such," writes Monica Kendrick, "it doesn't give a very accurate picture of what their music is usually like—though it's brilliant in its own way, especially if you enjoy visualizing Marty Rev and Alan Vega trapped in a first-­generation Super Mario Brothers game."

Fri 6/1: Jason Moran & the Bandwagon at Symphony Center
As you might expect from a MacArthur fellow and jazz advisor to the Kennedy Center, pianist Jason Moran thinks big and bold. Tonight he brings a recent Fats Waller project to town for the first time—the venue is calling it a "remix" because rather than playing Waller tunes straight, he uses them as points of departure. As I write this week, "According to a New York Times review by Ben Ratliff, Moran and company used only fragments of Waller's tunes, building new music referencing styles and sounds that have emerged in the decades since he died in 1943—including Motown, house, and hip-hop." Plus, for part of the show he'll wear an outsize Waller mask made by Haitian artist Didier Civil.

Sat 6/2: Iggy Azalea at Reggie's Rock Club
Expat Australian Iggy Azalea is part of an apparent explosion of white female rappers, writes Miles Raymer, who says that her talent and presence "defy the outdated stereotypes of white-girl rappers as cutesy and unserious, which only cling to life thanks to the likes of Karmin's Amy Heidemann." Her debut album is due next month on T.I.'s Grand Hustle label, so here's your chance to see her while she's still (relatively) under the radar.

Sat 6/2: Drake at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
Leor Galil admits that he's avoided all things Drake, even travel to Canada, but with the rapper's second album, Take Care, he finally gave in—and now he can't get Drake out of his head. Galil writes, "The guy's got a gift for turning plush, gauzy melodies into earworms that can fill dance floors, but what hooked me even more thoroughly is his ability to elevate standard-sounding R&B numbers flush with reverberating synths into something melancholy and moving just by stretching out a few vowels."