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Thu 6/28: Three 6 Mafia at Metro
These southern hip-hop veterans—unexpected 2006 Oscar winners for their song "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp"—have been getting a late-career boost from a new generation of rappers who've drawn inspiration from their music, says Miles Raymer. "Front man Juicy J has been on a tear through the mix-tape circuit lately (alongside buzzy artists like Wiz Khalifa, 2 Chainz, and Lex Luger), restoring the credibility he lost doing reality TV, and 'U Trippy Mane' (featuring Bay Area lightning rod Kreayshawn), from his 2011 Blue Dream & Lean mix tape, is something of an underground smash."
Fri 6/29-Sat 6/30: Matt Ulery at the Green Mill
Bassist, composer, and bandleader Matt Ulery has been moving away from his jazz roots, and never more so than on his ambitious new double album, By a Little Light, which uses a wide range of stylistic flavors. As I write this week, "Ulery enlisted four members of Chicago's Eighth Blackbird, in addition to regular collaborators such as drummer Jon Deitemyer, violinist Zach Brock, and trumpeter James Davis, to bring life to his cinematic arrangements. Several pieces on the first disc feature plucky string arrangements, with precise, glossy articulation and either the rhythmic vitality of Romany music or the minimalist churn of Philip Glass."
Sat 6/30: Black Cobra at Reggie's Rock Club
Monica Kendrick admits that this California sludge duo drives her to a cliche—that is, she can't believe all that noise is coming from just two people. In her show recommendation this week she describes the group's latest album, Invernal: "It's an aggressive monster, a terrifyingly agile mutant that runs shockingly, sickeningly fast once it turns its evil, beady eyes on you. Drummer Rafael Martinez (who once played bass in Acid King) sets a punishing pace, and guitarist-vocalist Jason Landrian (formerly of Cavity) lays down the riffs that double for the grotty roar of the beast."
Sun 7/1: Codeine at Lincoln Hall
Influential early-90s New York trio Codeine are the latest band from that era to take seats on the ever-lengthening comeback train. The original lineup is back in action to support When I See the Sun, a typically lavish Numero Group reissue of the band's complete body of work (much of which was originally issued by Sub Pop). Kevin Warwick remains especially fond of the group's 1990 debut Frigid Stars, of which he writes, "The uneasiness, nervous fragility, and vulnerable, broken-down disjointed sound of that debut LP just begs you to break up with someone, anyone."