Shows to see: Serengeti, Dawnbringer, King Tuff, and more | Bleader

Shows to see: Serengeti, Dawnbringer, King Tuff, and more

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Serengeti
  • Serengeti
Holy hell, it's practically Pitchfork weekend! How on Earth am I going to escape the onslaught of festival-related aftershows, afterparties, and ironic spinoffs? Is it even possible? Will I be ruthlessly ridiculed for having no desire to attend any event branded with the Pitchfork stamp? Does that make me a traitor to the city of Chicago?

No, it doesn't. It actually might mean you're a tad saner than most, opting to skip the heat, crowds, dehydration, sunburns, porta-potties, and pricey nosh for a more chill existence. Of course Pitchfork is this weekend's it event—we wouldn't have undertaken a massive guide with writeups for every single act and detailed itineraries from staff writers and local hotshots and weirdos if it weren't—but if you want to check out a show at a venue with a ceiling, we can still provide you with our weekly Soundboard list of entertainment. We're good like that.

So venture out into the world without a wristband or a schedule. Don't worry about slathering on sunscreen or being forced to resort to Heineken. Pitchfork doesn't own you—it owns me and the rest of the Reader's music writers. Check out what else is going on and liberate yourself.

Thu 7/12: Delicate Steve at Subterranean

I know it's hard to forget Jessica Hopper's scathing (and, I'm sorry, hilarious) preview of Delicate Steve from 2010, but Peter Margasak sees "bedroom-recording savant" Steve Marion in a more charitable light. In describing Delicate Steve's newest album, Positive Force, Margasak writes that Marion "uncorks one ultracatchy upper-register solo after another on his pitch-manipulated and occasionally slide-enhanced electric guitar, and even when he gets noodly (on 'Big Time Receiver,' for instance), his playing is so hooky it's easy to forget no one is singing."

Fri 7/13: Serengeti at Lincoln Hall

Leor Galil is pretty convinced that Serengeti has more fun than most MCs. And I'm pretty convinced that if you rap about being a scuba coach then you're having fun. Galil writes that Serengeti's new LP, C.A.R., juggles "a motley collection of sounds," including "woozy boom-bap, fatback funk horn samples, and thick futuristic synths." He goes on to call C.A.R. an "eccentric collection from a dude who's long thought of himself as an outsider," noting that the MC is often at his best when he skews popward. Serengeti opens for comedians Hannibal Buress and Kyle Kinane.

Sat 7/14: Dawnbringer at Reggie's Rock Club

As a band who have, according to Reggie's, played only three other times in the past 15 years, Dawnbringer really don't care about the Pitchfork hubbub—and they probably shouldn't, because their sound doesn't much cater to the typical Pitchfork-goer. Monica Kendrick calls the new Into the Lair of the Sun God a "relentlessly chugging, mesmerizing epic-fantasy concept album about an assassin trying to kill a deity." Yeah, this show is for dudes who gush over classic metal riffs and Viking lore, not indie rock and lots of reverb.

Sun 7/15: King Tuff at Cobra Lounge

Cobrafest is practically a satellite of the much bigger festival taking place in Union Park—both because the venue is a hop and a skip away and because its lineup contains a band or four that are playing or have played Pitchfork—but I'm still calling out King Tuff. First, he's only playing at Cobra. And second, his self-titled sophomore album is one of my favorites of the year. His glammy garage-pop is like hanging out on a beach with hippie vibes, surfboards, fun-house mirrors, and grass—lots of grass. As King Tuff, Kyle Thomas dabbles in rockabilly, psych, and folk and works it all into his own brand of fun, bizarre rock 'n' roll.

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