Best shows to see: Divine Fits, Double Negative, Cat Power, and more | Bleader

Best shows to see: Divine Fits, Double Negative, Cat Power, and more


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Cat Power
  • Stefano Giovanni
  • Cat Power
One of the buzziest bands at last week's CMJ Music Marathon were Toronto-based Sub Pop signees Metz, whose aggressive throwback alt-rock sound had music critics suddenly very interested in abrasive guitars again. They're playing two shows in Chicago on Saturday: a free afternoon in-store at Permanent Records and a later show at the Empty Bottle that isn't free but does have a band called Absolutely Free on the bill.

Other highlights this weekend include underground rap idol Del the Funky Homosapien, dancehall titan Mavado, and a synth-pop showcase headlined by Diamond Rings. (Opening is Baathhaus, the subject of this week's music cover story.) Fans of classic country have to choose between Friday shows by Joe Ely and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, while that same night EDM fans are forced to decide between a Bloody Beetroots-headlined event at the Congress and a neo-dubstep party at the Aragon with Rusko topping the bill.

After the jump, four more live picks for the next few days.

Thu 10/25: Divine Fits at Logan Square Auditorium

Spoon front man Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade's Dan Boeckner, and New Bomb Turks drummer Sam Brown insist that their new band is more than just a one-off supergroup, and Peter Margasak agrees: "On my first listen through the record, Boeckner's singing style seemed like a counterpoint to Daniel's clipped soulfulness, but as I spent more time with it, they started to sound more and more similar (they wrote some of the songs collaboratively), like part of a full-grown whole instead of just a couple guys with a side project."

Sat 10/27: Double Negative at Bottom Lounge

"There's an art to making sloppy, off-the-rails hardcore punk that doesn't sound like a pile of hot garbage," writes Kevin Warwick, "and it's not a subtle one." Keith Morris-fronted all-star group Off!, which headlines tonight, knows the trick, and garage punks the Spits, who play second, have a knack for it (when they're not purposely steering straight into hot-garbage territory). But it's the opening act that he singles out: "Raleigh four-piece Double Negative follow in the footsteps of their visionary predecessors, playing so fast and rough that it's a shock every time they end a song deliberately instead of just revving it up till it disintegrates."

Sun 10/28: Cat Power at the Vic

Chan Marshall's latest album, Sun, is miles away from the brooding ballads listeners have come to expect from a Cat Power record. Peter Margasak says, "Not only are the lyrics measured, realistic, and cautiously optimistic, but the music is also radically transformed—it's more stripped down and electronic, and Marshall played everything, a new approach for her. She works with synthesizers, drum machines, and even (for a mercifully brief moment) Auto-Tune, and veteran French dance-music producer Philippe Zdar gives the album mix an extra floor-rattling punch—but the retooled sound doesn't obscure Marshall's sorrowful melodic sensibilities and muted, dusky soul." Chicago outsider-soul weirdo Willis Earl Beal opens.

Sun 10/28: Anamanaguchi at Subterranean

As upbeat as Marshall has become, she's still miles away from the giddy manic intensity of Anamanaguchi. As I write in my preview, "Every one of the band's tracks is a synapse-searing overload, with guitars, drums, and eight-bit synthesizers blaring hypersugary neon-pop melodies at highly caffeinated tempos—prolonged exposure will probably lead to some sort of neurological damage," which I mean in the most positive way possible.

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