Best shows to see: Pile, Esben & the Witch | Bleader

Best shows to see: Pile, Esben & the Witch


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Esben & the Witch
Tonight the California rap trio Pac Div swings through Reggie's Rock Club, and knowing the group's ties to Chicago hip-hop in general and the Cool Kids specifically, it's not too much of a gamble to expect some unannounced guest appearances. And New Jersey indie group Delicate Steve plays Subterranean with local post-post-emo rockers Like Pioneers, and the Reader-recommended local psych outfit celebrate the release of their new record at the Empty Bottle with fellow Chicagoans Toupee headlining. Tomorrow evening underground rock royalty Kim Gordon performs alongside local noise artistes White/Light at their ongoing Face the Strange series at the MCA, while local avant-pop mainstays Bobby Conn & Monica Boubou play the Hideout. And Wednesday night local self-described "prog jazz" group Herculaneum plays the Hideout while Rhett Miller and Robbie Fulks offer a rootsier program at City Winery. Hit the jump for two more Soundboard-approved recommendations.

3/25: Pile at Abbey Pub

"Boston posthardcore band Pile," writes Leor Galil, "has a way of making sloppy misery sound great." The quartet shows an obvious debt to loudly bummed-out bands from the 90s like Sunny Day Real Estate and Pedro the Lion, "but instead of outright re-creating the aesthetics of its influences, Pile blends them with slacker-pop riffs so that its songs often sound like old emo dragged lovingly through the mud."

3/26: Esben & the Witch at Empty Bottle

The British indie act Esben & the Witch is often described as "dreamy," and for good reason. Monica Kendrick says, "Vocalist-lyricist Rachel Davies is an earnest poet of dream states—sleep, astral projection, intense daydreaming—and the world she creates is as fragile as a fantasy. This time out the band backs her up with a bit more toughness, however—the glassy splinters of guitar, gusty billows of keyboard, and tense, locked-down pulse are a little bit Cranberries, a little bit Xmal Deutschland."