Best shows to see: The Men, Iron Lung, Phosphorescent, and more

by

comment

Phosphorescent
The weather may not be complying with the calendar, but this week is packed with enough concerts to remind you it's actually spring. Tonight in particular: there's Joey Bada$$ at Reggie's Rock Club, Ron Sexsmith at City Winery, Rhye at Schubas, Devin Hoff Bastet and James Falzone's Renga Ensemble at the Chicago Cultural Center's Claudia Cassidy Theater, and Keiji Haino headlines the first night of the Million Tongues festival at the Empty Bottle.

The Million Tongues fest wraps up Friday with Acid Mothers Temple at the Empty Bottle; other concerts in town that night include Clutch at House of Blues, Raekwon at the Shrine, and Simone Dinnerstein & Tift Merritt at Old Town School of Folk Music. Saturday's concerts include the History of Freestyle Music at the Congress Theater, Red Kross at the Empty Bottle, Fleetwood Mac at the United Center, Talib Kweli at Double Door, Atmosphere and Brother Ali at Metro, and Planning for Burial and Gossip Wolf pick Eitarnora at Reggie's Record Breakers. Sunday is slightly less jam-packed, with Meek Mill at House of Blues and Rufus Wainwright at the Old Town School. Comb through Soundboard for a detailed look at all the shows happening around town and read about four more Reader-recommended concerts below.

Thu 4/11: The Men at Schubas

"Some fans of post-everything punks the Men were taken aback by the alt-country twang that cropped up on a few songs from last year's Open Your Heart—it was quite the departure from the bombastic combo of no wave, noise rock, hardcore, and heavy psych on their previous album, Leave Home," writes Luca Cimarusti. The band recently dropped the country-centric New Moon (Sacred Bones), and though Cimarusti isn't entirely won over by the Men's latest musical direction, he's fond of some of the album. "My favorite tracks are when the band goes back to the ramped-up Buzzcocks-style power pop that gave Open Your Heart its best moments: 'The Brass' and 'Electric' are a one-two punch of raging, catchy punk, and album closer 'Supermoon,' which clocks in at eight minutes, sounds a whole lot like the Stooges, screaming guitar solos and all."

Fri 4/12: Iron Lung at Ultra Lounge

Seattle powerviolence band Iron Lung have been around for 14 years and released five 12-inch LPs—impressive considering how many bands in the genre crank out songs under the minute mark and tend to burn out just as fast. Iron Lung have been going strong, according to Kevin Warwick. "Last month's White Glove Test (Prank/Iron Lung) is 18 tracks of pell-mell quick-change power chords, rapid-fire snare thrashing, tough-guy yelling, and sudden hardcore breakdowns that offer a fleeting moment's chance to catch your breath," he writes. "It's not full-on fast noise, though: the three consecutive songs called 'Brutal Supremacy' are like powerviolence's answer to a proggy mid-70s concept album."

Sat 4/13: Phosphorescent at Lincoln Hall

Phosphorescent main man Matthew Houck was inspired by a breakup while making his band's latest album, Muchacho (Dead Oceans), which Peter Margasak admits is the kind of backstory that's nearly cliche. "Luckily, Houck's cracked, southern drawl and the cosmic twang in his arrangements give his music a lyrical beauty and homegrown soul that prevent it from sounding melodramatic or self-pitying," Margasak writes. "The best songs are ambiguous: 'A New Anhedonia,' for instance, combines spiritual questing and slow, stately rhythms, and the disorienting power of lust spreads through the Neil Young-ish 'The Quotidian Beasts.'" Strand of Oaks open.

Sun 4/14: Shayna Dulberger Quartet at Hungry Brain

Peter Margasak didn't know who Shayna Dulberger was prior to noticing the New York bassist's upcoming show with drummer Carlos Costa, guitarist Chris Welcome, and saxophonist Yoni Kretzmer, and he was impressed after listening to her new Ache & Flutter (Empty Room). "Dulberger exerts a gentle touch over her collaborators, demonstrating creative savvy and letting them roam at will over direct postbop themes that give them plenty to work with," he writes. "Dulberger provides the music's muscular backbone: she drops assertive accents, judiciously prods her cohorts without getting in anyone's way, and contributes seething solo work that hints at the playing of one of her mentors, William Parker."

Add a comment