Monday night Psychic Steel, the one-man prog project of Zath drummer Seth Sher, plays the Whistler for free. Also free is a concert by Daniel Lanois and Brokeback at Pritzker Pavilion (and what a lovely evening for it). The Mountain Goats' set at Lincoln Hall is, alas, brutally sold out.
Tuesday night is full of tough decisions. Reggie's hosts a night of punk with D.I., Juicehead, the Bollweevils, and others, which promises to be thoroughly, satisfyingly exhausting. Chicago improvising reedist Douglas Ewart plays at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band puts on two shows at SPACE; over at Subterranean, Marijuana Deathsquads and Polica open for Solid Gold.
On Wednesday, Chicago MC Psalm One brings her new alias Hologram Kizzie to Township. Lastly, SPACE hosts Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the South African vocal group famously featured on Paul Simon's Graceland.
More Soundboard picks after the jump:
This improvisational quintet, which plays a free concert at Preston Bradley Hall, is what happens when a Bay Area saxophonist, a clarinetist and a cellist from France, a Japanese-American koto master, and a Chinese vocalist collide. "The music is a visceral unity rather than a riot of cultural collisions," writes Peter Margasak. "It's full of frictive dissonance, upper-register cries, and arcing long tones."
Though Pittsburgh's Shockwave Riderz have only released a one-sided, three-song EP, their electronic garage rock is worth your attention. The band's "thick-sounding, reverb-shrouded music features elements of upbeat Krautrock and skronky garage punk," writes Kevin Warwick. "But it's played on two samplers—which often provide beats to accompany the acoustic drums. 'Cruisin' the Night' is bouncy, tambourine-happy garage rock, though of course the band is twisting knobs instead of bashing on guitars."
The East-West Collective isn't the only transnational jazz quintet playing Chicago this week. The French-American Peace Ensemble consists of three Americans—bassist William Parker, drummer Hamid Drake, and saxophonist Edward "Kidd" Jordan—and two comrades from France, reedist Louis Sclavis and pianist Francois Tusques. "The question of how these five players will come together is half the lure of this show—the other half, of course, is that they're all astonishing talents," writes Peter Margasak.