Best shows to see: the Cairo Gang, Minsk, Implodes, Taste of Chicago

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Minsk
  • Jakob Sievers
  • Minsk
Getting straight down to business with this one, because it's Monday and that's what we all should be doing. Unless you're Andy Murray. Soundboard is not Andy Murray. We know, we know, the resemblance is uncanny. Don't worry, we'll still accept the congratulatory pint you were about to buy us.

Tonight the Cairo Gang plays Millennium Park (and later at the Owl) and Minsk plays a free show at the Empty Bottle; there's more on both after the jump. Tuesday Shame That Tune cohost and former Baby Teeth front man Abraham Levitan improvises operettas at the Hideout as part of a monthlong Tuesday residency series, Lamp headline at Township, and Ben Folds Five opens for Barenaked Ladies at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion—a show I mention solely for an excuse to link to this.

Taste of Chicago kicks off Wednesday in Grant Park, with Delta Spirit and Fun. playing the big Petrillo show in the evening. By the time you're adequately stuffed, the ever loquacious Blackalicious will be opening for Cat Empire at the House of Blues; that same night BLVD Records postpunk trio Staring Problem plays at Burlington.

More Soundboard picks below:

Mon 7/8: Minsk at the Empty Bottle

Minsk hasn't played in Chicago for four years, but after reconfiguring with three new members in 2012, they're back. Monica Kendrick writes: "Peoria's finest blasters of evocative and sophisticated progressive doom metal" have new material ready for this show—and they've just put out a double-LP reissue of 2009's With Echoes in the Movement of Stone.

Mon 7/8: the Cairo Gang at Pritzker Pavilion and the Owl

The Cairo Gang, formerly a side project of guitarist Emmett Kelly and now a steady working band, is Chicago's best rock band, at least according to Peter Margasak. "Onstage they crank up the energy and intensity of the gentle, soulful folk-rock from last year's knockout The Corner Man while preserving the album's gorgeous group harmony singing," he writes. Both of their shows tonight are free. At Pritzker, they open for Dawes.

Wed 7/10: Implodes at the Empty Bottle

"With its brand-new second album, Recurring Dream, Chicago quartet Implodes further streamlines and crystallizes its coldly lustrous hybrid of shoegaze atmosphere and gothic austerity," writes Peter Margasak. "Everyone but drummer Justin Rathell contributes vocals, but they're usually little more than a distant, whispery monotone, bathed in reverb and buried by slashing riffs, E-bowed guitar, textural distortion, and eerie synthesizers." Videobug, Andy Ortmann, and Scott Cortez open.

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