Tonight, We Are Scientists stop by Schubas, Robbie Fulks hits the Hideout for his usual Monday residency (a full-band tribute to George Jones in his 1950s rockabilly years), and Beat Kitchen hosts Killer Moon on the main stage and Extraordinary Popular Delusions upstairs, with Edward Wilkerson Jr. sitting in for regular reedist Mars Williams. Tuesday, Brooklyn Rider performs at Ravinia, Magic Milk headlines at the Empty Bottle, and Rob Mazurek's Exploding Star Orchestra plays a free show at the Whistler.
More Soundboard picks below:
This Kansas quartet may only have a six-track demo and handful of singles out, but Kevin Warwick hears the potential. "The most recent (and best) Mouthbreathers single, 'Nowhere Else to Go,' dropped by Slovenly in April, is early-80s hardcore punk with just the right amount of snot and screw-the-dude-in-the-suit attitude, heavy on the Keith Morris," writes Warwick. "I bet they’re going to keep getting better." The band plays an in-store at Permanent Records at six, then headlines at Cobra Lounge.
After taking a nearly five-year sabbatical, violinist Maxim Vengerov performed an official comeback recital last year at London's Wigmore Hall, proving that his "enormous range, beautiful tone, brilliant virtuosity, and profound musicality are all still intact," writes Barbara Yaross. At Ravinia, he's joined by his longtime recital partner, pianist Itamar Golan. Vengerov performs with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday.
"Nobody in the past decade or so has done nearly as much to advance the cause of British Isles folk as Roberts," writes Peter Margasak, who calls the Scottish songwriter's latest album, A Wonder Working Stone, easily his best yet. Most of the musicians who collaborated on the album accompany Roberts at this Pritzker concert, part of his first visit stateside in seven years. Fatoumata Diawara headlines.
Last month's Partygoing is the best thing Stephin Merrit's done since the 1999 Magnetic Fields release 69 Love Songs because it returns to the "jumpy, creaky haircut pop of his early career," writes Tal Rosenberg. "Arch, gushy synth-pop miniatures with mordantly funny lyrics." Unfortunately, Merritt has hyperacusis and can't tour with the band, leaving Claudia Gonson, Christopher Ewen, and company to carry the load.