Best shows to see: Hunters, DJ Rashad, Juicy J

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Juicy J
  • Juicy J
It seems like there have been nonstop shows around town since the spring; only now, with Thanksgiving right on the horizon, are things starting to slow down. But, you know, only a little bit.

Tonight local singer-songwriter Robbie Fulks is at the Hideout, performing in a duo with Don Stierberg, and the Marquis Hill Quartet is playing at Skylark. On Tuesday, heavy-metal legends Toxic Holocaust are headlining at Reggie's Rock Club, while Hollerado plays at Schubas. And on Wednesday we have long-running street punks the Casualties playing at Reggie's Rock Club and Heartsfield at Mayne Stage.

After the jump you can find Soundboard picks for the first half of the week from some of our writers.

Mon 11/25: Hunters at Empty Bottle

Brooklyn duo Hunters will be at the Empty Bottle tonight. Before their last stop in town over the summer, Kevin Warwick said, "The 2011 debut EP by Brooklyn band Hunters, Hands on Fire, was a mini hype magnet on account of its rough-and-tumble, scuffed-and-bruised sound—it's raw, sludgy, and kinda evil, and on its cover, founding members Isabel Almeida and Derek Watson writhe on the ground during a set at some no-stage space that probably no longer exists. The group's . . . self-titled full-length . . . stays close to the grunge of their debut, but they've dulled their edge a bit in an apparent quest to mimic a more friendly 90s aesthetic—the guitar lick in the verses of 'Street Trash,' for example, is pure Cobain. Almeida and Watson click with each other as singers when they cut loose and don't try to sound too pretty, letting some vitriol leak in."

Wed 11/27: DJ Rashad at Rivera Theatre

Chance the Rapper is headlining two nights in a row at Riviera Theatre, with direct support from footstep artist DJ Rashad. "Footwork music has a reputation as unapproachably eccentric and experimental, but DJ Rashad's take on this frenetic, Chicago-born form of electronic dance is much more accessible," says Leor Galil. "The title track of his recent Double Cup (Hyperdub) opens with a gnarly, pumped-up synth melody, but it quickly gives way to a gentler tempo and spacier ambience. 'Spinn and Rashad got that lean in that double cup,' goes the vocal hook—Rashad made the song with frequent collaborator Spinn—and it does indeed sound like they've been sipping on the old purple drank. Luxurious and syrupy, 'Double Cup' gets about as close to chopped-and-screwed Houston hip-hop as a footwork track possibly could. Elsewhere on Double Cup Rashad combines rattling 808 claps and irregularly throbbing bass with sleek disco-funk loops ('Show You How'), blaring drum 'n' bass ('I'm Too Hi'), or stuttering samples of glamorous, adult-contemporary R&B ('Feelin')."

Wed 11/27: Juicy J at UIC Pavilion

Juicy J has gone from founding member of grimy underground rap collective Three 6 Mafia to one of the biggest names in mainstream hip-hop. Tonight his journey takes him to UIC Pavilion. Leor Galil says, "As rap writer Jeff Weiss details in a recent a Spin profile on Houston, when Three 6 Mafia won an Oscar in 2006 for the song 'It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp,' it brought the group to Hollywood, exposing them to the harmful effects of reality TV and ill-conceived high-gloss crossover collaborations (sorry, Tiesto). Houston returned to Memphis to recharge, and at 38 he's rapping with the intensity and an enthusiasm of a hungry teenager. On his recent third album, Stay Trippy (Taylor Gang/Kemosabe/Columbia), Houston outshines guests many years his junior: he's more fun than Wale (who drops some half-assed bars on 'Bounce It'), more lucid than Lil Wayne (who almost sleepwalks through the club banger 'Bandz a Make Her Dance'), and more competent than Big Sean (who regrettably appears on 'Show Out'). The Young Chop-produced 'No Heart No Love' proves Houston to be an agile crossover artist who can handle a Top 40 rap sound without shedding his past—with his Tennessee twang and sturdy, springy flow, he delivers uncut observations of street life as easily as he rattles off rhymes about purple drank and getting head on a Mike Will Made It song with Miley Cyrus." I'd like to add that I've seen Juicy live before, during this spring's Stay Trippy Tour, and it was a near-religious experience.

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