Best shows to see: Marisa Anderson, Teen Witch Fan Club, Eric Reed Trio, Invisible Things

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Marisa Anderson
  • JODI DARBY
  • Marisa Anderson
If your Memorial Day weekend isn't overstuffed with BBQs be sure to leave a little room in your schedule for concerts; there's a strong lineup of shows this weekend, and it's worth holding off on that third helping so you aren't too full of grilled meats to head to at least a couple gigs on this list.

Tonight Emporium Arcade Bar hosts St. Millie, Hurt Everybody, Auggie the 9th, and Pivot Gang, the west-side rap group that includes Saba, one of the five up-and-coming MCs I recently profiled on the B Side. Tomorrow night the Faint perform at Metro and the GTW opens for Sango at Schubas. On Saturday you can see Death in June at Reggie's Rock Club or Eels at the Vic. On Sunday there's Trans Am at the Empty Bottle and Mormon Toasterhead at Subterranean.

Be sure to head to Soundboard for all our concert listings and check out some picks from Reader critics below.

Thu 5/22: Marisa Anderson at Hideout

"When I listen to Marisa Anderson's solo guitar music, I think of Sun Ra's poem about Tone Scientists," writes Bill Meyer. "It wasn't enough for Ra that his musicians hit the notes; he wanted them to play with precision, discipline, and an awareness of tone and architecture. Anderson, who's based in Portland, Oregon, has paid her dues and done her research: she played in country, circus, and jazz bands before applying her acumen to a series of solo instrumental records for acoustic and electric guitar and lap steel. On her latest LP, Traditional and Public Domain Songs (Grapefruit), her performances of chestnuts such as 'Just a Closer Walk With Thee' and 'Farther Along' are structurally sound and patiently paced, allowing the audience to soak in her waves of Pops Staples-style reverb and be hypnotized by her Elizabeth Cotton-inspired fingerpicking."

Fri 5/23: Teen Witch Fan Club at Empty Bottle

"Logan Square's Zain Curtis, aka Teen Witch, is a party promoter, DJ, zine maker, and visual artist (both real-world and Internet), and somehow he's really good at all of it," writes Miles Raymer. "At first glance, his fashion-way-forward club-kid aesthetic might make it seem like he's being trollishly ironic with his track choices—dancey deconstructions of Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, and assorted pop-chart fodder—but the ecstatic, classically housey energy he coaxes out of them is too celebratory for sneering. Curtis's mixes and remixes underline modern pop's immense debt to dance music and recall the free-spirited approach to sourcing songs that house's first DJs embodied, but thinking about his stuff isn't nearly as fun as dancing to it."

Sat 5/24: Eric Reed Trio at Jazz Showcase

"Earlier this year pianist Eric Reed released a quartet recording called The Adventurous Monk (Savant), the third consecutive album since 2011 that he's dedicated to the music of Thelonious Monk," writes Peter Margasak. "In the booklet of his new album, Reed writes, 'Every documentation of Monk's music allows me more creative perspective and motivation to delve deeper into his music. I learn more about Monk and myself.' His arrangements on The Adventurous Monk are his most daring and creative yet, with deft displacements and elisions of thematic elements, and they give his terrific band—tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake, bassist Ben Williams, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson—plenty of latitude to play around with the indelible melodies of standards (''Round Midnight' or 'Evidence') and lesser-known gems ('Gallop's Gallop' or 'Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues Are')." Tonight's show is part of a four-night stint at Jazz Showcase.

Sun 5/25: Invisible Things at Burlington

"Guitarist Mark Shippy has had lots of practice working with drummers whose chaotic, splintery patterns seem ungoverned by meter or rhythm—his meticulously mapped-out playing in U.S. Maple gave him the appearance of someone trying to make sense of utter disorder," writes Peter Margasak. "Invisible Things, Shippy's duo with former Parts & Labor drummer Jim Sykes, doesn't run quite so far off the rails, but it sure is spazzy as hell. On the duo's 2012 album, Home Is the Sun (Porter), Shippy's extroverted, detailed, and richly textured guitar work feels like the music's anchor; Sykes sounds like he's playing a transcription of a Michael Zerang improvisation in double time."

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