Best shows to see: Alarm Will Sound, Heaven's Gateway Drugs, Zvuloon Dub System, Earth Girls | Bleader

Best shows to see: Alarm Will Sound, Heaven's Gateway Drugs, Zvuloon Dub System, Earth Girls

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Zvuloon Dub System
  • Zvuloon Dub System
If you're looking to enjoy the long Fourth of July weekend in a big way there are plenty of musical options available. If you're a fan of electronic music you might want to check out the first annual Riverwest Music Festival when it kicks off Friday or you can head down to 63rd and Hayes on Saturday for the Chosen Few Old School Reunion Picnic. Of course there are also plenty of nonfestival concerts worth checking out this weekend.

Tonight Pseudo Slang plays Double Door and the O'My's headline the Hideout. Tomorrow night Crystal Method DJs the Mid. On Saturday the Chi-Rock Nation throws a benefit at Subterranean and the Island of Misfit Toys headline Township. On Sunday Shellac plays the first of a two-night stint at Lincoln Hall.

Head to Soundboard for all our concert listings and be sure to take a listen to our weekly "Best shows to see" Spotify playlist, which you can find at the bottom of this post—follow us on Spotify to scope out all our playlists as well. Read on for some more show selections from Reader critics.

Thu 7/3: Alarm Will Sound at Pritzker Pavilion

"Since forming in 2001, this New York new-music juggernaut hasn't just blurred the lines between neoclassical polyphony and contemporary pop; it's obliterated them," writes Peter Margasak. "The group's 2005 debut album, Acoustica (Cantaloupe), took on the music of Aphex Twin, translating its twitchy, spastic rhythms and itchy counterpoint for a large acoustic ensemble while retaining the sinister playfulness of the original electronic versions. This evening's concert, Alarm Will Sound's long-overdue Chicago debut, will include several pieces from that record, among them 'Cock/Ver10,' where furious kit drumming batters Baroque melodic fragments, and 'Blue Calx,' which generates a serene calm over an unrelenting 4/4 pulse."

Fri 7/4: Heaven's Gateway Drugs at Burlington

"Holding down the fort for occult psychedelia in Fort Wayne, Indiana, this five-piece self-released their impressive debut, You Are Heaven's Gateway Drugs, via Bandcamp last year," writes Monica Kendrick. "The band's polished, melodic psych-rock will likely appeal to fans of Spacemen 3 and the Brian Jonestown Massacre—it's got a sweet sense of harmony, a good ear for pacing and timing, and solid, catchy bass lines to anchor the songs amid their billowing gusts of processed guitar. Heaven's Gateway Drugs are always working on new material, and their live show is a delight—they generate a seductively cultish vibe that's pretty on the outside and creepy on the inside."

Sat 7/5: Zvuloon Dub System at International Festival of Life

"For everyone who thinks reggae has sounded wrong since it went digital, Zvuloon Dub System is here to make things right," writes Bill Meyer. "The latest album by this eight-piece Tel Aviv-based ensemble, Anbessa Dub (Med.Tone), was recorded over the past year in Israel, but the use of reel-to-reel tape, analog keyboards, acoustic brass, and boingy synthetic drums helps it sound like it came out of Kingston, Jamaica, in 1980. Everything but the singing, that is—though Zuvloon Dub System has worked with celebrated Jamaican vocalists Ranking Joe, Cornel Campbell, and the Viceroys, the band's own front man, Gili Yalo, was born in Ethiopia in 1979 (his family emigrated to Israel on foot five years later)."

Sun 7/6: Earth Girls at Township

Luca Cimarusti likes to keep tabs on hardcore lifers when they're older—the ways they grow can be quite interesting, as is the case with Fucked Up and Nothing. "Here in Chicago we have Earth Girls, whose members—guitarist and vocalist Liz Panella, drummer Jeff Rice, and bassist Joey Kappel—have been in about 100 rough-and-tumble hardcore bands over the past couple decades, among them Plan of Attack, Boiling Over, Daylight Robbery, and Coffin Pricks," writes Cimarusti. "The three of them went pop-punk with this project, writing sunny, addictive guitar rock. In February they released a five-song demo of clean, quick pop jams, and a couple weeks ago they dropped their first proper EP, Wrong Side of History, on Grave Mistake Records. On the EP the band loosens up a little, playing with more bite and leaning a bit further toward the punk side of pop-punk."

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