by Leor Galil
Tonight Yo-Yo Ma & the Knights headline Ravinia Festival and Problems That Fix Themselves play Comfort Station. Tomorrow night Mindless Behavior drop by Arie Crown Theater and Big Smo hits Joe's Bar. On Saturday Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers stop by United Center and Lykanthea performs at Hideout. On Sunday you can see Bob Log III at Schubas or Obnox at the Owl.
Be sure to head to Soundboard for all our concert listings. Read on for some more picks from Reader critics, plus you can listen to our weekly "Best shows to see" Spotify playlist at the bottom of this post (you can also follow us on Spotify).
"Born in the Bronx, 25-year-old singer and producer Prince Royce is among the artists building bigger audiences around the country for an updated take on bachata—a Dominican form of popular song whose heart-on-sleeve ballads combine delicate guitars and heavy emotions," writes Maura Johnston. "As a teen, while his Bronx brethren Aventura brought bachata to bigger and bigger stages, Royce knocked around New York honing his craft; in 2010, he made his mark nationally with a dreamy bilingual cover of 'Stand by Me' that landed him a duet with Ben E. King at the Latin Grammys. Last year he released Soy el Mismo (Sony Music Latin), his third album, and though it takes frequent flights of fancy stylistically, it coheres thanks to its grounding in bachata's fundamentals—syncopated acoustic guitar, intricate percussion, and romance."
"Milwaukee synth-pop producer Stacian, aka Dania Luck, buries her vocals in layers of minor-key machinery from a daisy chain of Korg and Roland analog keyboards—she sings through a tunnel of effects that makes her lyrics and her persona equally tough to parse," writes Sasha Geffen. "On her addictive 2012 LP Songs for Cadets, she hints at dance music in texture only, stretching her erratic beats and acidic keys an uncomfortable distance from the genre's templates. She also has a new 12-inch split EP with Chicago synth witch Gel Set; called Vorhees, it's out now digitally on Moniker Records, and the physical release ships in October. On her tracks, Stacian leans steeply toward Krautrock, but disassembles its robotic drones to cobble together new mutants from the pieces." Gel Set also performs.
"I'm so sick of gosh-wow happy-fun 'party' bands that I could vomit enough pizza to flood a house show up to everbody's leg tattoos," writes Brian Costello. "Their soulless, heartless ersatz rock 'n' roll is for latent Republican honkies too chickenshit to take risks with their music, lyrics, or performances. That said, the nauseating proliferation of these phony-baloney bands makes now the perfect time for a Mickey reunion show. Easily the best act in town during their heyday (roughly 2009 till 2011), Mickey played beautifully savage gutter glam whose glorious mix of cocky chaos and alien power pop was so immediate, catchy, dangerous, and fun that sometimes I wonder if they were real or just a figment of my imagination. It was magic to see front man Mac Blackout—fueled by equal parts Sparks Plus, cheap whiskey, and urban alienation—attack the stage and the audience, backed by four dudes possessed by their own special versions of nucking futziness." Mickey performs during the second night of Victim of Time's Chitcago Fest.
"Dakhabrakha got its start a decade ago in Kiev's experimental-theater scene, and the three women who front this Ukrainian art-folk group have an assured, dramatic stage presence—they favor white wedding dresses and black lamb-fleece hats that extend their height a good foot and a half," writes Peter Margasak. "When I first heard recordings of Dakhabrakha, the piercing close-harmony singing—a style closely identified with the folkloric traditions of Eastern Europe—hit me hardest. But when I saw the group perform this past January in New York, I realized there was more to its game. Various Carpathian threads intertwine with dub, electronic music, and even African grooves, and the band accomplishes this energetic, moody fusion almost entirely with acoustic instruments—mostly melancholy cello, woozy accordion, twangy jaw harp, and loose percussion. (All three women play as well as sing, aided by a fourth member who stays out of the spotlight.) The group's latest album, Light (Shugar Studio), includes borderline rapping on 'Karpatskiy Rep,' a taut funk vibe on 'Tjolky,' and delicate, dreamy pop on 'Kolyskova,' but Ukrainian traditional music always remains the bedrock."