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Friday 9

ANCIENT GREEKS On the new Departure Suite (released by Japan's & Records) these locals update the serene math pop of their ace 2002 debut, The Song Is You, getting a bit jazzier but even more restrained. "Airport Day" sounds very Sea and Cake: guitarist Nathaniel Braddock, who's also in the Zincs, lays down rippling, agile acoustic chording over Tim Stevens's smoky trap drums and Andy Rench's laconic bass. Braddock enhances the album's soft-rock alchemy with pointillistic piano accents, and the band has also enlisted guests like Aram Shelton of Grey Ghost and Michael Hartman of TV Pow, who contribute clarinet and electronics respectively. Chris Warland's fey vocals get the job done, but that's the best I can say about them--I keep wishing Cassandra Wilson would drop in and take the mood to the next level with her caramel vibrato. This is a record-release party for Departure Suite; it's still without domestic distribution but will be for sale at the merch table. Lindy Freeze and the Heroic Doses open. 9:30 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433, $8. --J. Niimi

TRACY BONHAM Part-time Angeleno and part-time Brooklynite Tracy Bonham is an anomaly as singer-songwriters go: instead of emphasizing her lyrics on her third album, Blink the Brightest (Zoe), she lets the arrangements drown out the words a little. The sonic touches can be pretty neat at times: her violin parts are clever, and the jazzy flourishes on piano, vibes, and Hammond organ make her brand of glossy adult contemporary more interesting than the usual. But considering that her lyrics are full of profundities like "I was born without you / Why can't I live without you now?" she might've considered drowning them in something stronger. Aqualung headlines, the Perishers play second, and Bonham opens. 6:30 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $15. All ages. --Monica Kendrick

CATFISH HAVEN This local trio, which has been playing genial, shaggy boogie rock and indie-folk jams since 2001, recently signed with Secretly Canadian, which will distribute its self-released 2002 EP, Good Friends. A new EP and full-length are scheduled for early 2006. Sybris and Wilke Surprise open the early show, which is all-ages; Stag Party and Clyde Federal open the late show. 7 and 10:30 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $10. --Monica Kendrick

MAKERS The Makers came up in the Estrus garage-rock camp in the early 90s, and they easily could've burned out there a long time ago. But since 1998 they've been progressively stretching their sound, and their latest album, Everybody Rise! (Kill Rock Stars), shows just how flexible they can be: they ease into a patient, stalking blues-rock pace on "Sex Is Evil (When Love Is Dead)," indulge in sweet pop on "Run With Me Tonight," play Stonesy R & B pastiche on "Ordinary Human Love," and on "Matter of Degrees" batter down the walls where other bands just walk through the door. The Sights and Thunderwing open. 10 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 and 800-594-8499, $10. --Monica Kendrick

MARIA MULDAUR Though she's still best known for her 70s soft-rock hit "Midnight at the Oasis," Maria Muldaur is a living link to a multitude of roots traditions: she jammed on the Greenwich Village folk scene, studied Appalachian music with Doc Watson, claims blues legend Victoria Spivey as a mentor, and played with the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. She explores those old lineages on her latest album, Sweet Lovin' Ol' Soul (Old Highway 61 Revisited) (Stony Plain), the second in a planned trilogy of records paying homage to great women of early blues like Bessie Smith and Memphis Minnie. (The first, 2002's Richland Woman Blues, got a Grammy nomination; the forthcoming finale is promisingly titled "Naughty, Bawdy and Blue.") With the help of Taj Mahal, Alvin Youngblood Hart, and Pinetop Perkins, Muldaur lovingly re-creates these songs, plunging with a lustful glee into the growling low registers and soaring with a liquid lightness into the upper ranges. Earlier this year Shout Factory! reissued two of her early-90s albums, Meet Me at Midnite and Louisiana Love Call--the latter a tribute to New Orleans music that has a heartbreaking timeliness now. Guitarists Steve James and Del Rey, who play on the new album, open the show as a duo. a 9 PM, FitzGerald's, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn, 708-788-2118 or 312-559-1212, $15.

--Monica Kendrick

Saturday 10

BLACK HALOS This Vancouver quintet broke up in late 2001, but bands like this are tough to kill. Their latest, Alive Without Control (Liquor & Poker), is a blazing comeback--it's hooky, shimmery, and mean. But was there a vacuum of Johnny Thunders-Hanoi Rocks glam acts while they were away? Was the eyeliner-and-leather-pants market in any danger of crashing? Die Hunns headline, Kings of Nuthin play fourth, the Black Halos play third, Angel City Outcasts play second, and the HollowPoints open. 9 PM, Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton, 773-975-0505 or 866-468-3401, $10 in advance, $12 at the door, 18+. --Monica Kendrick

Sunday 11

FRUIT BATS The recent Spelled in Bones (Sub Pop) features the third Fruit Bats lineup in as many albums, but front man Eric Johnson has never sounded more settled in. His half-muttered singing has become a confident croon, and the songs are marked by the optimism that can arise after a person emerges from a particularly rough time: "Canyon Girl" is giddy with a sense of renewal and discovery, while "The Earthquake of '73" is just plain mushy, with Johnson crying, "And I know for sure you're the spark on the sun." Behind him guitars strum happily, electric piano resonates warmly, and drums push things along, though they don't push very hard. After the textural depth and off-kilter rootsiness of the band's earlier work, the current album doesn't sound particularly ambitious--more like a plea for inclusion on the sound track to a Garden State sequel--but then good pop tunes rarely do. Rogue Wave headlines; Chad VanGaalen opens. a 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10 in advance, $12 at the door. --Peter Margasak

Tuesday 13

RUSSIAN CIRCLES The two former members of Dakota/Dakota who founded this local instrumental trio pulled off their first coup before the band had played a single note: they convinced maniac drummer Dave Turncrantz to quit Riddle of Steel, and he's since moved here from Saint Louis. The Russian Circles just released a four-song EP of fluttering, shifting, slightly mathy indie metal, and they're on a short tour supporting headliners as diverse as Wolf Eyes, Bear vs. Shark, and tonight's main attraction, the densely trippy Dead Meadow. Unfortunaut opens. 9 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-3160 or 312-559-1212, $10. --Monica Kendrick

TITAN This Mexico City electronic trio, which has released several lounge-tinged dance records in the past decade, has a promising pedigree: Jay de la Cueva is a founding member of Molotov and drums for the influential Mexican rock band Fobia. But I don't know what happened with their forthcoming album on Novos Ricos, their first in five years. Nearly every element--the stale beats, the hokey 80s synth sounds, the processed guitar licks--sounds hackneyed, and the songs weren't assembled very creatively. Listening to this cheesefest, I picture some clueless producer 20 years ago recasting hard-rock hits as synth-pop numbers. "Arana" at least rips off some favela funk beats, but otherwise the new material is vastly disappointing, especially after such a long wait. Michael Columbia, Jitney, and DJ Hunter Husar open. 9 PM, HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo, 312-362-9707, $10. --Peter Margasak

Wednesday 14

BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE I've missed these guys: last year's two-disc retrospective, Tepid Peppermint Wonderland (Tee Pee), didn't scratch my itch for new material. Anton Newcombe, the band's front man and sole constant member, got cast in an unflattering light in the recent documentary Dig!, about the Massacre's feud with the Dandy Warhols--a far less interesting band, even if they might be easier to deal with personally. But he seems to have recovered nicely: Brian Jonestown Massacre's new We Are the Radio EP sounds like the work of a man at peace with his own driven assholitude. His songs, cowritten with singer Sarabeth Tuceck, have the dreamy, coming-down-slowly mistiness of Opal and solo Kendra Smith, and "God Is My Girlfriend" is precisely the kind of pulsating raga rock I'm a complete sucker for. The High Dials and Richard Swift & the Sons of National Freedom open. 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $13 in advance, $15 at the door, 18+. --Monica Kendrick

LOS JAIVAS For nearly four decades this Chilean prog band has been fusing the folk music of its homeland--played on instruments like Andean panpipes and the charango, a bright-toned, high-pitched mandolin--with rock and jazz. In 1981, while living in Paris to escape the Pinochet regime, the band recorded its most acclaimed record, Alturas de Macchu Picchu, an album-length interpretation of the Pablo Neruda poem of the same name. It's a rather overblown affair at times, filled with florid piano runs and ponderous Moog musings colliding with the Andean mountain-music breakdowns; if you have a low tolerance for those panpipes, the record might sound a bit like Zamfir fronting Jethro Tull. But as an example of South American musicians creating their own rock idiom, it's deeply impressive. Several of the founding members of Los Jaivas have died over the years, so it's hard to say what this incarnation of the band will deliver. Even so, fusions like this are hard to come by. 7 and 10 PM, HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo, 312-362-9707, $30 in advance, $35 at the door. --Peter Margasak

THURSDAY 15

PLATINUM PIED PIPERS Waajeed (Robert O'Bryant) and Saadiq (Darnell Bolden), who founded this production duo in Detroit and are now based in New York, released their impressive full-length debut, Triple P (Ubiquity), earlier this year; splitting the difference between hip-hop and R & B, they crafted sleek bangers for a variety of soul warblers as well as MCs like fellow Motor City producer Jay Dee. Waajeed was an adjunct member of Dee's old crew, Slum Village, and there's more than a little of that group's stripped-down, bottom-heavy thud and looping hip-hop on Triple P's tracks. Saadiq, a onetime student of Motown singer and songwriter Barrett Strong, fills out the tunes with his own contributions on guitar and keyboards. And despite the variety of guest vocalists on the record--including Steve Spacek and the hip LA crew SA-RA Creative Partners--the pair's production style unifies it. Waajeed plays a DJ set opening for Low Budget at 4 PM at Untitled, 1941 W. North; call 773-342-0550. To attend the show at Sonotheque, you first need to RSVP to events@triple5soul.com by 9/14, then attend the in-store to pick up a pass. Low Budget and Geology open with DJ sets. 9 PM, Sonotheque, 1444 W. Chicago, 312-226-7600. Free. --Peter Margasak

PREFUSE 73 Scott Herren and company return to town for their third visit since May, pushing the second Prefuse 73 release in the past four months. For the Reads the Books EP (Warp), a 23-minute collaboration with hyperliterate electro-chamber-pop group the Books, Herren's created a dazzling mashup, pairing their gentle, cello-laden melodies with extroverted beats, sampled shards of the latest Prefuse 73 album, Surrounded by Silence (Warp), and vocals by Claudia Maria Deheza. He knocks the Books around with jagged rhythms and the odd blast of distorted guitar, but always leaves the group's core serenity intact. Diverse, the Mobius Band (see Tuesday), and DJ Intel open. 9 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-478-4408 or 866-468-3401, $15, 18+. --Peter Margasak

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