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The Treatment

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friday29

COWBOY JUNKIES The Trinity Session is still the most revered album by this country-rock sibling act, so naturally, 20 years later, they've recorded it all over again. The new DVD/CD edition, with guest spots by Vic Chesnutt, Natalie Merchant, and Ryan Adams, is due out later this year, and in the meantime they're touring behind the recent At the End of Paths Taken (Zoe/Rounder). An "adult" album about parenting and breakups, it's wistful with the occasional moment of liftoff and relies on bitter blues riffs and the intimate, distracted vocals of Margo Timmins, who at points sounds like she's doing her best Rickie Lee Jones. Lindsay Anderson opens. a 8 PM, Park West, 322 W. Armitage, 773-929-5959 or 312-559-1212, $35, 18+. --Monica Kendrick

c julie doiron Canadian singer--songwriter Julie Doiron has been doing her solo gig since the mid-90s, drifting from obscurity to semi-obscurity despite keeping up consistent quality. Her records have always been bedroom intimate and minimally arranged; she spins bare-all, painful narratives out of domestic relationships, but she does it ever so quietly and plainly. Sometimes too quietly and plainly. So her latest, Woke Myself Up (Jagjaguwar), comes as something of a surprise. The stories are just as dark and nuanced, but the cottony country drift of her sultry voice is edged with something a little pissed and raw. Her backing band lays hard into the beat and scuzzes it up for some drama, peeling out into jagged, lazy solos---it sounds like Feist backed by Crazy Horse once they've built up some steam. Calvin Johnson headlines. a 8 PM, South Union Arts, 1352 S. Union, southunionarts.com, $10 suggested donation. A --Jessica Hopper

Good Stuff House If ever there were a band made to play a festival called Fugue State--a term describing a dissociative state of consciousness--it's Good Stuff House. On the forthcoming Endless Bummer (Root Strata), Matt Christensen, Mike Weis (both of Zelienople), and Scott Tuma (Boxhead Ensemble, Souled American) use familiar instruments like guitar, drums, harmonica, and clarinet as well as homemade contraptions like the Vibrachime (a repurposed church bell) to layer languid melodies and atmospheric drones atop a mix of lo-fi recordings (people at a Brazilian train station, their own voices, et cetera). But what makes the music really mind melting is the heavy reverb, much of it courtesy of the church and basement where they recorded. It reminds me of a Tom Verlaine line: "It's like walking around in the ring of a bell." Tonight's Fugue State lineup, headliner first: Dreamweapon, Haptic, Good Stuff House, Matt Clark, and Number None. For Saturday's lineup, see the Treatment item for Estesombelo. a 8 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $12, $20 for a two-day pass. --Bill Meyer

c LEE BOYS This Florida-based family act (three brothers and three of their nephews) rocked the crowd at last year's Blues Festival with the gospel of Jacksonville's House of God church, birthplace of the "sacred steel" tradition, which adorns crowd-pleasing R & B shout-alongs with lap and pedal steel guitar. Its pioneers were inspired by the Hawaiian steel guitar music popularized in the 30s, but the genre has developed into something a lot more like Hendrix for Jesus. And the sound is Almighty--it snakes and coils and unfolds and runs deep as Langston Hughes's rivers, promising joy and threatening terror. Tonight's performance is part of the American Music Festival; for a complete schedule, see page 22. The Lee Boys also play the House of Blues Back Porch Stage on Thursday, June 28, at 10 PM. a 9:30 PM (music starts at 5 PM), FitzGerald's, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn, 708-788-2118, $25, $20 for the first hour, $5 for kids 12 and under (with legal guardian until 10 PM), no advance tickets. --Monica Kendrick

PSYCHEDELIC FURS The Furs haven't put out a record of new material since 1991, but that hasn't stopped them from cobbling together a lineup every few years to flog their remaining fan base for dimes. What sets them apart from the rest of the casino-circuit punks is front man Richard Butler, who still sounds like he smokes nine packs a day and feels as bitter about the world as he did in 1977. See also Monday. a 9 PM, House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn, 312-923-2000 or 312-559-1212, $24.50-$26.50, 18+. --Jessica Hopper

STARFLYER 59 On their tenth and latest album, My Island (Tooth & Nail), California's premier Christian shoegazers replace their trademark yawing guitars and washy rhythms with taut, contemporary postpunk grooves. Singer-songwriter Jason Martin is still a modest, naturally seductive crooner, but Starflyer 59 has shifted away from the heaven-bound feel of the band's more directly spiritual material--there's nothing on the new disc as galvanizing and anthemic as "The Longest Line," from 2005's Talking Voice vs. Singing Voice, where the line in question is a queue of true believers at the pearly gates. I never thought I'd catch myself complaining about a rock record not having enough Jesus songs. Page France headlines. a 10 PM, Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 773-281-4444 or 866-468-3401, $10, 18+. --J. Niimi

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ESTESOMBELO These locals refer to their debut recording, the self-released Oppida von Ataraxia, as an EP; the fact that it's more than an hour long should tell you something about the scale they're working on. Even if it were the length of a proper EP, it'd be as satisfying as a lot of full-lengths thanks to its deep, lush arrangements--involving bowed guitar, xylophone, crystal singing bowl, and other musical sundries--and the big-picture way each track unfolds. Tonight Estesombelo will hold down their dreamy cloud fort at the second night of the Fugue State festival; David Daniell headlines, debuting a 12-piece group he's calling the Sunfish Ensemble (which includes members of Town and Country, Califone, and U.S. Maple) in a performance of a set-length piece from his recent album Coastal. The bill, from the top: Daniell, the Fortieth Day & Noise Crush, Goldblood, the Zoo Wheel, and Estesombelo. For Friday's lineup, see the Treatment item for Good Stuff House. a 8 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $12, $20 for a two-day pass. --Monica Kendrick

cLARRY GRAY TRIO Someday genetic engineering will create the perfect jazz bassist; until then, Larry Gray will have to do. As a soloist he blows most of his peers away: originally a guitarist, he has a strong tone but a feathery technique, which allows him to construct statements that would sound natural coming from a tenor sax or trumpet. His arco work is especially remarkable--Gray got a master's in classical cello after he'd already made his name as a top-flight jazzman. Another bassist with this kind of virtuosity might never let you forget it, but Gray has the good taste to tamp it down when he's not the main attraction. Over the past three decades that's made him a first-call sideman, and he's supported dozens of local bands and countless visiting luminaries. Even when he backs a star, though, he's often the best musician onstage. Gray leads his own gigs less frequently; this one, featuring kinetic pianist Jim Trompeter and drum dynamo Dana Hall, celebrates the release of the trio's excellent new CD, One Look (on the bassist's own Graywater label). a 8 PM, Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway, 773-878-5552, $10. --Neil Tesser

JUICEBOXXX After graduating from high school a couple years ago this Milwaukee wunderkind jumped the rainbow-colored shark; once a hip-hop outsider whose music was steeped in the aftereffects of Wisconsin's cornfield raves, he's now indistinguishable from all the other members of the east coast-dominated ironic dance scene. If you wish Dan Deacon were more like Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch, then Juiceboxxx is totally your boy. Big Digits headlines; DJ Steak and Squidbotz open. Juiceboxxx also plays Friday, July 6, at the Debonair Social Club, 1575 N. Milwaukee; both shows are free, but for Friday's you have to RSVP to going.com/mob. a Midnight, the Note, 1565 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-0011. F --Jessica Hopper

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JON DEE GRAHAM Heartland rockers have gargled antifreeze and smoked dried-nettle cigarettes in pursuit of a voice like Jon Dee Graham's--but it's not something you can just go out and get, that ability to sound like you just recited an entire Kerouac novel to a crowded revival tent. The leathery singer-songwriter, a veteran of Alejandro Escovedo's old band the True Believers (and a frequent Escovedo collaborator still), was named Austin Musician of the Year at SXSW '06, and that was before the release of his fifth solo album, Full--a windstorm of keening guitars and seething passion. Graham performs twice this week at the American Music Festival; for a complete schedule, see page 22. a 9 PM (music starts at 1:30 PM), FitzGerald's, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn, 708-788-2118, $25, $20 for the first hour, $5 for kids 12 and under (with legal guardian until 10 PM), no advance tix. See also Wednesday. --Monica Kendrick

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PSYCHEDELIC FURS See Friday. The Fixx and the Alarm open. a 6:30 PM, Naperville Ribfest main stage, Knoch Park, Naperville, 630-548-5205, $10, children 11 and under free. A

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JON DEE GRAHAM See Monday. Part of the American Music Festival; for a complete schedule, see page 22. a 7:45 PM (music starts at 4:45 PM), FitzGerald's, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn, 708-788-2118, $25, $20 for the first hour, $5 for kids 12 and under (with legal guardian until 10 PM), no advance tickets.

cMARNIE STERN, BANG! BANG! With In Advance of the Broken Arm (Kill Rock Stars), MARNIE STERN answers in one grand gesture two of my biggest complaints about indie rock: the shortage of kick-ass guitar playing and the shortage of kick-ass female guitarists. Her original inspiration was Sleater-Kinney, but her current aesthetic is closer to that of Deerhoof, Orthrelm, or Hella, whose drummer, Zach Hill, plays on the record. (Until recently Stern used an iPod Nano clipped to her belt to provide her backing tracks, but now she's touring with Hill and guitarist Robby Moncrieff of the Advantage.) Employing an incendiary two-handed fretting style, she combines the free-form, high-energy bluster of neo-no wave with a sweet but tough melodic sensibility that harks back to Kill Rock Stars' riot-girl roots. On "Absorb Those Numbers" her circular, hammered--on riffs not only sound like something off Van Halen II but make Eddie's reliance on power chords seem lazy by comparison. When she interrupts them with a singsongy refrain, it's so wildly out of place it's perfect; meanwhile Hill goes at his drums like he's chasing five motherfuckers down the street in his underwear with a baseball bat. --J. Niimi

A little bit "I Touch Myself" and a little bit "Ballroom Blitz," BANG! BANG! have established themselves as Chicago's best new-wave band with their latest, The Dirt That Makes You Drown (Morphius). Their first outing with new drummer Nick Kraska and part-time keyboardist Rachel Shindelman (both of the New Black), it's jumpy and theatrical, heartfelt and dorky, and it never lets up for a moment. The crunchy harmonies on songs like "Loaded Questions" are great, but the most intense moments come when postpunk space-kitten Gretta Fine takes the lead, as on the Lene Lovich-esque "She Came From Outer Space." --Monica Kendrick

Marnie Stern headlines; Bang! Bang!, 8 Inch Betsy, and Brilliant Pebbles open. a 9 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-478-4408 or 866-468-3401, $12, 18+.

FRANCOIS VIROT I'm not sure I would like Francois Virot as much if he weren't a French guy singing in English. On the shambly, lo-fi songs on his MySpace page (he says his album's almost done) he's working a fairly standard boy-with-a-bummed-heart-and-an-acoustic-guitar routine--roughly GBV via Conor Oberst--and that dash of ESL really helps liven it up. And at one point, while singing about a conversation with his father, he breaks into what seems to be a monkey imitation--the sort of thing I find charming in any language. Octagon Island headlines, Kickball plays third, Virot is second, and Shemilaya opens. a 8 PM, Ronny's, 2101 N. California, 773-235-6591, $6. --Jessica Hopper

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DARK ROMANTICS Ah, Florida. Home of the newly wed and nearly dead, famous for its sunshine, gators, death metal, booty bass, and . . . angsty operatic retro-pop? Orlando's Dark Romantics distill everything right about the Cure-wannabes of the Edward Scissorhands-era on their debut, Some Midnight Kissin' (Lujo). They don't strike a single original note, but with Jason Martin of Starflyer 59 (see Friday) producing, they manage to turn out an album's worth of cheesy goodness. The Mooney Suzuki headlines and M.O.T.O. opens. a 9 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 or 800-594-8499, $12, 18+. --Monica Kendrick

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USZTURU ENSEMBLE For the last 15 years this Hungarian folk quartet has dedicated itself to preserving the traditional dance music of Transylvania, in which violinists saw out electrifying melodies over high-velocity grooves played on a couple of viola-like instruments (the bracsa and the kontra) and the bass. Uszturu's members have studied with some of the region's finest string players, from Sandor Fodor to Ferenc Mezei of Szaszcsavas, and that training shows on their most recent album, 2004's Az Oregeke (Folk Europa), where the elaborate harmonies and heavy chording produce a kaleidoscopic range of textures. For this show, part of the city's Summerdance series, the group will be joined by cimbalom player Kalman Koszorus, who doubles on bracsa, and dancers Istvan Kis and Julia Redo, who will also give a free dance lesson at 6 PM. a 7:30 PM, Spirit of Music Garden, Grant Park, 601 S. Michigan, 312-742-4007. FA --Peter Margasak

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