• Mother Falcon

I’ve been looking forward to seeing Omar Souleyman at Millennium Park since the Downtown Sound lineup came out at the end of April. That concert isn’t until Monday, but thankfully there are plenty of other shows to go to in the interim.

Tonight Pillowhammer and Dave Rempis play Comfort Station and Lyrics Born headlines a show with Whoevers and Roy Kinsey at Bottom Lounge. Tomorrow night Allen Toussaint is at SPACE and Lemuria hit Bottom Lounge. On Saturday you can see Lawrence Arms at Metro or Shapers at the Burlington. On Sunday Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. headline Ribfest.

Be sure to head to Soundboard for all the Reader‘s concert listings and read on for some picks from our critics:

Thu 6/5: Big Freedia at Empty Bottle

“A few years ago New Orleans bounce artist Big Freedia began to find an audience far afield from her city’s club scene, and her booming popularity among hipsters raised some eyebrows,” writes Miles Raymer. “When you see a gay self-described “diva,” flanked by a troupe of twerk-happy female dancers, performing black dance music to a largely white audience as the opening act for Matt & Kim or the Postal Service, it’s hard not to suspect that there’s at least a little exoticization going on. But the relentlessly positive energy that Big Freedia manifests during her shows is enough to power-wash those worries away, along with any others you happen to have brought along.”

Fri 6/6: Nones at Beat Kitchen

“Nones have been kicking around since 2010, playing their slovenly skronk-punk nonstop, both in town and out on the road, and this month they’ve finally released their first LP,” writes Luca Cimarusti. “Midwestern Family Values, out on HoZac and available for the first time at this show, perfectly captures the band’s bummer vibe—their sloppy, primitive Flipper-style noise rock combines caveman drums, Greg Ginn-flavored guitar, and delay-soaked saxophone into an uncomfortably itchy backdrop for lead singer Brandon Bayles’s strained and often hilariously self-deprecating vocals.”

Sat 6/7: Mother Falcon at Schubas

“From Judy Collins to Sufjan Stevens, certain folk artists have long straddled the line between ‘authentic’ genius and ‘sophisticated’ genius, with one foot in the field and one foot in the orchestra pit,” writes Noah Berlatsky. “Mother Falcon extrapolates from that tradition to arrive at a conclusion both ludicrous and glorious; with 17 members, the band is a veritable orchestra in itself, including strings, horns, woodwinds, an accordion, multiple singers, and Lord knows what else. The result is a towering, sweeping display of arch feyness, perfectly encapsulated in the video for ‘Just to See Her Smile,’ where the band acts as the musical accompaniment to a children’s theatrical performance of Flash Gordon.”

Sun 6/8: Somos at Beat Kitchen

As an emo fanatic I got behind Somos quickly: “‘My thoughts are formed in an unspeakable language,’ sings Somos bassist-vocalist Michael Fiorentino on ‘Before You Merge,’ the last song on the Boston band’s recent debut, Temple of Plenty (Tiny Engines). Of course everybody’s feelings are immeasurable and often hard to define—it’s too bad that to the cultural tourists of the aughts, ’emo’ has become synonymous with just one emotion, a sort of infantile sadness. Somos dabble in melancholy on Temple of Plenty, but they use it as fuel for hopeful, uplifting tunes that verge on triumphant.”