- JOHN BROUGHTON
- Clark Sommers
It’s shaping up to be one busy weekend for concerts. Are you ready for it? Tonight there’s Martin Rev at Reggie’s Rock Club, Rakim at the Shrine, and Tal National at Martyrs’ (for more on Tal National I’d recommend reading Peter Margasak’s excellent B Side feature on the Nigerien band and the local studio engineer who has provided a crucial role in the group’s career).
Tomorrow night you can check out Obituary at Cobra Lounge, the Men and Fuzz at Logan Square Auditorium, Bonobo at the Mid, or Parris Mitchell and Paul Johnson at Smart Bar. On Saturday there’s the Spits at Empty Bottle, Black Milk at Subterranean, and Mucca Pazza at the Fall Ball at Logan Square Auditorium. If you make it through all that and want to see even more live music on Sunday night, you can go see Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples at Akoo Theatre.
All that is just a fraction of this weekend’s concerts—check out Soundboard for a full list of everything that’s happening in the days ahead. And be sure to read on for recommendations from a few of our critics.
“Over the past decade Clark Sommers has emerged as one of Chicago’s finest bassists, lending myriad bands an agile but hefty center of gravity and a muscular, propulsive kick,” writes Peter Margasak. The new Ba(SH) (Origin) is Sommers’s first under his own name, and he recorded it with drummer Dana Hall and reedist Geof Bradfield. “From the very first track, the Sommers original ‘Garrison’—named for no-nonsense bassist Jimmy Garrison, who played with the likes of John Coltrane and Jimmy Giuffre—the music is refreshingly pared-down and direct, but the absence of complicated arrangements doesn’t leave the players starved for material to work with when they improvise.”
“Few bands have ever been as popular and as widely reviled as the Eagles. Whether for the pretty-boy looks they flaunted when they first hit the scene in the early 70s, their luxury fauxhemianism, or simply their overproduced supersmoothness, they’ve been held up as the antithesis of what rock ‘n’ roll is ‘really about’ since the days of Lester Bangs,” writes Miles Raymer. Sure, listening to the Eagles still hasn’t become socially acceptable, but Raymer doesn’t mind. “Fuck it—if you can’t enjoy the subtle juxtaposition of soft rock and Bakersfield shit-kicker country on ‘Lyin’ Eyes’ or the cocaine funk of ‘One of These Nights,’ that’s your problem, not ours.”
“Welcome, Gigan, oh ye of the gloriously self-aggrandizing manifestos, hilarious promo pictures, and weird-ass logo that looks like it belongs on an air conditioner—and thank you for making music of absolutely devastating richness that belies all the aforementioned foolishness,” writes Monica Kendrick. The newly local band just released its third album, Multi-Dimensional Fractal Sorcery and Super Science (Willowtip), which is the first with vocalist Eston Browne. “The album’s intricate whirlwind of progressive death metal spins itself up out of the grave and into the kind of outer space you find in demented psychedelic science fiction—and it makes the trip without losing an ion of density.” Gigan also plays Reckless Records in Wicker Park on Saturday at 3:30 PM.