• Juelz Santana

Valentine’s Day is here and love is in the air. What better way to celebrate than taking your loved one to see some gangsta rap or doom metal? Sounds romantic to me.

The shows listed after the jump aren’t the only things happening on this busy weekend. Tonight local act Lasers and Fast and Shit play a free show at late-night watering hole the Owl. On Valentine’s say itself, there’s obviously the Reader‘s annual Anti-Valentine’s day party which is headlined by Big Freedia, as well as Quadron opening up for Mayer Hawthorne at Park West, and Cheap Time at the Empty Bottle. On Saturday local duo Foul Tip plays a free show at Cole’s, and White Mystery plays at the Chop Shop in Wicker Park—one of the band’s three shows this weekend. And on Sunday, pop superstar Justin Timberlake arrives at the United Center.

Thu 2/13: Juelz Santana at the Shrine

Dipset member Juelz Santana comes to the Shrine tonight. “Most of the world first met Harlem rapper Juelz Santana via Cam’ron’s impeccably breezy 2002 summer jam ‘Hey Ma,’ where he played up his role as the precocious prodigy of the Diplomats crew, hollering at girls outside the club and bragging about the crazy life of an underage pop star,” says Miles Raymer. “His low-key cockiness and charm apparently appealed as much to rap fans as it did to slightly older ladies, and he spent Dipset’s early-aughts peak of power as the group’s second-most popular member, just behind Cam—’Dipset (Santana’s Town)’ and ‘There It Go (The Whistle Song)’ dominated the summers of ’03 and ’05, respectively.”

Sat 2/15: Jason Lescalleet at the Renaissance Society

WHPK’s annual Pictures & Sounds event is this weekend, and sound artist Jason Lescalleet will be in town, commissioning several other artists to create videos to go along with his pieces. Peter Margasak says, “This fall Maine sound artist Jason Lescalleet released Photographs (Erstwhile), the final installment in a trilogy of profoundly personal albums he’s made with Graham Lambkin, a Brit who used to play in experimental rock band Shadow Ring and now lives in upstate New York. The double-CD set mixes musique concrete with field recordings—you can hear the artists and their families at home, talking over meals or tea, interspersed with the sounds of a church service, the noises of traveling by car and train, nature recordings, and other material. Childhood photos of Lescalleet and Lambkin in the packaging make more explicit the connection between the music and the experience of going back home to visit. As is often the case with Lescalleet, I find it hard to assign specific meanings to the sounds and their arrangements, but his choices clearly aren’t random or arbitrary. At any rate, I enjoy the challenge, and Lescalleet’s enigmatic braiding of dialogue and abstract sound works just fine even if I can’t decode it.”

Sun 2/16: Trouble at Metro

Local, long-running doom-metal act Trouble have gone through a whole bunch of members since they formed in 1979, and when the chemistry is right, they still sound awesome. Says Monica Kendrick, “This is their first hometown date in support of their latest comeback album, last year’s The Distortion Field (FRW), which is heavy in a classic, straightforward way—original guitarists Bruce Franklin and Rick Wartell have their Judas Priest-like double-ax attack down pat by this point, and they know how to write meaty, bloody doom-boogie riffs that show it off to best advantage. New vocalist Kyle Thomas (stepping in for the second time) may lack the distinctive sound of original front man Eric Wagner, but he brings something this band absolutely needs: Dio-esque grittiness and power.”