• Underoath

This weekend the Tomorrow Never Knows festival (which kicked off on Wednesday) hits full swing, with an impressive variety of indie rock, pop, R&B, dance music, and comedy at six venues. Tonight a live version of the Low Times music podcast (hosted by Tom Scharpling of the Best Show on WFMU, Daniel Ralston, and Maggie Serota) comes to the Hideout, with guests alleged to include Steve Albini and Richard Marx. Also tonight but at Schubas is a concert by buzzed-about Florida postpunks Merchandise, who come especially recommended by Kevin Warwick.

Reader writers also weighed in on Hundred Waters (opening for Freelance Whales on Sat 1/19 at Lincoln Hall) and the Black Madonna (who plays Sat 1/19 at the Hideout, after a non-TNK show at Smart Bar), and they’ve only scratched the surface of the fest: just for starters, Ssion’s set opening for Niki & the Dove (Fri 1/18 at Lincoln Hall) is sure to be ridiculously fabulous and fabulously ridiculous, and King Dude (opening for Chelsea Wolfe at Schubas on Sat 1/19) turns up in In Rotation this week as one of the picks by Alma Negra guitarist and front woman Erin Page.

Of course, even in January one festival can’t monopolize all the good concerts happening in Chicago, and as always we’ve got more for you on our Soundboard page. Highlights after the jump: