• Mike Donovan

Halloween falls on a Thursday this year, which gives us two weekends of Halloween parties and shows. And while these next few days are sort of a lull in the holiday action, there’s still a bunch of cool stuff happening around town to catch.

Tonight sees Speck Mountain and Implodes playing a free show at Empty Bottle, as well as Cameron McGill at Schubas and Au Revoir Simone at Lincoln Hall. Tomorrow, local favorites Meat Wave play at Subterranean, and a couple of huge hip-hop shows are going down: Yo Gotti at Metro and Kevin Gates at Reggie’s Rock Club. And of course there’s heavy metal monsters Lamb of God and Killswitch Engage playing at the Aragon on Wed 10/30, as well as glam-poppers Of Montreal at Lincoln Hall.

Soundboard, as always, has a full list of what’s going on around town, and after the jump there are a few top selections from some of our writers.

Mon 10/28 and Tue 10/29: Bettye LaVette at City Winery

Detroit soul vet Bettye LaVette will be at City Winery for a pair of shows tonight and tomorrow. Last year when she played at the Winery in support of her record Thankful n’ Thoughtful, Peter Margasak wrote, “With the hard-hitting new Thankful n’ Thoughtful (Anti-), though, she gets back to her comfort zone, and the dark angles and harsh truths she brings to its wide range of songs make the originals seem sunny by comparison. Working with producer Craig Street, LaVette fronts a lean quintet that modernizes the classic Muscle Shoals sound with ominous atmospherics, and together they reimagine pop and rock tunes from the past four decades so perfectly that they might as well have been written for her. She customizes Ewan MacColl’s ‘Dirty Old Town,’ turning it into a biting lament for the Motor City; she strips away the effervescent veneer of the Gnarls Barkley hit ‘Crazy,’ giving it a nasty sting; and she turns the existentialism of Neil Young’s ‘Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere’ into a feverish plea to get out of this world.”

Tue 10/29: Twin Peaks at Lincoln Hall

Twin Peaks, a young, local, indie rock rising star, will be playing at Lincoln Hall on Tuesday, opening for Born Ruffians. Kevin Warwick says of the band’s debut EP, Sunken, “Any band calling itself “dream pop” is at least 99 percent likely to coat every element of its distant, faux-tropical sound in three to four layers of reverb—a trend whose popularity we owe to the likes of Beach House and Real Estate (plus a host of forgettable bands long since crowded out of the music-obsessed public’s collective consciousness). What makes the young ‘uns in Twin Peaks sound like they know better is the fact that they don’t know any better. Fresh out of high school, the Chicago five-piece gets away with indulging in blown-out reverb by approaching melody not so much with hazy nonchalance as with wide-eyed innocence—and a welcome willingness to explore glammy Stones and T. Rex territory.”

Wed 10/30: Mike Donovan at Empty Bottle

Former Sic Alps front man Mike Donovan will be in town, touring on his new solo record. “Over the past couple of years the ordinarily obscurantist band’s releases had made it increasingly obvious that front man Mike Donovan wanted to play music that was more intimate and direct, if not exactly polished,” writes Peter Margasak. “True to that implulse, his first postbreakup effort, Wot (Drag City), is a stripped-down folk-rock duo with Eric Park that uses guitar, vocals, percussion, and harmonica to sketch out songs whose air of instability evokes the spirit of loner classics such as Skip Spence’s Oar and Syd Barrett’s two solo albums (and whose occasional touches of swagger evoke the Stones).”