Human Feel
  • Human Feel

Oh man, New Order is in town this week—I saw them at last year’s Lollapalooza, and it was legitimately mind-blowing. Too bad for us, that show is sold out. But, there’s still tons of other great stuff to see this week as we close in on Independence Day.

On Mon 6/30, Wilco guitarist Nels Cline pairs up with Julian Lage at City Winery, while Berlin plays there on Tue 7/1. Huge indie-rock band the Hold Steady play at Concord Music Hall on Wed 7/2 and Gillian Welch is at Thalia Hall in Pilsen.

These, of course, are just some the great shows in town during the first half of the week; below we have a few more top picks from Reader writers.

Mon 6/30: My Brightest Diamond at Pritzker Pavilion

“Since forming My Brightest Diamond in the mid-aughts, Shara Worden has gotten increasingly ambitious, putting her classical training to excellent use in fleet, sophisticated arrangements that wriggle, strut, and float around her crystalline voice. On her previous album, All Things Unwind, Worden worked with yMusic, a malleable New York chamber group that aims to erase the distance between contemporary classical and art-pop,” writes Peter Margasak. “For her forthcoming record, This Is My Hand, she’s given the songs a serious rhythmic jolt—martial drumming opens the record’s first single, ‘Pressure,’ and fuzzed-out postdisco grooves lend heat to ‘Lover Killer.’ The tonal purity and formal precision of Worden’s singing might not seem like the most natural fit for such earthy music, but the contrast is often a source of productive tension.” And it’s free, too!

Tue 7/1: Amp vs. Amp at Empty Bottle

Attention, nerds! A bunch of bands are paying homage to a comic book tonight! Kevin Warwick says, “Organized by Kriss Stress, overseer of Chicago underground-music operation Notes & Bolts (formerly a label, now more of an archive and concert series), tonight’s show is as an ode to comic and movie hero Scott Pilgrim. Much as Pilgrim and his punk trio, Sex Bom-Omb, throw down in a battle of the bands that culminates in a free-for-all where Pilgrim and company play at the same time as various evil wooers of Ramona Flowers (the Katayanagi Twins, for instance), tonight’s four groups will be paired up two-on-two. They’ll begin by trading songs—one plays and then the other, just like at an old screamo show—and then finish by going “Amp vs. Amp” and playing their last songs simultaneously. Ambitious? Mostly. It’s a tad nutso to try to translate this to a real-life stage, but ultimately it should be more fun than headache. The matchups: noisy, string-heavy postrock from the Paver versus the swinging, fuzzed-out garage of Bleach Party, plus the abrasive noise punk of Lil Tits versus the sharp, spazzy pop-punk of Absolutely Not.”

Wed 7/2: Human Feel at Constellation

Jazz combo Human Feel rolls into Constellation tonight. “Human Feel formed in 1987, when reedists Chris Speed and Andrew D’Angelo and drummer Jim Black were all studying music as college students in Boston; three years later guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel came aboard to make it a quartet,” says Peter Margasak. “The group operates as a true collective, with everyone contributing compositions and shaping the material through extensive improvisation. Over the years all the band’s members have come to shape the younger generation of players, directly or indirectly. Perhaps no guitarist in the past decade has been more influential than Rosenwinkel, who colors the rich harmonies of his misty, lyrical style with wordless vocalizing. And Speed and Black’s work in Tim Berne’s Bloodcount has seemed to spawn an entire new scene in London.”