Fourth-wave emo continues to outgrow its underground roots, and it’s getting a lot of exposure in the process; just a couple days ago Pitchfork’s Ian Cohen wrote about the current sound while delving into a 78-song compilation from Boston indie label Topshelf and Stereogum’s Chris DeVille compiled a list of bands from the scene for music listeners who don’t normally listen to emo. All this just a few weeks after Pennsylvania’s Balance & Composure landed on the Billboard 200 at number 51 for their recent The Things We Think We’re Missing. Balance & Composure come to town Friday to play Metro with fellow-scene bearers Title Fight, and they aren’t the only emo acts taking the stage this weekend; the following day Japan’s Toe and locals CSTVT and Victor Villarreal play Beat Kitchen while Braid headline Reggie’s Rock Club.
It’s a good weekend for shows, even if you aren’t into emo. Tonight there’s Lisa Alma at Constellation, Hanni El Khatib and Bass Drum of Death at Lincoln Hall, Avenged Sevenfold and Deftones at Allstate Arena, KT Tunstall at Park West, Coliseum at Bottom Lounge, EPMD at Reggie’s Rock Club, and Jonathan Toubin at Empty Bottle. Tomorrow night you can check out New Gary Burton Quartet at Space, Jason Boland & the Stragglers at Joe’s Bar, Guitar Wolf at Subterranean, Le1f and Antwon at Empty Bottle, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion at Schubas, Waka Flocka Flame at UIC Pavilion, Mason Jennings at Old Town School of Folk Music, Cokegoat at Cobra Lounge, or Suicide Machines at Reggie’s Rock Club. On Saturday there’s Manatees at Permanent Records, Mixtapes at Subterranean, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons at Chicago Theatre, Destroid at Concord Music Hall, Gold Panda at Metro, Quintron & Miss Pussycat at Empty Bottle, Modern Life is War at Cobra Lounge, and Wala Cam’s Talent Showcase with M.I.C and Breezy Montana at JLM Abundant Life Center (for more information on that show check out this week’s B Side cover story). If you’re still hungry for live music come Sunday you can go see Hey Marseilles at Empty Bottle, Rose Cousins at Studios at Space, Bruce Brubaker at Mayne Stage, Why? at Lincoln Hall, Oddisee at Double Door, Biffy Clyro at Bottom Lounge, or Shark? at Burlington
Be sure to check out Soundboard for even more concert listings for the weekend and read on to see what a few Reader critics recommend for the days ahead.
“The Pamphleteers are bassist-vocalist Rebecca Crawford, guitarist Jonathan Ben-Isvy, and drummer Geoff Atkinson, and even though they’ve been together just a couple years, you could consider their lineup part of the aftermath of the 2005 car wreck that killed Chicago musicians Michael Dahlquist (Silkworm), Doug Meis (the Dials), and John Glick (the Returnables); Crawford played with Meis in the Dials, and Glick was her husband as well as Ben-Isvy’s bandmate in the Returnables,” writes Monica Kendrick. “Knowing that backstory makes it easy to hear a lust for life in their vibrant, shimmering postpunk garage—they’re bouncy but with a darkling edge, like the B-52s on a heavy trip.” Blasted Diplomats and Flesh Panthers open.
“Portland guitarist Marisa Anderson, who cut her teeth in the Evolutionary Jass Band and the Dolly Ranchers, has made two solo albums whose short instrumental pieces sound too considered and lived-in to be improvised, even though they are—the latest and best, Mercury (Mississippi), came out in June,” writes Peter Margasak. “Anderson doesn’t wipe the table clean and start from nothing; she has an easy fluency in the blues, fingerstyle tropes, and old-time traditions, and she uses these warmly familiar idioms as vehicles for exploration. She plays mostly electric guitar, sometimes with a pure, ringing tone (the creeping, lyrical ‘Embudo’ or the stately Hesitation Theme and Variation Blues”) and sometimes with a bit of distortion and a slide (the infectiously rambling “‘Galax’ or the stinging ‘The New Country,’ which bears Neil Young’s influence).” Anderson also plays at Hideout at 10 PM.
“As one-third of the ultrafunky and frequently cowboy-hatted Gap Band, Charlie Wilson was responsible for some of soul music’s most sublime moments of the late 70s and early 80s, including the immortal jams ‘You Dropped a Bomb on Me’ and ‘Humpin’.’ Unlike most of his contemporaries, he embraced rather than battled the rap artists who would later use his classics as source material for hits of their own,” writes Miles Raymer. “Wilson is not only a godfather to several generations of rappers; his graciousness and unbelievably well-preserved voice have also made him a frequent collaborator. His already phenomenal legacy was given an additional boost in 2010 with song-stealing guest appearances on Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Earlier this year he repeated the feat on Yeezus with a hook on the album-closing track ‘Bound 2’ that’s among the most gravity-defying performances of 2013.”