While I’m especially bummed that this upcoming week’s Hawkwind show has been postponed, there’s still a ton of other stuff to take in over the weekend. An especially stacked few days are upon us, even by Chicago standards.
There’s Screaming Trees member Mark Lanegan playing at the Old Town School of Folk Music tonight, death-metal legends Deicide at Cobra Lounge on Fri 10/11, Orange County punk-rock pioneers Agent Orange at Reggie’s on Fri 10/11 (opening for Guttermouth, of all bands), Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo and his band the Dust at Empty Bottle on Sun 10/13, and Sara Bareilles playing a sold-out show at the Riviera on Sun 10/13.
But that’s not all. After the jump, some of our writers have previewed a few more highlights on Soundboard for the upcoming few days.
Sarah Jarosz, a 22-year-old bluegrass and folk singer and mandolinist, is playing an all-ages show at the Old Town School. “Some of Jarosz’s lyrics have a cosmic streak, but her dynamic arrangements and adaptations of traditional forms keep the music grounded—whether it’s the rippling mountain soul and message of self-empowerment in ‘Fuel the Fire’ or the acid twang of Dan Dugmore’s electric guitar puncturing the ambling folk of the romantic reverie ‘Mile on the Moon,'” writes Peter Margasak. “She wrote most of the material, and her covers of Bob Dylan’s ‘Simple Twist of Fate’ and Joanna Newsom’s ‘The Book of Right-On’ demonstrate a rare ability to remake songs attached to extremely distinctive voices so that they’re something all her own. On [her new album, Build Me Up From Bones], Jarosz enlists a slew of impressive supporting players—among them guitarist Darrell Scott, bassist Viktor Krauss, singer Aoife O’Donovan, and Dobro master Jerry Douglas—but she also sounds great in the nimble working trio she’ll bring to this gig, with cellist Nathaniel Smith and fiddler Alex Hargreaves.”
“Two weeks ago pianist Jeremy Denk was awarded one of this year’s MacArthur Fellowship grants, and on October 1 he released his take on Bach’s Goldberg Variations via Nonesuch Records,” writes Peter Margasak. “The deceptive ease and rhythmic vitality of his lucid performance extends from the most serene passages to the most turbulent. The release includes a DVD containing video liner notes, which give me reason to suspect that Denk’s remarkable skill as a writer helped earn him that MacArthur grant—he can break down the most complex or mystifying work in an accessible way. Denk’s writing is more than explication and education—it’s practically entertainment, and on the DVD he parses Bach’s music with typical wit and imagination, sitting at a piano so that he can give musical demonstrations of each point.”
Italian electronic-music pioneers Goblin make a highly anticipated stop at Metro this weekend—on their first North American tour ever. Says Monica Kendrick, “Goblin’s innovative approach to synth-rock and creepy ambient arrangements has influenced a generation of artists tinkering with sound and painting aural scenery. This belated cult appreciation has apparently built to a point where it’s enough to persuade this 41-year-old band to embark on their first North American tour—as far as I’m concerned, it’s the event of the year. You might want to sleep with the lights on afterward.”
Canadian R&B singer Abel Tesfaye, aka the Weeknd, plays two shows at Chicago Theatre on Sunday and Monday (Sunday’s is sold out). Leor Galil writes of Tesfaye’s newest release, Kiss Land, “The album’s twilight post-Drake R&B is slinky and smooth—’Adaptation’ and ‘Pretty’ are downright opulent—but Tesfaye sometimes seems like he’s as numb and zoned-out as the people in his songs. Fortunately he can still pull off the occasional focused hook by brilliantly deploying a guest vocalist or drum sample, so that Kiss Land has some seriously compelling high points: the aforementioned ‘Adaptation,’ the Drake collaboration ‘Live For,’ and the tense ‘Belong to the World,’ whose snapping, ferocious drum loop could’ve come from Portishead’s ‘Machine Gun.'”