The 90s are back! Veruca Salt plays on Monday, and that’s something to get excited for. Unfortunately, the show is sold out. While they’re not the blast of angsty nostalgia Veruca Salt would have been, there are some other great shows to see at the beginning of this week.
If you really do want a 90s blast, there’s Counting Crows and Toad the Wet Sprocket at Ravinia on Mon 7/14, along with locals Ne-Hi at the Empty Bottle for free. On Tue 7/15 there’s an excellent posthardcore double-header with Ceremony and Nothing at Subterranean while locals Pinebender and Tight Phantomz are at the Bottle. And on Wed 7/16 there’s prog drummer Virgil Donati and his band at Martyrs’ and hip-hop legend Lauryn Hill at House of Blues.
More awesome show picks from our writers are below.
Afrobeat star Seun Kuti comes to the Concord this week. Peter Margasak says of his new album A Long Way to the Beginning, “The new album’s ferocious opener, ‘IMF,’ brings a classic Afrobeat groove to a full boil with chattering brass and choppy, cross-cutting funk—and the lyrics don’t hold back either, renaming the IMF ‘International Motherfuckers.’ The following track, ‘African Airways,’ also aims its bitter sarcasm at outside forces exploiting the continent; the song’s metaphorical airline uses ‘Chinese engines,’ ‘World Bank radars,’ and ‘Western pilots.’ On ‘Ohun Aiye,’ which includes a rollicking piano solo from Glasper, Kuti and Egypt 80 tap into the percolating rhythms of Congolese kwassa kwassa (Vampire Weekend appropriated the term three decades after the fact), and on ‘Black Woman’ they opt for a slow, soul-inflected vamp to salute the strength, courage, and intelligence of black women.”
Originally booked for Lincoln Hall, experimental Japanese band OOIOO will be at Schubas on Tuesday. “OOIOO is often considered a Boredoms side project, but over the past 17 years this exquisite band has been the more active of the two,” writes Peter Margasak. “Led by Boredoms drummer Yoshimi, OOIOO has transformed itself from album to album, putting its idiosyncratic spin on Afrobeat, psychedelia, trance, Krautrock, and more. When Yoshimi tackles these styles, it’s not to imitate them or even master them—the prism of her aesthetic utterly transforms them, exploding them into fractured yet hypnotic arrangements of tone and rhythm that she presents with a deceptively childlike simplicity. On OOIOO’s seventh full-length, the new Gamel (Thrill Jockey), the group applies that ethos to its experiments with gamelan, the traditional metallophone orchestra of Indonesia.” This will be the band’s first Chicago appearance in seven years.
Fresh & Onlys were part of the San Francisco garage-psych boom, but they’ve since moved on to dreamy 80s-sounding pop. Peter Margasak says, “When the Fresh & Onlys emerged in 2008, they were often lumped in with San Francisco’s potent neo-garage scene, but they’ve put such associations behind them—these days they let each dreamy melody from front man Tim Cohen take on whatever stylistic mode best suits it. On last year’s Long Slow Dance, they tried out an 80s modern-rock sheen that reminded me of Modern English and the Church, but for the new House of Spirits (Mexican Summer) they’ve toughened up their sound and suffused it with a murky, atmospheric gloom.”