• Whirlpool

We’re coming out of a midweek lull in shows today, with a nearly quiet town suddenly becoming a very loud one again. This weekend is packed full of great live music. Tonight there’s the sold-out Fall Out Boy show at Metro and the second sold-out Chance the Rapper show at Riviera. Megastar piano man Elton John will be at the Allstate Arena on Saturday, while local duo White Mystery records a live album at Double Door. And on Sunday metal trio KEN Mode will be heating things up at Empty Bottle, and if you happen to be in Saint Charles you can catch Michael Bolton at the Arcada Theatre.

But that’s just the beginning. After the jump you can scope out a handful of other awesome Soundboard picks that our writers highly recommend for this weekend.

Fri 11/29: Whirlpool at Transistor

Jazz reedist Caroline Davis will be in town this weekend with her band Whirlpool. Says Peter Margasak about the group and their new record, “Late this summer they released their debut, This World and One More (Ears and Eyes), which demonstrates Davis’s adaptability to more ethereal and abstract terrain; unsurprisingly they tackle ‘Whirlpool,’ a tune by drummer Paul Motian, who veiled the steely power of his music with plush harmonies and gauzy atmospheres. All three musicians contributed tunes to the recording: Davis’s ‘Freedom Waves Flotilla,’ with its rising-and-falling grooves, allows her great latitude on alto saxophone, so that she can ride the crests of its waves with striated upper-register cries and hug their troughs with graceful, patient shapes that maintain the song’s thread even when they’re not explicitly melodic. Rumback’s lovely, multipartite ‘Dragons in Denver’ gives his cohorts lots of mood and tempo shifts to improvise over, easing naturally from turbulence to calm; the drummer directs traffic and works the gas pedal without drawing attention to himself. Davis gets the lion’s share of the spotlight (and makes excellent use of it), but these aren’t verse-chorus-verse structures, with their attendant strings of solos—Whirlpool’s episodic compositions privilege an ensemble sound that demands full engagement from everyone, and the album proves they can deliver.”

Sat 11/30: Corrections House at Empty Bottle

The show I’m looking most forward to this weekend is Corrections House, a half-local, experimental industrial supergroup of sorts. “Eyehategod front man Mike IX Williams and Neurosis vocalist-guitarist Scott Kelly hold down the front line, supported by Chicago-based engineer Sanford Parker on programming and Bloodiest/Yakuza vocalist Bruce Lamont on saxophone and effects. The brand-new Last City Zero (Neurot) is as brilliant and intense as you’d expect, given the personnel involved: Parker’s Godflesh-flavored mechanical beats propel massive, dramatic guitar riffs and Williams’s damaged shrieks through Lamont’s bleak soundscapes,” I wrote. “Here and there the band demonstrates a flair for dynamic contrasts: the title track is pensive spoken word from Williams, while ‘Run Through the Night’ is a spaghetti-western acoustic track, with Kelly’s bellowing vocals filled out by triumphant saxophone wails. But Corrections House are at their finest when they go full Wax Trax!—I love the insanely heavy gallop of ‘Bullets and Graves’ and the earth-rattling assembly-line gnashing of ‘Dirt Poor and Mentally Ill.”

Sat 11/30: Weekend Nachos at Metro

Another superheavy band is one of this weekend’s highlights. Says Leor Galil of local metal band Weekend Nachos, “Weekend Nachos’ recent Still (Relapse) demonstrates the band’s indiscriminate love for hardcore, powerviolence, grindcore, and any other hard, heavy, angry-sounding style. On ‘Ignore’ they decelerate from jittery, stomping hardcore into molasses-paced doom; they light up the blindingly aggro ‘S.C.A.B.’ with a blazing, almost cartoonishly over-the-top guitar riff; and right in the middle of the title track, they stick in a clanging piano. In his lyrics Hoffman tears into scene bullshit, condemning sexism (‘Wolves’) and blasting musicians who care about their cred and clothing (‘You’re Not Punk’).”

Sun 12/1: Guillermo Gregorio Emsemble at Constellation

Local clarinetist Guillermo Gregorio and his new electroacoustic band play at Constellation this Sunday. “In a certain way, it makes sense to find Guillermo Gregorio on an album called Window and Doorway (Driff),” says Bill Meyer. “Though the Chicago-based clarinetist is a fluent and agile improviser, he’s equally adept at devising compositions that frame and give direction to his fellow musicians’ spontaneity. On ‘Planimetria’ Gregorio, trombonist Steve Swell, and pianist Pandelis Karayorgis take turns initiating phrases that the other two complete. But it never devolves into a call-and-response exercise; instead each complete statement feels like a series of fluidly articulated compound sentences expressing an elegant train of thought. Tonight Gregorio will introduce a new ensemble with cellists Daniel Kempkers and Lilianna Wosko, tuba player Tom Curry, and analog synthesist Brian Labycz; its unusual lineup ought to help connect the electroacoustic improv he often plays these days to the chamber music that’s been a touchstone for him since he was a teen in Buenos Aires in the middle of the previous century.”