great big sea It might seem like Canadian folk rockers Great Big Sea are tooting their own horn, naming their recent CD/DVD set Courage & Patience & Grit (Zoe), but seeing as how they started out playing some 300 gigs a year, they’ve probably earned the right. Filmed in front of a passionate, easy-to-please crowd during the tour for 2005’s The Hard and the Easy, the DVD showcases the band’s love of traditional Newfie and Irish maritime tunes; as you might expect, those numbers outshine most of the originals, as does the cover of Slade’s “Run Runaway.” a 8 PM, Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine, 773-275-6800 or 312-559-1212, $26. A –Monica Kendrick

cmitsuko uchida In May 2004, Mitsuko Uchida sat at a piano in front of a chamber-size version of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and with dancing arms and generous facial expressions elicited refined, superbly balanced, and utterly captivating readings of Mozart’s 13th and 19th concerti. Now this sensitive and intelligent musician returns for a program that includes Bach’s glorious Brandenburg Concerto no. 5, also featuring CSO principal flutist Mathieu Dufour (who stole the show in a performance of the work at Ravinia last summer) and concertmaster Robert Chen. Also on the program are Mozart’s delightful Serenade no. 11 in E-flat, K. 375, and the composer’s most outwardly impassioned piano concerto, the D Minor, K. 466, which after its agitated introduction has the piano enter as an upwardly reaching single voice. The lovely middle movement is followed by an aggressive and stormy finale, which is among the composer’s most Beethovenian in spirit. See also Saturday. a 1:30 PM, Orchestra Hall, Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, 312-294-3000, $23-$199. –Barbara Yaross


cbaby teeth On the cover of Baby Teeth’s second full-length, The Simp (Lujo), bassist Jim Cooper is moping in a jacket and tie at the California Clipper’s handsome bar, looking like he just failed the audition for Bryan Ferry’s spot in Roxy Music, and from the first track to the last the band splurges like a soused middle manager on an expense account, indulging in almost every kind of flourish you can cram into a pop record–itchy disco strings, bursts of sunny a cappella harmonies, wicked hair-metal guitar solos, even a slide-whistle-and-slapstick vaudeville breakdown. The music here is a quantum leap from their debut–it’s filthy, oily lounge glam with nods to the Bee Gees, Queen, and CCR popping up exactly where they shouldn’t, and the boys drive home the whole arch monstrosity with gut-wrenching sincerity. Front man and keyboardist Abraham Levitan has abandoned his Pearly Sweets handle but not the bushy-tailed prankster persona that goes with it, and between the Simp sessions and this release party the band added its first full-time guitarist, Michael Lyons of Clyde Federal and Violins. Baby Dayliner and the Bitter Tears open. a 10 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $10. –Monica Kendrick

cholly golightly In a culture where excess is ubiquitous, it’s easy to appreciate England’s Holly Golightly, a woman with a rare grasp of rock’s simple pleasures. For more than a decade she’s produced a steady stream of rootsy punk-driven rock, lending it a range and subtle pop sensibility that her one-time mentor Billy Childish could only dream of. It’s been almost three years since Slowly but Surely, her last and arguably most accessible album, but she’s finally dropping something new. Credited to Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs, You Can’t Buy a Gun When You’re Crying (Damaged Goods) is Golightly and longtime bassist Lawyer Dave ambling through a collection of rural blues and old-timey country originals, plus a couple of covers. Although there are some overdubs, mostly it’s basic guitar with bass accompaniment. Recorded at home, the album has the feel of a hootenanny–with just two people. Screaming Yellow Zonkers open; Golightly plays a Brokeoffs set and then a full-band set. a 10 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 or 800-594-8499, $12, $10 in advance, 18+. –Peter Margasak

cMITSUKO UCHIDA See Friday. a 8 PM, Orchestra Hall, Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, 312-294-3000, $23-$199.


bird Manchester’s Chameleons–or Chameleons UK, as they were known outside England–were responsible for one of the most unsung oeuvres of brooding guitar pop during the 80s; unlike the Church, Echo & the Bunnymen, and even Television (in their later years), they never managed to find the audience they deserved. Front man Mark Burgess embarked on a solo career after the band broke up and reunited with them for a short period earlier this decade (the title of their 2001 comeback, Why Call It Anything?, suggested an unfortunate indifference), but for the past couple years he’s kept himself busy with Bird, a trio he founded with longtime collaborator Yves Altana. They’ve yet to release a record; this is their Chicago debut. Austin-based 80s reconstructionists Rescue Mission will open the show and join Bird during their set. a 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10. –Monica Kendrick

c KURT ELLING In polls and reviews, readers and critics have converged to name Kurt Elling the most accomplished male jazz vocalist of his generation. So now it comes down to how good he’ll ultimately become–a question only partly answered on the new Nightmoves, due April 3 on Concord. The disc brims with his best pure singing yet: he brings exuberant command to Betty Carter’s “Tight” and focused restraint to a setting of the Whitman poem “The Sleepers.” And on its many ballads his musicianship–intonation, dynamics, ornamentation–proudly challenges that of past pop and jazz giants. Yet the overall arc, from the treacly title tune (almost redeemed by Elling’s sinuous baritone and gimlet phrasing) to Duke Ellington’s emotionally uplifting “I Like the Sunrise,” feels more tortuous than flowing. The range and ambition that drives Elling to write soaring lyrics to historic horn solos (like his excellent adaptation here of Dexter Gordon’s 1976 “Body and Soul”) can prove counterproductive when it comes to packing his ideas into an effectively paced album. But those same qualities help him create the most consistently grand concert performances any singer or audience could want–especially for

high-stakes shows like this record-release event. The Laurence Hobgood Trio, Howard Levy, and Jim Gailloreto & the Hawk String Quartet open. a 7:30 PM, Park

West, 322 W. Armitage, 773-929-5959 or 312-559-1212, $25. A –Neil Tesser

LONEY, DEAR To my ear, Swedish indie pop seems to strike a perfect balance between the excesses of its American and British counterparts–the former too coy and cutesy, the latter too solipsistic and mopey. Like his countryman Jens Lekman, Stockholm’s Emil Svanangen–aka Loney, Dear–is adept at capturing a sweet melancholic reverie in his music. He recorded the lavishly orchestrated songs on his fourth disc, Loney, Noir, nearly single-handedly at his apartment and in the basement of his parents’ house in Jonkoping, also home to the Cardigans. He released the album himself on CD-R, as he had the previous records–he’s sold around 5,000 homemade discs to date–and then it was picked up by Sub Pop. Live, he’s joined by a four-piece band; Erik Harms & the Trophy Wives and Doleful Lions open. a 8 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $10, $8 in advance, 18+. –J. Niimi

longview All-star bands are usually just a bunch of clashing egos tolerating one another onstage for the sake of a quick buck, but the bluegrass combo Longview is a welcome exception. Veteran players with resumes that include stints with most of modern bluegrass’s major figures, they first got together as an ad hoc group at a 1994 music festival in North Carolina. Since then, they’ve released three terrific albums–the most recent is 2003’s Lessons in Stone (Rebel)–that showcase collective precision rather than just string together grandstanding solos. The current version of the band retains singer James King and mandolinist Don Rigsby but otherwise has a new lineup, including the banjo legend J.D. Crowe. I haven’t heard this version of Longview yet, but I bet they’ve kept the ensemble mentality that makes each member such an in-demand instrumentalist. Casey Driessen opens.

a 4 and 7:30 PM, Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln, 773-728-6000 or 866-468-3401, $22, $18 kids and seniors. A –Peter Margasak


cDATAROCK This goofy disco-pop act seems likely to follow Under Byen as the next outre Scandi-rock band to make a splash in the States. Touted at home by their friend and avid fan Annie, the Norwegian duo of Fredrik Saroea and Ket-Ill debuted with one of my favorite albums of 2005, the wacky, catchy, and dancey Datarock Datarock (released on their own Young Aspiring Professionals imprint, it’ll be reissued by Nettwerk in June). “Computer Camp Love” sets call-and-response vocals that riff on “Summer Nights” (you know, from Grease) in nearly fluent English to a throbbing electro backbeat: “I ran into her on computer camp / (Was that in ’84?) / Not sure, I had my Commodore 64, had to score . . . / (Does she have a penis?) / Seen as supremus, you better know she’s a genus and a Venus.” The next single is “I Used to Dance With My Daddy”–a tune that’s as greasy as Scandinavians can get. Berg Sans Nipple, LMNOP, and Charlie Deets open. a 9 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401. F –J. Niimi

flaspar Originally from Las Vegas but recently

relocated to Portland, this five-piece balances neon-lit debauchery with the wondrous stillness of a magic mountain vortex. Their fantastical glam-psych spends half its time clawing at your dancing shoes and the rest tugging you down into a hazy netherworld of moss-furred bass, half-muted bitchin’ guitar, and shiny droplets of synth organ, where volatile percussion percolates through the perfumed mist. Rebecca Carlisle-Healy, who fronts the band alongside mastermind Jesse Jackson, sings in a slick, phosphorescent voice that sounds detached from her heart, but you can still hear the wild in her eyes. Marnie Stern headlines, Flaspar plays second, and Wizie opens. a 8 PM, Ronny’s, 2101 N. California, 773-235-6591,

$7. –Liz Armstrong


cfield music On their second album, Tones of Town (Memphis Industries), Field Music continue in the vein of their 2005 self-titled debut, erecting a tastefully baroque edifice from the same prog-pop blueprint. Songwriters/brothers Peter and David Brewis and keyboardist Andrew Moore filter 70s Yes and Jethro Tull sensibilities (seen in details like strings, multilayered marimba, and lush vocal harmonies) through an adult-contemporary British pop aesthetic on standouts like “Give It Lose It Take It” and “Closer at Hand.” This MO might sound a bit dull on paper, and in fact the songs do have a pretty low resting pulse rate–they certainly won’t knock you on your ass at first. But the effect is clearly deliberate (the band produced the album at their own studio), and with repeated listening the subdued drama

of the music becomes more apparent–you can find

plenty of subtle, tricky convolutions to explore and get

lost in. Menomena headlines and Land of Talk opens.

a 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10. –J. Niimi

clexie mountain boys Ain’t no boys in this Baltimore outfit, and no men either–just husky-voiced ringleader Lexie Mountain, aka Alexandra Macchi, and any number of female friends and accomplices. Their act, aside from the crazy costumes and stage business, is almost all vocal, and they charge headlong into the things most of us fear about public speaking: that we’ll slip up, sound less than eloquent, expose ourselves somehow. The Boys don’t so much slip up as throw themselves off a cliff–they yodel a vaguely bluesy powwow of nonsense phrases (or just nonsense syllables), their voices akimbo, swooping and rippling, rarely in tune or in sync and often startlingly ugly. Their approach to verbal communication skips across the line in your head that separates embarrassment from total freedom–and with the hiccups and raspy chokes that interrupt their twittering hysterics, tortured shrieks, and hubba-hubba scatting, they remind you of the inhibitions they’ve left behind. Each improvised performance starts with an idea or theme–the women might make a human pyramid, for instance, or throw some uprooted bushes onstage–then unravels into a lush pandemonium that blends nature fetishism, southern charm, and womanly mysticism. And every piece ends in a breakthrough, whether that means an eruption of infernal racket or an openhearted seventh-grade love song. This is the type of thing most people think is either absolute genius or complete bullshit; I’m going with the former. WZT Hearts and Fake Leg open.

a 9 PM, Nihilist, 2255 S. Michigan #4E, 312-567-9407, $5 suggested donation. A –Liz Armstrong

cthis moment in black history “The Negro’s role in the history of America? A good question,” intones a 1950s-style voice-over in the opening moments of It Takes a Nation of Assholes to Hold Us Back (Cold Sweat), the second full-length from this Cleveland band. “Perhaps we can briefly try to answer this for you.” Then commence the jackhammer beats, strangulated vocals, ricocheting atonal riffs, and shout-along codas–all of which work to connect black history to the history of a different kind of blackness, the one that runs from Black Flag to Big Black and beyond. (And yes, Steve Albini recorded Nation of Assholes.) With a precision-firing black rhythm section and a white guitarist and lead singer (who sometimes pitches in with dentist-drill synth), this four-piece mirrors the demographics of its hometown, whose population is half black and half white–and TMIBH’s obnoxious art-punk can be seen as a nod to the city’s history too, since the genre was practically invented in Cleveland. The group’s daring humor gets a little lost amid the album’s headlong assault, but onstage these guys are as crazily unhinged as their songs are tightly wound. Hot Cross headlines and Feelium opens. a 8 PM, Ronny’s, 2101 N. California, 773-235-6591, $7. –Franklin Soults


giuseppe grifeo Italian pianist Giuseppe Grifeo is never half-assed about his music. He spent more than a decade studying the work of Sun Ra before recording 1997’s A Quiet Place in the Universe (Iktius), for which he condensed Arkestra versions of the visionary composer’s tunes into meticulously honed solo piano pieces. For his latest, Che Vi Sia Pace, released last year on Splasc(h), he managed an even more impressive feat. After studying in Morocco, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, and Iraq, he adapted the quarter tones of Arabic piano to the tempered piano of the West. The album features adaptations of classic Arab works and original pieces inspired by the Arab world. Grifeo will play works from both albums in his U.S. solo debut. He also plays Friday, March 23, at 9 PM at Elastic, 2830 N. Milwaukee, 773-772-3616. That show will include video projections by Marco G. Ferrari. a 7 PM, Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington,

312-744-6630. F A –Peter Margasak

cooioo These four Japanese women seem

to delight in finding the most counterintuitive musical combinations possible. Their recent Taiga

(Thrill Jockey) sounds like it was put together by

somebody pulling slips of paper out of a hat: first she

drew “analog synths,” then “traditional Japanese drumming,” followed by “steel pan solo,” “loopy fretless bass,” and “disco.” (I’m pretty sure one of those slips said

“everybody start yelling,” too.) But no matter how

outre the genre miscegenation that produces it, OOIOO’s music is consistently, stunningly pleasurable. Their

distaste for conventional pop structures and predilection for sharp stylistic turns make for plenty of surprises–“ATS,” for instance, spends five minutes carefully

establishing a soothing, spacey feel, then explodes

into what seems to be the group’s best attempt at a Santana impression. Founding member Yoshimi is also

a longtime drummer for the Boredoms and recently recruited their front man, Eye, to remix “UMA” and “UMO”–sister songs from Taiga that marry punky

girl yelping to heavy quasi-tribal percussion. Due

out as a single on April 24, Eye’s remixes are just

as counterintuitive as the original arrangements, reflecting his simultaneous fascination with

meditative post-New Age instrumentals and garish

trance techno. Lichens opens. a 9:30 PM, Empty

Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-

3401, $12. –Miles Raymer

csebadoh By the time Sebadoh finally

disbanded in 2000, it seemed to have thoroughly run its course: nothing released in later years had

the fertile, eccentric energy of Bubble and Scrape,

much less Weed Forestin (which I’ve always misread

as Weed Foreskin and probably always will). But Lou Barlow and Jason Loewenstein just don’t know how

to quit each other, and by 2004 they were back at it

again, an acoustic duo playing their greatest hits

accompanied by a boom box. This time out, however, they’re bringing along original cornerstone Eric

Gaffney, who hasn’t played with them since 1993,

making this the only true reunion purists would

recognize as such. They’re touring in support of the

lush double-CD reissue of their glorious and sprawling 1991 masterpiece, Sebadoh III (Domino). Perhaps

wisely, they aren’t airing any new material to interrupt

the nostalgia trip. You Am I and the Bent Moustache open. a 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203

or 312-559-1212, $16, 18+. –Monica Kendrick


ctoumani diabate’s symmetric orchestra Malian kora master Toumani Diabate has made plenty of records showcasing traditional Mande music at its purest, but he’s also known for his boundary-pushing collaborations. Over the years he’s worked with flamenco musicians (Ketama), bluesmen

(Taj Mahal), jazzmen (Roswell Rudd), and rock guitarists (Ry Cooder)–and always made the results sound natural rather than crassly spliced together. His long-running Symmetric Orchestra, made up of Mande musicians

from throughout western Africa, plays–frequently

with guests–at the nightclub Hogon whenever

Diabate’s back home in Bamako. Boulevard de l’Independance (World Circuit/Nonesuch, 2006),

their only record, covers most of Diabate’s sylistic

palette, featuring ngoni and balafon side by side with

electric guitar and drum kit. The result is lyrical and

satisfyingly complex, both harmonically and melodically, with rhythms that summon audiences to the dance

floor. A 14-member version of the group is touring, including vocalists Kasse Mady Diabate and Mamadou Kouyate. a 7 and 10 PM, HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo,

312-362-9707, $30, $25 in advance. –Peter Margasak

cjesu Justin Broadrick has long since moved away from the brutalizing industrial grind that made early Godflesh so lovable, but by pointing it out I don’t mean to say that yet another guy who used to tear my face off with his records is now a middle-aged wuss. Some of Godflesh’s signature sounds crop up from time to time in Jesu–the guitar tone like high-tension cables whistling in a gale, the grotty bass like a chain saw finding bone–and even on the new Conqueror (Hydra Head), the band’s fourth and most tuneful record, the foundation is an implacable, bludgeoning beat and massive distorted chords that shift like antarctic ice sheets. What you won’t recognize, especially if you last checked in with Broadrick on Streetcleaner, are the watery, crystalline synths, pensive piano, and ribbons of silvery single-string guitar. The gauzy, dispassionate vocals are swimming in reverb, and everything moves in syrupy slow motion–the average Jesu track tops nine minutes. Crowning it all are dreamy, almost poppy melodies, each phrase repeated until it becomes numbingly hypnotic, like a hopeless prayer. I picture a beautiful angel five miles tall, his radiant body wreathed in clouds and his head disappearing into the sun, humming a simple sad song to himself as he goes. But he doesn’t have wings–instead he’s doing an old-school Laibach lockstep in a pair of big black steel-toed boots. Zozobra opens and the inscrutable and all-powerful Isis headlines. a 6:30 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $16. A –Philip Montoro