Friday 26

BEHOLD! THE LIVING CORPSE This local art-metal band has just undergone its third catastrophic lineup change–once again guitarist Velcro Lewis (who also plays raunchy booze rock with his 100 Proof Band) is the sole remaining original member. The new roster has only played out once before–a set in May that the band called “the best unintentional Whitehouse tribute” they could’ve hoped for–but it has potential. Kevin Walsh of Dark Fog is playing second guitar, Steve Moore of Zombi is drumming, Jason Soliday of Gunshop is playing bass, and Andy Ortmann of Panicsville is singing and playing synth, gong, and bugle. (The Basil Poledouris crack on the band’s Web site ought to let you know what to expect from the horn–he’s the guy who scored the first Conan the Barbarian movie.) Moore is presently on tour, so former Behold! drummer Eorl Scholl will fill in for this show. Illusion of Safety, TV Pow, and Vertonen open. 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $8. –Monica Kendrick

CHARLIE SCHMIDT In the Meter a few weeks back Bob Mehr told the story of a prank that Skokie fingerstyle guitarist Charlie Schmidt pulled with his longtime friend and mentor, John Fahey. In 1993 Shanachie Records asked Fahey to recut his classic 1963 album, Death Chants, Breakdowns, and Military Waltzes, but Schmidt made the actual recording, adding four tunes of his own as “previously unreleased bonus tracks.” That album never came out, but when Fantasy Records released The Best of John Fahey Vol. 2: 1963-1983 last year, three of Schmidt’s recordings appeared on it, credited to Fahey–including one of the originals. On Xanthe Terra (Strange Attractors Audio House), his recently released debut, Schmidt gives a dynamic reading of Fahey’s raucous “Dance of the Inhabitants of the Palace of King Philip XIV of Spain,” and his liner notes reflect a geeky obeisance to his late pal (“The slide guitar part was played on an instrument once owned by John Fahey”), but he also has ideas of his own. His stabs at humor, like the quotes from Grieg’s Peer Gynt that ripple through his “Slavic Mountain,” can get cutesy, but his originals capture the beautiful, melancholy spirit of Fahey’s work without sounding as busy or dense. Emmett Williams opens. 9 PM, Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood, 773-465-8005, $5. All ages. –Peter Margasak

Saturday 27

KATIE TODD BAND In June this middle-of-the-road machine put out its third album, the self-released Make Some Time for Wasting. It’s music-school adult rock so mature and well-thought-out it’s impossible to argue with–and impossible to get excited about. Dave Tamkin & Co., the Al Weber Band, and Buddy Nuisance open. 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $9, 18+. –Monica Kendrick

Sunday 28

CHICAGO CLASSICAL ORIENTAL ENSEMBLE Led by Hicham Chami, a Moroccan-born virtuoso on the qanun (an Arabic zither with more than 70 strings), the Chicago Classical Oriental Ensemble is a 25-member outfit performing a repertoire drawing from Sephardic, Arabic, Turkish, Armenian, Levantine, and Egyptian traditions. This show launches a four-city tour dubbed Gesher-Jisr: Bridging Cultures in Conflict Through the Arts, and two guest musicians Chami has invited along are exemplary bridge builders: Israeli violinist Yair Dalal, whose parents emigrated from Iraq, has long explored the common features of Jewish and Arabic music, and Palestinian singer and oud player Naser Musa is a devout Christian. At this show, part of the annual Hamsa festival organized by the local ethnic arts nonprofit Genesis at the Crossroads, the group will play traditional material as well as new pieces by Dalal and Musa. Pharaoh’s Daughter, Turkish percussionist Omar Faruk Tekbilek, and the Al-Sharq Ensemble are among the other performers scheduled; see Fairs & Festivals for more. 5:25 PM, Hamsa: From the Middle East to the Midwest, Lincoln Park, Stockton & LaSalle, 773-929-0224, $5-$10 suggested donation, children under five free. All ages. –Peter Margasak

THE GUNSHY Though Matt Arbogast, a recent transplant from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, often enough enlists friends’ help to perform and record as the Gunshy, he’s essentially a solo artist hiding under a band name like a rattlesnake in the bushes. His brutally sad songs traipse between Americana and emo, with weird little keyboard and guitar fills jammed in at odd angles and drumbeats perfectly emphasizing his raw vocal lines. It’s a bit like Springsteen as described by Dante. With two albums and an EP behind him, Arbogast will release a new full-length, Souls, on Latest Flame in the fall. Minmae and Cains & Abels open. 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $8. –Monica Kendrick

JUICE This veteran local freestyler has given himself a makeover: instead of spitting witty boasts about his verbal skills, on his most recent album, All Bets Off (The Conglomerate), he’s all about the money. His lyrics are more palatable and familiar–you get the usual rhymes about Bentleys and DeVilles–and it sometimes sounds like he’s modeled both his content and his flow after Jay-Z. He still has intelligence to burn, but I miss the old Juice, who dished out lines like “I’m in the house like a shorty on restriction” and “I’m so ill I raise the dead when I rhyme at wakes.” He’s been under the radar here for years, so I’m not exactly scandalized by this commercial move–I just wish the new album hadn’t sacrificed the one-liners that used to make me smile and shake my head in disbelief. Outer Limitz (with Qwazaar of the Typical Cats), Mass Hysteria, Big Wiz, and Reach open. 9 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-478-4408 or 866-468-3401, $9 in advance, $10 at the door, 18+. –Kabir Hamid

Wednesday 31

THE ASTRONOMER This band led by Charles Kim of the Sinister Luck Ensemble (and he’s hardly the two groups’ only point of overlap) convened last year with plans to release three albums–apparently Kim hasn’t been recording fast enough with his other projects to keep pace with his output as a composer and songwriter. On the forthcoming first disc Kim plays all the parts himself, but live the Astronomer is usually a six-piece featuring great pedal steel player Steve Dorocke, bassist John Abbey (who’s accompanied Daniel Lanois and John Cale), and banjoist and keyboardist Tim Joyce of the Lesser Birds of Paradise. The tunes combine a quiet chamber-orchestra discipline with a countryish front-porch feel; the lush arrangements have that Astral Weeks gardens-wet-with-rain quality in places, but sometimes the way Kim’s vocals lay on top of them feels a little flat and naked–I’d prefer them peeking out from behind the curtain he and the band have put so much work into. This show is part of a weekly residency that ends September 7; Oweihops and Real Live Tigers open. 9:30 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433, $7. –Monica Kendrick

GREENHORNES This Cincinnati trio acquitted themselves wonderfully as the soulful backing group on last year’s Jack White-produced Loretta Lynn album, Van Lear Rose–they were the great band behind the great man behind the great woman. Their new East Grand Blues (V2), produced by Brendan Benson, has only five songs, but the EP might be the perfect format for them: their slightly trippy, slightly Yardbirdish hip-swinging rock sounds best in a short, direct shot. Suffrajett and the Saturday Nights open. The Greenhornes also open for the White Stripes on 8/29 and 8/30; see Monday. 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10. –Monica Kendrick

Thursday 1

CRIMSON SWEET This New York act will become a quartet in the fall (old drummer moves to second guitar, new one climbs aboard), but for now it’s still just three of ’em working the new Eat the Night (Shake It), their first full-length since 2002. On average the ten tracks here run a little fiercer and faster than the rangy, bluesy glam punk of their previous album–it sounds like they’re getting really restless. Meanwhile front woman Polly Watson remains everything Courtney Love should have been. The Manhandlers headline, the Birthday Suits play second, and Shark Pants open. 8 PM, Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton, 773-975-0505 or 866-468-3401, $6 in advance, $8 at the door. –Monica Kendrick