Friday 8

BLACK HEART PROCESSION The Black Heart Procession recently got pushed out of their comfortably uncomfortable groove by participating in the Dutch label Konkurrent’s “In the Fishtank” series, which throws bands together in the studio to make a record on the fly. BHP hooked up with the Dutch art-rock band Solbakken, and the result, In the Fishtank 11, is a tasty bit of gothic-cabaret ear candy, something out of the Warren Ellis-era Bad Seeds sketch pad, with sweet hints of vocals that add up to no particular coherent statement. Enon and Scout Niblett open. 8 PM, Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton, 773-975-0505 or 800-594-8499, $14, 18+. –Monica Kendrick

DJ KRUSH While some earlier recordings by veteran Tokyo hip-hop producer DJ Krush have incorporated the sounds of traditional Japanese instruments, his latest effort, Jaku (Red Ink/Sony), puts them in the spotlight. His tracks generally remain lean, but at key moments he avoids the expected breaks for more frenetic beat schemes that better set off the ethereal, piercing tone of the shakuhachi, or bamboo flute; on “Univearth” he deploys a phalanx of massive taiko drums. “Slit of Cloud” is a collaboration with free-jazz saxophonist Akira Sakata, who precedes his reedy solo with a hypnotic recitation. There are a few straight-up bangers, with rhymes contributed by the likes of Aesop Rock and Mr. Lif, but never has Krush–an early example of hip-hop internationalism–delved so deep into his own native traditions. The Opus and DJ Striz open; Neil Aline spins a late-night house set. 9 PM, Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-4140 or 312-559-1212, $16 in advance, $18 day of show. –Peter Margasak

TIFT MERRITT A few years ago North Carolina’s Tift Merritt released an unremarkable if solid debut album, Bramble Rose, that stuck to the well-traveled byways of commercial alt-country: Lucinda Williams polished to a 70s Linda Ronstadt sheen. But she’s certainly grabbed my attention with her follow-up, Tambourine (Lost Highway), which sounds like Emmylou Harris doing Dusty in Memphis. Producer George Drakoulias and a gang of LA studio pros give the album a big sound, laying on the faux-gospel backing vocals awfully thick, but Merritt’s terrific, idiom-flouting songs and spectacular singing–which combines Harris’s crystalline clarity with undeniably soulful throatiness–consistently transcend the heavy hand on the console. From Stax-worthy ballads like “Still Pretending” (where she reminds me of an extroverted Hope Sandoval) to the rafter-raising “I Am Your Tambourine,” she never makes a misstep. Braam opens. 7:30 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-478-4408 or 866-777-8932, $8 in advance, $10 day of show, 18+. –Peter Margasak

Saturday 9

IAN MOORE Though he comes in with a rep as a guitar virtuoso, Seattle-based Ian Moore isn’t working it too hard on Luminaria, his first album for Yep Roc–he’s reinventing himself as a singer-songwriter here, and frankly he’s a lot more impressive this way. He can do both the personal, understated coffeehouse work (“Susan”) and the sweeping, romantic Big Themes (“Sir Robert Scott”) and even hit a few especially plangent spots in between (“April,” “What I’ve Done”). Ignore competing hype: if you’re only going to listen to one new (or at least newly) sensitive guy this year, Moore’s your man. Sat 10/9, 7:30 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $15. –Monica Kendrick

Sunday 10

MINISTRY Ministry is the object of a fair amount of derision in its hometown, in large part for Al Jourgensen’s notorious excesses: in his dark days he couldn’t make albums as fast as he should have, he told Rolling Stone this summer, because he was operating on “dealer standard time.” But he’s back down in Texas now (and reportedly clean), and it’s easier to miss him when he’s really gone. His new dreadfully titled Houses of the Mole (if you can’t top Hairway to Steven, why bother?) is essentially a prolonged redux of his early-90s anti-Bush hit “N.W.O.,” but that’s OK–we need more anti-Bush everything. My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult (whose first three albums were recently reissued by Rykodisc), Pound of Flesh, and Hanzel und Gretyl open; there’s an official afterparty at Neo in honor of Jourgensen’s 45th birthday. 8 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 773-472-0449 or 312-559-1212, sold-out, 18+. –Monica Kendrick

Q AND NOT U This Dischord trio, which was already cutting that earnest D.C. post-hardcore sound with dub and disco, recorded the new Power in newly funky white Brooklyn without longtime guiding presence Ian MacKaye. They may have caught something there–sometimes their native ferocity is outright overwhelmed by a jaunt of falsetto singing or a loopy keyboard joyride. El Guapo and Et At It open; see the List for a list of political entities running tables at the show. 9 PM, Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie, 773-276-3600 or 800-594-8499, $10. All ages. –Monica Kendrick

Monday 11

DOMENICO + 2 When I saw Moreno Veloso’s trio at the 2002 Berlin Jazz Festival, one of the set’s highlights was a batch of songs written and sung by “percussionist” Domenico Lancellotti (it’d be more accurate to say he runs the drum machines). A few months later those tunes turned up on Sincerely Hot, a Japan-only release billed to Domenico + 2 that made my top-ten list for the year. The group has never played Lancellotti’s material at its Chicago appearances, but that should change now that Luaka Bop has finally released Sincerely Hot stateside. The album still sounds brilliant to me, marrying stuttering electronic beats, favela hip-hop, and Ernie Isley-style psychedelia to the usual gentle vocals and sweet guitar of bossa nova–but the music’s even better when you can watch Lancellotti energetically pushing buttons on his dinky-looking MPC sampler to play the drum parts in real time. This gig kicks off HotHouse’s second Ruido festival, a showcase of progressive Latino rock and pop. Sam Prekop and Archer Prewitt open. 9 PM, HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo, 312-362-9707, $18. –Peter Margasak

Tuesday 12

FLY PAN AM Roger Tellier-Craig, guitarist and tape wizard of this Montreal band, played with Godspeed You! Black Emperor for four years, but Fly Pan Am is his real baby–he left Godspeed in 2002 to devote himself to it. The sound he makes with guitarist Jonathan Parant, bassist J.S. Truchy, drummer Felix Morel, and multi-instrumentalist Eric Gingras isn’t easy listening, unless “easy” for you means being lulled by drony, trilling grooves only to be startled awake when the time signature and timbre suddenly change, as they constantly do on the band’s new record, N’ecoutez pas (Constellation). Their mixture of musique concrete and spaced-out dream rock excels at repetition unto meaninglessness and the transformation of sounds resembling burbling, churning lava into almost danceable music. Mono and the Timeout Drawer open. 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 800-594-8499, $8. –Monica Kendrick

GORCH FOCK This seven-piece band of busy musicians from Austin released its self-titled first album almost a year ago–what, you didn’t feel the Mount Saint Helens-like rumble? Maniacal and explosive and wickedly confident, Gorch Fock incorporates trombone, electronics, and a head-spinning double-drum-kit attack into an inventive, art-metalish fun house that should be just the thing for anyone who’s wondered why they don’t make bands like the Melvins anymore. Lori Surfer, of the Buttholes in their heyday, contributes projections to the live show. Bleach headlines and the Latest open. 9 PM, Subterranean Cafe & Cabaret, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 or 800-594-8499, $6. –Monica Kendrick

ZEKE There were reports of this punk-metal outfit’s death last year, when bassist Jeff Matz and drummer Donny Paycheck defected to Camarosmith. But Zeke, it turns out, is unkillable. Matz and Paycheck have returned to the fold, and the band has a new deal with the most-appropriate Relapse Records–their latest, ‘Til the Livin’ End, is a fresh hot meal of brains: fast, heavy, nasty, and praying five times a day in the direction of Motorhead. Filthy Jim and the Resinators open. 9 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-3160 or 312-559-1212, $8. –Monica Kendrick

Wednesday 13

NICOLE MITCHELL’S BLACK EARTH ENSEMBLE In her work with the Black Earth Ensemble, flutist and composer Nicole Mitchell has always shown a knack for setting virtuosic melodic lines amid harmony–often played by violinist Savoire Faire and cellist Tomeka Reid–of dazzling richness. On her new Hope, Future and Destiny (Dreamtime) this talent is displayed more clearly than ever. The album, like its predecessor, features a group greatly expanded from the one Mitchell usually takes onstage, and her vibrant arrangements have never sounded this assured and snappy. With jazz voicings built around melodies that thoughtfully mix chamber music, African grooves, and the blues, the new tunes have a springy energy that reminds me of the David Murray Octet’s best work. The full 12-piece lineup from the album will appear here. 7 PM, Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 312-744-6630. Free. All ages. –Peter Margasak

WHAT WE LIVE WITH SAADET TURKOZ Born to parents from Kazakhstan and raised in Turkey, singer Saadet Turkoz already had plenty of cultural raw material to work with when she moved to Switzerland in her early 20s. It was there that she absorbed an experimental European art-music aesthetic and began to develop her unusual fusion of traditional Turkish and Kazakh folk songs and wild improvisation, in which one can hear traces of everyone from Diamanda Galas to Shelley Hirsch. Over the last decade she’s worked with loads of adventurous musicians from both sides of the pond–in 2001 she performed here with Elliott Sharp and Eyvind Kang. Her latest collaborators are saxophonist Larry Ochs of ROVA, bassist Lisle Ellis, and drummer Donald Robinson, who play together as the rangy Bay Area free-jazz trio What We Live. 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 800-594-8499, $7. –Peter Margasak

Thursday 14

AFRIKA BAMBAATAA As far as I’m concerned not one of the current crop of neo-electro dipshits has produced anything that can touch Afrika Bambaataa’s 1982 jam “Planet Rock.” Three years ago Tommy Boy Records founder Tom Silverman asked Bam to make a new album, and that invitation has finally yielded Dark Matter Moving at the Speed of Light. On it the electro-funk pioneer revisits the sound he devised with the Soul Sonic Force more than two decades ago, surrounded by a motley crowd of upstarts–plus new-wave automaton Gary Numan, irrelevant now as ever. As one might expect under such circumstances, the album fails to equal Bambaataa’s best, but it does make perfectly plain what the electroclash knobs have been missing: deep, tight James Brown grooves percolate on every track. 10 PM, Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-4140, $10. –Peter Margasak

FRED EAGLESMITH & THE FLYING SQUIRRELS Since the early 80s, Ontario singer-songwriter Fred Eaglesmith has specialized in tales about hard-luck types who seem to live just across the border from Springsteenville. In fact, Eaglesmith possesses several Bosslike attributes, including a husky voice, a reputation for a barn-burning live show, and good taste in sidemen, particularly mandolinist Willie P. Bennett. A late-90s effort to raise his profile in the U.S. resulted in two critically well-received albums–50 Odd Dollars (1999) being the go-to disc–but he’s concentrated on his Canadian cult of Fredheads since then. His new album, Dusty (A Major Label), shakes up the format somewhat, adding organ and strings to his rootsy mix. 8:30 PM, FitzGerald’s, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn, 708-788-2118 or 312-559-1212, $10. –Mark Athitakis

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Rich Jacobs, Mo Daoud, Michael Jackson, Alice Wheeler, Valerie Soles, Paul Elledge, Todd Wolfson.