cJEFF COFFIN MU’TET Jeff Coffin has made his name as the reeds whiz with Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, where his malleable approach perfectly suits the band’s wild range of rhythms and idioms. But for his own group’s sound, Coffin stakes out some prime New Orleans swampland, then uses sonic textures and effects to construct a virtual 21st-century Tipitina’s. His label, Compass, claims the Mu’tet record Bloom (2005) is a “fusion of Ornette Coleman, the Meters, and Medeski, Martin & Wood”–which would certainly be intriguing, but Coffin doesn’t fuse these elements so much as take them as starting points for individual tunes. The results are more than seductive enough, thanks to Coffin’s solid musicality, his stated desire to find common threads in disparate genres, and his willingness to let things “mutate” (as he puts it–hence the project’s name). Though Bloom was a studio parade of 20-odd guests, including a panoply of horn players and electronicists, the touring band is currently a lean quartet with plenty of promise: Coffin, keyboardist Chris Walters, fellow Flecktone Roy “Futureman” Wooten on the drumitar, a guitar-shaped digital drum device, and bassist Felix Pastorius, who is the son of exactly who you think. See also Saturday. a 10 PM, House of Blues Back Porch Stage, 329 N. Dearborn, 312-923-2000 or 312-559-1212, $15-$18. –Neil Tesser

cWANDA JACKSON Wanda Jackson’s rockabilly hits from the 50s and 60s are classics of the genre, and her comeback recordings in 2002 and ’03 were nearly as potent. So why did she release a tribute CD last year called I Remember Elvis, as though her most interesting feature were a capacity for nostalgia? I can think of a couple good reasons. First, she dated Elvis for a while in the mid-50s and credits him with encouraging her to cross over from country into rockabilly. Second, the woman Creem dubbed “the Original Riot Girl” does whatever the hell she wants–and she must know she can liven up even the most overfamiliar material. Her kittenish snarl still packs a potent erotic charge, and she transforms Elvis’s songs in startling ways: “Trying to Get to You,” hot-blooded and bluesy in the King’s version, becomes an almost wistful ode to romantic obsession. She sounds great on disc, but to experience her in full you should catch her onstage–she can burn up a room with the best of them. The Lustre Kings, a retro rockabilly band from Albany, New York, open with a set of their own and then back Jackson. a 9:30 PM, FitzGerald’s, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn, 708-788-2118 or 312-559-1212, $15. –David Whiteis

c selim sesler Rom clarinetist Selim Sesler grew up in Kesan, a Thracian village in the northwest corner of Turkey, where Greece and Bulgaria meet, and the confluence of all those cultures is a big part of what makes his music so dazzling. Sesler’s 2000 album The Road to Kesan, a strictly folkloric affair, is still raucous as hell; his latest, Anatolian Wedding (Doublemoon), is a more accomplished work of alchemy, simultaneously vibrant and sorrowful. Sesler’s snaking, sharp-toned lines are fierce and fast, and he alternates between precise unison and ferocious counterpoint with the other lead instruments–twangy oud, sobbing violin, springy kanun (a regional instrument similar to the hammer dulcimer)–while aggressive darbuka propels the whole careful, sensual dance. The album explores music heard at weddings throughout Turkey, though some of the rhythms and more buoyant melodies come from those parts of Thrace that are over the border. In his Chicago debut Sesler leads a sextet; he’ll be joined for a few songs by the not-so-convincing Canadian singer Brenna MacCrimmon, who lives in Istanbul and appeared with him in Crossing the Bridge, Fatih Akin’s documentary on Istanbul’s music scene. This concert is part of Looptopia; see Fairs & Festivals for the complete music lineup. a 9 PM, Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 312-744-6630. F A –Peter Margasak

tight phantomz Chicago’s leading purveyors of unabashed and (mostly) unpretentious boogie rock weigh in on the double-album question with the new Silk Prison (Southern), a 34-song epic that’s all over the hard-rock map–goopy ballads, “Slow Ride”-style jams, crunchy anthems–and pinches guitar styles from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Sounds like pure self-indulgence, but Tight Phantomz excel at these riffs, and front man and superproducer Mike Lust keeps them crisp with tricks pulled from his trusty bag of holding (don’t ever turn your back on him). This is the Silk Prison release party, and Lust’s backing band will include folks from Pinebender and Euphone; the Narrator (see Sharp Darts) headlines and members of the Mannequin Men DJ between sets. a 10 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433 or 866-468-3401, $8. –Monica Kendrick


cBJORK “Wanderlust / Relentlessly craving wanderlust,” Bjork sings on the new Volta (Elektra), and she might as well be describing her aesthetic strategy–few artists seem so devoted to constant change in their musical surroundings. Though longtime associate Mark Bell contributes beats, three tracks were coproduced by Timbaland (including one featuring the Congolese likembe band Konono No. 1) and another incorporates jagged drumming from Lightning Bolt’s Brian Chippendale. Three other pieces are dominated by the kind of stately brass arrangements Bjork used on the soundtrack to Drawing Restraint 9, a film by her husband, Matthew Barney, and she gets simpatico string sounds from Min Xiao-Fen on pipa and Toumani Diabate on kora. It’s tempting to dismiss Bjork’s efforts as forced eclecticism, but her unmistakable style subsumes those of her collaborators and gains new vitality in the process. Her vocals–the fantastical, intuitive melodies, the coy curlicues, the dramatic swooping and soaring–remain both the connective tissue of her work and the seat of its consciousness. Reviews suggest that for this tour she’s recast a few older favorites in dazzling new Volta-esque forms. Ghostigital, the new project from Bjork’s old Sugarcubes bandmate Einar Orn Benediktsson, opens. a 8 PM, Auditorium Theatre, Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress, 312-922-2110 or 312-559-1212, sold out. A –Peter Margasak

cJEFF COFFIN MU’TET See Friday. a 10 PM, House of Blues Back Porch Stage, 329 N. Dearborn, 312-923-2000 or 312-559-1212, $15-$18.

MOONRATS Moonrats is the newish trio from keyboardist Aska Matsumiya (formerly of Your Enemies Friends, currently of LA art-star band the Sads) and her boyfriend, guitarist Nathan Thelen, who left Pretty Girls Make Graves in 2004. They’ve been only sporadically active and this is their first proper tour, but the music is solid: Thelen’s urgent vocals and stunning sweeps of guitar punch through the wound-up new wave rhythms while Matsumiya femmes things up with soft sighs and coos. Pretty Girls Make Graves headline, in what they’re calling their farewell tour; Call Me Lightning and Moonrats open. a 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $14, $12 in advance. –Jessica Hopper


cBach Week Now in its 33rd year, Evanston’s annual Bach Week festival concludes with Bach’s emotionally intense choral masterpiece Saint John Passion (1723). Its surprisingly creepy chromatic opening turns chilling with the entry of the choir, and after several hypnotic repetitions the story begins, told primarily through the recitative of the evangelist (tenor William Watson). But it’s the gorgeous chorales, spectacular orchestral writing, and moving vocal solos–such as the aria for bass with interjecting chorus “Eilt Ihr Angefochten Seelen”–that make this music powerful even if you don’t share the faith it proclaims. With soprano Patrice Michaels, alto Karen Brunssen, tenor Harold Breck, bass Douglas Anderson, and Mary Springfels on viola da gamba, the only period instrument in this performance; Richard Webster conducts. Other Bach Week events include two concerts on Friday, May 11, at the same venue: works by Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel at 7:30 PM and a candlelight recital of music by Bach and Pachelbel at 10:15 PM. a3 PM, Nichols Concert Hall, Music Institute of Chicago, 1490 Chicago, Evanston, 800-595-4849 or 847-648-0813 or, $10-$45. –Barbara Yaross

STRIKE ANYWHERE Strike Anywhere’s popularity seems to fluctuate with every record, but their activist punk never wavers. Unlike, say, Anti-Flag, they don’t get caught up in radical sloganeering, preaching to a crowd of politicized bike messengers and eager vegans; their lyrics, belted out by front man Thomas Barnett (of the late, great Inquisition), are thoughtful, inclusive, and always high on hope. Dead FM, their third full-length (and first for Fat Wreck Chords), is not only the most memorable thing they’ve put out since their 2001 debut, it’s the power-to-the-people, fist-in-the-air, see-you-in-the-pit, feel-good album of the year. The Loved Ones, the Brokedowns, and Shot Baker open. a 6 PM, Knights of Columbus, 15 N. Hickory, Arlington Heights, 847-255-4483, $12, $10 in advance. A –Jessica Hopper

WHITE/LICHENS Matt Clark and Jeremy Lemos, aka the heavy guitar-drone duo White/Light, and Robert Lowe, aka the beautifully strange and solipsistic one-man band Lichens, released the collaboration White/Lichens in April on Holy Mountain. It brings out the best in everyone involved: Lowe, who contributes guitar, piano, and voice, seems swept out of his comfort zone to new ecstatic heights, and Clark and Lemos, whose ordinarily colossal sound combines early Earth and early Velvets, work on a more human scale. That’s not to say this is a warm and approachable record–all the tracks are named after demons from the classic grimoire the Ars Goetia, and with good reason. This is a release party; Sightings and Speck Mountain open. a 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $8. –Monica Kendrick


MYKEL BOYD There’s nothing but bird sounds on “Oiseaux Part Five,” Mykel Boyd’s side of a split eight-inch record he released on his Somnimage label, but you’d never know it from listening to the thing. Boyd, a local sound artist, has used a combination of acoustic and electronic processes to transform his source material into layered and deeply involving musique concrete, with jet-engine whooshes and electronic whistles folding into each other against a backdrop that sounds like a distant choir. For tonight’s performance, using four small tape players and some contact mikes, he’ll blend looped field recordings of fire, water, wind, and stones with the ringing of a bowed brass bowl. Jason Soliday and the trio of Jason Roebke, Guillermo Gregorio, and Brian Labycz open. On Sunday, May 13, Boyd performs live on the WLUW radio show Something Else, at 88.7 FM or from 10 PM till 2 AM. a 8 PM, Elastic, 2830 N. Milwaukee, 773-772-3616, donation requested. A –Bill Meyer

cKOENJI HYAKKEI The first time I heard Koenji Hyakkei, a manic, operatic prog band led by Japanese drummer and composer Tatsuya Yoshida, I relived the rush I got when I first heard Yoshida’s long-running duo Ruins: not only had some sort of musical sound barrier been broken, but it’d been done by an unidentifiable craft from about three centuries in the future. Yoshida’s music moves as fast as sparks jumping synapses, as though his brain were a supercomputer. Koenji Hyakkei’s past couple albums have suffered for the absence of original lead singer Aki Kubota, but the group’s most recent, 2005’s Angherr Shisspa (Skin Graft), is nonetheless alien and exhilarating: Yoshida’s inhuman drumming powers a guitarless five-piece with a keyboard-and-reed front line, and everyone contributes vocals in Yoshida’s made-up, Magma-esque language. The music is crushingly dense and crazily herky-jerky, but astoundingly it still manages to soar. Cheer-Accident headlines and Teith, a side project of Pelican’s Trevor de Brauw, opens. a 9 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-478-4408 or 866-468-3401, $12, $10 in advance, 18+. –J. Niimi

RICHARD LLOYD Guitarist Richard Lloyd has had more than enough to keep himself busy in recent years, playing reunion gigs with Television, touring with the revamped Rocket From the Tombs, and leading a new band, the Sufi Monkeys, whose debut album is due out on Champaign’s Parasol label this fall. Yet probably for much the same reason a dog licks its balls, he decided to go back and rerecord his postrehab comeback album, 1985’s Field of Fire, for a deluxe reissue released by Parasol’s Reaction imprint in February. The new version has a certain straightforward clarity, but it lacks the lusty energy of the original (which is included as part of the double-CD package); maybe Lloyd’s got a third version in him that combines the best qualities of both. David Daniell & Douglas McCombs open. a 9 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $18. –Monica Kendrick


cSIR RICHARD BISHOP In February we lost a great musician and a great band at once: after drummer Charles Gocher died of cancer at 54, his coconspirators of 25 years, the Bishop brothers, laid the Sun City Girls name to rest. Guitarist Sir Richard Bishop has been growing his own garden for a long time, though; not unlike the band’s stuff, his solo work is part punk aesthetic, part world-music exploration, and part occultish avant-gardism and assumes a Hindu pantheon’s worth of forms. His last album, Elektronika Demonika, was a jarring, circular game of electronic noise, but on the forthcoming While My Guitar Violently Bleeds (for the local Locust label) he returns to more familiar territory: beginning gently and hypnotically, the pretty, ragalike tones soon enough mutate into a dense, shrieking psychedelic mindscape–and then back again. A DVD of Bishop’s should be available this year too, of his film God Damn Religion, which he describes as a “diabolical experiment in hypnotic mind-control.” Animal Collective headlines. a 7 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $21. A –Monica Kendrick

PORCUPINE TREE These prog monsters’ new Fear of a Blank Planet is a bit of a concept album, full of the sort of paranoid what’s-wrong-with-the-kids-today fulminating that was crusty when Pink Floyd and Rush were doing it a quarter century ago. Like those bands, though, they have the good sense to hide their message under a shimmering carpet of virtuosity, working the percussion till it bleeds and giving the car-chase-hypnotized kids some righteous riffing and noodling to follow with their unblinking eyes. 3 opens. a 7:30 PM, Park West, 322 W. Armitage, 773-929-5959 or 312-559-1212, sold out. A –Monica Kendrick

c philip sherburne Philip Sherburne, a contributor for years to the likes of the Wire, XLR8R, and Pitchfork, is widely regarded as a leading trendspotter and tastemaker in the arena of forward-thinking electronic dance music. Since expatriating to Spain five years ago, he’s shifted more toward advancing the cause in practice, DJing and producing the kind of minimal techno and microhouse (a term he coined) that his name’s so often associated with. A set from July 2006 at the Barcelona club Raum, posted on his blog (, demonstrates his purist leanings behind the decks as well as his love of minimalist Teutonic beats. Sherburne boils techno down to its most potent hallmarks–hard clicks and muted melodies. He’s a DJ given to subtlety, not party-pumping bounce, but his sets are challenging and suggest the shape of the genre to come. Kate Simko spins first, followed by Sassmouth and Sherburne; Lusine headlines. a 9 PM, Sonotheque, 1444 W. Chicago, 312-226-7600, $10. –Jessica Hopper

cSLAVIC SOUL PARTY! Until I heard the new Teknochek Collision (Barbes), I thought of this New York nine-piece as a pretty good simulacrum of a Balkan brass band that would never be able to go head-to-head with its models–Gypsy groups like the Boban Markovic Orkestar and Kocani Orkestar. Turns out I was wrong about that. The group, led by percussionist Matt Moran, has toughened up its sound, giving it a visceral punch missing on previous efforts. Ron Caswell’s pumping tuba now has a ballsy metallic rip to it, propelling the tunes like a locomotive, and the five horn players on the front line–who include killer jazzers like trombonist Jacob Garchik and trumpeter Shane Endsley–slice and swing with muscular precision, whether in unison or in puzzle-piece counterpoint. The music throbs with pure Balkan funk on traditional songs and tradition-minded originals alike, and Moran and company make some room for the New Orleans brass-band sound too, especially in a sassy, swaggering version of “Occapella,” an Allen Toussaint number that Lee Dorsey sang with the Meters. Mucca Pazza and Stone’s One Man Band open. a 9 PM, Martyrs’, 3855 N. Lincoln, 773-404-9494 or 800-594-8499, $12. –Peter Margasak

two cow garage This hard-touring Columbus outfit plays plain old heartland bar-band rock, but while they’re not doing anything new, they do the old things very well. The guitar lines on their new album, III (Suburban Home), are mighty mighty, and though at their worst they lay on the Springsteenish sha la las with a cartoonish intensity, at their best they do a good job filling the lulls between Drive-By Truckers records. I have a soft spot for this kind of thing–like really good beef stew, sometimes nothing else will do. Grand Champeen headlines. a 9 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433 or 866-468-3401, $8. –Monica Kendrick