Friday 23

DYSRHYTHMIA Brooklyn’s Dysrhythmia does everything in its power to convince you that its meticulously skull-fucky instrumental metal requires at least three times as many members as it actually does. (That would be three, and they don’t use as many overdubs as you might think.) Their new album, Barriers and Passages (Relapse), is less dense than 2003’s Pretest but more articulate, a flash flood of frozen needles layered over a muddy landscape. Yakuza headlines and Behold . . . the Arctopus opens. 10:30 PM, Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 773-281-4444 or 866-468-3401, $8, 18+. –Monica Kendrick

FAVOURITE SONS Russian Circles headline this official Intonation Music Festival preparty; Oakley Hall plays second and the Favourite Sons, who kick off the fest on Saturday (see guide on page 20), open the show. 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $8.

FLYING LUTTENBACHERS Since moving to the Bay Area in 2003 Chicago expat Weasel Walter has kept busy as usual, breaking down his Flying Luttenbachers and rebuilding them again from scratch: the lineup on their latest album, Cataclysm (UgExplode), includes guitarist Mick Barr of the otherworldly Orthrelm; he’s replaced by Rob Pumpelly on this tour. The Luttenbachers version 14.0 distills every impulse at the heart of extreme space rock, playing with metal’s force and free jazz’s vitality and drawing from a sonic palette broad enough to include a Messiaen piece. A live DVD is set to come out later this year. 10 PM, South Union Arts, 1352 S. Union, 312-850-1049, $10. All ages. –Monica Kendrick

THE HACKER Grenoble-born DJ and producer the Hacker made his name on the Gigolo Records scene, creating bombastic beats for his longtime collaborator Miss Kittin, but over the last few years he’s started to sway more toward new deutsch, the austere sound that’s poppin’ in post-minimalist-techno Berlin. On his latest mix CD, A.N.D. N.O.W… (Uncivilized World), he exalts throwbacks and classics by the likes of Ellen Allien and Front 242 and shuns organic sounds in favor of synth-addled new wave. It’s flat and a touch apocalyptic, with a classic Detroit-style frigidity, but as with the Hacker’s live sets, there’s some personal whimsy thrown in for good measure. Kill Memory Crash opens. 10 PM, Spy Bar, 646 N. Franklin, 312-587-8779, $10 in advance or before 11 PM with RSVP, $20 at the door. –Jessica Hopper

ANDRE WILLIAMS & THE DIPLOMATS OF SOLID SOUND For his latest album, Aphrodisiac (Pravda), 70-year-old R & B singer Andre Williams taps the talents of the Diplomats of Solid Sound, an Iowa City quartet that specializes in Hammond-organ-driven instrumentals. Their neotraditional soul is perfect for Williams, though despite the title, Aphrodisiac isn’t made up entirely of love jams; the tracks that stick with me most are “I’m Not Worthy” and “Three Sisters” (Rita, Wilma, and Katrina, that is), where Williams dresses self-recrimination and mourning in nakedly awkward rhymes and playful backyard blues. The Goldstars open, followed by the Diplomats of Solid Sound, who’ll play their own set before backing Williams. The Burly-Q Girly Crew performs burlesque after the show. 10 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 or 800-594-8499, $10. –Monica Kendrick

Saturday 24

CC INTONATION MUSIC FESTIVAL See the festival guide on page 20 for a complete schedule and comprehensive coverage. Today’s bill: the Streets, Lady Sovereign, Ghostface Killah, the Boredoms, Roky Erickson, the Stills, High on Fire, Chromeo, Jose Gonzalez, Devin the Dude, the 90 Day Men, Erase Errata, and the Favourite Sons. 1 PM, Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph,, one-day pass $20, two-day pass $35 in advance or $40 at the gate. All ages

Sunday 25

CC INTONATION MUSIC FESTIVAL See the festival guide on page 20 for a complete schedule and comprehensive coverage. Today’s bill: Bloc Party, Dead Prez, Robert Pollard, Jon Brion, Blue Cheer, the Sword, Lupe Fiasco, Annie, Rhymefest, the Constantines, the Panthers, Bill Dolan, and the Tyrades. 1 PM, Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph,, one-day pass $20, two-day pass $35 in advance or $40 at the gate. All ages.

Monday 26

ZS This largely instrumental New York band, an outgrowth of the Wet Ink composers’ collective, plays fiercely difficult songs–lopsided and graceful, organic and architectural, most don’t share a single chromosome with pop. Zs specialize in odd, astringent harmonies and metric complexity so hilariously extreme their music would sound random if they weren’t so often locked in six-way unison. (The double-trio lineup–two guitarists, two saxophonists, two drummers–recently lost a sax and a drummer, but guitarist Charlie Looker is now adding electronics.) “Slalom,” from their self-titled 2003 CD on Troubleman imprint Vothoc, could pass for an attempt to repurpose eight pages of circuit diagrams as sheet music, and the hectic, slippery patter of “Bump,” from last year’s Karate Bump EP (Planaria), sounds like samba reimagined by animatronic insects the size of ponies. Folding Cassettes has just released a live Zs album, Buck, and a new studio disc is due early next year. Cloudland Canyon headlines, Zs play second, and Yearling opens. See also Tuesday. 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600. Free. –Philip Montoro

Tuesday 27

JEFF HANSON, SOUTHERLY There’s possibly nobody around who’s better at writing simple, elegant, heart-stabbingly pretty pop songs than JEFF HANSON. “Daylight,” his contribution to Kill Rock Stars’ recent singer-songwriter comp The Sound the Hare Heard, has the lean structure of his best music: a handful of chords, played on a sparsely strummed acoustic guitar, matched to an eerie, uncanny falsetto. His self-titled second album came out on KRS last year, but inexplicably it seems that not every single sappy person on the planet is buying Jeff Hanson records.

“Dumbing Down,” SOUTHERLY’s contribution to the KRS comp, is a well-orchestrated piece of politicized, countrified indie rock–imagine a leaner, cuddlier Wilco. Krist Krueger, the band’s front man and sole permanent member, has a shot at becoming the aughts’ version of the 80s version of David Lowery.

Jeff Hanson headlines; Southerly, Thao Nguyen, and Lauren Hoffman open. 9 PM, South Union Arts, 1352 S. Union, 312-850-1049, $10. All ages. –Miles Raymer

ZS See Monday. The Steve Hess Drum Trio (with Frank Rosaly and Johnathan Crawford) opens. Two Zs side projects also play short sets: Seductive Sprigs, a duo of guitarists Charlie Looker and Matthew Hough, and Regattas, a Hough solo project. 9:30 PM, Elastic, 2830 N. Milwaukee, second floor, 773-772-3616, $7 donation requested. All ages.

Wednesday 28

SEU JORGE Brazilian singer Seu Jorge is best known in the U.S. as the guy who sang Bowie in Portuguese in The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou; last year Hollywood Records released a collection of 13 of his Bowie covers, trumping the five on the movie’s sound-track album. But Jorge’s own albums, like last year’s Cru (Wrasse), are filled with superior originals. A new DVD, Live at Montreux 2005 (Eagle Eye Media), captures him at his best: he’s backed by a quintet that brings an insistent pulse to his scrappy tunes, which mingle samba with some rock flourishes, and though his husky voice has a limited range, he’s got charisma and soul to burn. Cru was recorded nearly two years ago, so hopefully Jorge will preview new songs here. See also Thursday. Jehro opens. 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $25, 18+. –Peter Margasak

PENTHOUSE SWEETS It’s a shame this local quartet is reduced to begging for a label on its MySpace page (“please someone put our goddamn record out”)–its second self-released EP, See You in Bed, is loads better than most of the label-approved indie schlock that swamps my desk. Their songs have a touch of Small Faces, a dash of Guided by Voices, and more than a pinch of the Replacements–nothing you haven’t heard before, but they sound rightfully proud of their glamourless glam rock, and there are startling guitar and organ bits to turn your head. Somebody out there knows how to sell this stuff. This show is part of the Music With Meaning benefit series. Fetor and Charlie Deets open. 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $7. –Monica Kendrick

UNCLE EARL Blessed with solid chops and terrific voices, this all-female quintet neatly blends contemporary harmonies into old-timey music and traditional bluegrass. On their latest album, last year’s She Waits for Night (Rounder), they swap instruments, rotate on vocals, and bring new snap to age-old tunes. Kristin Andreassen (who’s since left the group) replaces the traditionally shouted melody of the high-lonesome standard “Sugar Babe” with a sweet purr, and that impulse to mix and match colors the whole disc–whether they’re singing a cappella or stripped down to a trio, though, these women sound of a piece. 9 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $14. –Peter Margasak

Thursday 29

BEBE Singer-songwriter Bebe first made her name in her native Spain with “Malo,” a stinging 2004 single about domestic abuse that helped her score a Best New Artist Latin Grammy. That success prompted EMI Latin to release her debut album, Pafuera Telaranas, in the U.S. last year, and the Spanish lyrics have got to be the only thing keeping it from becoming a stateside hit (though she’s also been known to take a whack at President Bush onstage). Bebe sings frothy, electro-tweaked pop tunes that also fold in high-speed rapping, reggae grooves, and mild flamenco flourishes. She sometimes oversells her songs, pushing her voice beyond its comfort zone, but the lush production is cushion enough when she falls short. 9 PM, House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn, 312-923-2000 or 312-559-1212, $23.50 in advance, $25 at the door, 18+. –Peter Margasak

HARMONIA Harmonia hails from Cleveland, a hotbed of eastern European culture–it boasts the largest Slovenian community in the world outside Slovenia. On their 2003 eponymous debut on Traditional Crossroads, the members draw from their own assorted ethnic traditions–Hungarian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovakian–and add some Romanian material for good measure. The sextet’s sound is dominated by the same manic, sawing strings deployed by groups like Taraf de Haidouks and the Okros Ensemble, bolstered by cimbalom, accordion, and nai (a jaunty-sounding Romanian panpipe). Beata Begeniova’s singing is a bit sweet for my taste, but the group makes lots of interesting musical connections, and they can certainly kick up some dust onstage. Paul Collins leads a class in eastern European folk dances at 6 PM. 7:30 PM, Spirit of Music Garden, Grant Park, 601 S. Michigan, 312-742-4007. Free. All ages. –Peter Margasak

SEU JORGE See Wednesday. Amadou & Mariam open. 6:30 PM, Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 100 N. Michigan, 312-742-1168. Free. All ages.

LEFTOVER CRACK What with mall-pop girls self-identifying as punk rock and bands going from the Fireside to TRL on a wave of MySpace adds, I’ve had plenty of reasons to wonder lately if punk is really, finally dead. Then I found Leftover Crack. The band calls a New York squat home (who knew you could squat in Bloomberg’s Manhattan?) but still manages to scrape up the cash to self-release crusty ska-punk seven-inches, gets banned from clubs but plays them anyway under assumed names, writes songs about 40-ouncers, and is generally just inhumanly punk. Their best song is called “Gay Rude Boys Unite”; their most recent full-length, 2004’s Fuck World Trade (Alternative Tentacles), is full of ugly, triumphant protest music. The World/Inferno Friendship Society, Intro5pect, and Mischief Brew open. 6 PM, Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie, 773-252-6179 or 866-468-3401, $10. All ages. –Miles Raymer

Philip Montoro

Philip Montoro has been an editorial employee of the Reader since 1996 and its music editor since 2004. Pieces he has edited have appeared in Da Capo’s annual Best Music Writing anthologies in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. He shared two Lisagor Awards in 2019 for a story on gospel pioneer Lou Della Evans-Reid and another in 2021 for Leor Galil's history of Neo, and he’s also split three national awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia: one for multimedia in 2019 for his work on the TRiiBE collaboration the Block Beat, and two (in 2020 and 2022) for editing the music writing of Reader staffer Leor Galil. Philip has played scrap metal in Lozenge, drummed with the Disasters, the Afflictions, and Brilliant Pebbles, and sung for the White Outs. He wrote the column Beer and Metal from 2012 till 2015, and hopes to do so again one day. You can also follow him on Twitter.