chris brown With a platinum record, numerous top-ten singles, and a best-selling DVD, 17-year-old Chris Brown has established himself as the current king of teen-scream R & B. On his self-titled debut, released on Jive late last year, his high, smooth voice and stop-start rap cadence are bolstered by the club-quake production of Scott Storch. Now Brown’s parlaying his fame into an acting career; he’ll make his feature debut next year in Stomp the Yard, which, judging by the trailer, is about black fraternity dance teams vying for the right to say who looks best shirtless. This performance is part of the final round of DanceDown 2006, a competition between Chicago street dancers. a 7 PM, UIC Pavilion, 1150 W. Harrison, 312-413-5740 or 312-559-1212, $35-$75. A –Jessica Hopper
clarry coryell trio Over the course of four decades, protofusion guitarist Larry Coryell has made some extraordinarily dynamic music, some extraordinarily unfocused music, and some music that managed to be both at once. But he’s aged gracefully: playing songs from the Great American Songbook, folk-blues standards, and his jazz-rock originals, he brings a unique phrasing–brittle on the surface but substantive underneath–to the postbop guitar language he helped create. These days Coryell never sounds better than when he’s accompanied by the local boys that make up his Chicago trio. Originally assembled as a pickup band for a Jazz Showcase appearance in the mid-90s, the group has become an open-ended forum for Coryell’s rangy and omnivorous improvisations, with bassist Larry Gray controlling the centrifugal force that Coryell and drummer Paul Wertico occasionally generate. I love it when they get the old band together–even if the “old band” is more of a once-in-a-blue-moon gathering. See also Saturday and Sunday. a 9 and 11 PM, Jazz Showcase, 59 W. Grand, 312-670-2473, $25. –Neil Tesser
hideout christmas pyrate panto A pantomime is a traditional British Christmas play, but this all-star cast couldn’t do “traditional” if their lives depended on it. Sally Timms directs this carnival of melodrama, comedy, and implausible dialogue, in which Jon Langford plays a woman, Kelly Hogan plays a man, Janet Bean plays a mermaid, and–in a pinnacle of typecasting–Hideout proprietor Tim Tuten plays Tuttons, the chatty fishmonger. There are two versions of the show: the early performance is “family friendly,” the late show less so. Seating (on the floor) is limited to 60; reservations and pirate garb are strongly encouraged. See also Saturday. At press time only Friday’s early show had sold out. a 7 and 10 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433 or 866-468-3401, $12, $5 for kids under 16. A –Monica Kendrick
lawnchair generals Peter Christianson and Carlos Mendoza, the Seattle duo known as LawnChair Generals, get busy both on and off the steel wheels. Since teaming up in 2001 these in-demand DJs have become equally sought-after producers and remixers, doing acclaimed dance-floor deconstructions for DJ Hal, Swirl People, DJ Heather, and David Garcia in a style they describe as a “fusion of west coast and classic Chicago-style house, with touches of electro, soul, and freestyle-era pop.” The recent Lost and Found EP, released on their LCG Music imprint, is their eighth release. Chris Grant opens. a 10 PM, Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-4140 or 312-559-1212, $10. –J. Niimi
cLET’S GET OUT OF THIS TERRIBLE SANDWICH SHOP The members of this local comedy-rock trio get a lot of practice being funny outside their gigs: Tony Mendoza (vocals, drums, Farfisa), Joanna Buese (bass, “kazoogle”), and Thea Lux (vocals, guitar) also perform with troupes like ComedySportz, Annoyance, and Sirens Improv. There are plenty of yuks on their self-titled EP (Roydale): a faux radio ad for a sandwich shop declares, “The only thing faster would be putting a sandwich gun into your mouth and pulling the trigger.” But they can also write a catchy pop tune: the melodic “Bye You” borrows from the 90s indie sounds of Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. And with his laconic delivery, Mendoza straddles novelty and surreality with his slacker-Dada lyrics–which keeps his punch lines from landing with an overstated “ba-dump-bum,” like those of similar Pie Pan Alley pop acts (say, They Might Be Giants). Baje, Moist Guitars, and Gabe Rosen & the Good Enough Band open. a 9 PM, Cal’s, 400 S. Wells, 312-922-6392, $5 suggested donation. –J. Niimi
cpelican It’s been more than a year since the release of The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw, but there are still good reasons to catch these metal sculptors this weekend rather than wait for the push behind their next record, due in May 2007 on Hydra Head. (A DVD is on the way too, built around a London show from 2005, but its January release date was recently scrapped.) First, given the band’s current trajectory, it’s highly unlikely you’ll get another chance to see them in such intimate venues–and their shimmering, overwhelming slow boil benefits from small rooms, where it’s easier for the sound to pin you to the wall. Second, some of the material from the new album–which they’ve been recording all week at Electrical Audio with Andrew Schneider (Daughters, Cave In, Keelhaul)–has already made it into the live set. The band says the new songs (one of which has the uncharacteristically cheeky title “Spaceship Broken–Parts Needed”) are “more concise and more aggressive,” with the usual meditative repetition giving way to “a desire to pack as many riffs as possible into each tune.” Lichens and Suicide Note open. Pelican also plays an all-ages show Saturday at the Beat Kitchen; see separate Treatment item for details. a 9:30 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 or 800-594-8499, $12. –Monica Kendrick
clarry coryell trio See Friday. a 9 and 11 PM, Jazz Showcase, 59 W. Grand, 312-670-2473, $25.
hideout christmas pyrate panto See Friday. a 7 PM (“family friendly”) and 10 PM (“less friendly”), Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433 or 866-468-3401, $12, $5 for kids under 16. A
c(lone) wolf & cub These former members of the hardcore-inflected La Mantra de Fhiqira and the mathy Dakota/Dakota apparently went feral when they got together. Their debut EP, this year’s May You Only See Sky (Hewhocorrupts Inc.), is rooted in fairly pure, lo-fi, traditional metal, though the joyously aggravating shrieked and squawked vocals are so raw you’d swear the band had roots in Japanese noise. This is Chicago slaughterhouse hell-raising at its most aggressive. The band headlines a holiday party for the Hewhocorrupts label; arresting local duo Plague Bringer opens, and the evening starts with videos of bands in the Hewhocorrupts stable. a 8 PM, the Mutiny, 2428 N. Western, 773-486-7774. F –Monica Kendrick
paper airplane pilots This local band’s recent Western Automatic Music (Spade Kitty) is an energetic, eminently likable guitar-pop album with a late-70s Shoes feel, bolstered by Jeremiah Wallis’s arch but foot-shuffly voice, which has a bit of Tom Verlaine in it and a bit of Lloyd Cole. I was sorry to hear that they’re between drummers, but I’ll bet most of their tunes will hold up without one–like at this acoustic set. Brad Peterson headlines and reunited local indie-pop trio Kim plays second. a 10 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $8. –Monica Kendrick
cpelican See Friday. The Young Widows and Suicide Note open. a 8 PM, Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 773-281-4444 or 866-468-3401, $12. A
qwel, hellsent Local underground hip-hop label Galapagos4, which has been slugging away since the late 90s, put together this showcase set. MC QWEL, who’s recorded for the label as a member of Typical Cats and as a solo artist, has attracted criticism before for the narrowly Christian outlook of his lyrics, but he’s never sounded as preachy or whiny as he does on this year’s Freezerburner. His pro-creationism rhetoric on “Machinegun Monkey” is hard enough to swallow, but when he raps “It seems nowadays everybody can speak they mind except Christians,” he sounds like he’s applying for the job of Bill O’Reilly’s favorite MC. His stridency is somewhat offset by Meaty Ogre’s darkly cinematic production, but not enough.
South-side MC HELLSENT first worked with producer Silence as a member of Outerlimitz on the group’s 2005 album, Suicide Prevention. They pair up again on this year’s Rainwater, a collection of similarly dark beats, but Hellsent doesn’t have quite enough charisma or variety in his delivery to get the job done without the rest of his crew.
The lineup for the show, headliner first: Qwel, Qwazaar, Robust, Hellsent, Maker, and Royce. a 9 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-478-4408 or 866-468-3401, $12, 18+. –Peter Margasak
cA YACHT ROCK CHRISTMAS There are plenty of reasons why the no-budget online comedy series Yacht Rock was so successful. Nostalgia, wit, novelty–and most of all the way it indulged our sneaking suspicion that the people who make the smoothest, mellowest music are the slimiest, most treacherous ones. Hard rockers already like to style themselves as action heroes, so it’s barely funny to imagine them on an espionage mission–you need to go with, say, Loggins & Messina. The series is over and I don’t think the cow has much milk left, but this show aims to squeeze out the last drop. There’s no one in Chicago I’d rather see take on the Yacht Rock aesthetic than headliners Bobby Conn and Monica BouBou–they’ve been doing it for years, after all, and still have lots of dimensions to uncover. Opening act Fashion Dictator is a spin-off of Panicsville, which is as anti-yacht as it gets, so I’m curious to see what comes out. The Empty Bottle site warns that the show will probably sell out–in fact I expect it to in more ways than one, which is part of the charm. Yacht Rock episodes will screen after the sets, and the Soft as Fuck Beta Team spins throughout. a 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10, $8 in advance. –Monica Kendrick
clarry coryell trio See Friday. a 4, 8, and 10 PM, Jazz Showcase, 59 W. Grand, 312-670-2473, $20.
alex chilton birthday bash Organized by Larry O. Dean, front man of the Injured Parties, this annual birthday tribute to Alex Chilton celebrates the ongoing career of the brilliant and erratic songwriter-singer-producer-Katrina survivor–presumably even some of his crappy stuff. (He had his share of splats in the 70s and 80s.) There’s also plenty in the Chilton catalog to love, of course, from the Box Tops to Big Star to his solo material–and given the number of bands on this bill, you’ll probably hear most of it. The full lineup at press time: The Braves, Doleful Lions, Farewell Captain, Feathergun, the Injured Parties, the Joy Poppers, John Kimler, Rich Miller, Dann Morr & the New Fiction, the Prams, Recent Photo, the Saturday Nights, the Tenniscourts, Van Go, and Matt Walters. a 8 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10, $8 in advance. –Monica Kendrick
yung joc, jibbs Atlanta MC YUNG JOC has some weird ideas about sexual intimacy: he uses a Chevy drop top with custom bucket seats as bait, purrs “She love to call me Tyson when I nibble on her ear,” and moans “She chewing on the dick like a piece of Bubble Yum.” Sounds pretty hot. After scoring a minor hit with “It’s Goin’ Down” earlier in the year, Yung Joc dropped his padded debut album, New Joc City (Bad Bay South), this summer. It’s a hasty cash-in, packed with undercooked duds that do nothing to redeem the rapper’s clumsy flow and tired trap shtick. –Peter Margasak
When it comes to hip-hop hit making, sampling a song everyone already knows is standard strategy. Teenage MC JIBBS and his older brother DJ Beats took that tactic to an ingenious extreme earlier this year when they swiped a hook that’s been etched into the DNA of every American born after 1840 and turned it into the top-ten single “Chain Hang Low.” The melody of the chorus had already made “Turkey in the Straw” and “Zip Coon” minstrel-show staples, established “Do Your Ears Hang Low” as a kindergarten favorite, and provided the interminable soundtrack for Chicago’s ice cream trucks. Jibbs’s latest, “King Kong,” an ode to cars that go boom that features a cameo from Chamillionaire, proves he’s more than just a novelty-hit wonder with its staccato strings and pop ‘n’ drop snap beat. –Jessica Hopper
Omarion headlines, Ne-Yo, Mario, Pretty Ricky, Yung Joc, Jibbs, Sammie, and One Chance open. a 7 PM, Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim, Rosemont, 847-635-6601 or 312-559-1212, $39.50-49.50. A