PETER BROTZMANN Despite a brusque personality, an unsentimental aesthetic, and an astringent ferocity on reeds, German free-jazz pioneer Peter Brotzmann can bring great tenderness to his music. Last year FMP reissued his classic 1984 solo album, 14 Love Poems (supplemented by ten tracks from the same period), a reminder of his affinity for gentle beauty. In the spirit of the late poet Kenneth Patchen, whose work inspired the album, Brotzmann strips the music of anything mawkish or overripe; Patchen understood that love, and its expression, can be ugly and abrasive, and Brotzmann is faithful to that sensibility. This show is a rare–and at 20 minutes, brief–solo performance in conjunction with “Eye & Ear,” an exhibit of musician-artist work at the Corbett vs. Dempsey gallery. Brotzmann also performs with local musicians later in the week; see Wednesday and Thursday. 7 PM, Corbett vs. Dempsey, 1120 N. Ashland (third floor), 773-278-1664. Free –Peter Margasak
DIE WARZAU Van Christie and Jim Marcus formed the local industrialish electronic band Die Warzau in the late 80s and released a slew of popular club singles (like “Funkopolis”) in the early 90s, but they’ve mustered only four studio albums. They put out their latest, Convenience, on their own Pulseblack label, selling “permanent download rights” to the music and promising not to bust you for file sharing, which is nice. They also refer to Bush in the liner notes as “the greatest, yet, oddly, least interesting mass murderer ever to avoid capture and arrest,” which is also nice. DJ? Acucrack and PTI open. 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $11. –Monica Kendrick
NEANDERTHALS Part Link Wray, part Kingsmen, part Flintstones, this proudly primitive outfit is apparently where Los Straitjackets guitarist Eddie Angel goes when he feels that wearing a Mexican wrestling mask is just too arty and serious. The Neanderthals perform in caveman getups, but the over-the-top silliness of their songs and shows can’t disguise the fact that Angel is one hell of a surfabilly player, the kind you didn’t think existed outside of the Emperor Norton roster. The World Famous Pontani Sisters, the Hi-Risers, and the Goldstars open. 10 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-478-4408 or 866-777-8932, $10 in advance, $12 at the door. See also Saturday. –Monica Kendrick
GREENHORNES This garagey retro-R & B trio from Cincinnati has a period-perfect 60s swagger, but the rhythm section knew well enough to tone it down and take a graceful, respectful backseat to Loretta Lynn when they played on her Van Lear Rose album. Did their prior work with Holly Golightly provide a template, perhaps? Their fourth album, slated for release this year, promises a return to their uninhibited nature. The Safes and the Peelers open. 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 800-594-8499, $8 in advance, $10 at the door. –Monica Kendrick
NEANDERTHALS See Friday. Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys headline. 9:30 PM, FitzGerald’s, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn, 708-788-2118 or 312-559-1212, $12.
PETER BROTZMANN See Friday. Tonight the reedist plays in a trio with bassist Kent Kessler and drummer Hamid Drake. 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 800-594-8499, $10.
PETER BROTZMANN See Friday. Brotzmann joins cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm for a duo set; opening are Jim Baker & Michael Zerang, the Drinkwater/Soliday/Labcyz Trio, and Dragons 1976. See Monday for a Critic’s Choice on Lonberg-Holm’s Lightbox Orchestra. 7 PM, Heaven Gallery, 1550 N. Milwaukee (second floor), 773-342-4597, $7. All ages.
ANNE MCCUE Australian Anne McCue began her career in the late 80s with an Aussie power-pop band, Girl Monstar; played country, jazz, and hard rock during a stint in Vietnam; then briefly hooked up with Eden A.K.A., an acoustic pop act. But the dominant sound on her latest album, Roll (Messenger), is alt-country; she’s the latest in a long line of artists who’ve received a stamp of approval from Lucinda Williams, to whom she bears more than a passing musical resemblance. McCue’s got a decent dusky voice, but on Roll she spends more time emphasizing her bluesy guitar chops–on an ill-chosen cover of Hendrix’s “Machine Gun,” among other things. She’s solid when she sticks to gritty country rock but too much Lilith Fair wispiness and boilerplate blues rock weaken the album. 9 PM, FitzGerald’s, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn, 708-788-2118 or 312-559-1212, $10. –Peter Margasak
WINDOW NINE This local quartet released a full-length, Rise, full of crisp, propulsive midwest postpunk itch-scratching; their emotion ripples out of the layered guitars and the momentum the drums create instead of from the grim, understated vocals. But their general lack of range becomes monotonous across an entire album. They play as part of a battle of the bands called “War of the Independents,” which also includes Dormlife, Flies in Eden, and Medicine Hat. a 8 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-478-4408 or 866-777-8932, $7. –Monica Kendrick