Kelly is best known for his shouty vocals alongside Chris McCaughan’s melodic singing in Chicago punk stalwarts The Lawrence Arms. Now that McCaughan has had some success going solo, Kelly is giving it his best shot, too. Expect drunken ramblings, stripped-down versions of The Lawrence Arms songs and Jawbreaker covers.
September 9 at Double Door
The Vancouver, Canada-based punk band is considered the founding fathers of hardcore after releasing the seminal album “Hardcore ’81” back in the early eighties. Thirty years and twelve records later and the band may lack their earlier punch but the classics remain as important and influential as any Black Flag or Minor Threat song.
September 16 at Cobra Lounge
Even though their name infers hushing, it’d still be surprising if you haven’t heard of this rising local group by now. Their music could easily be a mess, as it combines ambient, rock, electronic and even folk music. The clean yet intricate end result proves otherwise. Not to mention it melts in your ears like butter.
September 18 at Eckhart Park
Japandroids describe themselves as a two-piece trying to sound like a five-piece and their music is certainly a testament to that statement. No Age are a clear comparison as they both thrash through expansive, discordant rock tracks that manage to sound strikingly controlled and precise despite the frenzied nature of their music.
September 23 at Schubas
The Album Leaf
The Album Leaf is the work of one man named Jimmy LaValle. He creates ambient, dreamy electronica soundscapes that are brought to life with a live band and an accompanying visual display to envisage the style and emotion of each song. Oh, and if you are dedicated enough to have a tattoo themed around The Album Leaf then you can get into the show free.
September 23 at Bottom Lounge
Muti and Dufour
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director Riccardo Muti opens the new season with music by film composer Nino Rota, most famous for his award-winning score to “The Godfather.” Also, CSO Principal Flute Mathieu Dufour plays Ibert’s concerto, and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony brings the concert to a triumphant conclusion.
September 23 at the CSO
The indie pride of Chicago returns in September to grace us with his skillful instrumentals and soothing voice. The warm, tranquil and progressive feel of his music will coincide perfectly with the end of summer.
September 24 at The Hideout
Otto von Schirach
Attending one of Schirach’s shows will likely send you into some sort of seizure, as he churns out all things glitchy, twitchy and itchy (you get the point). Hell, this guy once produced an album based on vomiting sounds. If that doesn’t intrigue you, there’s nothing more we can say.
September 28 at Reggies
By this show, their newest album, “Gravity the Seducer,” will have made its way into the world. It’ll be interesting to hear the electronic band pop out an extended piece of work for the first time in years. They always seem to be somewhere in between bubblegum dream pop and glassy, heavier beats, but their experimentation is half the fun.
October 4 at The Vic
Chicago’s premier punk festival enters its seventh year with scores of bands playing across four venues in the city over five nights. The big pulls this year include Weezer, Descendents, Social Distortion and a Danzig set that will see him playing classic songs from his former band, The Misfits. Hopefully Danzig can show that other band that goes around calling themselves The Misfits how the songs are meant to be performed.
October 5-9 at Congress Theater, Cobra Lounge, Bottom Lounge and Double Door
Muti Conducts Mahler’s Farewell
In honor of the one-hundredth anniversary of Gustav Mahler’s death, Riccardo Muti and the CSO recreate the final concert conducted by the composer.
October 6-8 at the CSO
Raunchy rock? Spit-shouting into a microphone? Bouncing incessantly? Girl power? If you answered “Yes, please!” to any of the former questions, seriously consider checking out this all-female Portlandian indie quartet.
October 8 and 9 at Empty Bottle
Minus the Bear
Minus the Bear celebrate their ten-year anniversary with what every long-term fan would give their pot of honey for: a performance of 2002’s “Highly Refined Pirates” in its entirety. The virtuoso finger-tapping guitar work of Dave Knudson and the “girls and/or drinking” subject matter of Jake Snider’s lyrics on their debut was what made them famous, and to miss the band relive those days would be a woeful mistake.
October 11 at Metro
This is the ultimate Groundhog Day performance of the fall. Portishead hasn’t hit the U.S. with a tour in thirteen years, so fans are understandably a little antsy. Their most recent release, “Third,” proves that the pioneers in electronica haven’t lost an ounce of the artistry it took for them to become such legends.
October 12 at Aragon Ballroom
The World/Inferno Friendship Society
The World/Inferno Friendship Society has the proud honor of being a successful cabaret punk band, which at first seems like a rather confusing concept. They blend jazz and soul styles with the energy and tenacity of punk that translates to live shows that wouldn’t be out of place at a circus.
October 14 at Reggies
OFWGKTA (Odd Future)
Half the audience will be present at this show simply because they’ve heard of the bat-shit crazy things the guys in this hip-hop group will say (or do). But, believe it or not, their undeniable talent is just as good a reason to go. Just leave your censor bar at home and bring your neck brace, because things will get heavy.
October 14 at Metro
Why not? Their contemporary and unique take on hip-hop certainly leans more toward indie and folk styles, but it is the unpredictable and intriguing rhyming schemes of Jonathan “Yoni” Wolf that makes the band stand out. The music oozes inordinate amounts of “hipster,” but there is something very addictive about the pretentious story-telling of Yoni’s flows.
October 15 at Museum of Contemporary Art
The Japanese noise-rock figureheads have been melting the faces (forget about bananas) of venues around the world for the last nineteen years, and it does not seem like they are going to let up. They’ve toned down the noise of late, and singer Yasuko Onuki has even begun to sing rather than just yelp, although the band now describing themselves as “pop” seems a little off the mark.
October 16 at Subterranean
Calling Frank Turner a modern-day British Bob Dylan would certainly feed the ego of the rising folk-rock star, but there’s definitely some substance to that argument. He has an ability to tell personal stories with a genuine sense of honesty over the top of irresistibly catchy hooks with vocal parts that have you singing aloud after just a couple of listens.
October 26 at Bottom Lounge
Bernard Haitink leads the Chicago Symphony Chorus in Haydn’s acclaimed oratorio “The Creation,” one of the great works in the choral canon. Soloists Klara Ek and Ian Bostridge and the CSO and CSC perform.
October 27-29 at the CSO
Lo-fi is back! Well, maybe not, but the old, reliable band’s engaging, leathery rock can still be appreciated post-nineties.
October 30 at Schubas
Shoegaze? Dream pop? Electronica? Whatever you want to call it, Anthony Gonzalez’s musical output, M83, inspires both outrageous dancing and pensive contemplation simultaneously. It’s like a journey through space without the need for NASA or psychedelics, although the latter would probably help.
November 17 at Lincoln Hall
Semyon Bychkov and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Bychkov & Co. will be going “Beyond the Score” by performing Strauss’ flamboyant “Ein Heldenleben.” Creative director Gerard McBurney will also be present afterward to chat about the piece in all its vibrant historical glory.
November 18 and 20 at Symphony Center
—Maureen Clancy and Ben Small