Jon Langford has grit in his voice and melody in his soul. A punk-rock pioneer, a leading light of alt-country, a troubadour for our times, a musicians’ mentor, a visual artist of uncommon skill, a singer-songwriter who writes with the authority of having lived a life rather than just having imagined it, how do you peg Langford? Is he folk, rock, country, punk, what? Yes, he’s all that. Langford is Langford, a transplanted Welshman who’s been in Chicago long enough for us to claim him, and in doing so, stake a claim to a treasure. Langford’s new album with his Skull Orchard co-conspirators, “Old Devils,” plays like the new story collection from a favorite author: engaging tales, beautiful hooks and a singular musical voice. Who else can get you humming along to a song like “Getting Used to Uselessness” like it’s “We are the Champions” or something? The Old Devils Ball, a pre-Halloween record release party with Jon Langford and Skull Orchestra, also features Andre Williams and the Gold Stars, Sally Timms and MC Danbert Nobacon. (Brian Hieggelke)
October 16 at Martyrs’, 3855 North Lincoln, (773)404-9494, martyrslive.com, 9pm. $12.