Radiohead front man Thom Yorke’s solo show, featuring “experimental cellist” Oliver Coates, headlines a month of indispensable performances by Birds of Chicago, Noname, Hamid Drake and Travis Scott.
Vines maintains his own point of view throughout the album—at its end, you know exactly who he is—but there’s a passage in the song “Imaginary Man” where he might be addressing the burden of iconic influences this deep into the folk-rock canon’s chronology.
While today former bandmate Mike Love leads a group calling itself the Beach Boys, that band features no Brian Wilson. Wilson’s group, on the other hand, includes original Beach Boys member Al Jardine as well as late-prime-era Beach Boy Blondie Chaplin, and is jaw-droppingly facile at recreating the Beach Boys sound.
Charges of being Queen sound-alikes were brushed off by the band; magnetic vocalist Luke Spiller can be a credible Freddie Mercury vocal doppelganger, but can just as easily conjure thoughts of Kevin DuBrow (Quiet Riot) or Slade’s Noddy Holder. And onstage, Spiller works hard to engage the audience. He nearly always succeeds.
Joel Paterson’s golden-age gig will undoubtedly be more intimate than Jane Lynch’s megawatt variety show; Certainly one or the other is a good fit for you; and I encourage you to order up some tickets while you can. If you’re going to be smothered by Christmas music in November, it might as well be on your own terms.
West Side rapper Saba hosts the second annual John Walt Day benefit, named for his late cousin and major influence and with proceeds going to Chicago youth.
Washington’s crowning achievement of 2015 was the release of his fourth album, the major-label debut “The Epic.” Aptly named, the sprawling album runs nearly three hours, and showcases Washington’s instrumental ability and composing/arranging prowess.
In covering songs from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” Johnsrud sings with just enough sweetness to allow the material to remain true to itself, and just enough sophistication to hint at something more.
It’s hard these days to convey the simple offense the Violent Femmes were to 1980s musical culture. Now that they’re heralded as a classic band, assimilated by long-tradition listeners into roots music, you could almost be forgiven for miscalculating the degree of radicalism that was in their stripped-down, punked-out sound.
The Church has embarked on several retrospective projects like its current “Starfish” thirtieth anniversary tour, taking the opportunity to explore its massive back catalog (twenty-five studio albums and counting), but the band has never been one to rest on its reputation.