Thursday, February 3, 2011

A snowtorious February begins: shows not to miss

Posted by Bobby

Disappears (photo: Kate O'Neil)
January in Chicago gave us some mid-winter heat from national acts such as Free Energy and the Postelles as well as some excellent performances from local Chicago acts. Molehill brought their Muse-esque funk propelled by the epic bass guitar groove of Trevor Jones to a packed show at the Beat Kitchen on January 21st. On the 27th, the Chicago Roots Collective held their one year anniversary party at Lincoln Hall. I was in attendance, and as per the reviews you may have previously read here on WCR, the Shams Band did not disappoint. Donnie Biggins and the Shams again brought together a rowdy crowd of local music supporters, and the people were rewarded for their winter resilience with vigorous Midwestern folk rock that stomped forward while Paul Gulyas (one of the city's freshest guitar players) sprayed the crowd with melancholy licks fresh from the highway.

February will certainly not be short on excuses to pull on the snow boots and march into the cold, but I thought I'd highlight a few of the show choices here because I know it can take more than a little motivation to get out there and into the snow.

This Friday, February 4, the Empty Bottle hosts local minimalist rock outfit Disappears and the release show for their new record Guider. The record is great (more on that to come), and this will be Disappears' last time in Chicago for a bit as they leave for Europe on Sunday. The band is set to head out on tour on the heels of the record and no doubt add to Chicago's musical reputation. Expect the Bottle to be packed to see them off. They will be supported by Brain Idea and Tyler Jon Tyler. Get tickets here.

Justin Townes Earle (photo: Joshua Black Wilkins)
Later in the month, Bloodshot Records artist Justin Townes Earle returns to Chicago via Metro on Thursday, February 10. JTE was recently on Letterman supporting his excellent new album Harlem River Blues, and he is a killer live performer who has made countless "artists to watch" lists. He has been a must-see the past few times he came to Chicago, including at his recent in-store performance at Reckless Records. This one will go well with whiskey.

A day later you can catch Grape Juice Records 2011 Showcase Series #1 at Subterranean. The night will feature a great Chicago lineup including Julie Meckler, Rachele Eve, Jon Drake and the Shakes and Chaperone.

Finally, on Saturday, February 26th, Smith Westerns return home to Chicago for a show at the Empty Bottle on the heels of the very well-reviewed new album Dye It Blonde.

So if the snow turns to abysmal grey slush and the winter starts to look endless, take your escapes where you can get 'em people. We're in Chicago, we've got plenty!

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