Local experimental legends ONO have been pushing boundaries and turning heads since the '80s. Each of their sets is as much an art installation as it is a mind-bending rock show, and Tuesday should be no different. ONO's lead vocalist Travis pulls the group through raw and sometimes terrifying territory, never failing to guide to music to an almost holy, animalistic crescendo. Where else can you get that for seven bucks?
Wednesday, August 21st: O.W.L. and Circuit des Yeux at Empty Bottle (9pm, 21+, $10)
The story of O.W.L. is a great one. Somewhat neglected in their conception, a vinyl copy of their 1971 "baroque psych" debut was discovered in a thrift store in 2004. After a successful re-release ripped from that copy, Of Wondrous Legends are performing that material live again. Also on the bill is Circuit des Yeux, the local by-way-of Lafayette chanteuse who has been enchanting crowds with her haunting blend of Nico-esque folk and brooding, electronic atmospherics. Expect to hear some tracks from her highly anticipated LP Overdue, set for release on October 1st.
Thursday, August 22nd: Kill Lincoln at The Burlington (9pm, 21+, $7)
Jump Start Records has been putting out ska and punk records since '94, and while they don't pop up on my radar much every now and then there's a pleasant reminder that they're still going. The most recent of those was their June release of Kill Lincoln's That's Cool... in a totally negative and destructive way. Say what you will about the borderline Fiona Apple length title, the album is packed with infectious, punchy ska jams that should be a blast in The Burlington's back room. Big anthemic choruses rub up against a big horns and big guitars. Big big big. Do it.
Friday, August 23rd: Big'n at The Burlington (8:30pm, 21+, $10)
Under-appreciated '90s noisemakers Big'n play a hometown show Friday night before jetting off to Europe, where the band found more success during their heyday. RIYL Shellac (and who doesn't?), the four piece relentlessly smashes wrecking ball percussion, lead-soaked melodies and grizzly vocals into a hypnotic tantrum that's made their live shows the stuff of legend.
Saturday, August 24th: Oozing Wound at Town Hall Pub (8pm, 21+, $7)
Nightmarish thrash three-piece Oozing Wound aptly describe themselves as "all the best kinds of heavy without all the fattening aspects of rock." The band, made up of members of Unmanned Ship, Bad Drugs and Cacaw recently signed to Thrill Jockey and has and already has one skull-shattering tape to their name. Contrary to what Oozing Wound would have you believe, there is some smart rock in what they do; its just been boiled down to its nasty, corrosive essence.
Sunday, August 25th: Barbarian at Beat Kitchen (6:30pm, All Ages, $10)
Barbarian brings a Beck-like swagger to their mix of surf pop and '80s goth, making for a sound that's as refreshing as it is familiar. Sort of like making out with your straight edge girlfriend's stoner sister. Their new record, City of Women, is a cool collection of twinkling coldwave perfect for scoring these last few weeks of summer.
Monday, August 26th: Rabble Rabble at Empty Bottle (9pm, 21+, FREE)
Rabble Rabble's ode to one of Chicago's favorite bar bathrooms is a part of this week's Chicago Mixtape, which means you can score a free song before this free Monday nighter. The band matches the beer-soaked energy of their tunes with notoriously rowdy shows, which should be more than enough to stop your "I've got a case of The Mondays" bitching.