Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Go To There: November 19 - 25

By Gene Wagendorf III      

Tuesday, November 19th: Nitetrotter Fest feat. Unmanned Ship, ONO and John Bellows at The Burlington (9pm, 21+, $7)

The awesome folks at Nitetrotter are bringing their annual festival back for its fourth installment this week, and the opening night kicks things off in grand style with a killer lineup. The show will be freaky troubadour John Bellows' final Chicago show, and that alone is reason to pony up the seven bucks. Experimental powerhouses ONO are up next- a band whose no-wave/post-punk/gospel should be on every music junkie's bucket list. Space-metal doom-bringers Unmanned Ship, who we've professed our love for in the past, headline. 

Wednesday, November 20th: Nitetrotter Fest feat. Idiot Glee, Jimmy Whispers and TodaysHits at The Burlington (9pm, 21+, $7)

Feel free to spend the night at The Burlington Tuesday, because Day Two of Nitetrotter Fest is going to be all sorts of fun. TodaysHits takes lessons learned from bands like The Kinks and Moldy Peaches and spins them into bare-bones catchy jams. Jimmy Whispers (whose recent duet with Chic-a-Go-Go host Ratso on the Drifters' "Up on the Roof" is one of the sweetest things you'll ever see) is a unpredictable dynamo whose sure to keep the audience on their toes and smiling.  The night closes with a performance by Lexington pop-soul outfit Idiot Glee

Thursday, November 21st: Nitetrotter Fest feat. The Hecks at The Owl (11pm, 21+, FREE)

Noticing a theme here? There's nothing better going than Nitetrotter happening this week, and that goes double for Thursday. Head on over to The Owl for a FREE late night show featuring Chicago's best experimental rock duo, The Hecks. Their last 7", Trust and Order, is still one of the best things we've heard this year.  

Friday, November 22nd: El Is a Sound of Joy and The Humminbird at Constellation (9:30pm, 21+, $8)

How often do you get to spend your Friday night taking in an interactive "Astromusicological" project? Not in a while? Well, here's your chance. El Is a Sound of Joy is a unique local act that challenges expectations while creating immersive, and often playful, soundscapes. The group's performance Friday will also feature an interactive video installation. Opening the show is another WCR favorite, The Humminbird, whose freak-folk jams and meditations have been some of this year's most interesting releases. The Humminbird finds multi-instrumentalist Muyassar Kurdi playing alongside a host of experimental and psych-rock heavyweights, and for this show she'll be joined by Kyle Klipowicz (Bowl of Dust) and Matthew Schneider (Moon Bros).
Saturday, November 23rd: Nitetrotter Fest feat. Lazy, The Funs and Massive Ego at Wally World (9pm, All Ages, $5)

Back to Nitetrotter for a show at one of the city's best DIY spaces. Kansas City punks Lazy have followed up their excellent LP Obsession (Moniker Records) with a new 7", both of which are sure to sound great live. Local fuzz-rockers The Funs have been on a tear of the own lately, dropping some new vinyl and playing all over the place. The band combines grizzly hooks, captivating beats and melodic noise in almost perfect portions. The end result is dreamy, gritty punk goodness. Psych/punk trio Massive Ego are on this bill too, which is both awesome and not fair. Awesome because the band is emerging as one of the best live acts in Chicago, and not fair to the bands that have to follow them. Their recent release D0N'T (Maximum Pelt) is a huge accomplishment: a whirlwind of raw rock, hallucinogenic explosions, smart songwriting and superhuman musicianship. If you need any more hyperbole than that, check out our coverage of their last Empty Bottle show. Don't miss this. 

Sunday, November 24th: Negative Scanner at The Whistler (10pm, 21+, FREE)

Negative Scanner remind me a lot of tragically under-appreciated '80s Chicago post-punks DA!, but heavier and a little more pissed off. The common thread is a great one though: both bands have a brooding magnetism about them and both feature incredibly powerful female lead singers. Come for the storm-cloud riffs, stay for Rebecca Valeriano-Flores' haunting battle-cries. 

Monday, November 25th: Hunters at The Empty Bottle (9:pm, 21+, $10)

Grungy New York garage rockers Hunters tightrope walk between smart, driving melodies and ferocious noise in a way that's really reminiscent of Geffen Records era Sonic Youth. Fans of albums like Goo and Dirty are going to find a lot to like in Hunters, though being a Sonic Youth devotee is by no means a prerequisite. At the end of the day Hunters are a really great straight up rock band, and who doesn't love that?

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  1. Hey Gene, you forgot to mention the Happy Jawbone Family Band which is playing Wed. & Thurs. at Nitetrotter w/ Chicago's own David Lineal from Birds Names playin' in the band now!!!!!!!!!!

  2. The headliners for 11/24 @ The Whistler are pretty amazing too by the way.