Veteran banjo-picker Al Scorch is celebrating the release of his new record with an intimate show at Hungry Brain. If you haven't seen Scorch before, or if you've never caught a show at The Brain, this ought to be a perfect introduction to both. Local psych-punks and WCR favorites Ego (formerly Massive Ego) have put together a special stripped-down "acid-folk" set for the evening, so basically you'll be fucking up your Tuesday night by not making this happen.
Wednesday, May 7th: Keren Ann at City Winery (8pm, 21+, $20-25)
Date night idea! As a part of the Israeli Jazz and World Music Festival (that's a thing, you heard it here first!), singer-songwriter Keren Ann is bringing her brand of sophisticated dream pop to City Winery. Whether she's singing in English or French, Ann's vocals are both sweet and heartbreaking, and her songs move from sugary dance tunes to elegant ballads. This is a case of right performer/right space, and should be well worth the cover.
Thursday, May 8th: Umbra & the Volcan Siege and The Luck of Eden Hall at Reggie's (7:30pm, 17+, $12)
Another album release show this week pairs local psychedelic grunge outfit Umbra & the Volcan Siege with underappreciated psych/rock heavyweights The Luck of Eden Hall. Umbra's video for 'Stick It,' a track from their forthcoming Somedays Coming Soon, teases just how good that record might be with cool surf riffs and a galloping, laser-hot jam. Eden Hall, on the other hand, should be a nice treat for those riding the current wave of '90s alt-rock nostalgia.
Friday, May 9th: Crown Larks and Mako Sica at The Burlington (8:45pm, 21+, $5)
There are a few excellent shows going on Friday, but only one will feature can't-miss, mind-fuck sets from bands we've gushed about in the past. Dystopian free-jazz trio Mako Sica are world-builders as much as they are musicians, and will keep your brain on its toes with their blend of wild aggression and intricate.tranquility. That'll set the stage for Crown Larks, who expertly combine bits of punk, drone, psych and noise into a skronking, space rock assault best enjoyed live.
Saturday, May 10th: Okapi and Prairie Porn at Hostel Earphoria (9:30pm, 21+, $5)
Okapi's delightfully strange blend of chamber and alt rock made their self-titled January debut the kind of record that lurks in your mind, its melodies and rhythms sneaking into your consciousness during moments of wandering thought and daydream. The band's looping bass lines, dynamic percussion and warm strings out to sound excellent live. Opening things up are jangling garage rockers Prairie Porn, whose own self-titled debut is ripe with bubbling, whimsical jams.
Sunday, May 11th: Earth Program at Elbo Room (8pm, 21+, $8)
Damn, I do love the spring. Birds are chirping, flowers are growing and every fucking band in Chicago seems to be putting out a new record. "Atomic space punks" Earth Program are gearing up for the release of CONSUME! (get your sneak peek here) and from what we've heard you're going to have a hard time not bopping along. The band has a reputation (personally verified) for putting on a killer live show, which makes this gig Sunday evening the perfect chance to kick your spring off in proper giddy rock n' roll style.
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