Friday, November 7
The Sword @ Bottom Lounge
Chicago’s new version of the Bottom Lounge includes two bars (one with a tiki theme), an eating area, a large performance area, and a second-floor deck. The recently reopened venue might need every square foot to contain the massive stoner metal sound of The Sword, which hits the Windy City between tour dates with Metallica and Down.
Umbrella Music Festival w/ Bik Bent Braam @ Elastic Vision Gallery
Dutch pianist Michiel Braam convenes a Chicago version of his Bik Bent Braam orchestra, a localized edition of the 13-piece group that he began more than 20 years ago. On record, the group’s sound is one of jumpy, horn-heavy jazz that mixes old-time foundations with freak-out solos.
Saturday, November 8
O’death @ The Empty Bottle
Touring in support of its new album, alt-country five-piece O’death stops in Chicago for a pair of shows. That new album, Broken Hymns, Limbs, and Skin, covers diverse stylistic swaths that range from punkish bluegrass to bittersweet ballads and droning Pentecostal chants. The group also plays at Chicago’s Hideout on Sunday.
David Boykin Expanse; David Boykin Microcosmic Sound Orchestra @ The Velvet Lounge
Interstellar jazz saxophonist David Boykin pulls double duty at the Velvet Lounge, where he lays freewheeling grooves and solos in a pair of sets with his eponymous Expanse and Microcosmic Sound Orchestra. The Expanse combines free passages with hard bop, over which Boykin spouts unorthodox rhymes; the Microcosmic Sound Orchestra provides inspired improvisation.
Fun Fun Fun Fest (Austin) @ Waterloo Park
How many huge music festivals can Austin hold? Chicago has its share of major festivals, but Austin keeps cranking out the multi-day madness with the Fun Fun Fun Fest.
The lineup includes festival regulars but strong ones at that; if you’re in Texas, head down to see Bad Brains, The National, Atmosphere, Young Widows, Trash Talk, Deerhoof, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, The Black Heart Procession, Dr. Octagon, Dan Deacon, Tim Fite, Bishop Allen, Dengue Fever, Cro-Mags, Parts and Labor, Minus the Bear, and more.