Rock Roundup

After the Hangover

Five shows that may help you get over that Post-Paddy’s Day funk.

By - Mar 17th, 2014 01:34 pm
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Because I am such a considerate critic, I have arranged this week’s Roundup so that anyone who didn’t take my advice last week to avoid St. Patrick’s Day can be fully recovered from any size hangover…

And that’s just as well, because at least one of the rock bands is very loud and grinding, the featured comic has an Australian accent and the blues act might test your ears simply because a harmonica can rub the ear bones of a recovering drunk the wrong way.

Thursday, March 20

Lo-Pan at Cactus Club

While there are plenty of things we shouldn’t miss about the halcyon days of hard rock and heavy metal—the cavalier treatment of women, say, or the preponderance of leather—we can unashamedly miss the headbanging grooves, the woozy jams and the mysticism.

We can, that is, but we don’t have to, thanks to a revival via bands as huge as Queens of the Stone Age and as indie as Lo-Pan. The latter, out of Columbus, Ohio, has been stomping since 2005, although its third album, 2011’s “Salvador,” is thus far the pinnacle example of how its old school is the best school.

Friday, March 21

Donald Glover (the Childish Gambino)

Donald Glover (the Childish Gambino). Photo by David Hwang.

Childish Gambino at the Rave

The breadth of an entertainer’s talent might not lie in how much he can do (for example, Sammy Davis, Jr. could sing, act, dance, tell jokes et al) but rather in how well he can do how much he can do (for example, Donald Glover can write, act, do sketch comedy and rap).

Fans of the TV show “Community” might have a hard time recognizing Glover, one of its former regulars, in his hip-hop persona of Childish Gambino (a moniker bestowed by an online “Wu-Tang Name Generator”). However, they might recognize his wit and geniality amid the skillful sampling and articulate rapping of mixtapes and albums like last year’s “Because the Internet.”

If you check him out live, don’t expect to get his favor by shouting this:

Saturday, March 22

Siegel-Schwall Band at Turner Hall Ballroom

Think the Black Keys were the first blues duo? Of course you didn’t and don’t. Let’s just pretend, though, so we can get down to learning about this other (and also not first) blues duo, the Siegel-Schwall Band, which has been intermittently around the Chicago scene since the 1960s.

Corky Siegel (harmonica, Wurlitzer, vocals) and Jim Schwall (guitar, mandolin, vocals) were rarely part of the most raucous side of the Windy City’s infamous blues sound, although plenty of folks sat in with them, and their fusions with country and classical music have kept their fanbase interested.

This particular gig marks the 79th birthday of drummer Sam Lay, no small potatoes in Chicago his own self.

Saturday, March 22

Jim Jefferies at Pabst Theater

Some comedians you remember because of a catchphrase; some comedians you remember because of a vocal tone; and some comedians you remember because they’re vocal atheists.

Jim Jefferies first into this third group, although not believing in a supreme being is no more the sole focus of his stand-up routines than his fondness for booze and other drugs or his enjoyment of sexual intercourse with women he doesn’t know that well.

Still, it sets him apart and has thus far gotten him several comedy specials (including last year’s “Fully Functional”) and a basic-cable show (“Legit”) now in his second season, which provides us with one of his few suitable-for-work (or church) clips available:

Sunday, March 23

Young the Giant at the Rave

Years ago, some chucklehead named Jon M. Gilbertson coined the term “Friendly Rock” (also “F-Rock”), which almost certainly deserved the obscurity it got shortly after it was introduced. It is not, however, entirely without its uses, such as when one needs to describe Young the Giant.

Sharing a general amiability with many another California-grown pop-rock band, YtG makes less than might be hoped of its members’ European and Middle Eastern heritage, but its two albums thus far—2011’s homonymous debut and this year’s “Mind Over Matter”—don’t lack solid tunes, pleasing vocals and cheerful thoughts.

Try not to get too excited:

 

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