Swap modular synths, see an Animal Collective member solo and get down with old-school hip hop legends and emerging emcees in this week’s music events.
Open Mike Eagle
Michael W. Eagle II summed up his sound on the title of his 2010 album Unapologetic Art Rap. Indeed, the Chicago native-turned-LA rapper offers a wit and experimental production unique to his hip hop contemporaries. Witness his poetic depiction of a demolished Chicago housing project on 2017’s Brick Body Kids Still Daydream.
Details: April 1, 8 p.m. at Schubas; $15
A founding member of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Bizzy Bone boasts a rap fanbase that spans over 30 years. The Grammy winner, who has collaborated with 2Pac, The Notorious Big and Phil Collins, will spit the rapid-fire hits that launched BTNH to fame in the ‘90s. Bizzy is no nostalgia act, however, the Cleveland emcee recently released a track with Wiz Khalifa and took shots at Migos on “Carbon Monoxide.”
Details: April 4, 8 p.m. at The Promontory; $24-36
If you’ve ever wanted to enter the world of an old-school arcade game, Com Truise’s synthwave will get you close. Seth Haley makes electric analog sound epic, complete with sci-fi backstories. Trudge through heavy bass, dodge unrelenting drums and ride on a wave of bright synths. Just don’t forget to dance.
Details: April 3, 8 p.m. at Lincoln Hall; $20-22
British shoegaze icons Swervedriver have a brand new album called Future Ruins. It’s only the band’s second album since originally disbanding in 1998, but their rock-driven brand of shoegaze is moody as ever. Swervedriver is co-headlining with Failure, another 1990s alt-rock stalwart.
Details: April 5, 6:30 p.m. at House of Blues; $30
Leave time behind and allow yourself to be mesmerized by Nils Frahm’s neo-classical compositions. The Berlin-based pianist blends his virtuosic work on the ivories with looping synthesizers. The Art Institute is the perfect setting for the poignant soundscapes of Frahm’s latest release, a four-song EP called Encores 2.
Details: April 5, 7 p.m. at Rubloff Auditorium at the Art Institute of Chicago; $50-55
Touring in support of his first album in four years, American Love Song, Ryan Bingham blends rock, country and blues into Americana that’s both familiar and boundary-pushing. The Oscar-winner is best known for helping to score the film Crazy Heart. Bingham’s latest release is a raucous drag race at turns before drifting into ballads accompanied by poignant guitar picking.
Details: April 5, 7:30 p.m. at Park West; $30-35
Animal Collective member Avey Tare, aka David Porter, will play an intimate show at the Co-Prosperity Sphere in support of his brand new solo album, Cows on Hourglass Pond. The album has the nostalgic quality of a trippy home movie, owing to its recording on a Tascam 48 half-inch reel-to-reel tape machine. Armed with psychedelic electronics and acoustic guitar, this Bridgeport room will be the closest thing to seeing mid-2000s Animal Collective.
Details: April 6, 6 p.m. at Co-Prosperity Sphere; $18
Chicago Modular Synth Meet
Synth-heads unite at this free meet hosted by the Empty Bottle and Żłób Modular, where buying, selling and trading is encouraged. Local performers will exhibit their modular synthesizer systems. All modular systems are welcome (Eurorack, video modular, 5U, Buchla, Serge), so stop by with your own synth, table, extension cords, amp and headphones.
Details: April 6, 12 p.m. at Empty Bottle; free
Eric B and Rakim
There are no hip hop legends without Eric B and Rakim. Since their 1986 debut, Eric B. is President, the duo has been recognized as one of rap’s most influential DJ and MC pairings. From beat construction to funk and soul samples and their signature fly style, they set the standards. Don’t miss the transformative duo on their first national tour in 25 years.
Details: April 6, 7:30 p.m. at House of Blues; $40
The Wild Reeds
If you know The Wild Reeds as a folk band, you need to give their shift into indie-pop territory a listen. The LA quintet is led by Kinsey Lee, Mackenzie Howe and Sharon Silva, who share songwriting duties and fierce harmonies. Their new album, Cheers, channels garage rock grit to tackle “the joys and pains of camaraderie” while keeping the fierce harmonies front and center.
Details: April 6, 8 p.m. at Sleeping Village; $17-20