This Week‘s Best Music Events in Chicago

Photo courtesy of ShowYouSuck/Facebook

Spend Record Store Day with Ministry and Cold Cave, get Spiritualized, and celebrate 50 years in music with soul man Lee Fields at this week’s music events.

Photo courtesy of Spiritualized/Facebook

Lil Tracy
You can’t classify Lil Tracy’s hip-hop output. You just have to show up and see what he’s serving up now. The alternative rap icon collaborated with Seattle’s Thraxxhouse collective before jumping over to the emo rock–influenced Gothboiclique collective. From auto-tune country songs to melodic goth ballads, Lil Tracy continually pushes the boundaries of rap.
Details: April 9, 7:30 p.m. at Lincoln Hall; $18–$22

Psych-folk icon Jason Pierce returned with Spiritualized on 2018’s And Nothing Hurt, their first album in six years. The lofty LP reaches for outer space with otherworldly strings, horns, and choirs. The six-piece band offers a poignant space oddity about floating through the middle of life.
Details: April 9, 8 p.m. at The Vic; $37.50–$55

Photo courtesy of Ex Hex/Facebook

Ex Hex
Girl power will be in full effect at Thalia Hall as the trio of Mary Timony, Betsy Wright, and Laura Harris tour in support of Ex Hex’s new album, It’s Real. The trio’s follow-up to their 2014 debut, Rips, delivers garage rock with a dose of ’80s arena swagger and power riffs. Ex Hex presents a punk aesthetic filtered through a 1980s Rockman amp for a live show that will have you singing along as much as banging your head.
Details: April 10, 7 p.m. at Thalia Hall; $20–$30

The Dead Tongues
Songwriter Ryan Gustafson brings the troubadour’s woes to life as the Dead Tongues. The Asheville-based musician composed 2018’s Unsung Passage while crisscrossing the country as a supporting guitarist for Hiss Golden Messenger and Phil Cook’s Guitarheels. Gustafson’s aching folk melodies conjure up country, blues, and the vast expanses of the American road.
Details: April 9, 8 p.m. at Schubas Tavern; $13–$15

Nicolas Dupuis’s classical piano training is readily apparent in his electronic music as Anomalie. The Montreal keyboardist and producer delivers a stylish blend of electro-jazz, hip hop, and funk. Anomalie’s vibrant compositions get you moving with the swagger of hip hop and the smooth sensibility of jazz.
Details: April 12, 9 p.m. at Chop Shop; $13–$15

Photo courtesy of the Dead Tongues/Facebook

Lee Fields & The Expressions
If you want to groove with an artist who is the master of his craft, don’t miss a show by Lee Fields. This year marks 50 years of the soul man releasing music, as well as the seventh album with the Expressions. It Rains Love draws on the timelessness of funk and soul with an energy that’s very now. As Fields urges on “Wake Up,” “Stand up for yourself/Everybody get down!”
Details: April 12, 8:30 p.m. at Thalia Hall; $20–$40

Sen Morimoto, ShowYouSuck, and Drea the Vibe Dealer
Witness a triple threat of emerging Chicago hip hop in an intimate show at Co-Prosperity Sphere. Chicago-via-Kyoto multi-instrumentalist Sen Morimoto headlines with a rap-meets-jazz delivery. Clinton Sandifer aka Showyousuck brings a flow with punk crossover appeal and a “One Man Pizza Party.” Drea the Vibe Dealer opens with verses that float over atmospheric beats.
Details: April 12, 8 p.m. at Co-Prosperity Sphere; $12

Photo courtesy of Pixel Grip/Facebook

Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records With Ministry & Cold Cave
Celebrate Record Store Day with Ministry and Cold Cave at a screening of the new documentary Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records. The event features live performances by both bands doing an ’80s and early-’90s set. A panel discussion features Paul Barker (Ministry, Revolting Cocks, Pigface), Chris Connelly (Ministry, Revolting Cocks, KMFDM), documentary director Julia Nash, Rick Wojcik (Dusty Groove Records owner), and Record Store Day’s Carrie Colton.
Details: April 13, 5:30 p.m. at House of Vans; free

Pixel Grip
Local “goth-disco” trio Pixel Grip celebrate the release of their debut album, Heavy Handed. Jonathon Freund, Tyler Ommen, and Rita Lukea have been honing their sound at dance parties and DIY shows around town, with a reputation for dark analog synth-pop punctuated by Lukea’s ethereal vocals. The pulsing grooves transport you from the Windy City to an underground Euro dance floor.
Details: April 13, 9 p.m. at Sleeping Village; $10–$12

Haley Reinhart
American Idol alum Reinhart brings a blues sensibility to her pop roots as she tours in support of her new album, Lo-Fi Soul. True to its title, the LP’s minimal production allows Reinhart’s raspy vocals to shine with refreshing simplicity. There’s a breezy, timeless quality to the work, which will have you singing along into your hairbrush in just a few listens.
Details: April 14, 7 p.m. at Park West; $30–$75

Photo courtesy of Haley Reinhart/Facebook