Here is a look at my picks for the best shows this weekend.
Buzz Osborne of the might Melvins
A quarter of a century into a storied career terrorizing the rock underground, the Melvins are an institution, and we're lucky they're still going strong, touring in support of the cheerfully titled new album "The Bride Screamed Murder," as well as celebrating the release of a limited-edition box set rounding up everything from that new disc back to early classics such as "Houdini Live," "Electro Retard," and "Mangled Demos." Buzz Osborne and his partners in crime headline over Totimoshi starting at 9 tonight (Friday, June 25) at Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee. Tickets are $25.
Though brothers Gene and Dean and their cohorts have become sweethearts of the jam-band crowd in the New Millennium, back in the '90s, Ween was the only band to give the Melvins a run for their money in terms of pure weirdness and sonic chaos. ("GodWeenSatan: The Oneness" (1990) remains my choice for the third best album ever to clear out a party when people won't leave, right after Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music" and Captain Beefheart's "Trout Mask Replica," though of course I mean that as a compliment.) The group performs at 9 tonight at the Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W. Lawrence. Tickets are $32.50 through the despicable Ticketmaster (and won't it be great when promoters Jam Productions finally sever their ties with those bastards?).
When it comes to all-ages multi-band super-bills this weekend, Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Fest Saturday at Toyota Park is going to garner all the attention. Yawn. For my money, a much better punk-rockin' guitar-powered endurance fest is taking place tonight at Reggie's, 2109 S. State, starting at 5 p.m. with Dead Steel Mill, the Non-Believers, Audio Violence, Juicehead, Agent Orange, D.I., Murphy's Law, and Youth Brigade, all topped by a chaotic coda courtesy of the inimitable Beer Nuts. And tickets are a mere $20, compared to a range of $165 to $2,174 on StubHub for the sold-out Crossroads.
Though it won't officially be released for a few weeks yet, I haven't been able to stop listening to my advance copy of "Arrows," the first new offering from local songwriter David Singer (Fix Your Wagon, Kid Million) since he won widespread recognition in the theater world for scoring Steppenwolf's "August: Osage County." The new disc is the most stunning release in a sophisticated psychedelic-pop/modern rock career that has all too often been tragically under-appreciated by the world at large. Singer and his band the Sweet Science gear up for the new release with a special show tonight at St. Sava, the Serbian cultural center located in a cool turn-of-the-century mansion at 448 W. Barry. There are two performance spaces, and the band will perform one set in each, at 8:15 and 9:30 p.m. For more info, visit the band's Web site.
On Saturday (June 26), the Chicago quartet Maps & Atlases will celebrate the release of the unique merger of freak-folk and math-rock on its strong new album "Perch Patchwork" with a show headlining over Fang Island at Subterranean, 2011 W. North, starting at 10 p.m. Tickets are $12. And on Sunday (June 27), the band will appear at this week's prime entry among the slew of summer street fairs, the Green Festival, which takes place in West Town on Chicago Avenue between Ashland and Noble.
An "innovative green technology-themed event" that "reflects our eco-conscious city by fusing environmentally-friendly bands with all green vendors, local retailers, arts & crafts, and educational kid's activities," the main stage musical lineup at Green Fest also includes, on Saturday, the Wailers, the Aggrolites, Deals Gone Bad, and Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps, and, on Sunday, the superb Cloud Cult, David Bazan and his band, and Fang Island, in addition to Maps & Atlases. More info can be found here.
Yard Dogs Show in Action
Also on Saturday, the Yard Dogs Road Show comes to the Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, starting at 9 p.m. Formed in California in 1998 and billed as "a full spectrum entertainment experience that ignites the senses of sound, sight, and soul," as well as "a hobo cabaret" and "a living patchwork of vaudeville and rock 'n' roll," this hard-to-define multi-media experience encompasses everything from sword swallowing to burlesque to magic acts, plus, of course, rock 'n' roll. Black Bear Combo opens at 10 p.m., and tickets are $18 in advance or $20 at the door.
Finally, don't forget the latest installment in the free Downtown Sound/New Music Mondays series at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park starting at 7:30 p.m. on June 28. Up this week: Norwegian experimental rockers Huntsville, with On Fillmore, the latest extracurricular activity by drummer extraordinaire Glenn Kotche, a duo with bassist Darin Gray that will become a trio for this auspicious occasion with the addition of Kotche's Wilco bandmate, guitarist Nels Cline.