Nightclubbing: Octopus Project, DA!, Jon Langford, and more

October 15, 2010

Here’s our regular look at the best live music happening this weekend.

There’s no denying that Austin’s psychedelic/electronic combo the Octopus Project boasts the coolest theremin (and the coolest theremin player) in rock today, but it would be no more than an intriguing novelty if that bizarre and mysterious instrument was all it had going for it. As amply evidence by its new album “Hexadecagon,” the fourth of its career, the group also has mastered the creation of unique and otherworldly soundscapes all its own. It headliners over Starf*cker tonight at 9 at the Bottom Lounge; tickets are $12

“Troubadour,” the 2009 breakthrough by Somalia-born rapper, singer, and songwriter K’Naan, is an enduring effort that’s as joyful and celebratory as it is thought-provoking, but the music is ever more powerful when he’s performing it live onstage with his sizable band. They’ll hold forth at the Park West starting at 8:30 tonight; tickets are $25 at the door. (More info available at jamusa.com.)

Tim Rutili and the always atmospheric Califone are another act that never fail to take things to another level in live performance. They’ll take the stage tonight at the Hideout after opening sets by their longtime collaborator Michael Krassner and Sonoi starting at 10. The cover is $12.

One more option for this evening: Following up an a strong EP called “Derailer,” the Chicago trio King Sparrow, one of the most melodic garage bands to climb out of the grungy murk in some time, will celebrate the release of its first full album tonight at Schubas, headlining over Pet Lions and This Is Versailles starting at 10. The cover is $10.

If Riot Fest’s recent celebration of old… er, make that venerated… punks who still can deliver the goods has only left you wanting more, you need to see DA!, progenitors of the Chicago scene back in the day and a bridge between the industrial/punk/noise side of things and this city’s enduring fondness for Goth. Frontwoman Lorna Donley and her bandmates will once again tromp the boards at the Abbey Pub, sharing a bill with Radar Eyes, the Green Lady Killers, and Anatomy of Habit (plus DJ Joe Losurdo) starting at 9 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

Speaking of venerated, that absurdly prolific but amazingly consistent local legend Jon Langford will mark the recent release of “Old Devils,” the latest Bloodshot release from his folk-punk Skull Orchard incarnation, with a show at Martyrs starting at 9 p.m. Saturday. Also rocking the “Old Devils’ Ball”: the undeniable Sally Timms, Andre Williams with garage mavens the Gold Stars, and MC Danbert Nobacon. The cover is $12.

Finally, looking ahead to next week, the good news is that the double bill of psychedelic wonders the Besnard Lakes and modern American roots rockers Band of Horses is one of the strongest that the Riviera Theatre has hosted in some time. The band news is: It’s sold-out.

Files to Download