The City of Chicago has announced this year’s lineup for its annual Downtown Sound free concert series, taking place Mondays at 6:30 pm from June 2-August 11 at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion. The 2014 lineup includes Russian Circles + Colin Stetson (Aug 11), Maps & Atlases + Wooden Shjips (Aug 4), Bob Mould + Split Single (June 23), My Brightest Diamond + White Mystery (June 30), Richard Thompson Electric Trio (June 16), Robbie Fulks + Funeral Bonsai Wedding (June 2), Joe Pug + Hurray for the Riff Raff (July 7) and Pillars & Tongues (July 21). You may view the complete Downtown Sound lineup here.
The City of Chicago has announced this year’s lineup for its annual Loops & Variations free electronic music series, taking place this summer at Jay Pritzker Pavilion at 6:30 pm on Thursdays from May 29-July 3. The 2014 season lineup features YACHT (pictured) + Hauschka with Q Ensemble on May 29, Arca & Jesse Kanda + Civitas Ensemble on June 5, Third Coast Percussion + Ghost Beach on June 12, eighth blackbird on June 19, Oneohtrix Point Never (featuring visual artist Nate Boyce) + Spektral Quartet on June 26, and Alarm Will Sound + Dream Koala on July 3. You may find more information about Loops & Variations on the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Event’s website. PHOTO BY SARAH MEADOWS
BY JUSTIN TRUDELL
Simple, dirty guitar riffs comprise the signature sound of Young Widows that, when combined with the beating heart of the drums that rise and fall with your own pulse, leave you with no other option than to watch and wait for the building passion of each song. There you will find — laid out nicely upon these gritty, distorted soundscapes — the haunting echoes of lead singer Evan Patterson. The newest release from Young Widows, 2014’s Easy Pain, doubles down on the dark, reverb-heavy noise rock aesthetic that has made them an underground success. They may not deviate much from the sound they are known for, but why the hell would they?
BY DAVID WILLMING
One of indie rock’s most dynamic and influential bands turns 30 this year, and it’s time to wish Yo La Tengo a happy birthday. Started in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1984 by husband and wife duo Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley, the couple were later joined by bassist James McNew to complete the core trio. Their 13 groundbreaking albums have covered a wide-reaching sonic aesthetic, which ranges from softly melodic and sumptuous love songs to ferocious explosions of feedback-driven noise. Their current tour highlights 2013’s unsurprisingly outstanding Fade, yet another expertly accomplished album from one of indie rock’s founding families.