The Millennium Park Summer Music Series will offer 10 free outdoor concerts between June 18 and August 16 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. The 2018 music series includes performances by Aimee Mann (July 30, pictured), Bahamas (August 6), Whitney (August 12), The Sea & Cake (August 16), Funkadesi (July 26), Anoushka Shankar (July 19), and Willie Colon (July 23). All performances begin at 6:30 p.m. and take place rain or shine. For more information, visit the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events website.
BY JULIET CANGELOSI
Photo by Will Robson-Scott
With his gravelly Ray Charles-inspired vocals, George van den Broek (a.k.a. Yellow Days) addresses anxiety, depression, and just plain growing up in his second EP entitled, Is Everything Ok In Your World? The teenage artist carries the emotional depth of a veteran blues singer backed by swirling, lazy guitars that have drawn comparisons to Mac Demarco. His 13-song EP was recorded and produced in the garden shed behind his family home in Surrey, a secluded county just outside of London. Whether the lyrical wisdom he carries is exceptional for the 19-year-old or if his self-awareness is merely a reflection of a new generation of emotionally intelligent teens creating good music, his upcoming voyage to Wicker Park is more than worthy of your attention.
BY JULIET CANGELOSI
Hanni El Khatib’s Savage Times is a true taste of 21st century Americana, mashing together garage rock, blues, funk, and occasional hip hop influences in a record that is as nostalgic as it is innovative. Its tracks were initially released on five EPs over the course of 2016, as El Khatib aimed to cut through the pressures of writing for the purpose of a specific album concept by producing and sharing music in small doses exactly as it came to him. The best of the EPs (and some newer material) were eventually compiled into Savage Times, resulting in a full-length that follows El Khatib’s creative and emotional processing throughout the year. In “Paralyzed,” El Khatib manages to turn a song about panic attacks into a disco. “Gun Clap Hero” and “Born Brown” have a similar effect: taking heavier topics such as gun violence or life as a first-generation American and repurposing them into a groovy jam or a cathartic, punk-ish vent. Drastically changing tone and mood from track to track, the album’s most unifying quality is that precisely because nothing goes together, it somehow all goes together.
BY ERIN MALYSA
PHOTO BY NATALJA KENT
A friend once offered me these sage words of advice before going to see Lightning Bolt live: “Bring earplugs. They are the loudest band I’ve ever heard.” Helping to maximize their eardrum-bursting sonic deluge of ferocious noise is the unusually intimate proximity of the band to the audience, as they erase any stages or barriers and set up shop at floor level. Expect this show to be no different. In fact, Thalia Hall is marketing this set as one of their “Playing In the Round” gigs — which means nothing short of ground floor mayhem with no bad view or sound. This is noise prog rock at its most brutal best.