Photo by Stephanie Bassos.
Margot and the Nuclear So & So's, 5/17 at The Metro, $21. You'll be flooded with emotions once you hear this fierce indie rock sound coming straight for you. This is one of those nights you'll feel personally connected to every song you hear, and you'll like it. The overwhelming Chicago pride you'll feel once you find out they live here is totally natural, we promise. You're just like us. The Metro, 3730 North Clark Street (at Waveland Avenue); 773-549-4140.
Dirty Beaches, 5/19 at Schubas, $8 in advance. Dirty Beaches has been hanging in the air like so many prayers for warm weather. This Canadian lo-fi master is certain to sell out Schubas—if he hasn't already—so, take our advice and grab a ticket online. Rumor has it that Velvet Underground fans will find Dirty Beaches impossible to resist, and we plan to put that to the test. Schubas, 3159 North Southport Avenue (at Belmont Avenue); 773-525-2508.
Crystal Stilts at The Empty Bottle, 5/20, $12. If you feel like losing yourself to raw rock stripped of any frivolity and infused with the essence of high school lovin', we have a band for you. With a crooning poet for a lead singer and enough shoegaze-i-ness to go around, we wouldn't miss this for the world. The Empty Bottle, (at West Cortez Street) 1035 North Western Avenue; 773-276-3600.
Austra at Beauty Bar, 5/21, $5. Blues-busting, hip-shaking Austra is the cure for what ails you. Those craving an honest-to-goodness dance party have found their best medicine. Add to that the fact that they're playing at Beauty Bar, a venue with no stage and glitter-covered walls, and you can't in good conscience say no. Beauty Bar, 1444 West Chicago Avenue (at Greenview Avenue); 312-226-8828.
The Sea and Cake at The Empty Bottle, 5/21, $18 in advance. We were a bit perplexed when we saw that Chicago band The Sea and Cake was playing at The Empty Bottle. The band that (thankfully) never stops is playing an intimate venue, by our standards, and you can bet your rent money we won't miss it. We cannot stress the need for advanced ticket purchases enough. The Empty Bottle, (at West Cortez Street) 1035 North Western Avenue; 773-276-3600.