In the choose-your-own-adventure saga of this weekend’s non-festival offerings, turning the final page will have you dancing, crying or screaming.
Antibalas‘ self-imposed five-year hiatus didn’t hurt us here in the land of Lincoln. We had the raucous Chicago Afrobeat Project to fill the void. The Brooklyn-based 12-member cohort returns with a self-titled album that reunites these Fela Kuti disciples with their first producer, Daptone Records head Gabe Roth for a polyrythmic paragon. Like a game of Simon Says, the band’s jutting horns, feverish call-and-response vocal interplay, and thrashing percussion instruct your limbs how to move while the sociopolitical ramifications of album opener “Dirty Money” stimulate your frontal lobe. With members ranging in age from 22 to 54, Antibalas (which means bulletproof in Spanish) hosts a party meant to free the holy trinity of mind, body, and spirit. (Thursday@Lincoln Hall.)
Olympic watchers will remember her as the girl who sprinted with the Games’ symbolic flame wearing red patent leather platform heels. Paloma Faith marks her eyeball-grabbing moves like an avid chess player. With a generous cat-eye sweep of eyeliner and skyscraper-high bouffant, the British chanteuse channels a less destructive Amy Winehouse on her American debut Fall To Grace (due in November on Epic). Already a star across the pond thanks to a stint on Britain’s incarnation of “The Voice” and an album that just won’t quit reeling in fans hungry for another heartbroken belter, Faith combines the pouty smirk of Lana Del Rey with the earthshattering relationship drama of Adele. In “Picking Up The Pieces,” the 26-year-old laments playing second fiddle to the memory of a departed ex to a beat that would fire up Beyonce’s backup dancers while the plaintive “Just Be” settles into the piano-driven headspace of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” (Sunday@Martyrs’.)
– Janine Schaults
Moshers are sticklers when it comes to the falsehoods of extreme metal, such as cupping the microphone to get extra reverb on the death grunt (bad) and sporting flannel in the ’90s (worse). They’re surprisingly accepting, however, if you change your growler. Cannibal Corpse has been without founding vocalist Chris Barnes for over twice as long as he was actually in the band. It’s hard to even remember Mark “Barney” Greenway not fronting Napalm Death, an active group with no original members. Chicago’s Broken Hope with Damian Leski of Gorgasm on the mic shouldn’t be a sticking point, especially considering original singer Joe Ptacek killed himself during the death metal act’s 12-year hiatus, which officially ended this month. He’ll have a tougher time getting anywhere close to Ptacek’s eternally haunting inside-out performance on 1991’s Swamped In Gore should Broken Hope bring the reunion into the studio. (Monday@Reggies with Obituary, Decrepit Birth, Jungle Rot, and Encrust.)
– Michael Meyer
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