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| November 22, 2011

Dallas Green

Your pre- and post-turkey billet includes a former Chicago Cubs general manager — not to mention City And Colour, Tinariwen, a Henhouse Prowlers benefit, Atlas Moth, Yukon Blonde, Corey Taylor, and Waters.

Dallas Green joined the Cubs’ front office after guiding the Phillies to . . . ooops, wrong Dallas Green. You can see why the former Alexisonfire frontman elected against his birth name when crafting a solo project, even if that meant the Anglified spelling of COLOR instead. Green’s success as City And Colour has unquestionably surpassed any gains made when he was a pop-punk, much of which can be attributed to retaining the sincerity but discarding the bald interchangeability of bands. Little Hell (Dine Alone/Vagrant), released this past summer, fit its release schedule like a glove while invoking the grey area between summer dusk and dawn. (Wednesday@Vic Theatre with Hacienda.)

Though woozy, classic-rock inspired psychedelia underpins the black-metal flavors on The Atlas Moth‘s staggering An Ache For The Distance (Profound Lore), a meager pair of the tracks supply a key route into the band’s otherwise clearly rooted sound. “Courage” and “Gemini” feel like leftovers from Thurston Moore solo albums, or at least lucid ruminations in the running for Alice In Chains b-sides. That’s not to detract from AM’s bulldozing, swirling epics — and those guitar harmonies do reach for rafters far and wide — but it’s always nice to have some uncertainty obstructing the view. (Wednesday@Subterranean with Yakuza, Batillus, and The Swan King.)

North-African Tinariwen have long been the sort of guitar band you wish lifer rockists would listen to and come away from with a slightly less obsessive take than Marty Friedman did when he fell in love with Japan. They also have a lyrical depth that casts sci-fi prog fantasies in a childish light, and on Tassili (Anti) lament the separations they’ve come to feel from their nomadic origins. What keeps Tinariwen from becoming a joyless black hole are not just that members of TV On The Radio make cameos, but the in-born joy the band can’t suppress when performing. (Friday@Metro with Sophie Hunger.)

Here’s why so many bands don’t stick their necks out: it’s not the executioner’s blade, but the avalanche they fear. The opening track on Yukon Blonde‘s Fire/Water EP hints not only at so much Coldplay but modern Coldplay it’s jarring. What the? followed by a quick recoil as if picking up something unexpectedly wet. They eventually retreat into the upfront vocal harmonies that have led to My Morning Jacket and Blitzen Trapper allusions, though that willingness to get a little crazy (and stupid) has created some space for the next outing. (Friday@Ultra Lounge with The Fling and Secret Science.)

Henhouse Prowlers will benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository through the “Bluegrass Pitch-In.” Verses, Chapters, Rhymes may have been collected in a Colorado setting far from the gritty reality of urban homelessness, though the band’s timeless music certainly knows indigence is universal. (Friday@Mayne Stage with Chicago Farmer.)

A solo, “Storytellers”-type program might or might not be what Slipknot fans are looking for in an intimate encounter with frontman Corey Taylor. Stone Sour fans, maybe. The timing couldn’t be more beneficial to tout Roadrunner’s reissue of Iowa, which, separated from the comical mess that was early nu-metal, acquits itself well. The 15-minute title track might ape Tool to within an inch of their life, but its relentlessness and prominence in the tracklisting — a bold number two — showed that the band were willing to make you work just as hard as they would for you. (The re-release includes the Disasterpiece DVD and audio.) (Saturday@Double Door.)

Having raised his anchor and sailed from Port O’Brien, Van Pierszalowski made it incumbent to justify his direction and WatersOut In The Light (TBD) mostly does. While he’ll never be mistaken for Will.I.Am or Bon Jovi, Light bears a melodic insistence that buries the “now you hear a melody, now you don’t” coy gamesmanship of his old outfit. Waters still has its hangups — like the all-caps typography and static cuts like “Mickey Mantle” and “San Francisco” — but clearly he’s inspired. (Tuesday and Wednesday@Lincoln Hall with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.)

— Steve Forstneger

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