Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

This weekend: Van der Graaf Generator, Shellac

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Though it may not be nearly as familiar a name as peers like Genesis or Yes, fans such as Chicagoan Jim Christopulos, author of Van der Graaf Generator--The Book, hold up Peter Hammill's band as the finest of the first English progressive-rock era. Hammill has made a few appearances in the States in recent years, but Van der Graaf itself is coming here for the first time ever at 8 p.m. Friday, performing at the Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, after an opening set by another relic of that time, the Strawbs. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door; call (773) 478-4408 or visit

Its recent recorded output could never be called prolific, and it may not perform live often, but any appearance by Steve Albini, Bob Weston and Todd Trainer--collectively known as Chicago noise-rock gods Shellac--is certain to leave your mind rattled and your ears ringing for some time to come. The band performs at 8 p.m. Saturday and at noon on Sunday after opening sets by Bear Claw and Three Second Kiss at the Bottom Lounge, 1375 W Lake St. Tickets are $12; call (312) 929-2022 or visit

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on June 24, 2009 4:16 PM.

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