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 www.abbeypub.com.
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 www.bottomlounge.com.