Though three-quarters of the Chicago music scene is either already in or en route to Austin, TX, for the South by Southwest Music Conference, the music news doesn't stop back home in Chicago. In fact, an enterprising reporter can even glean some useful nuggets on the plane!
The most exciting musical development in the city's summer concert scene after the Pitchfork Festival--and, one could argue, even better in some ways, because it's free--the "Downtown Sound" series of after-work concerts will be back this season on Mondays in the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park. The full schedule is:
May 24: Hypnotic Canadian psychedelic rockers the Besnard Lakes with local punk heroes the Ponys
May 31: Venerable downstate guitar wizards Hum with rockers Volcano!
June 7: Singer-songwriter team She and Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward) with Chicago's Hollows
June 14: Afrobeat giant Tony Allen with Great Lake Swimmers
June 21: Indie-rock duo the Books with Via Tania
June 28: Huntsville with On Fillmore and Wilco guitarist Nels Cline
July 5: Indie rockers The Thermals with local buzz band Disappears
July 12: Canadian electronic musician Caribou with Budos Band
July 19:Hometown hip-hop heroine Kid Sister with Konono No. 1
July 26: Gospel goddess Naomi Shelton with Bomba Estereo