A look ahead at shows worth seeing (and hearing) this week ...
When we talked to Chicago's Smith Westerns last spring, the band members (ages 19 and 20) were lamenting the stereotype of their youth. After a year of solid touring and festival shows supporting their acclaimed sophomore record, "Dye It Blonde" (and its great singles), Max Kakacek and brothers Cullen and Cameron Omori likely have aged a few extra years. They're finally back home this weekend.
Porcelain Raft and Bleached open at 9 p.m. Feb. 3 at Metro, 3730 N. Clark. Tickets: $16 advance, $19 day of. Call (800) 514-ETIX; metrochicago.com.
British R&B supertalent Estelle -- writer, singer, rapper -- received her due attention in 2008 with a Kanye West/will.i.am collaboration, "American Boy." Much acclaim and a Grammy nomination later, she returns next month with her third album, "All of Me." The BET Music Matters Tour brings her through Chicago with Luke James and Elle Varner.
At 9 p.m. Feb. 3 at Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee. Tickets: $20. Call (773) 489-3160; doubledoor.com.
The venue refers to this bill as "a Super Bowl of blues," and they're not kidding. Led by hitmaker Bobby Womack -- guitarist (Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools," and he wrote "Breezin'" before George Benson made it a smash hit), singer ("Woman's Gotta Have It," "Lookin' for a Love," "Across 110th Street"), interpreter ("Fly Me to the Moon," "California Dreamin'") -- the show also features racy, talkie singer Millie Jackson and the deep voice of (Benny) Latimore.
At 8 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Venue at Horseshoe Casino, 777 Casino Center Dr. in Hammond, Ind. Tickets: $55-$85. Call (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com.
The fuzz-folk is back! The revered indie-rock band Neutral Milk Hotel -- "revered" is too mild, how about: "deservedly and rabidly worshipped" -- the pet project of Louisiana native Jeff Mangum, went on an indefinite hiatus in the late '90s. Fans waited and waited for the return. Late in 2010, Mangum began appearing with some solo sets, which turned into a few more late last year (including an Occupy Wall Street serenade) and now the full-fledged tour of Mangum performing Neutral Milk Hotel material. For indie fans, this is like Catcher in the Rye II.
At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6-7 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. Sold out. Call (773) 935-6860; athenaeumtheatre.com.