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Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Concertline: Howler, Noel Gallagher, Seun Kuti, more

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A look ahead at shows worth seeing (and hearing) this week ...

HOWLER
This spunky Minneapolis quintet emerged as a popular favorite at this month's South by Southwest festival in Texas. They sound like a rollicking party where the Strokes and the Buzzcocks cover '50s rockabilly and doo-wop. It's definitely worth checking out at this free in-store show.
At 6:30 p.m. April 3 at Reckless Records, 3126 N. Broadway. Free. Call (773) 404-5080; reckless.com.

LEE RITENOUR
It's been a great couple of weeks for fans of modern guitar. First B.B. King, then George Benson, now acclaimed Los Angeles studio player (more than 3,000 sessions) and solo artist (more than 40 albums) Lee Ritenour takes a rare lap around the country. There's no new album -- he's got one in progress tentatively called "Rhythm Sections" -- just an opportunity to hear why his nickname is Captain Fingers.
At 8 p.m. April 4 at Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse. Tickets: $28-$43. Call (773) 381-4554; maynestage.com.

NOEL GALLAGHER'S HIGH FLYING BIRDS
We've already heard from one post-Oasis project (Liam Gallagher's Beady Eye came through Chicago last summer), and here comes the other: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. Stopping here on a lengthy world tour, Gallagher brings as much tuneful '60s rock as he does his trademark attitude. He recently told CNN, "I'm f---ing brilliant and the songs are f---ing brilliant." Critic-proof, as always!
At 7:30 p.m. April 1 at the Riviera Theater, 4746 N. Racine. Tickets: $45. Call (800) 514-ETIX; jamusa.com.

SEUN KUTI
The touring version of the Broadway musical "Fela!" just hit town, a show celebrating the life of Nigerian politician-musician Fela Kuti. Meanwhile, Fela's youngest son, Seun Kuti, brings his father's legendary band, Egypt 80, to Chicago this weekend. On the heels of a stellar Brian Eno-produced album, "From Africa With Fury: Rise," the saxophone player boldly carries on his family's tradition of mixing inventive, rhythmic music with potent political messages.
At 8 p.m. April 1 at House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn. Tickets: $25 advance, $28 day of show. Call (312) 923-2000; houseofblues.com/chicago.

VAN HALEN
Swinging back through for a second Chicago-area stop on its latest reunion tour, the once again David Lee Roth-led rock band plays all your favorite pre-Sammy Hagar hits. Let's just hope by now they've worked out the technical difficulties that dogged their February show at United Center. Don't be late, either: Opening act Kool & the Gang is a funk-tastic party-starter.
At 7:30 p.m. April 1 at Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim Rd. in Rosemont. Tickets: $49.50-$149.50. Call (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com.

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Thomas Conner

Thomas Conner covers pop music for the Chicago Sun-Times. Contact him via e-mail.

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on March 29, 2012 6:00 AM.

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