A look ahead at shows worth seeing (and hearing) this week ...
It was a spirited rearrangement of our national anthem, and it wouldn't have been so dreadful if the guitarist had just played in tune with the rest of the band. Fortunately, after the NCAA debacle earlier this month, the Fray has a lengthy tour to distract them. The "Greys Anatomy"-approved Denver quartet is supporting February's "Scars and Stories."
At 7:30 p.m. April 17 at the Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine. Tickets: $35. Call (800) 514-ETIX; jamusa.com.
MASTODON & OPETH
Mastodon, the critics-darling, heavy metal band, is finally touring its fifth album, "The Hunter" -- a straightforward, no-nonsense collection of screamers after several heavily themed albums. Written with performance in mind, the band plans to play it in its entirety during shows this spring, on a co-headlining tour with Swedish hard rockers Opeth.
At 7 p.m. April 13 at the Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine. Tickets: $35. Call (800) 514-ETIX; jamusa.com.
10TH ANNUAL CHIRP RECORD FAIR
Record Store Day isn't until next weekend, but collectors can get a jump on platter-hoarding -- and support a super-cool local music venture in the process. The 10th annual CHIRP Record Fair benefits the Chicago Independent Radio Project, some of the finest online radio you'll tune in anywhere. In addition to stacks of wax, tape, CDs and more, scheduled live performances include the Blue Ribbon Glee Club, Beyond Luck and, at 11 a.m., Numero Group's Jon Kirby in "Tobacco-a-Go-Go: An introduction to the dance music of North Carolina!" Yes, please.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 14-15 at the Chicago Journeyman Plumbers Union, 1340 W. Washington. Admission is $7, $5 with any ad; or special pre-admission at 8 a.m. Saturday for $25. Visit chicagoindieradio.org/recordfair.
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE
After resting from their exhausting tour schedule -- and after singer Ben Gibbard married actress-musician Zooey Decshanel (they've recently filed for divorce) -- Death Cab for Cutie returned to pop-rock duty with last year's "Codes and Keys." For the new tour, they've brought along the Magik*Magik Orchestra, an eight-piece string section that colored in several of the new recordings.
At 7:30 p.m. April 16-17 at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. Tickets: $29.50-$49.50. Call (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com.