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Concertline: St. Vincent, Levon Helm tribute, k.d. lang, more

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

Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, is still touring on the strength of her visceral, alluring 2011 album "Strange Mercy," but she recently announced she's got another set coming in the fall -- a collaboration with Talking Heads frontman David Byrne. She was a monster at Coachella, so she might tear down the Vic.
At 7:30 p.m. May 11 at the Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield. Sold out.

Faculty and friends of Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music -- where legendary Band drummer Levon Helm just performed one of his star-studded Midnight Ramble shows in March -- gather this weekend to celebrate the life of the influential musician, who died in mid-April. Featured players include Steve Dawson, Nate Herman, Charles Kim, Steve Levitt, Arielle Luckmann, Colby Maddox and more.
At 7 p.m. May 13 at Old Town's Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall, 4544 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $11-$12. Call (773) 728-6000;

Country music star Eric Church just went up several points in my book. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, he kvetched about the absurdity of TV talent shows such as "The Voice": "Once your career becomes about something other than the music, then that's what it is. I'll never make that mistake. I don't care if I f---ing starve." Hear him put his music where his mouth his on his arena tour this weekend.
Blackberry Smoke and Brantley Gilbert open at 7:30 p.m. May 11 at the Sears Centre, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway in Hoffman Estates. Tickets: $39.75-$47.50. Visit

Enough time has passed now that Chicago's premier musical chameleons -- the ever-evolving cover band that is Tributosaurus -- can present an evening of Michael Jackson's hits that's liable to be both reverent and revelatory.
At 8 p.m. May 12 at the Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield. Tickets: $25. Call (800) 514-ETIX;

k.d. lang
Whether reaching back to her country roots, adding smooth stylistic twists to pop music or going toe-to-toe with the best singers of standards, k.d. lang remains a quintessential vocalist. Last year's album "Sing It Loud" mixes up all three strengths in one set, as do her shows -- including this weekend's performance as part of Chicago's Human First 2012 fund-raiser for the LGBT community, hosted by Bravo's Andy Cohen.
At 7 p.m. May 12 at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted. Tickets: $125-$500. Call (312) 334-7777,

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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 May 10, 2012 5:00 PM.

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