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Concertline: Norah Jones, Owl City, more

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

OWL CITY
Adam Young's Owl City first snared our ears in 2009 with the song "Fireflies." Now he's back -- and with Carly Rae Jepsen on his latest album, "The Midsummer Station." It wasn't even a fame-hitching gimmick; Jepsen added vocals to Owl City's "Good Time" well before she went viral with her own ambivalent phone-chat hit. But Young doesn't need Jepsen along to put on a vibrant, dance-pop show.
At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield. Tickets: $25. Call (800) 514-ETIX; jamusa.com.

NORAH JONES
She was just as surprised by the runaway success of 2002's "Come Away With Me," but she's spent the last decade curing, as it were. Her latest album, "Little Broken Hearts," is something of a pinnacle. The Danger Mouse collaboration aside, Jones has also been recording with her country band, the Little Willies. There's more breadth her than you might expect, and a show worth taking in.
At 8 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. Tickets: $48-$65. (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com.

Concertline: 2 Chainz, Kiss and more

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

2 CHAINZ
He's been everywhere this year -- collaborating with Kanye West ("Mercy" earlier in the year, plus the new single "Birthday Song"), partying with Nicki Minaj and opening for Drake on tour. Supporting his own new full-length, "Based on a T.R.U. Story," 2 Chainz heads out on his first headlining tour with a promise to deliver the G.O.O.D.s.
At 9 p.m. Sept. 7 at Metro, 3730 N. Clark. Tickets: $26. (800) 514-ETIX; metrochicago.com.

THE DUST UP
An inaugural Wicker Park music festival, the Dust Up is a daylong lineup of solid local and regional bands. DJs spin through the afternoon during a record fair featuring booths from Chicago labels the Numero Group, Bloodshot and Kranky Records. Then the music gets under way, featuring Disappears, Andre Williams & the Goldstars, Old Baby, Quarter Mile Thunder and the Jeff Walroth Band.
Record fair at noon, music starts at 4 p.m. Sept. 8 in the Big Star parking lot at 1531 N. Damen. Admission is free (21 and over). For information, call (773) 549-4140; metrochicago.com.

Concertline: North Coast Music Festival and more

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

NORTH COAST MUSIC FESTIVAL
The North Coast Music Festival returns to Union Park, scheduled the way a three-day festival should be -- with no work on Monday. The free-wheeling event jumbles jam bands, hip-hop and EDM into one smiley bundle, with this year's highlight acts including Yelawolf, STS9, Paul Oakenfold, Girl Talk, Atmosphere, the Rebirth Brass Band, Pretty Lights and Big Boi. Great local artists are on board, too, like jam titans Umphrey's McGee as well as Future Rock, Family Groove Company, the supergroup Digital Tape Machine and Van Ghost, which features North Coast co-promoter Michael Harrison Berg. Each night features a Lolla-like round of after-shows, too.
Music runs 1-10 p.m. Aug. 31-Sept. 2 in Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph. Tickets: Single-day tickets remain for Friday ($50), Saturday ($55) and Sunday ($60); regular three-day passes are sold-out, but VIP passes ($350) remain. Complete information at northcoastfestival.com.

Concertline: Lindsey Buckingham, Archers of Loaf, more

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

ARCHERS OF LOAF
As reissues of their '90s gems keep rolling out, the beautifully noisy alt-rock band Archers of Loaf continues a full-scale tour that began last year with their reunion for festival gigs. Back together after 13 years, Eric Bachmann and the band are still pealing unvarnished licks and working through thoughtful, skeptical lyrics. (When this wraps up, Bachmann will be back with his folk-rock project Crooked Fingers, Nov. 7-8 at Schubas.)
Metz opens at 9:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake. Tickets: $22. Call (312) 666-6775; bottomlounge.com.

LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM
Fleetwood Mac is making noise about another reunion next year, and another new indie-rock tribute album to the '70s supergroup is out now. Meanwhile, the band's creative center and superfluously talented guitarist keeps making the rounds, playing some of the Mac hits in among his own intricate, edgy solo material. He rarely misses the opportunity to leave your jaw dangling. Bonus: It's one of the first shows at this swank, new West Loop venue.
At 8 p.m. Aug. 26-27 at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph. Tickets: $80-100. Call (312) 733-WINE; citywinery.com/chicago.

Concertline: Jimmy Webb, Square Roots fest, more

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

JIMMY WEBB
Oklahoma-born songwriter Jimmy Webb gets around -- that much is clear by some of his most famous song titles, such as "Wichita Lineman," "Galveston," "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," even "Up, Up and Away" and "MacArthur Park" -- and the revered tunesmith is still touring. Webb, 65, alone with a piano is a pretty perfect evening. Bonus: Webb's opening act is hand-picked, a deep well of talent and spirit named John Fullbright. I went on a bit about his SXSW showcase, and Webb himself is quoted declaring that "in a very short time, John Fullbright will be a household name in American music." The talent is definitely there, akin to Richard Buckner, Lucinda Williams, Paul K., Townes Van Zandt, all the dusty greats.
At 8 p.m. at S.P.A.C.E., 1345 Chicago Ave. in Evanston. Tickets: $20-$42. Call (847) 492-8860; evanstonspace.com.

FOLK YOU!
Larry O. Dean's monthly acoustic night, called Folk You!, is in its 10th year of providing something a little richer than your basic open-mike folk fare. Four performers (one of whom is usually Dean) take the stage solo every third Friday, playing only original songs. The song is the thing here, and the price can't be beaten. This week's gathering spotlights Christine Flores-Cozza, John Lucky and Dean Milano.
At 8 p.m. July 20 at the Horseshoe, 4115 N. Lincoln. Admission is free. Call (773) 248-1366; folkyou.org.

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

WILCO
Wilco played half a dozen different Chicago venues last December, including a great show at the opera house, so this summer they're heading to the ballpark. No, not that ballpark. The acclaimed Chicago-based alt-rock band will be in the 'burbs, along with two other revered local acts: Andrew Bird and his folkie whistling coos, and the Congregation with their hard soul grooves. Great show.
At 5:30 p.m. July 8 at the Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, 34W002 Cherry Lane in Geneva. Tickets: $50. Call (800) 514-ETIX; etix.com.
-- UPDATE: WXRT-FM (93.1) will be broadcasting the whole show live Sunday night, on air and via wxrt.radio.com.

WEST FEST
Chicago's West Town neighborhood boasts one of the summer's coolest and largest (last year the crowd was 50,000 strong) hootenannies, West Fest. This year the lineup includes: the Black Lips on July 7, preceded by Man or Astroman, Pet Lions and more. On July 8, it's the delicious electro-duo Mates of State, the dark folk of Crooked Fingers and more. There's also a DJ stage, a kids music stage and plenty of food, drink and shopping.
Music runs from 1 to 10 p.m. July 7-8 on Chicago Avenue between Damen and Wood. Admission: $5 donation requested. Call (312) 850-9390; westfestchicago.com.

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

DAVID GUETTA
The No. 1 DJ in the world returns to raise the roof (possibly literally) at the Congress, ahead of a summer full of festival bookings, the return of the Electric Daisy Carnival and a residency in Las Vegas. The Frenchman knows he'll be in the motherland this weekend: "It's interesting because [dance] music was born in Chicago with house music and Detroit with techno, and we took it in Europe and turned it into something trendy and cool, crossing-over and playing it on the radio," he recently told the Hollywood Reporter.
At 7:30 p.m. May 25 at the Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee. Tickets: $48.50-$125. Call (773) 276-1235; congresschicago.com.

DOWNTOWN SOUND
The city's annual free Downtown Sound concert series kicks off Monday evening with two underappreciated local heroes: Kelly Hogan, the former Rock*A*Teen longtime Chicago omnipresence, and Scott Lucas & the Married Men, the rootsy side of Local H's Lucas. Both have new albums due on June 5: Hogan's "I Like to Keep Myself in Pain," and "Blood Half Moon" from Lucas' Married Men.
At 6:30 p.m. May 28 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Admission is free. Visit the site.

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

BONNIE RAITT
One of rock's finest interpreters, Bonnie Raitt, 62, has re-emerged after a seven-year recording hiatus with yet another set of perfectly pleasant, well-chosen and occasionally daring songs, "Slipstream." With her honey-smooth voice and take-it-easy guitar playing, she'll hold down two nights this week in Chicago.
Marc Cohn opens at 7:30 p.m. May 19-20 at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. Tickets: $39.50-$75. Call (800) 514-ETIX; jamusa.com.

FANTABULOSO
Another package show from WKSC-FM (103.5), the Fantabuloso bill features Enrique Iglesias (who's getting around this summer and will be at the United Center Aug. 3 with Jennifer Lopez), Gym Class Heroes, B.O.B., the Wanted, Karmin, Cobra Starship, Havana Brown, Neon Hitch, Dev and Outasight, Carly Rae Jepsen and -- just added -- Adam Lambert. That's a lot of short sets.
At 5:30 p.m. May 18 at Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Rd. in Rosemont. Tickets: $25-$95. Call (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com.

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

ST. VINCENT
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.

A CELEBRATION OF LEVON HELM
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; oldtownschool.org.

Concertline: M83, Carolina Chocolate Drops, more

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

M83
It's not easy to sell a double album these days, but M83's "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming" contained at least one ringer: the masterful synth-driven single, "Midnight City," the best of 2011. Anthony Gonzalez says he penned it as a soundtrack to the little films in his head, and it's a cinematic sensation: even in concert, where the touring band is energetic and spunky, at least for a bunch of knob-twiddlers.
At 7:30 p.m. May 4 at the Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine. Sold out.

CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS
Lots of nostalgia nerds play old-timey music, but the Carolina Chocolate Drops aren't kidding around. This quartet salvages traditional rural tunes and styles (from the Carolinas, of course) that might otherwise be lost to warped 78s and crumbling sheet music. They also stir in more modern active ingredients; yes, there's fiddle and banjo, but there's also some occasional beat-boxing.
Bhi Bhiman and Po' Girl open at 9 p.m. May 5 at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $20. Call (773) 525-2508; lincolnhallchicago.com.

Thomas Conner

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

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