music

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Science-meets-symphony in ‘Northern Lights’

Summer in Chicago is an odd time to see the northern lights. We’re thousands of miles from the frigid northern lands where those dazzling, color-filled displays, also known as the aurora borealis, periodically light up the skies. This weekend the Grant Park Music Festival brings …

4th of July weekend offers an array of concerts worth celebrating

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When the allure of listening to firework bombasts wears off this July 4th weekend, there’s also a hefty lineup of concerts waiting for you.

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Life these days is ‘Heaven’ for Tim McGraw

At 47, Tim McGraw is seven years sober, in the best shape of his life, in the midst of a 30-city tour, and excitedly anticipating his 13th studio album, “Sundown Heaven Town.”

Sarah McLachlan celebrates new beginnings with ‘Shine On’

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‘I started to write breakup songs again, but this time it felt boring to me.” Sarah McLachlan is throwing us all for a loop on her latest album.

Since the beginning, the Canadian singer-songwriter behind such tearjerkers as “Angel” and “I Will Remember You” has …

IN THE MUSIC SPOTLIGHT: Janelle Monae & Gary Clark Jr.

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The Taste of Chicago includes a healthy side of pop music to accompany its main course of local cuisine. Running from July 9-13, the festival features headlining acts at Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park. Recent line-ups have included veteran talent like Robert Plant of …

Ringo Starr’s simply mad about drumming — but loving his painting, too

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Music legend Ringo Starr arrives in Chicago June 28 not only with his All Starr Band in tow, but with a bevy of artwork that just might give us the clearest view of the man as he stands today.

IN THE MUSIC SPOTLIGHT— Hamilton Leithauser

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At the end of 2013, New York-based indie-rockers the Walkmen completed support of their seventh album “Heaven.” Fans and critics had praised the album as the group’s most upbeat. Frontman Hamilton Leithauser described its creation as the band’s easiest. So, it was surprising when members …

Langford delivers pumped-up folk with rock edges on latest CD

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Jon Langford, who’s recorded many albums as a member of The Mekons and Waco Brothers, started out in punk and later developed his love of country music inspired by Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Bob Wills and other classic country greats. But his new album takes …

Foster the People deliver worldly inspired ‘Supermodel’

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Mark Foster’s favorite hit songs are the ones written without thought given to eventual chart potential.

Local Buzz for March 7, 2014

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Here is a look at music events. Suggestions include gigs at Blue Chip Casino’s Rocks Lounge in Michigan City, the Venue at Horseshoe Hammond, Majestic Star Casino & Hotel’s Lakeshore Lounge in Gary, and Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

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With recent bands like Fitz and the Tantrums packing halls, and sweat-soaked old-school talent like Charles Bradley on the rise, the soul music revival that began in the late ’90s continues to percolate. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings have been at the vanguard, outlasting dabblers and trend-jumpers by producing impassioned material and electrifying shows since launching from Brooklyn in 2000.

Christina Perri has her music all figured out

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Once you get past her sensitive, yet strong, voice and her breathtaking beauty, you find that singer-songwriter Christina Perri has one more endearing gift. She is a freak when it comes to numbers. “We began working on this album on Oct. 23, 2012, and spent …

On new CD, solo tour, Jennifer Nettles is finding a new, empowering voice

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“This is my new chapter of rebirth,” says the Sugarland singer.

‘Ring of Fire’ lacks soul of Johnny Cash’s life

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Revue at Theater at the Center sounds terrific but falters whenever the music stops and the attempts at dialogue begin.

Local Buzz for Feb. 28, 2014

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Here is a look at music events. Suggestions include several gigs at Blue Chip Casino’s Rocks Lounge in Michigan City.

Over the moon — Trisha Yearwood’s happy and not afraid to show it

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Trisha Yearwood should consider recording a cover of “The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.” The country music star-turned-best-selling cookbook author-turned Food Network show host just gushes happiness. And what about that joint tour with hubby Garth Brooks?