In May, the summer tours begin in earnest and we have a full lineup of excellent bands passing through town. If you haven’t quite gotten your fill of music from Jazz Fest, start the month with the all-female surf rock ensemble La Luz at Siberia on Sun., May 1. Crawfish bread may be gone for another year but the pierogis at Kukhnya will help ease that pain. The next night Australian psychedelic rockers King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard will be at Gasa Gasa.
On May 8, Wolf Alice will open for The 1975 at Bold Sphere Music at Champions Square. Wolf Alice’s record from last year, My Love is Cool, was one of my 10 best records of the year. The 1975 have recently released a very well received new record as well. Both groups inhabit the realm of alternative rock, with Wolf Alice tending more toward the garage end of the spectrum.
UK post-punk legends The Cure are coming through town May 10-11 for a two night stand at the UNO Lakefront Arena. The Cure remain an outstanding live band. Their headlining sets often stretch to three hours and include a mix of hits and deep cuts. Whether you’re a longtime fan or casually interested, this is one worth seeing.
If you can’t get tickets to see The Cure on the 11th, hop over to Gasa Gasa for Philadelphia-based punks Beach Slang. The group’s 2015 debut The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us was a standout from last year. Just two nights later post-rock pioneers Explosions in the Sky will play the Joy Theater on the 13th. Explosions in the Sky are primarily an instrumental outfit with sweeping and complex arrangements that are prone to cathartic outbursts. This will be an amazing if introspective night of music. Keeping in the experimental vein, Montreal-based post-punks Ought will be at Siberia May 17. On their most recent effort, 2015’s Sun Coming Down, one can hear a lot of influence from bands like the Talking Heads. Ought have a kinship with bands like Protomartyr and Parquet Courts who are pushing the post-punk vibe into new territory. If you want to keep the party rolling in a similar vein, New York-based post-punks We Are Scientists will be at Gasa Gasa the next night, May 18.
If you’re looking for something a bit more toward the pop end of the spectrum, Com Truise will be opening for STRFKR at Republic May 22. The band just released an excellent new record in February. Hopefully we’ll see some material from a new record on this tour.
On the more romantic side of the spectrum, Sam Beam (of Iron and Wine) and Jesca Hoop will bring their new collection of duets to The Civic May 27. Their collaborative record Love Letter For Fire is one of the best releases of the year so far. Alt-country newcomer Marlon Williams is opening the night. His self-titled debut record is well worth your time.
Finally, close out the month with the Brooklyn-base indie pop of DIIV. The group has just released their fantastic second record Is the Is Are. You can catch them at Gasa Gasa on the 30th.
Note: Dates are subject to change. Playlist of mentioned bands available at: bit.ly/InTune5-16
While it appears that we have a full month of post-punk around town, if you’re looking to get away for a bit the Hangout Music Festival is along the coast in Gulf Shores, Alabama. This year the festival runs May 20-22. The headliners are The Weeknd, Calvin Harris and Florence and the Machine. In addition, you can catch Haim, Grimes, Big Grams, Kurt Vile, Courtney Barnett, Bully and Miike Snow, among many others. Keep an eye on my web column, where I’ll have interviews and artist previews leading up to the event. We will also post daily updates from the festival as well.