TOADIES, SUPERSUCKERS, BATTLEME
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Toadies will always have a place in my heart. They were often lumped in with the rest of the post-grunge slop, but that's shortsighted and lazy. The band had the fortunate misfortune of having a lasting modern rock hit with "Possum Kingdom," a great song that gave their 1994 debut LP, Rubberneck, some legs, but also relegated them to being the "do you wanna diiiiieeeee?" band. (For me, their follow-up, 2001's Hell Below/Stars Above, is where it's at.) But Toadies always had a little more to offer—the dual guitar leads, their Texas fuck-all twang, and the maniacal yowl of guitarist-vocalist Vaden Todd Lewis. The band has released new material over the past five years, but since we've hit the 20th anniversary of Rubberneck they're playing the full album, which will be great, if only for "I Burn." That said, I'll be (the only guy) there in seven years when they do Hell Below/Stars Above in its entirety. MARK LORE Also see My, What a Busy Week!
WEEKEND, CITIES AVIV, GRAVE BABIES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) San Francisco band Weekend is like the San Antonio Spurs of indie rock: Both do many things well, but the end result isn't quite spectacular. On its 2010 debut album, coincidentally titled Sports, Weekend's own big three—Abe Pedroza, Shaun Durkan, and Kevin "not the former Phoenix Suns point guard" Johnson—proved themselves able practitioners of lo-fi noise-pop that chugged along at a post-punk pace; think motorik rhythms, six-stringed squalls, and vocals recorded from the bottom of a well. On last year's Jinx, the band competently layered on short blasts of Jesus and Mary Chain-style shoegaze and downcast new wave à la the Cure, while sharpening its songwriting and cleaning up its sound. Jinx is a very good record, but it will not blow you away; it is fundamentally solid, but rarely flashy. Like the Spurs, Weekend is enjoyable and worthy of respect, but unlikely to incite a passionate response. BEN SALMON
THE FUNS, COMA SERFS, JOLLAPIN JASPER, MISTER TANG
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Given their uncompromising courage in helping to foster a music scene in the face of resistance, it's rather fitting that the Funs hail straight from the Heartland. Formed by Jessee Rose Crane and Philip Jerome Lesicko in St. Louis back in 2008, the duo quickly relocated to Chicago, where they honed their loud and fuzzy art-punk in basements and warehouses, battling police shutdowns nearly every step of the way. The Funs recently left the city for greener pastures, setting up shop at an abandoned house in Southern Illinois from which Lesicko nurtures his lo-fi cassette label, Manic Static, and the two play host to touring bands in need of sanctuary. The group's self-titled debut is chockfull of menacing guitar chugs, steady drumming, and infectiously scrappy vocals, giving the album a blown-out sound that's fully capable of producing delicately crafted, anthemic moments. CHIPP TERWILLIGER