(Neumos) Change has been a gradual process for Chicago’s Pelican. The instrumental quartet started their career with an eponymous EP that took the glacial sludge of Neurosis and Sleep and reduced it to its most seismic essentials. Their sound evolved with the more nuanced riffage of Australasia, the atmospheric haze of The Fire in Our Throats…, and the truncated metallurgy of City of Echoes and What We All Come to Need. But perhaps the most pivotal leg of their journey came in the four-year gestation period leading up to last year’s Forever Becoming. In that time, Pelican shed the last remaining vestiges of their debut’s palm-muted lurch in favor of a panoramic sound combining the shimmering melancholy of Tristeza and the uptempo heft of Failure. With Tombs. BRIAN COOK
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Check out Sound Check's interview with Pelican here »
Brooklyn trio Dawn of Midi’s album Dysnomia made The New Yorker’s Best Albums of 2013 list and NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums of 2013. Well well. Bankie says it’s something like “future jazz” or “traditional instruments covering electronic music,” but I’m thinking this is more obsessive-compulsive sconce-cleaning music. Pot cookie and I were nervous about these ultra-repetitive, pretentious-seeming sounds. Are we stupid for not “getting it”? Would this music make sense if pot cookie were actually Adderall cookie? Or maybe the proper drugs are simply a deep-v and a copy of Finnegans Wake? To be fair, once you get past the initial whyyy-is-this-record-skipping? annoyance, DoM’s kind of an interesting exercise in organically-changing minimalism and pestering the boundaries/expectations of instruments. Kind of. Tractor Tavern, 9 pm, $12, 21+. EMILY NOKES
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(Barboza) Long before the current, long-awaited "NY revival" led by youngsters like Joey Bada$$ and the A$AP crew, C-Rayz Walz was a player in the East Coast, post-heyday underground that birthed acts like Aesop Rock, Company Flow, and Cannibal Ox. With beats that knocked a bit more bluntly than RZA's smoky boom bap and darting, agile flows that recalled a hybrid of Pharaohe Monch and DMX, Walz was a reliably gruff shit-talker in the early ’00s. Unfortunately, the years haven't been kind to his lyrical concerns, a tired stew of chest-beating boasts, casual homophobia, and anti-mainstream rants. There was a time, around a decade ago, that the underground heads who'd once championed old-school rhyme-sayers in this vein realized there was so much more to be done with the form and abandoned Walz in droves. He's been in an artistic netherworld ever since, searching for his own break in the increasingly crowded world of indie rap. With Scarub. KYLE FLECK
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And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!