From Deep House to toe-tappin’ Blues, Chicago is never short of a good song, but as winter draws in, there’s an even finer selection than usual. (And with the mercury fast descending, there’s no better time to snuggle into a concert venue.) Here are some of our favourites...
Beguiling Brazilian crooner Seu Jorge, a favela-born singer-songwriter and actor, presents The Life Aquatic: A Tribute To David Bowie at the too-cool Thalia Hall (17 Nov), performing his soundtrack for Wes Anderson’s cult film, in which he played Pelé dos Santos. The album is a magical, hypnotic Brazilian-Portuguese riff on the David Bowie classics, accompanied only by his acoustic guitar.
Mini fest MCA Prime Time (Museum of Contemporary Art, 19 Nov) is an after-hours series of live music, performance art and film screenings that gives great insight into the local creative scene. Online muso mag Pitchfork helms the November Ascend session, featuring rap-poet Noname, soul and hip-hop artist Jamila Woods, and footwork pioneer RP Boo, plus DJ sets too.
Pop sensations Stevie Nicks (of Fleetwood Mac) and The Pretenders are touring 27 cities together stopping by Chicago’s United Center (3 Dec), with Chrissie Hynde’s new wave rock/punk band reforming for the occasion – and hopefully blasting out some of the songs from their rave-reviewed new album, Alone.
Prefer folk-rock meets baroque pop? American violinist and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird tunes up for three shows at the Fourth Presbyterian Church (14-16 Dec). All are currently sold out, but ask your concierge about returns.
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, will be showing off her impressive pipes at The Chicago Theatre (17 Dec), in a rescheduled concert that should bring the house down.
And finally, Chicago-born godmother of punk Patti Smith celebrates her 70th birthday by revisiting her classic 1975 debut Horses at the Riviera Theatre (30 Dec). Get booking!
Seu Jorge / Thalia Hall / 1807 S Allport St / +1 312 526 3851 / thaliahallchicago.com
MCA Prime Time / 220 E Chicago Ave / +1 312 397 4010 / mcachicago.org
Stevie Nicks & The Pretenders / United Center / 1901 W Madison St / +1 800 745 3000 / unitedcenter.com
Andrew Bird / Fourth Presbyterian Church / 126 E Chestnut St / +1 312 787 4570 / andrewbird.net
Aretha Franklin / The Chicago Theatre / 175 N State St / +1 800 745 3000 / thechicagotheatre.comPatti Smith / Riviera Theatre / 4746 N Racine Ave / +1 773 275 6800 / jamusa.com