This Week's Picks:
Santana strings up, Fiona's full tour, Owl City's reinvention
Monday, July 9
Santana strings up: From the psychedelic era through present tense, Carlos Santana is one of the world's greatest guitar gods. See his six string skills alongside his Latin-flavored jam band as they turn in multi-generational favorites, from "Black Magic Woman" through "Smooth," plus tunes from 2012's self-released "Shape Shifter." The latter is an entirely instrumental return to roots affair that marks the luminary's 36th album to date. Monday, July 9 at Ravinia: www.ravinia.org.
Fiona's full tour: These days, seven years is an eternal gap in between albums, but Fiona Apple fans are always faithful and her warm up club tour prior to releasing "The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do" (Epic) sold out within seconds. In keeping with the emotive singer/songwriter's mysterious ways, tunes from this poetically charged project were kept a total secret from absolutely everyone (including her record label) though the alt-pop allure packed within was certainly worth the wait. Tuesday, July 10 at Chicago Theatre: www.thechicagotheatre.com.
Owl City's reinvention: Owl City is proving to be more than a one trick pony with an increasing evolution beyond just the electronic rock arena. Though Adam Young's pleading vocals are immediately recognizable throughout the new "Shooting Star EP" (Universal Republic), there's an increased infatuation with hip-hop and top 40 on the short but sweet collection. It's always catchy, but at times a little too watered down for more mature listeners, though at least there's plenty of assertive songwriting smarts and fist-pumping choruses at every turn sure to set this show on fire. Thursday, July 12 at The Bottom Lounge: www.bottomlounge.com.