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Jerry Lee Lewis and Dolly Parton or Jennifer Hudson and Pitchfork: This month, it’s listener’s choice.
Jerry Lee Lewis
July 9 In recent years, the rock ’n’ roll legend has put out a winning pair of duet albums. This show, his first Chicago concert in more than a decade, follows a 2011 live recording produced by the White Stripes’ Jack White. Though his age and inconsistencies are worrisome, the chance to hear the Killer’s lascivious drawl and riotous piano playing in person leaves us breathless. At 7, $25–$90. 2135 N Milwaukee. congresschicago.com.
July 28 She pioneered the persona of down-to-earth gal meets glamorous diva, and her music similarly blends glossy pop with old-school country. That mix of art and artifice carries over to her live shows as well, but even at her most contrived, the exuberant spectacle that is Parton is enormously entertaining. At 7:30, $58–$148. Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N River, Rosemont. ticketmaster.com.
July 16–17 Chicago’s own Oscar winner released her sophomore album earlier this year, and while the songs straddle 1970s-style soul and contemporary R&B with middling results, Hudson’s powerhouse singing is stunning—and should be even more impressive live. At 7:30, $33–$80. Lake Cook and Green Bay, Highland Park. ravinia.org.
Pitchfork Music Festival
July 15–17 Chicago’s edgy indie-rock festival has about two days’ worth of compelling music stretched over three days, with most of the weak spots falling on day 2. Friday acts include the artily experimental Animal Collective, the country-folk chanteuse Neko Case, and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore. Saturday brings the folk combo Fleet Foxes, the emo pioneers The Dismemberment Plan, and the subversive yacht rocker Destroyer. Sunday features the dance-pop act Cut Copy and the electronic rock/soul fusionists TV on the Radio. Fri 3–10, Sat–Sun noon–10. Union Park, 1501 W Randolph. $45 per day; three-day passes sold out. pitchforkmusicfestival.com.
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Photograph: Courtesy of Ravinia Festival