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Five Rock, Pop, and Hip-Hop Shows to Catch in January

Jay Z takes the United Center and an annual winter music fest is bigger than ever.

One night only: Jay Z in concert
One night only: Jay Z in concert   Photo: Tom Watkins/Rex Features/AP

Jay Z

1/9 at 8 Though not nearly as intellectually or sonically ambitious as its name suggests, Hov’s 12th solo joint, Magna Carta Holy Grail, has its moments (if you haven’t grown weary of his persistent rags-to-riches bloviating). Still, he’s bound to work some classic cuts into the mix during this show. $32.50–$150. United Center, 1901 W Madison. ticketmaster.com

JD Samson & Men

1/31 at 9:30 The producer, performance artist, and Le Tigre rabble-rouser performs songs from her 2013 record, Labor, which continues Samson’s mission of melding artful, aggressive, and supercatchy dance tracks with LGBTQ activist lyrical themes. $12–$15. Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western. emptybottle.com

Los Campesinos!

1/15 at 8 The sprawling indie ensemble, formed in Wales in 2006 (though none of its members are Welsh), has been riding a spazzy sugar buzz ever since. This all-ages affair aims to blow the roof off Metro in support of No Blues, the band’s newest album, a 10-song collection of endlessly peppy sonic mayhem that whimsically unfurls but never falls apart. $22.50. Metro, 3730 N Clark. jamusa.com

St. Lucia

1/15 at 9 South African–born Jean-Philip Grobler began as a producer, remixing tracks for Passion Pit and Charli XCX, among others. But two 2012 solo EPs, particularly the breezy summer earworm Before the Dive, changed that course, and now he tours in support of his 2013 full-length debut, When the Night. $15–$18. Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln. lincolnhallchicago.com

CRITIC’S PICK

Tomorrow Never Knows

1/15–19 It’s no secret that this annual winter gathering functions as a glimmer of hope for summer fests amid Chicago’s January tundra, which is reason enough for music festival fiends to attend. And this year the organizers have doubled down, expanding the offerings across five days and six venues. Highlights include beachy indie-pop act Cayucas and rootsy Brooklyn throwback trio the Lone Bellow. $15–$100. Multiple venues. Visit tnkfest.com for complete lineup. lincolnhallchicago.com

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