(Un)Familiar Music Series
The Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave., 773-276-3600
Best new: New music, as defined by Spektral Quartet violist Doyle Armbrust, has little in common with anything you might catch on Spotify. It’s more like frenetic performance pieces that range from two men shouting at the audience to the spoken-word monologues interwoven with flute melodies in Janice Misurell-Mitchell’s Amendment Blues No. 1. Armbrust created this monthly new-music night a year ago and found an enthusiastic audience; attend the next mind-bending installment on August 31 at 7 p.m.
Loops and Variations
Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph St.
Best overall: This outstanding series is a curated hodgepodge of contemporary classical music, electronica, and the occasional rock-star side project. On August 28, watch Eighth Blackbird in concert with Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche.