Lincoln Hall/Schubas's Tomorrow Never Knows Festival begins tomorrow, and the lineup is killer. Now in its 11th year, the event features 46 bands and four comics at six venues over the course of five days. It's a welcome surge of live music during the otherwise quiet winter concert season. The only downside is that you certainly won't be able to see everything. The festival is organized into 20 overlapping shows (three to five a night), so unless you want to do some serious venue-hopping, parking it at one spot a night is advisable. Your best bets for each, below.
Wednesday, 1/14: The Both with Laura Jane Grace
Catching Aimee Mann and Ted Leo's indie-punk supergroup The Both should be a treat for fans of either singer, but possibly even cooler is surprise opener Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!, still ostensibly touring behind her band's best album in a decade, 2014's Transgender Dysphoria Blues. 7:45 p.m. at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. $27–$37.
Thursday, 1/15: Kishi Bashi String Quartet
Hearing violinist Kishi Bashi's hyper-layered songs on tape is overwhelming in itself; watching them unfold live with a single loop pedal is a whole other ballgame. 7 p.m. at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. $22–$27.
Friday, 1/16: Pup and Zola Jesus
Friday is by far TNK's most unfortunately booked evening—Pup, Zola Jesus, and Cloud Nothings all headline separate venues—but it's also the best night to catch two shows. My official endorsement is Canadian pop-punkers Pup (their live show borders on calisthenics), but they don't play Schubas until 11:45 p.m., which leaves enough time to catch art-pop singer Zola Jesus two blocks down Southport at the Athenaeum at 10 p.m. Yolo, as they say. Pup: 9 p.m. at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport. $15. Zola Jesus: 8 p.m. at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. $15–$20.
Saturday, 1/17: Strand of Oaks
In a decade where most guitar rock sounds familiar at best, Timothy Showalter (a.k.a. Strand of Oaks)'s fourth album HEAL is a breath of fresh air. Were it not for the album's stark resemblance to Springsteen, Showalter's sound might pass as utterly new. 9 p.m. at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln. $15.
Sunday, 1/18: ProbCause, Psalm One, Saba
After a relatively quiet few months, Evanston rapper ProbCause emerged last week with a new track—his first as one half of Zro Fox, a collaboration with Hologram Kizzie—from an EP that will allegedly drop next Tuesday. He's also kicking off a two-week tour this weekend, so 2015 is already shaping up to be a big year for ProbCause. Saba and Hologram Kizzie (billed as Psalm One) open. 9 p.m. at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln. $15.