Sound check: Glen Hansard spends a night in Chicago
Glen Hansard in town
Glen Hansard, the Irish busker and The Frames vocalist who rose to international prominence with the starring role of Guy in 2007's sublime movie-musical "Once," brings "This Wild Willing Tour," a collective of rock- and folk-influenced artists, to Chicago. 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago. Tickets start at $40. (312) 902-1500 or msg.com.
Also at the Chicago Theatre this week:
• Massive Attack's "Mezzaninexx1 Tour": 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11; tickets start at $135; (312) 902-1500 or msg.com.
• Vince Gill, Jedd Hughes: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12; tickets start at $39.50; (312) 902-1500 or msg.com.
On the Fringe
Starting Friday and stretching through next Sunday, more than 100 comedy, music and theatrical performances (as well as firebreathers, a mindreader, podcasters and a short film fest) will be popping up all around Elgin as the sixth annual Elgin Fringe Festival puts local arts in the spotlight. The festival, the brainchild of the Side Street Studio Arts and Elgin Cultural Arts Commission, aims to bring together accessible and affordable artists with businesses throughout the area. Performers get a place to showcase their skills, and residents get a chance to revel in the sheer amount of visual and performance art growing in the area. While some performances are family friendly, The Family Fringe, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Elgin History Museum, 360 Park St., Elgin, will feature activities, artistry and performances just for kids. The festival launches with the EFF Visual Artist Gallery Opening from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at Side Street Studio Arts, 15 Ziegler Court, Elgin. Performances and box office hours continue through Sunday, Sept. 15, at various locations. Some acts are ticketed; others are free with an Elgin Fringe Festival button. See elginfringefestival.com/performances for schedules, locations and pricing.
When Cardinal Harbor's "Vulture Hottub" drops this week, the six-piece indie-rock band, whose members first met at Wheaton College, seems to have figured out new ways of looking at what they're all about. "It took us three years to build this new material, and we went into it with the mindset of OK, let's find new things," Spencer McCreary, the band's frontman and guitarist, said. "Excavate sounds that aren't familiar to us, get them up to the oxygen and burn away. It felt like we were finding really beautiful things, smashing them up and trying to rebuild with those pieces." Hear it when McCreary and the band -- Mark Andersen, Wheaton native Scott Carrick, Taylor Dalton, Chris Hills and Joel Stapleton -- celebrate the release of the new experimental full-length album at Chicago's Beat Kitchen this weekend with friends Harvey Fox and Cordoba. (Pay special attention to the sublime vulnerability in "F.O.M.O.") 8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. $10. (773) 281-4444 or beatkitchen.com.
Villains on stage
From what I've seen, the individual members of V Is for Villains aren't really evil; they just play it on stage. Part industrial, part electronic, part theatrical and all entertaining, the Villains are poised to take over Bottom Lounge with their Dark Carnival stylings and dramatic stage show. Throw in support from TANZEN and Code Name: Phoenix, and you've got a night you won't soon forget. 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St., Chicago. $10. (312) 666-6775 or bottomlounge.com.
Bringing Garland to life
Judy Garland was an American musical treasure. Broadway star Melissa Minyard brings her iconic stage performances to life as she tours with "You Made Me Love You: The Music of Judy Garland." The musical tribute stops at Crystal Lake's Raue Center for the Arts for a Sunday matinee. 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, at Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. $25-$35. (815) 356-9212 or rauecenter.org.
• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter at @thatshamieguy. Brian also keeps tabs on the Chicago-area music scene at chicagosoundcheck.com.