This Weekend’s Concert Picks: Khaira Arby And Her Band at Johnny Brenda’s, Maps And Atlases at TLA

One of the highlights at SXSW this year was the NPR Music showcase, which featured Khaira Arby and her band. The singer from Mali is bringing her band to town this evening for a special performance. Khaira Arby And Her Band performs with Urban Shamans at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ are $10. —Bruce Warren

Also playing: Philly Bloco at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., $15); The Loom + Archeology, Dolfish, South Of Lincoln, On The Water, Tinmouth, Bottle Rocket, Annachristie at Danger Danger Gallery (9 p.m., all ages, $5–$10);The Spinning Leaves at The Fire (9 p.m., $10)

Android Plus Music Festival featuring North Lawrence Midnight Singers, Viv And The Revival at The Blockley (5 p.m., $8)

Until the release of Perch Patchwork, Chicago-based Maps And Atlases were known mostly for a ’90s-influenced math-rock sound. With 2010’s Patchwork (their first full-length, despite forming in 2004 and gaining critical attention in 2006), Maps And Atlases expanded their repertoire and their fan base. Patchwork is a batch of accessible songs, verging on pop, but still infused with the spirit of the band’s sonic roots. It’s this union of catchy vocal melody (courtesy of lead singer Dave Davison) and interesting instrumentation that makes Maps And Atlases so good. Maps And Atlases performs with RX Bandits and Zechs Marquise at at 6:30 p.m. at TLA; tickets to the show are $29. —Kiley Bense

Also playing: Omar Souleyman at Johnny Brenda’s (8 p.m., 21+, $20)


Tonight’s Concert Pick: Maps And Atlases at First Unitarian Church

Full disclosure: I am an unabashed math-rock fan. If I need a calculator to understand a song, then I’m happy. Among the various phrases you’ll often find used to describe the genre are “complex rhythmic structures,” “angular melodies,” and “dissonant chords.” Without any question, Chicago’s Maps And Atlases has embodied that definition (and then some) since its inception in 2004. But the band’s 2010 release, Perch Patchwork (on Barsuk Records), saw the quartet restraining its tendencies toward rhythmic complexity—and it’s done absolute wonders for its sound. There is an accessible beauty in Patchwork‘s 12 tracks that’s rare in the world of math-rock (including Maps And Atlases’ previous albums), one that offers a less-challenging way for the mathematically-averse to get lost in the band’s hypnotically catchy hooks. Maps And Atlases performs with Delicate Steve and Gypsyblood at 7:30 p.m. at First Unitarian Church; tickets to the all-ages show are $12. —Paul Severin

Also playing: British Sea Power + A Classic Education at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $12); The Cinematographers + Cyro Baptista, Shahzad Ismaily, Grimace Federation, Damn Right! at The Blockley (9 p.m., $12-$15); Penrose + New West, El Malito, Jen Lightfoot, Gretchen Elise at The Trocadero (8:30 p.m., 21+, $8)