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Empty Out Your Wallet: Weekend of 1,000 Shows

By Veronica Murtagh in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 12, 2009 8:20PM

photo via Pet Shop Boys' myspace

A thousand might be a little facetious, but between a strong roster of bands playing Ribfest and piles of amazing shows gracing our city's venues this weekend, your options are vast. Here is the weekly rundown of the upcoming shows on sale in the days ahead, and holy crap are there some good ones this week.

We're never ashamed to profess our love for the Pet Shop Boys. Sadly, this is a group that too often gets lumped into the retro synthpop genre alongside so many one-hit wonders. The Pet Shop boys may have made their mark with their 1984 hit West End Girls, but this is a band that the general public seems to forget have won six Grammys and continued to mature their sound over 10 studio albums and a 20+ year career span. The Pet Shop Boys are far from schtick and this year's release from the duo,Yes, is one of the most solid electronic releases of 2009. The Pet Shop Boys play the Chicago Theatre on September 14.
Pet Shop Boys, Monday, September 14, Chicago Theatre, $49.50-$102.50, Tickets on sale Saturday, June 13 at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster

Singer-songwriter Pete Yorn has one of those solid voices that has the ability to speak to people of all generations. It's no surprise that Yorn got his start when his early material was picked up by TV shows and films for soundtrack use. Yorn's newest album and his 5th studio release is a collaboration with none other than actress and wannabe-chanteuse, Scarlett Johansson. We're nowhere near sold on ScarJo's musical skills, but maybe she just needs the right pairing to shine. We will just have to wait until September and the duo's release of Break Up to cast our opinion formally. Catch Yorn sans ScarJo August 3rd and 4th at Park West.
Pete Yorn, Monday and Tuesday, August 3 and 4, Park West, $29, Tickets on sale Saturday, June 13 at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster

Chrissie Hynde is one of our favorite frontwomen of all time. Despite a huge roster of band members moving through the ranks of The Pretenders over the years, Hynde has kept this act consistently making great music since 1978. Much of Hynde's appeal lies in her ability to play the Angel and the Devil simultaneously—she can shift from sweet serenade to punk sneer with ease and it never feels fake or forced. The Pretenders play the Aragon on August 18th with a couple opening acts sure to ramp up the crowd, Cat Power and Juliette Lewis.
The Pretenders with Cat Power and Juliette Lewis, Tuesday, August 18, Aragon Ballroom, $42.25, Tickets on sale Saturday, June 13 at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster

There isn't a lot that needs to be said about De La Soul. The Long Island, New York trio have been influencing their hip-hop contemporaries since the late 80's. The past few years have seen De La branch out as luminaries, lending their talents to tracks from the Gorillaz, Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip, and a recent mix for the Nike + Original Run series. De La celebrate 20 years of hits with their 20 Years High and Rising tour, which stops in Chicago at the House of Blues on August 26th.
De La Soul, Wednesday, August 26, House Of Blues, $26-$28, Tickets on sale Saturday, June 13 via House Of Blues

Whatever you end up doing this weekend, just make sure it has a soundtrack.