Sound check: Juliana Hatfield in Evanston; don your PJs for Snuzfest
Spin the bottle with Juliana Hatfield
The early ’90s musical landscape would certainly have been lacking without the likes of Juliana Hatfield. The influential singer — who was best known for melding punk undertones with a folksy pop style on “My Sister” and “Spin the Bottle” and her role on The Lemonheads’ breakout album “It’s A Shame About Ray” — was at the core of a female-empowered alt-rock explosion that brought attention to artists such as Garbage, Liz Phair, Hole and Alanis Morissette. Since then, Hatfield’s performances have evolved from The Juliana Hatfield Three to a solo act; she’s been part of multiple collaborations and toured with Lilith Fair; and she’s released a number of her own albums along with tributes to Olivia Newton-John and The Police, two of her biggest influences. Hatfield plays Evanston’s SPACE for a standing-room-only show Thursday, Jan. 16, which reunites her with former Blake Babies bandmate Freda Love Smith and her band, Chicago’s Sunshine Boys. 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, at SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston. $25-$30. (847) 492-8860 or evanstonspace.com.
Fact: Punk goes better with pajamas. Michigan’s Baggage headlines Snuzfest 2020, a motley collection of Chicago punk and punk-adjacent bands, including Guardrail, Zombie Schoolboy, Bad Planning, Late Nights, Glory Days, The Magnifiers and an acoustic set by Til Morning (the band formerly known as Parker). A portion of the proceeds from the pajamy-jam party at Schubas will also go to support the Alison Cares Foundation, an organization that serves to advocate for, provide resources to and educate on those suffering from mental health and substance abuse disorders. 4 to 11 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. $10-$15. (773) 525-2508 or lh-st.com.
Chicago blues guitarist extraordinaire Dave Specter is riding a high from the recent release of his latest album, “Blues from the Inside Out.” The new songs feature Specter’s signature deep-grooving instrumental style, but the album also highlights something not often seen: Specter’s own singing on three of the tracks. He hosts a record release party, with direct support from slide guitar master Bill Grady, at Aurora’s The Venue this weekend. 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, at The Venue, 21 S. Broadway Ave., Aurora. $15-$25. (331) 212-8490 or themusicvenue.org.
• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@thatshamieguy) or Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck). Brian also keeps tabs on the Chicago-area music scene at chicagosoundcheck.com.