The five Scarbrough sibs in The Footlight District, new on our radar in 2019, play a free vinyl-release show at Liar's Club Saturday, Jan. 18. Courtesy of The Footlight District

Sound check: Tomorrow Never Knows launches today; 2019 faves play this weekend

Favorites on parade

A few weeks ago I wrapped up the last year with a look at nine of my favorite new (or new to me) Chicago-area discoveries that hit my radar in 2019. If they were new to you, too, you’re in luck; several of them are playing this weekend. First, listen to them on this playlist. Then catch them at these shows:

 Wolf Rd joins dying in designer on its “Nobody’s Happy In America” tour with Lil Extra and Wilmette at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. $12. (773) 281-4444 or

The Bank Notes play Lombard with The Ugly Lovers and The Blackwoodz at 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at BrauerHouse, 1000 N. Rohlwing Road, Lombard. (630) 495-2141 or

• The Darling Suns plays a free show at 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, with The Cordial Sins and Tiny Kingdoms at Emporium Wicker Park, 2363 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 697-7922 or

• The Footlight District hosts a vinyl release party at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, for last year’s “Fairytales for the Dark Age” with Los Black Dogsand Old Grand Dad at Liar’s Club, 1665 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago. Free.

• Zorila headlines with Ignited, Out for Hours and Butterfly In Traffic at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison St., Chicago. $7-$10. (773) 327-1662 or

Underbelly Hours acoustic night

The Underbelly Hours, Elmhurst College radio’s underground music show, is filling the Elmhurst Brewing Company with a fine acoustic lineup for a chill Sunday night this weekend. Check out Josh Buché, Mirabelle Skipworth, Quinn Pokora (of Iris Blue) and Isabella Snow as they perform and share stories with Adela and Dan (hosts of the radio show).

8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, at Elmhurst Brewing Company, 171 N. Addison Ave., Elmhurst. Suggested donation of $5. (630) 834-2739 or

Tomorrow Never Knows

The gray days of January don’t seem to be as packed musically on the local scene as the rest of the year is, which makes it prime ground for Tomorrow Never Knows to sweep in and seize the week. The lineup of the five-day festival of music and comedy is curated to put some on-the-rise Chicago acts alongside national acts on five stages across the city — Lincoln Hall, Metro, Schubas Tavern, Sleeping Village and The Hideout. The fest, which launches Wednesday, Jan. 15, with sets from Caroline Polachek, Taylor McFerrin, CJ Run, Wyatt Waddell and more, also brings NOV3L, Goth Babe with Jude Shuma, Davis the Dorchester Bully, Whitmer Thomas, Hannah Cohen, The Ophelias, Twain and much more over the fest’s duration. Five-day passes are already sold out, but tickets are still available for individual shows; check out the full lineup at

• Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 525-2501 or

• Metro, 3730 N. Clark St., Chicago. (773) 549-4140 or

• Schubas Tavern, 3159 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. (773) 525-2508 or

• Sleeping Village, 3734 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 654-3971 or

• The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave., Chicago. (773) 227-4433 or

• 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).

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