Broken Robots // Courtesy of Anthony Friedli

Sound check: Catch some ’Sunshine’ at Broken Robots release show

Broken Robots releases a new single with a show at Martyrs’; plus shows with Family Vacation, LOUDERNOW, Blue Car, Joe Piscopo, Haley Reinhart and The North 41 with The Mild West.

Broken Robots release

The Wood Dale-based rock band Broken Robots turns to its next chapter this spring and summer, delivering the first of a series of music releases Friday with a high-intensity show at Martyrs’. The band — Kat and Tony Baker, Lonnie Phillips and new drummer Anthony Friedli — still maintains its semi-grungy, groove-heavy, industrial-influenced sound on the first new single, “Sunshine,” though with a new lightness as the group shifts from its recovery-rooted mindset and looks to the future and new band dynamics, according to Kat. “We’ve all changed as people,” she pointed out, “but it’s us, so it’s still a little dark. But it’s about wanting to be a ray of sunshine in the world.” Further releases from the upcoming “Season 3” EP will be coming out across the rest of the year, and fans will be able to hear all of them when the Robots play Friday, along with Chicago indie-punk band Nora Marks, rock duo Heet Deth and the Jacky Legs Quartet. 8 p.m. Friday, May 13, at Martyrs’, 3855 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. $10. (773) 404-9494 or

Family Vacation // Courtesy of Timmy Meyer

Experimental Family Vacation

With a recent EP drop and the new single “Old Kentucky Home” in the wings for a June release, indie rockers Jake Chatfield and Bob Crandell head back to where their musical dreams began — Libertyville. The duo, Family Vacation, is trying something different this time with a stripped-down set and some new instrumental arrangements, joined by Urbana, Illinois, rockers Kangaroo Court. 9 p.m. Friday, May 13, at Mickey Finn’s, 345 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville. $5. (847) 362-6688 or


The Scene hits Aurora

Get out the skinny jeans and band tees for a night as the Midwest’s premiere emo and pop-punk tribute act LOUDERNOW heads to Aurora for a celebration of all things loud, punky and raucously fun. 9 p.m. Friday, May 13, at The Piazza, 85 Executive Drive, Aurora. $9.99 for general admission; table packages available. (630) 978-2088 or

Laughs and tunes

TV, film and comedy star Joe Piscopo headlines the Woodstock Opera House Saturday joined by Wheeling native and former “American Idol” contestant Haley Reinhart for an afternoon of laughs and songs. The performance will help raise funds for McHenry American Legion Post 491. 3 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at Woodstock Opera House, 121 W. Van Buren St., Woodstock. $40-$65. (815) 338-5300 or

Blue Car // Courtesy of Michael Oliva

Blue Car release

Central Illinois native Jake Denny channeled ’90s alternative rock with his single “White Noise Static” when he first moved to town in 2021. Now a Columbia College student and full-fledged artist on the Chicago music scene, the soulful-beyond-his-years Denny and his band Blue Car will celebrate the rest of his new “I Don’t Actually Own a Blue Car” EP Saturday night, joined by musical compatriots CXPITAL and Dad Hat. 7 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at Subterranean Downstairs, 2011 W. North Ave., Chicago. $12. (773) 278-6600 or

Pop and funk with Chicago faves

Two hot Chicago acts team up to deliver the funkiest of jams and the catchiest of indie pop when The North 41 and The Mild West team up for a weekend show of high-energy rock. The Mild West has some new releases in the works, and fans can get a first listen at the Saturday night show. 9 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at Martyrs’, 3855 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. $25. (773) 404-9494 or

• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Email him at, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@thatshamieguy) or Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck).

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