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Ten pop music shows to see in Chicago this fall

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Now that summer is filled with high-profile music festivals that dominate almost every weekend, the fall is a chance to take a breath and take in the shows that don’t require standing in the hot sun with a couple hundred thousand of your closest friends.

This fall, the concert season is less about marquee names playing sports stadiums. Instead, the calendar is filled with opportunities for more intimate gatherings of artists trying out sounds for the first time with new collaborators, such as Atoms For Peace, the new union between Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea; a tour stop billed to Fiona Apple and songwriter Blake Mills; Body/Head, a new project from guitarist Bill Nace and Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon; and Desaparecidos, a new band from Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes.

Those shows, along with opportunities to see big names in small settings (Sinead O’Connor at City Winery, Colin Meloy of the Decemberists at Park West), the indoor season, unlike the summer, is measured by the unexpected. Here are 10 must-see shows:

The Replacements (Sept. 15)

Not quite a reunion, but Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson on stage together is as good as we’ll ever get.

8 p.m. at Riot Fest, Humboldt Park, Division and Sacramento. $149.

Savages with Duke Garwood (Sept. 16)

All-female art-punk band from London was the highlight of July’s Pitchfork.

9 p.m. at Metro, 3730 N. Clark. $19. (773) 549-4140.

Ed Holstein (Sept. 28)

A Chicago folk music legend returns to the stage after a lengthy hiatus and health scare.

7 p.m. at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt, Berwyn. $15. (708) 788-2118.

Phoenix with The Vaccines (Sept. 28).

The French-pop band and garage-rock Brits made two of this year’s best albums. 7:30 p.m. at the Aragon, 1106 W. Lawrence. (773) 561-9500. $45.

Atoms For Peace with James Holden (Oct. 2)

The first Chicago appearance by alt-super group featuring Thom Yorke of Radiohead, RHCP bassist Flea, producer Nigel Godrich, among others.

8 p.m. at UIC Pavilion, 525 S. Racine. (312) 413-5700. $39.50/$55.

Drake with Miguel and Future (Oct. 9)

Introspective-minded Cash Money rapper-singer on his first stadium tour.

7 p.m. at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison. (312) 559-1212. $71.09-$122.20.

Father John Misty with Kate Berlant (Oct. 12)

Fleet Foxes drummer goes solo, playing heavily reverbed folk in the guise of Sun Kil Moon and Nick Drake.

9 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield. $25. (773) 472-0449.

Bill Callahan (Oct. 14)

The baritone-voiced singer-songwriter in a trio playing psychedelic folk songs that mesmerize.

7 p.m. at Alahambra Place, 1240 W. Randolph. $25. (312) 666-9555.

Sinead O’Connor (Nov. 4-6)

One of the best female vocalists of her generation makes a rare club appearance over three nights.

8 p.m. at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph. $150/$125/$115. (312) 733-9463.

Michael Nesmith (Nov. 15)

This former Monkees guitarist-songwriter was a recluse for decades but returns to the road showcasing songs from a voluminous solo career.

8 p.m. at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph. (312) 733-9463. $75/$65/$55

Mark Guarino is the freelance Sun-Times music writer.

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