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The Decemberists cancel WYEP Holiday Concert

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If there was one night most people chose to stay home last week, it had to have been Thursday: perched between two weekends of costumed decadence, and the hangover-day after the real Halloween. In any case, the parking was plentiful on the South Side -- always vaguely unsettling. Yet melodious Brooklyn math-rockers The Forms drew a very appreciative crowd to Lava Lounge, playing songs from their new Steve Albini-produced album, titled simply The Forms. Yes, they are excellently tight, and yes, bearded singer Alex Tween is casual and jokey. And yes: That cover of "All Apologies" they do is still completely jarring and nonsensical.

One of the fall's more anticipated shows, the WYEP Holiday Concert has been cancelled. Scheduled for Nov. 13, the show was to have featured literate indie darlings The Decemberists (a creditable booking) and Laura Veirs. But just days ago, The Decemberists cancelled the remainder of their U.S. tour, citing serious illness. The sick bandmember was not disclosed, but the extensive cancellation has spawned rumors and speculation online. The official statement does little to allay fans' fears: "It saddens us to disappoint our fans. We hope everybody understands it is only because of an extreme situation that we had to cancel a tour we've all been excited about doing since the idea was originally hatched."

But if that WYEP show has been axed, a loosely related yet unofficial live performance remains on track. Shortly after moving here from Boston in April, WYEP morning host Cindy Howes began hosting intimate house concerts for touring singer-songwriters -- you know, like, in her living room. This month, she hosts Boston native Edie Carey and Canadian Rose Cousins at her Friendship home, on Tue., Nov. 20. The music starts at 7 p.m.; the suggested donation is $10. Visit www.cindyhowes.net/concerts for details, including address.

Speaking of singer-songwriters, a local favorite is celebrating a couple of changes -- or improvements, let's call them. On Fri., Nov. 9, Emily Rodgers will be celebrating her birthday and the debut of her new guitar-bass-drums band, with a show at the South Side's Birmingham Bridge Tavern. The show starts at 10 p.m., and includes Barn Burning, from Providence, R.I., and Daryl Fleming. Need another reason to celebrate? It's free. See ya there, then.

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