Winter 2014 in Rock/Pop Music: From Jay Z to John Prine

Even in the coldest months, there is no slowdown in the Chicago concert season. Here's a sampling of some of the more notable shows in the next few months (listed chronologically):

Jay Z: After last summer's massive coheadlining stadium tour with Justin Timberlake, the hip-hop mogul returns to push two decades' worth of hits — more than enough to compensate for the lesser tracks from his underwhelming 2013 release, "Magna Carta … Holy Grail." 8 p.m. Thursday at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison; $32.50, $59.50, $99.50, $150 at ticketmaster.com

Darkside: The duo of Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington released one of last year's best albums, "Psychic," which created a psychedelic collage out of electronic and ambient music, rock, jazz and blues. 9 p.m. Jan. 17 at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St.; $19 and $21 at metrochicago.com

St. Lucia: Jean-Philip Grobler's catchy update of '80s synth-pop won acclaim for his 2013 debut album, "When the Night." 9 p.m. Jan. 25 at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., $15 and $18 at lincolnhallchicago.com

Neutral Milk Hotel: Jeff Mangum's recent return as a solo performer after more than a decade away from the music biz was cause for celebration among the increasing numbers of listeners who regard Neutral Milk Hotel's two '90s albums, "On Avery Island" and "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea," as masterpieces. Now Mangum has reassembled his '90s band for Round 2. 8 p.m. Feb. 6-7 at the Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine Ave.; $36 at jamusa.com

Pusha T: One half of the excellent Virginia hip-hop duo Clipse, Pusha T made his solo debut in 2013 with the raw rhythms and harsh poetry of "My Name is My Name." 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 with 2 Chainz at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St.; $35, $39.99, $89.99 at ticketmaster.com

Justin Timberlake: After his 2013 tour with Jay Z, Timberlake will likely drill deeper into his two recent "20/20 Experience" albums. 8 p.m. Feb. 16-17 at the United Center; $49.50, $90, $175 at ticketmaster.com

Richard Thompson and Teddy Thompson: Following last year's explosive electric tours with his trio, Thompson strips back to a solo acoustic setting, where his deft style suggests three guitarists playing at once. He'll be joined by his son Teddy, who has forged a sturdy career of his own. 8 p.m. Feb. 24-26 at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St.; $48, $58, $68 at citywinery.com

Paul Simon and Sting: Two songwriters who between them have explored dozens of genres and styles pair up for this unlikely double bill. 8 p.m. Feb. 25 at the United Center; $45, $85, $150, $250 at ticketmaster.com

John Prine and Iris Dement: Prine, the erstwhile mailman from suburban Maywood, is a songwriting legend. A recent bout with cancer forced him to cancel tour dates in late 2013, but he's expected to be in good shape for this show. Dement has been Prine's duet partner in the past, and her pristine country warble and incisive songs make her an excellent match. 7:30 p.m. March 14 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.; $49.50, $65, $85 at jamusa.com

Warpaint: This month, Emily Kokal, Theresa Wayman, Jenny Lee Lindberg and Stella Mozgawa will release their self-titled second album, which includes production and mixing help from Flood and Nigel Godrich. It's sure to get plenty of attention in the wake of the quartet's much-praised 2010 debut, "The Fool." 9 p.m. March 28 at Metro; $21 at metrochicago.com

greg@gregkot.com

Twitter @gregkot

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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