Early predictions for what will be on our best of 2014 lists

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  • Beck teams with his Sea Change band on his first studio album in six years, Morning Phase, one of our best of 2014 predictions.

  • Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas returns in 2014 with his second solo album and new band, rumored to be titled Voidz, one of our best of 2014 predictions.

  • British synth-pop act follows up the acclaimed beach blues of English Riviera on Love Letters, out in March 2014 and one of our best of 2014 predictions.

  • Big Boi posted this picture of a reunited Outkast on his Twitter in late 2013. The adored duo is rumored to tour in 2014 and is one of our best of 2014 predictions.

  • Thalia Hall, the Pilsen space housing Dusek's and the Punch House, opens its capacious music venue in early 2014 and is one of our best of 2014 predictions.

  • Los Angeles rock act Warpaint worked with Flood and Nigel Godrich on its self-titled sophomore album, due January 2014, one of our best of 2014 predictions.

Beck teams with his Sea Change band on his first studio album in six years, Morning Phase, one of our best of 2014 predictions.


MUSIC
I eagerly await Beck's Morning Phase (Feb 14), which should land somewhere amid his mellower albums, Mutations and Sea Change. Julian Casablancas did not tour with the Strokes for Comedown Machine, but he's more likely to bus about the land for his second solo outing, rumored to be called Voidz. The new ones from Warpaint (Jan 17) and Metronomy (Mar 10) can hopefully match subtle wonders of their previous LPs.

The world's jones for more André 3000 has been answered. Outkast is reuniting. Hooray! With the plethora of summer festivals in town, surely the ATLiens will land atop one of them? Speaking of festivals, it's too early to read the tea leaves on Lollapalooza, but Daft Punk has to tour eventually, right? As much as we want that, we learned to lower our expectations in 2013. So probably Kings of Leon, then.

We look forward to huffing that new-venue smell at two ventures from the team of Bruce Finkelman (Empty Bottle) and Craig Golden (SPACE). The Promontory will bring much-needed nightlife to Hyde Park, but first you can look forward to the gorgeous rehab of Thalia Hall in Pilsen. How great will it be to shove a Dusek's lobster roll in your face before catching a gig?

CLASSICAL
We still have another year to await Northwestern's gorgeous new lakeside recital hall. But new life is still breathed into old music in 2014. Lyric Opera closes out a more traditional season with Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito (March). The more progressive Chicago Opera Theater kicks off its season with Duke Ellington's only opera, Queenie Pie (Feb–Mar), penned in his latter years and left unfinished upon his death in 1974. A Chicago premiere of Ernest Bloch's Macbeth (Sept) closes out COT's annual run at Harris Theater.

Over at the CSO, Maestro Muti buddies up with both Yo-Yo Ma (Jan 30, 31, Feb 1) and Mitsuko Ushida (Mar 20–22). On the new-music front, the fantastic Frequency Series will hopefully keep up its winning streak at Constellation. Just about all their shows made our monthly top ten lists. First up, Dal Niente hosts a record release part for cellist Chris Wild (Jan 5).

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