Alanis Morissette at Chicago Theatre

Unlike most radio stations’ holiday extravaganzas, WTMX-FM (101.9) takes a less-is-more approach. Instead of glomming eight or 10 bands to play a marathon show in an enormodome, the station known as the Mix selects a couple mainstream acts to headline each year. The result rarely is cutting edge, but almost always a pleasant experience.

Alanis Morissette and Tori Amos

Got angst? Well, so do Alanis Morissette and Tori Amos. And the two women channeled theirs in very different ways Saturday at the New World Music Theatre. Opening her set with “Sympathetic Character,” headliner Morissette performed a variety of material that ranged from lusty rockers to lullaby-pretty ballads. She alternated between songs from her current album “Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie” and her breakthrough 1995 album “Jagged Little Pill” – which have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide – and gave the show a cohesive feel.

Gin Blossoms Familiar

It’s difficult to believe it has been three years since the Gin Blossoms released their breakthrough album “New Miserable Experience” – until you attend their concert and realize you know just about every song. Nonetheless, the familiarity of the Blossoms’ music did nothing to detract from the enjoyment of their well-crafted pop-rock songs when the musicians headlined Sunday at the Taste of Chicago.

Alanis Morissette: The Bizarre Bittersweet, Brooding Bubblegum of Summer ’95: Dark Themes Cloud Pop Music

Now is the summer of our discontent. That’s the only possible conclusion you can draw if you’ve been anywhere near a radio lately. Summer used to be the season of catchy, bouncy, bubblegum music. Not this year. The airwaves of summer ’95 – suddenly, inexplicably – are clogged with hummable odes to depression, confusion, weird characters and questionable behavior.