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Adult., Magas, Tamion 12 Inch



Adult. could've ridden their wave of underground popularity straight into a rut; instead the Detroit electro act made Anxiety Always (on their own Ersatz Audio), an album that's sure to alienate a bunch of their fans. Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus have ditched melancholy sweetness and the Kraftwerk vibe in favor of increased paranoia. They've also overcultivated a fondness for chilly beats and ironic lyrics, heaped on ruffly Sisters of Mercy darkwave, and thrown in some inept punk-guitar riffs--plus somewhere along the way Kuperus acquired an embarrassing British accent. But if their own new direction is a little disappointing, the duo's label keeps getting better, now that it can afford to release records Miller hasn't played on--like the two opening this show, Magas and Tamion 12 Inch. Local boy Jim Magas has adapted the questionable sense of rhythm he developed in no-wave groups like Couch and Lake of Dracula to roly-poly dance music that gets people doing jumping jacks. Tamion 12 Inch is a Detroit trio whose rhythms suggest a dropped ball bouncing faster and faster; on All Black, Eyes Closed to the Excess of Disaster synthetic drums bleed over pinched-off melodies while tortured analog doodles fill in the background. The singer (it's impossible to tell who does what from the record sleeve, let alone figure out if they're using real names) also uses her bratty bray as a rhythmic device, and though she's no lyrical genius, at least she knows better than to force a rhyme. Best of all, they play everything live, so their attempts to perfectly align components always end up a little off. Without the cold precision of a computer, the warmth of their weirdness glows. Friday, May 16, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

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