Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

The Go! Team

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The Go! Team's Thunder, Lightning, Strike (Memphis Industries, 2004) seems to unfailingly inspire the kind of overwrought X-meets-Y descriptions that press releases trade in--if I had to take a turn, I'd say Kurtis Blow meets the Dynasty theme song meets the Ventures. But however you wanna parse it, it's one of the funnest records I've heard in years. The organic, hooky, danceable songs sound like they could digest just about anything and convert it into more energy. A six-piece based in Brighton, England, they combine guitars, bass, and keyboards with two drum kits, pep-rally chants, hand claps, gratuitous "one-two-three-four!" count-offs, and chunks of samples from all over the place--though the decidedly modest production values (the entire album sounds like you're overhearing it through a heating duct) make it hard to tell what they're playing live and what they're ripping off. Not that you're likely to sweat it for long: it's well-nigh impossible to be in a bad mood, much less puzzle over the provenance of a percussion pattern, while listening to "Ladyflash." The riff from "Tighten Up" jitterbugs against a clip of the chorus from Davy DMX's electro hit "The DMX Will Rock" ("We came here to rock the microphone"), the warring drum kits tumble over each other, and soaring flute and strings even manage to make the 808 hand claps sound poignant. This is the Go! Team's first trip to the States, and I'm dying to see how they're gonna pull this off live. Tilly & the Wall and the Life During Wartime DJs open. On Saturday the Go! Team plays the Intonation Music Festival; see page 40 for complete schedule. Fri 7/15, 9 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-3160 or 312-559-1212, $12 in advance, $14 at the door.

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