? & the Mysterians | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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? & the Mysterians


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In January the home ? shared with his manager and his manager's wife in Clio, Michigan, burned to the ground. Among the casualties were the singer's cockatoo and five of his seven Yorkies--he's a professional dog breeder and trainer--as well as decades of rock 'n' roll memorabilia, including the gold record he and his band earned with "96 Tears," which hit number one in 1966 and has since entered the garage-rock canon alongside "Louie Louie" and "Gloria." As I wrote on the Reader's Crickets blog, the house and its contents were uninsured, so ?'s friends and supporters are organizing benefit concerts all over the country. (The man in shades also plans to raise money with a limited-edition single, available March 30 through 96tears.net, that includes covers of Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" and the Stooges' "Loose.") For the Chicago benefit, ? & the Mysterians themselves will play--their first show here since a barn burner (if you'll pardon the expression) at the Empty Bottle more than eight years ago. They may go down in history as one-hit wonders, but as soon as they take the stage it's obvious they're no mere nostalgia act: they play as though their reputation depended on the next 40 minutes instead of the past 40 years. Telenovela and Danny Dollrod open; Todd Killings and Miss Alex White spin between sets. a 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10.

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