Adrian Belew | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Adrian Belew

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Veteran art-rock guitarist Adrian Belew, who made his name with King Crimson and the Bears, has wriggled out from under the "dinosaur" label by keeping busy: lately he's been recording with the likes of Trent Reznor and William Shatner and churning out a steady stream of solo records. The latest, Side Three (Sanctuary), is the final chapter in a trio of concept albums, and he pretty much dispenses with sidemen altogether, though Les Claypool and Tool drummer Danny Carey make appearances, as does the Prophet Omega, a radio evangelist whose tapes Belew uses when he needs a stand-in for the voice of God. The album is rangy, bouncy, and sprawly--just when you think Belew is about to follow his slick, arid Eurofunk into oblivion, he snaps back to art-pop as if he had the song on a string. It's so impressive I don't mind that the album's "concept" is nebulous at best, or that the spoken bits on "Incompetence Indifference" remind me of nothing so much as "Monster Mash." He'll be backed by brother-and-sister duo Eric and Julie Slick, graduates of the Paul Green School of Rock Music. Andreas Kapsalis and Graham Elvis open. Sat 7/8, 9 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-3160 or 312-559-1212, $20.

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