Apples in Stereo | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Apples in Stereo

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Robert Schneider is great at simulating past musical styles. On the Apples in Stereo's 1997 album, Tone Soul Evolution, the singer-songwriter-producer fashioned an ornate tribute to 60s orchestral pop, while on 2000's The Discovery of a World Inside the Moone he streamlined influences from both Todd Rundgren and Sly Stone into a sharp facsimile of early-70s AM-radio pop. The band's new Velocity of Sound (spinART) sounds just like a sloppy garage-rock record, but it's not exactly that; the precise placement of each needling organ, chomping guitar, and rushed drumbeat announces it distinctly as homage. Besides, sloppy garage-rock records aren't meticulously labored over for six months, which, according to the disc's booklet, is how long the lead Apple spent recording Velocity at Pet Sounds Studios--aka the basement of Schneider and drummer-vocalist Hilarie Sidney's Denver home. But as with the Apples' earlier albums, Schneider and Sidney's vocals are so enthusiastic, and the songs are so damn catchy, that the band's artifices feel charming rather than contrived, even after you've figured out the period being paid tribute. Concertgoers beware: the Apples are a studio band first, as demonstrated by the exceedingly (and not quite endearingly) unkempt live cover of "Heroes and Villains" on last year's Let's Go! EP. They open for Clinic. The show is sold-out. Saturday, October 12, 11:30 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 773-549-0203.

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