AVAGAMI | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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I should just carry around a copy of Avagami's debut, Metagami (Lens), so I can pull it out the next time a cabbie or one of my uncles asks what kind of music I like. These two locals--Eric Lebofsky on vocals, electronics, and saxophone and Matt Espy (ex-Atombombpocketknife and the Reputation) on electronics and drums--are a nonstop hoot, and their album is an absurd delight, like a Super Soaker filled with Cool Whip. Why does it press my happy button? Well, there are the stupid timbres, like the ColecoVision Smurfs keyboard on "Trombone Solo" and the synth sax on "Eagle," which momentarily makes everyone in the world appear to be wearing leopard-skin waistcoats and louvered sunglasses. But it's also the oddball pop hooks that drop in out of nowhere ("Mushy") and the motarded lyrics (from "Fuck the Man": "I want to wrap my hand around your fist / And scream till you get pissed"). The weirdly agape vocals--imagine Michael McDonald with a hernia--are the crowning touch, making each track sound like its own chopped-and-screwed version. Avagami plays as part of A/V Xplo; for tonight's lineup (and a complete fest schedule) see page TK. a 7 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $12, $10 in advance. --J. Niimi

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