Barbara Morgenstern | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Barbara Morgenstern

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Barbara Morgenstern is one of minimal techno's most unconventional artists, a subtle and strange pop singer in the mold of Joe Jackson or Kate Bush. Her gorgeous 2003 release, Nicht Muss, was all meditative electro-pastorals, and heard from a distance her new The Grass Is Always Greener (Monika) could almost be mistaken for wine-bar music. It's filled with lush major piano chords, soft beats, and Morgenstern's sultry, wonderfully plain-and-pleasant lights-out coo, but she keeps things sweetly difficult with moments of arty frivolity and hard Teutonic rhythms and syllabic sounds. A sometime collaborator of Dntel and Ellen Allien, she's maintained a credible edge in the electro scene of her hometown, Berlin, but judging from the acoustic version of the album track "The Operator" (available on the EP of the same name), it seems like she could ditch the beats and do just fine. Joshua Eustis & Marc Heller open, and Heller spins throughout the night. Tue 6/20, 10 PM, Sonotheque, 1444 W. Chicago, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10.

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