Big Buildings | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Chicago's music scene has a bench so deep it's possible for any of a dozen bands at any given time to blindside you with something that'll make you wonder where on earth that came from. This local quartet, formed about five years ago, had a not especially auspicious start, slowly and unobtrusively getting better and better across an EP and a full-length. But their second album, Water Everywhere (Stars/No Stars), is my favorite local rock record of this young year--and I think it'll stay that way well into the fall at least. I've compared their studied sloppiness to Exile on Main Street in the past, and other writers have thrown some Wilco-age around, but having seen them in the very friendly confines of Cal's some months back, I'm going to have to add some other markers: a wired-up Grateful Dead, a hippified Loaded-era Velvets (say, if Lou Reed had left and Sterling Morrison had taken the reins), and a puppyish R.E.M. around the time of their 1981 Athens bootlegs. (Maybe some of those Peter Buck-Keith Streng collaborations too.) They have an absolutely joyous infatuation with their own grainy lo-fi ululations throughout Water Everywhere. This show is a release party for the album; they'll be joined by an array of guests including John Roeser of Hot Dog City and Fast Product and Dave Callahan of the Drovers. The Safes open. Fri 4/7, 10 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433, $8.

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