Black Mountain, Black Angels, DJ Erik | Metro | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Black Mountain, Black Angels, DJ Erik Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Thu., Oct. 28, 9 p.m. 2010

Black Angels have the rare power to make me regret not owning a car—their music, which channels the Doors, the Velvet Underground, the 13th Floor Elevators, and Spacemen 3, would be perfect for a nocturnal road trip. They're so good at finding a nice eerie groove and falling into it that you start to suspect they approach recording like a long-haul trucker approaches his job: the goal is to stay on the road and watch the odometer roll. So it's jarring to realize that their third full-length, Phosphene Dream (Blue Horizons), is only about half an hour long, which won't eat up much of Nebraska at all. The band seems to be trying much harder this time to write actual pop songs, and sometimes it works—Alex Maas's flat-affect singsong vocals take on a weird, catchy-as-hell Grace Slick edge amid the hippie arabesques of "True Believers." Sometimes, though, it just makes the songs sound unfinished—shouldn't "Telephone" be about 20 minutes longer? Still, I'm still glad it isn't; dilating a tune that way is much more effective live than on disc, and it's onstage that the Black Angels' orgiastic quality really comes through. Black Mountain headlines; DJ Erik opens. 18+. —Monica Kendrick

Price: $19

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