Concretes, Seaponys, Kopecky Family Band, Red River | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Concretes, Seaponys, Kopecky Family Band, Red River Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Sat., Jan. 15, 9 p.m. 2011

Original lead singer Victoria Bergsman left the Concretes in 2006 to perform solo as Taken by Trees, but on Hey Trouble, released the following year (it never came out in the States), this Swedish pop group didn't sound all that different. Lisa Milberg had abandoned the drum kit for the microphone, and her voice is thicker and more subdued than Bergsman's, but the music was still dreamy, guitar-driven pop with frothy hooks nearly as sunny and bright as those of a much more famous Swedish pop group. Oddly, though no major personnel shifts preceded the band's latest album, WYWH (Friendly Fire), this time their sound has made a big change: four-on-the-floor disco-style drums contrast with pensive, ethereal melodies, making for one of the least propulsive dance records I've ever heard. There are a few exceptions, like the relatively ebullient "All Day," but for the most part Milberg's sorrowful melodies crawl over the grooves like cold syrup. Sparse guitar patterns, muted organ swells, and pretty vocal harmonies fill the spaces carved out by the heavy beats and Martin Hansson's plush, slow-moving bass lines. WYWH maintains a quiet tension between its driving rhythms and the honeyed, melancholy languor of its tunes, so that neither element dominates the feel of the music—it's a neat trick, and it makes the album one of the most compelling things the Concretes have done. This show is part of Tomorrow Never Knows. Seapony, the Kopecky Family Band, and Red River open. 18+.
—Peter Margasak

Price: $15

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