Crack: We Are Rock | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Crack: We Are Rock

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Crack: We Are Rock is the brainchild of a fellow who calls himself King Riff; living in Kansas City a decade or so ago, he got into the habit of incorporating any weirdo willing to make a spaz of himself on drum or guitar into his "band." In the mid-90s he left KC for San Francisco (nice weather, cheap flight) and in 1998 helped transform a rented storefront into the Clitstop, a now-defunct underground club known for booking and encouraging avant-'tard acts. There he met Le Kim and L'Erin, a pair of "experimental seamstresses" who persuaded him that electronica was the wave of the future. A year ago when Crack: We Are Rock needed extra performers for a show King Riff was planning on a polluted beach, the girls and another Clitstop regular by the name of Obscuratron filled in and ended up as permanent members. Their ominous, deep-fried synths and slammin' beats subsequently captured the attention of Kid606, who plans to release their first full-length CD on his label, Tigerbeat6, this summer. Live the two guys stand masked in the background, generating gabber or stock disco beats and layering wide-eyed xylophone melodies, lackadaisical horns, and stuttering rave-up noises that at times sound like a dot matrix printer gone haywire. Le Kim and L'Erin, dressed in matching leotards or homemade dresses, do the prancing-pony oopsy-daisy thing out front, singing ridiculous lyrics ("How much would you pay for the hooker leg?") and sometimes hawking baked goods. Occasionally they mumble like they're singing along in the car to a song they don't entirely know; they giggle when they forget their lines altogether. The band is simultaneously charming and unassuming, the music structured and full of non sequiturs, and though they can be a little on the twee side, word on the street is C: WAR know how to start a party. Monday, June 17, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600. Tuesday, June 18, 9 PM, Butcher Shop, 1319 W. Lake; 773-771-7017.

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