David Kilgour & the Heavy Eights | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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David Kilgour & the Heavy Eights


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There's never been any question about David Kilgour's mastery of the irresistibly catchy pop song; his first band, the Clean, will go down in history as having sparked the explosion of New Zealand's rock underground with its debut single, "Tally Ho!" But Kilgour's songwriting is less than half the story: any veteran fan of Kiwi pop can go on at great length about his incandescent guitar solos, how he wedded the trebly buzz of his 60s heroes (the Byrds, the Stones, and the Velvet Underground) to the rhythmic immediacy of punk and threw in a giddy wildness entirely his own. On the breezy, lyrical records he's made away from the Clean (the trio, which also includes drummer Hamish Kilgour and bassist Robert Scott, still convenes every few years to play shows and make more wonderfully quirky albums), Kilgour's guitar work has often taken a back seat. But on the new David Kilgour & the Heavy Eights (Flying Nun), he's in vintage form: "Chop Me in 1/2" and "Diggin for Gold" are illuminated by extended fuzz eruptions worthy of Neil Young or the Dream Syndicate's Karl Precoda. Chances are good Kilgour will bring the noise when he comes to town; with his brother on drums, the Heavy Eights are one man shy of a Clean reunion. (Actually, it looks more like a family reunion, as bass chores will be handled by Hamish's wife, Lisa Siegel, his coleader in the Mad Scene.) They're likely to get some encouragement in that direction from notoriously extroverted headliners Yo La Tengo, who've covered a couple Clean tunes over the years and whose Ira Kaplan has jammed with the band onstage in the past. Monday, 7 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 773-549-0203. Thursday, 9 PM, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 773-525-6620. BILL MEYER

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.

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