Death, Rough Francis, Tyvek | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Death, Rough Francis, Tyvek Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Sat., Sept. 26, 10 p.m. 2009

I’m not sure what it says about contemporary music that a 1974 demo tape by a group that broke up more than 30 years ago and only released one single during its lifetime is a serious candidate for Best Album of 2009, but Death’s . . . For the Whole World to See (Drag City) is just that fucking flawless. Dannis, Bobby, and David Hackney, brothers who grew up playing soul and R & B in Detroit, became Death in ’73 after seeing shows by Alice Cooper and the Stooges. They were black punks almost five years before Bad Brains, and their tumultuous riffs and frantic beats arrived long before the Germs pushed rock rhythms toward the furious spasms of hardcore. Death was and is a transcendent blast of what the New York Times recently called “ur-punk”—as much a missing link as Cleveland’s Electric Eels, New York’s Testors, and San Francisco’s Crime. Drummer Dannis and bassist and singer Bobby now live in Vermont and play reggae under the name Lambsbread; David died in 2000, but according to Bobby he was the band’s visionary, insisting that their master tapes be preserved because he knew people would one day come looking for them. Lambsbread guitarist Bobbie Duncan will replace him for tonight’s show at the Bottle, one of only three on the books for the reunited Death. Openers Rough Francis include three of Bobby Hackney’s sons, who were instrumental in making the reissue happen—they recognized their father’s voice on a single played at a party, then learned that the record they’d heard had become a prized collectors’ item. A documentary film about Death’s rediscovery is in the works. Tyvek plays first. —Brian Costello

Price: $15

Add a review

Rating

Select a star to rate.