Dr. Manhattan, Truman & His Trophy, Victorian Halls, Picture Books | Beat Kitchen | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Dr. Manhattan, Truman & His Trophy, Victorian Halls, Picture Books Recommended All Ages Soundboard

When: Tue., Aug. 18, 6:30 p.m. 2009

Wauconda’s Dr. Manhattan make music with roots in emo—punky guitar pop with throat-shredding vocals and teen-romance lyrical themes—but they’ve evolved to a point on their new album, the self-released Jam Dreams, where it’s obviously unfair to call them an emo band. What little sense of humor emo started out with has long since curdled into smug snark, but these guys are openly goofy and actively encourage their fans to see them as dorks—they’ve got a song called “Biscuits and Groovy” and they often use the word “tron” the way other people say “dude.” And though there’s definitely some screaming about girls on Jam Dreams, Dr. Manhattan’s jumpy song structures mean that those passages are likely to be surrounded by, say, playfully tweaky electro-pop or a party-down Beastie Boys imitation. It’s good to see someone working to take back emo from all the self-serious walking haircuts. Advance ticket holders are invited to a preshow barbecue and kickball game at a location to be disclosed on the band’s MySpace page. —Miles Raymer

Price: $10, $8 in advance

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