Friends Forever | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Friends Forever

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These grizzly Denver dudes (and their dogs) have been in the van constantly for about five years, and I don't just mean on tour. They've played almost all their shows renegade-style from inside their rattletrap VW bus, which they transform into a stage complete with fog machines and disco lights. They show up at clubs, often unannounced, and disrupt the party going on inside with a set of thick, loud, fucked-up instrumetal. "We just figured that if we bought a power source and generator, we could pretty much play any show we wanted to," says bassist Josh Taylor--whether the promoter liked it or not. The trio recently released their first proper CD, Killball, on Load Records (they've also put out 137 LPs, part of a failed attempt to release 300 in the space of a year). Killball, the PR explains, is a game similar to football--except all the players are dosed with PCP and carry machetes. Distorted stadium cheering, commentator play calls, referee whistles, wooing and bark-whooping, and marching-band cadences interrupt the rawhide-fried, ice-cubes-in-a-blender jams. In 2001 director Ben Wolfinsohn followed Taylor and drummer Nate Hayden (keyboardist Jason Isaacs joined later) around with a camera and released a DVD, Friends Forever, which depicts some of the bummers of life on the road: boredom, self-doubt, getting hassled by the Man, poverty, dog barf. (It's been shown on the Sundance Channel.) The show here starts at the Buddy gallery, where Metaluxx, Lovely Little Girls, Pod Blotz, and Winter Carousel will play; then the audience will walk en masse to wherever Friends Forever are parked. Friday, September 26, 9 PM, Buddy, 1542 N. Milwaukee; 773-342-7332.

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