FSK | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


FSK's music ambivalently critiques the Americanization of their native Germany. Like Wim Wenders's 70s films, they celebrate American pop culture's growing worldwide hegemony even as they criticize and undermine it: on their album In Dixieland the last line of "Yankee Go Home" pleads, "And take me with you." FSK is short for Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle, which is German for free-willed self-control. The band connects the dots between central European folk forms and North American roots music, illustrating the evolution from Bavarian yodels to Jimmie Rodgers's yodeling country-and-western laments to contemporary rock and roll. A lot of thought goes into their transatlantic folk music, but it's pretty accessible stuff--catchy, visceral, and often deliriously funny. They lace their polkas, schottisches, blues, and two-steps with raucous brass and distorted electric guitars and play them at breakneck speed, while their lyrics show their appreciation for free-jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock or the movies of expatriate Czech director Milos Forman. Train spotters should take note that David Lowery, once a member of the similarly eclectic Camper Van Beethoven, has taken a break from his band Cracker to tour with FSK; he produced their new album The Sound of Music and plays guitar with them onstage. Peat Moss and Moonshine Willy open. Sunday, 10 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee; 489-3160.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo/Regula Franz.

Add a comment