Harvey Milk, Coalesce, Atlas Moth | Subterranean | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Harvey Milk, Coalesce, Atlas Moth Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Sat., March 13, 9:30 p.m. 2010

If you thought Athens, Georgia, blew its weirdness wad in the 80s with the likes of Pylon, R.E.M., and the B-52's, you haven't been paying attention to Harvey Milk. That's forgivable, I guess—not too many people did back in the day, when they had their initial run from '92 to '98. These masters of slow-motion demolition re-formed in 2006 and have been wreaking delicious havoc ever since: their 2008 comeback album, Life . . . the Best Game in Town (Hydra Head), connected with a world that had finally caught up to them, earning the band the widespread respect they've always deserved. Hydra Head will release a follow-up, A Small Turn of Human Kindness, in May, and has just reissued what would've been Harvey Milk's 1993 self-titled debut if it'd been properly released at the time, which as it happens was recorded with Bob Weston here in Chicago. It's easy to imagine this grottiest of exhumed tar-pit monsters seizing the ears and imaginations of graveyard-shift college-radio DJs in the pre-Internet era: its clanging, down-tuned, boiling-and-groaning tracks are saturated with a nasty, perverse heaviness redolent of the Melvins, the Butthole Surfers, and early Swans, and in '93 they would've foreshadowed the coming of the sludge-metal eruption. Much of this material made it onto other albums in other forms, but most of those albums aren't easy to find, even now—and here the songs are at their rawest and purest. Coalesce and the Atlas Moth open. 17+ —Monica Kendrick

Price: $15, $13 in advance

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