HIDDEN CAMERAS | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice



Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Led by the flamboyant Joel Gibb--in childhood a troublemaker at fundamentalist Christian summer camps, later a semiotics student--this unwieldy Toronto collective tones down its "gay church folk music" on the recent Awoo (Arts & Crafts). It's less overtly political and less sexually provocative (no songs about drinking piss this time), focusing instead on lush, spontaneous-sounding eruptions of orchestral pop that frame Gibb's angelic but sublimely lusty voice. The lyrics on the band's 2003 album, The Smell of Our Own, were unapologetically raw and dirty, like one of Francis Bacon's suggestive swirls of naked musculature, writhing across a mattress under a bare lightbulb. But the new disc makes me think of Kiki Smith and Richard Tuttle's sculpture Bouquet--an 18-karat gold cast of Smith's tongue, cradled like a reliquary in a flowing length of 19th-century purple silk damask. The group's early preoccupation with gay sexuality and gender politics (their name was lifted from Michel Foucault's Discipline & Punish) has been mostly supplanted, in part by whimsy--there's an enthusiastic jaw-harp breakdown in "She's Gone," the rare HCs song about (yikes) a woman. The Zincs and the Born Ruffians open. a 9:30 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 or 800-594-8499, $12, $10 in advance.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →