House of Freaks/Concrete Blonde | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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House of Freaks/Concrete Blonde

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The duo House of Freaks is basically the rock 'n' roll equivalent of Jack Nicholson's chicken salad sandwich in Five Easy Pieces: Order your basic flaccid rock band, then hold the keyboards and bassist and stick the lead guitarist between your legs. Bryan Harvey and Johnny Hott play guitar and drums respectively, and sing about sex and decay, casual inbreeding, and the impassivity of Fate--the futility of life generally, as perceived by certain luckless denizens of the south. The sound is thick and dense on their second record, Tantilla: Harvey's voice soars triumphantly above the mix. The pair are ferocious live. The headliner is Concrete Blonde, a bunch of hippies from LA whose grinding guitars on "Still in Hollywood" gained them some attention in early 1987. Johnette Napolitano writes tough and sings tough, and has a good guitarist in James Mankey. They're worth staying to see, if you can forget that a not-quite-profound quote from Leon Russell serves as an epigraph to their new record, Free. Saturday, 7:30 PM, Cabaret Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 549-0203.

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