Jedi Mind Tricks | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Jedi Mind Tricks

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Jedi Mind Tricks started out in the mid-90s as fantastically dippy as PLUR ravers--but instead of blathering about Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect, they carried on about crop circles, tarot, auras, the Pleiades, magick, voodoo, Atlantis, vortices, and suchlike. But with each release they sound like they've degenerated a little more into straight-up thugs--even Ikon the Verbal Hologram dropped his moniker, now going by plain ol' Vinnie. If you pay closer attention to their oeuvre though, you notice that their newfound anger comes with pulling their heads out of their cosmic asses and drawing influence from real-life violence. On their latest CD of new material, 2003's Visions of Gandhi (Babygrande), they sound like they're having anything but: With a mouthful of gravel Vinnie cusses all up and down about death and murder, popping a syllable every now and then like a BB in a bunny's pelt. Meanwhile, sample master Stoupe's Gotham gloom zooms around a corner and smack-lands into Tinkerbell twinkles, whimsical geezer shuffles, maudlin horns, and surprisingly wussy "La Isla Bonita"-esque Latin vibes. It's a darkly vivid album about the brutality of a world with no one alive to rescue it. I just wish they'd tried to embody their magical hero a bit more themselves instead of just bitching about how bad everything is. With 7L & Esoteric and Outerspace. Sunday 26, 7 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-478-4408 or 866-777-8932, 18+, $15.

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