Scott Miller, veteran California popster and patriarch of the Loud Family, counts Jacques Derrida among his favorite writers, but he also loves all six albums by the original Monkees. That isn't as much of a contradiction as it might seem--like much postmodern lit, the Monkees' big-screen movie Head is mostly about its own process--and it goes a long way toward explaining Miller's songs, which embrace the pop craftsmanship of the psychedelic 60s even as they aggravate its artifice. His first band, Game Theory, emerged in the early 80s in the same burst of west-coast retro that produced the Dream Syndicate, the Bangles, Rain Parade, the Long Ryders, and the Three o'Clock. But like former dB's guitarist Chris Stamey, Miller has grown progressively more interested in subverting the sound with experimental electronics, avant-garde flourishes, and just plain weirdness. Attractive Nuisance (Alias) is the fifth album by Game Theory's successor, the Loud Family, and its moderately catchy tunes are cut with all manner of strange noises: eerie horn samples fade in and out of "Soul D.C."; the trippy interlude of "720 Times Happier Than the Unjust Man" includes the sound of a skipping CD; an out-of-sync, gradually accelerating drumroll introduces the verse in "Nice When I Want Something"; and "Save Your Money," a quiet meditation propelled by a four-note piano figure, is decorated with a string of electronic blips, percussive blasts of guitar noise, and a spiky piano freak-out courtesy of Loud sister Alison Faith Levy. Thursday, April 13, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Robert Taren.