Mercury Rev, the Duke Spirit | Martyrs’ | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Mercury Rev, the Duke Spirit Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Thu., Dec. 11, 8:30 p.m. 2008

Mercury Rev are one of those bands that have always seemed like they should be bigger than they are, but their inverse timing—that is, their knack for making slight adjustments to their sound that go against the zeitgeist instead of with it—has kept them from real stardom. This year these veteran Buffalo psych-pop experimentalists seem determined to win the spotlight with the simultaneous release of two albums: Snowflake Midnight (V2) and its instrumental companion, Strange Attractor, available as a free download on the band’s Web site. I suppose you could attempt to listen to them simultaneously, a la the Zaireeka set from their buddies the Flaming Lips, but since they don’t unfold in parallel (or even contain the same number of songs) it’s probably best to consider them as separate entities: a “real album” and its creepy little sister, or maybe its shadow that doesn’t quite act like a shadow should. Both return to the eerie, stormy aesthetic of the band’s earliest work, and that is a cause for celebration. The Duke Spirit opens. —Monica Kendrick

Price: $25

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