Minders | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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From their inception in late 1995 the Minders were arguably the most doggedly nostalgic act of a backward-looking lot. While their fellow bands in the Elephant 6 collective, like Neutral Milk Hotel, Beulah, and Olivia Tremor Control, made the sacred mid-60s texts (Pet Sounds, Revolver, etc) a starting point for experimentation, Martyn Leaper and his rotating cast of helpers treated the songwriting techniques of the Beatles, the Kinks, and the Zombies not as guidelines but as immutable laws. If the approach was reductive, the execution was pitch-perfect: Hooray for Tuesday, the Minders' summery 1998 debut album, remains one of E6's finest moments, an indie-pop landmark that's likely spent some serious time in the Shins' CD changer. Over the years since, Leaper hasn't wavered in his loyalty to 60s pop, but he's broadened his scope as a writer, and the band, now a trio, has grown more flexible with its arrangements. Former drummer Rebecca Cole now plays keyboards full-time, and on last year's The Future's Always Perfect (Future Farmer) synthesizers turn up everywhere, permeating the psychedelia of "Tearaway," the perky chorale "Go Wave Your Wand," and "28X," a rare sonic storm cloud. Plane opens this show, followed by locals the Bon Mots, whose 2003 debut, Le Main Drag (Mellifluid), elegantly fuses Byrds-style riffs with the drive of 80s power pop. $10. Saturday, July 31, 10 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport; 773-525-2508.

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