When: Mon., Jan. 16, 9:30 p.m. 2012
Most psych bands build massive walls of guitar, but the focal point of Chicago trio Moonrises is organist Libby Ramer, whose whimsical leads owe as much to prog superstars Keith Emerson and Tony Banks as they do to blues-rock icons Ray Manzarek and Jon Lord. Ramer's position in Moonrises' spotlight is especially remarkable because the band's other two members are both highly visible guys-about-town: Plastic Crimewave, aka Steve Krakow, fills the few gaps in the dense swirl of organ with his freak-out guitar squall, and Ben Billington of Tiger Hatchery and Quicksails provides the jumpy drumming. Between the sprawling arrangements and the trapped-in-a-well vocals (by Krakow and Ramer), their songs are easy to get lost in—they're like soundtracks to traveling deep into a forest or to the bottom of the ocean. At tonight's show, Moonrises will be selling a small hand-numbered vinyl run of their upcoming self-titled LP (out on Galactic Archive/Logan Hardware) as well as the cassette version (on local tape label Priority Male). —Luca Cimarusti Wume and Ono open.