MOTO | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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With all the attention currently being lavished on Chicago's music scene, it'll be a tragedy if the town's veterans get overlooked in the frantic search for the next Liz Phair or Smashing Pumpkins. Paul Caporino's two-person band MOTO (for Masters of the Obvious) has played here sporadically since he became a Chicago resident in 1989, and he has been recording singles and self-released cassettes since the mid-80s. On first listen MOTO's ultrasimple rhythms and buzzing guitar attack make it sound like a punk rock band, but its roots go deeper than that: Caporino has an ear for the indelible pop melodies that graced bubblegum in its early-70s heyday. Some of the tunes he plays are his, while others are stolen from sources as disparate as Husker Du and Barry White; Caporino is the most ingenuous and ingenious riff thief since Nick Lowe. What keeps him from the big time is his subject matter; his lyrics about body functions and sexual panic are unabashedly, ridiculously juvenile. Still, if you're in the mood for good dumb fun, MOTO delivers. Drummer Beck Dudley is on a performing hiatus while she studies at IIT, so Caporino will be performing solo, accompanied by a drum machine. MOTO appears as part of a "multimedia extravaganza" of local talent to benefit the theater group Doorika. Also on the list are Hyde Park's heaviest psychedelic band, Sabalon Glitz; John Corbett and David Grubbs, performing a set of improvised guitar music; Dolomite, who purvey a blues-tinged variety of ugly rock; and a collection of video shorts produced by local artists. Saturday, 8:30 PM, Doorika, 218 N. Laflin; 243-6819.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Marty Perez.

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