Numbers | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Good bands don't need to reinvent themselves with every record to keep fans. San Francisco's Numbers have toured for two years on more or less the same batch of stripped-down songs, and they've yet to wear out their welcome. (Their crowd doesn't even seem to mind that they've released a handful of those tracks, like, four times.) On their new In My Mind All the Time (Tigerbeat6), their fork-in-a-socket boogie hasn't gotten any more sophisticated, but they're devoted minimalists, not simpletons. Their strength lies in counterrhythm: the crack-snap drums and frazzled guitar go tit for tat, but the Moog's a free agent, staggering off on tangents and coming back at just the right time. Though their conniptions come off a bit too robotic at times, their lyrics (sung by all three members) reveal that their emotional distance is actually a political stance: they yelp about jobs, technology, consumerism, and hipster fascism at arm's length because delving too far into these subjects would lend them validity. Ssion, Trin Tran, and locals the New Black open. Saturday, February 14, 9 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace; 773-478-4408.

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