Old Time Relijun | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Old Time Relijun

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With this Olympia trio you get a yowling, yodeling, throat singing ethnomusicologist, an upright bassist, sleeve-worn pretensions to a sort of art-school neo-backwoods shamanism, and, to top it off, a Calvin Johnson connection--meaning they'd probably deserve a good pelting with possum if they weren't so terrifyingly good at what they do. And what they do is pound out hair-raising surrealist swamp rock that hews to a maniacal sense of rhythm, practically creating their own genre of primitive prog in the process. 2012 (K Records) doesn't add too much to the bag of tricks they first opened seven records ago, but it sure plays up the free-for-all freak-out angle as they desperately try to make contact with the ghost of Albert Ayler. (Personally the first thing I'd want to know is: did he jump or was he pushed?) The sound they achieve is both raw and abstract, like aggressive sex without actual bodies or hellfire preaching without actual faith. Hummingbiird and Le Ton Mite open. Wed 10/12, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $7.

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