Out Hud | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Originally from Sacramento, now based in Brooklyn, this instrumental five-piece sure has lousy taste in titles. Exhibit A: S.T.R.E.E.T. D.A.D., the meaningless pseudo-acronym with which they encumbered their debut for the local Kranky label. (Though just plain "Street Dad" wouldn't have been much better.) The names of their songs are even worse: "Hair Dude, You're Stepping on My Mystique," "Dad, There's a Little Phrase Called Too Much Information." But they do have a way with the postpunk funk. Out Hud shares several members with tonight's headliners, !!!, and their rhythmic tastes are similar, though Out Hud are less jittery and more likely to rock out in a complex, proglike manner. On "Too Much Information," serrated Gang of Four-ish guitar cuts across a simple rhythm, then a cello alternately duels and duets with a couple of trebly synths. "This Bum's Paid" decorates and then swamps a loping groove with droning, Factory Records-style guitars (a la early Joy Division or Durutti Column), and "Hair Dude" is off-kilter disco with a noisy dub feel. But the album's centerpiece is the 12-minute "The L Train Is a Swell Train and I Don't Want to Hear You Indies Complain," a less giddy take on the British dance-funk of the early rave era (Primal Scream's "Loaded," the Stone Roses' "Fools Gold"), with urban angst replacing the loved-up ecstasy vibe. Tuesday, December 31, 9 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

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

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