Pere Ubu | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Pere Ubu's new record, Cloudland, is a pop monstrosity: it's Eraserhead crossed with disco, or the Archies with a cleft palate. "Sloop John B" is transformed into a lurid rocker on a song called "Nevada!"; "Breath" equates a failed relationship with urban renewal. Which is to say that it's a Pere Ubu album, despite the pop sheen. Stephen Hague of Pet Shop Boys fame produced several cuts, including the shimmering "Breath" and an all-out rocker called "Waiting for Mary." Other cuts lack these songs' immediacy, but after 11 years, an extended hiatus, an ever-shifting membership, and eight or nine albums, Pere Ubu goes on. Expect the show Sunday to resemble the one last October: Chris Cutler and R. Scott Kraus banging away on drums, bassist Tony Maimone thwomping steadily, and the magnificent David Thomas, still looking like a harassed Radio Shack franchisee, fronting the whole sick affair. Missing will be synth player Allen Ravenstine, who apparently doesn't like to tour; replacing him will be Captain Beefheart alum Eric Drew Feldman, with, I've heard, sampled bits from Ravenstine's rare EML synthesizer. Sunday, 7:30 PM, Cabaret Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 549-0203.

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