When: Thu., Aug. 25, 9 p.m. 2011
It's pretty easy to read the chorus of Peter Bjorn and John's "Second Chance" as autobiographical: "You can't, can't count on a second try / The second try is such a comedown." This roughed-up ditty, driven by hand claps and cowbell, comes from the new Gimme Some (Almost Gold/StarTime), which shows that the Swedish trio isn't trying to duplicate the convergence of factors that made "Young Folks" an unexpected international sensation five years ago. The group has retooled its style with each subsequent album, following up the relatively subdued and mellow sounds of 2009's Living Thing with the stripped-down, twitchy energy of its latest effort; Gimme Some merges punky immediacy, simple hooks, and relentless dance grooves. It's hardly a spellbinding combination, and indeed, the record is a modest achievement—but it's a pleasurable one, at least for me. Peter Bjorn and John are playing four shows in Chicago; if you're reading this on Wed 8/24, you may still be able catch them at the Empty Bottle. —Peter Margasak The 1900s open.