Plastic Constellations | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Plastic Constellations

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You know how when you first meet someone when they're a teenager, you can only ever think of them as being 14? And then whenever they accomplish something grown-up you say stuff like "Oh my God, I remember when you got your learner's permit" or "It seems like just yesterday you were still a virgin!" For years this Minneapolis four-piece was known only to Twin Cities kids--everybody in the band was still in high school and they couldn't tour. I saw them play their own graduation party, so when I heard Crusades (Frenchkiss), their brand-new second album, the first thing I noticed about it was how much deeper their singing voices are now. Sorry guys, but that's what you get for starting a great band before you could vote, doing genius shiz like dropping purloined RZA lyrics into a surging tide of wicked Polvo riffs, teen-spaz jamthems, and classic discordant Sonic Youth guitar clash. Like 2004's Mazatlan, the new disc has that my-band-is-my-girlfriend fury you sometimes get when precocious boys start making music before they start dating, combined with the utter lack of pretension that comes from spending years as a local phenom waiting for the rest of the world to catch on. Now that the Plastic Constellations have an album on a nationally distributed label and a couple weeks in a support slot on the imminent Hold Steady tour, the wait might be just about over. The Life and Times headline, the Narrator plays second, and the Plastic Constellations open. Sat 1/27, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

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