Poem Rocket | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Almost all the great bands to emerge from New York--from the Velvet Underground to Television to Sonic Youth to Public Enemy--seem to have in some way incorporated the drone and pulse of that city's perpetual motion into their music. In that tradition, the underrated trio Poem Rocket (bassist, keyboardist, and vocalist Sandra Gardner, drummer, tape looper, and keyboardist Peter Gordon, and guitarist and vocalist Michael Peters), who've always sounded something like the clanging of steel cellar doors and steam hissing from manholes, make the connection explicit on their new Psychogeography (Atavistic), an urban love song more detailed than even Sonic Youth's NYC Ghosts & Flowers. Despite the geographic specificity, Chicagoans should be able to relate: as the lyrics say at one point, "the space around the buildings is the soul of the city," and we certainly have plenty of that. And "Crappy Payphone Song" is bound to elicit an amen or two. They open for two top-notch local bands: the rousing Sweep the Leg Johnny and the completely arresting Bride of No No. Saturday, November 4, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.


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