Pretty Monsters, Sonoi | Whistler | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Pretty Monsters, Sonoi Free Member Picks Recommended Soundboard

When: Sun., Jan. 22, 9 p.m. 2012

When he recorded under the name Manishevitz, Adam Busch donned a new stylistic guise with each album: bedroom folk, ornate pop, swaggering glam. Now at the helm of Sonoi, which also includes bassist Ryan Hembrey and drummer Pierce Doerr, he's forged a coherent sound from all those elements and a few new ones. The artful sequencing of spacey country-rock, glassy guitar instrumentals, pensive acoustic ballads, and thumping anthems on their new LP, Tropics of Holland (Meno Mosso), makes me think of a perfect shish kebab fresh off the grill: each taste enhances the last, and when you get to the end you're ready to start over. The record's last two bites are "Etude B," a brief cluster of jewel-like string tones, and "Caroline," which accompanies its affectionate lyric snapshots of a woman who has better things to do than die with jubilant fingerpicked guitar and subliminal percussion. Of all the songs on Tropics of Holland, they might be closest to what you'll hear tonight; Busch will perform solo, playing songs from the album and accompanying videos by movement and visual artist Joyce Whalen. —Bill Meyer Pretty Monsters headline; see Three Beats.

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