RETRIBUTION GOSPEL CHOIR | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The long-lived Duluth trio Low is a big, dreamy beast with a slow metabolism, so when guitarist Alan Sparhawk wants to show his more efficient and carnivorous side he does it via side projects: the Black Eyed Snakes are a garage-blues terror, while the Retribution Gospel Choir specializes in a mournfully anthemic classic-rock sound. A 2005 version of the band was a collaborative effort with the Red House Painters' Mark Kozelek; this time it's just Sparhawk, Low bassist Matt Livingston, and drummer Eric Pollard with an Econoline van full of Crazy Horseisms and spacey guitar solos and oddball covers. Their tours tend to be convened spontaneously, and it shows--both in their occasional sloppiness and in the exuberant energy they unleash. They've recorded two EPs so far: the first one's no longer available, but the second will be for sale at the show and eventually at Low's Web site, Pinebender headlines and Artsy Golfer opens. a 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $8. --Monica Kendrick

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