RJD2 | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Top-flight turntablist and producer Rjd2 made his name as a hip-hop sampler virtuoso a la DJ Shadow, so it's no surprise he's taking heat from press and fans alike for moving from Def Jux to XL and from beats to pop on his latest, The Third Hand. And honestly, he's not doing himself any favors by trying to explain the new sound: "You know how guys break down once a year, and tell their friends that they love them, but they do it hella manly like?" he says in his press kit. "It's like that." But while he may not be the natural at the console that he is behind the steel wheels, The Third Hand--written, sung, played, and produced by Rj alone--is a pretty impressive effort from a fledgling pop-rock auteur. "Laws of the Gods" benefits from a jaunty Odessey and Oracle vibe, "Have Mercy" throws down some hooky soulfulness in a Phoenix vein, and "Someday" has a Lennonesque acoustic quietude that's a surprise even in such a free-ranging context. For this tour he's bringing a set of decks plus a four-piece band; Busdriver and Happy Chichester open. a 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $21, 18+.

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