Say Hi, Mike Adams at His Honest Weight, Advance Base | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Say Hi, Mike Adams at His Honest Weight, Advance Base Recommended Agenda Soundboard Image

When: Thu., Jan. 8, 9 p.m. 2015

Just as the indie-rock scene coalesced and crossed over in the mid-aughts, Seattle musician Eric Elbogen hit his stride as Say Hi to Your Mom (which he shortened to Say Hi with 2008’s The Wishes and the Glitch). Elbogen posed indie rock in a fun-house mirror with 2005’s Ferocious Mopes and 2006’s Impeccable Blahs, writing songs that bubble upward with the mannered catchiness and bedroom-pop irresistibility of indie rock’s aughties zeitgeist. He also infused the tunes with an almost self-deprecating goofiness and unstylistic nerdiness out of step with the scene’s streak of earnestness—“Angels and Darlas” is one big Buffy reference, for instance. Elbogen has shed some of that subtle jokiness over the years, and on Say Hi’s eighth album, last year’s Endless Wonder (Barsuk), his intimate songs have a gruffer exterior and some worn-in worldliness. He might go big, like with the maximal synths on “Critters” and the thundering drums on “Such a Drag,” but I’m still most taken by the tunes that feel like he’s playing to an audience of one. I like to imagine that the vocals on “When I Think About You” were recorded in a closet during the wee hours, Elbogen pulling his mike close to pick up his restrained whispers. —Leor Galil

Price: $10

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