Scroat Belly | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Bloodshot Records says on its Web site that this legendary Kansas band's 1996 debut, Daddy's Farm, might be "the most polarizing record we've ever put out." Well, I can understand that--nobody ever threw a scarier shot of alt into alt-country than Scroat Belly, a bloody-mouthed, poo-flinging, bottle-smashing bluegrass-based nightmare that infused your basic Flatt & Scruggs high-speed plucking with metallic violence and a sort of PCP-flavored anarchy that at times recalled early Butthole Surfers. They didn't sound like hillbillies so much as punch-drunk Huns. Their wizardly chops meant they could clean up and play nice when they wanted to--but they rarely wanted to. (Split Lip Rayfield, where a couple members ended up, maintains much of the Scroat energy but little of the unpredictability.) Tonight's reunion show continues a series of benefit concerts and fund-raising drives for singer-guitarist Kirk Rundstrom, who is undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer and has no health insurance. Devil in a Woodpile opens. a 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $15.

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