Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet/M.O.T.O.

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You may know the Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet--recently described by Oshawa/Whitby This Week as "one of the hottest instrumental acts currently performing in Canada"--for their Telecaster-drenched intro to the Kids in the Hall comedy show. But they've been proudly instrumental and putting out singles since 1985 and are currently touring on their second album, Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham. The Toronto threesome plays a sort of landlocked but animated surf rock, leavened by the occasional whistling or novelty vocal ("Five American, six Canadian / Five American, six Canadian") and instrumental lifts from everyone from Procol Harum to Tom Waits to the expected instrumental pantheon (Duane Eddy, the Ventures, Santo and Johnny). They have the requisite rock-steady drummer, and they seem to have a lot of fun, much of it in just naming their songs ("Ben Hur Picked Off in a Gazebo," "Who Painted Whistler's Mother"). The show could be fun. Opening is Chicago's own M.O.T.O. (it stands for "Masters of the Obvious"), a rockin' guitar-and-drums duo who work out on stage the inspired if somewhat adolescent compositions of melody meister and free-lance scatologist Paul Caporino. Tonight, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 525-6620.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Marty Perez.

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