SPECTRUM | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Jason Pierce's Spiritualized remains the most populist and successful band to emerge from the breakdown of Spacemen 3. But Spectrum and E.A.R., the major projects from Pete Kember (aka Sonic Boom), have a certain timeless density to their sound(s) that's helped them age considerably better. Holed up in his lab in Rugby, UK, the mad scientist of minimalist richness hasn't extensively toured the States in some five years, but his late-90s shows at the Empty Bottle and elsewhere were pulsing, surging revelations. What Kember can do with electronics, organ, guitar, and theremin has to be heard live to be fully appreciated: his drones and swells gradually set your senses on fire; then, when your head finally stops, drops, and rolls, he's right there to wrap you in a thick blanket. With his first album in quite some time due for release around the end of the year, Kember will likely debut some new material here. Randall Nieman of Fuxa provides extra viscosity via keyboards and guitar. Plastic Crimewave Sound, Ian Hixxx & Beau Wanzer, and Hands of Hydra open; DJ Brock spins. a 7 PM, AV-aerie, 2000 W. Fulton #310, 312-850-4030, $12 suggested donation, 18+. --Monica Kendrick

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