Starring, Paper Mice, Glass Bricks, Bad Drugs | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Starring, Paper Mice, Glass Bricks, Bad Drugs Free Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Mon., June 14, 8 p.m. 2010

From the jungles of Brooklyn comes the lush, churning garage prog of this motley quintet's new debut album, Wife of God (Death by Audio). Guitarist and front woman Clara Latham and violist Amy Cimini are bandmates in ork-pop combo the Fancy (you may recall Cimini, a former Chicagoan, from Roommate or any of a zillion avant-garde improvising groups), and drummer Matt Marlin is in Pterodactyl, where he perfected the frenzied, head-over-heels tumble that Starring launches into deep space. The other two members—bassist Sam Kulik, a well-traveled multi-instrumentalist who plays trombone with Talibam! on a forthcoming collaboration, and Skeletons keyboardist Mike Gallope—hail from a prankish faction of the New York improvised-music community that's been doing splendidly terrible things to art-rock. Together they create a kind of hovering engine, powering their combo of eerie sing-song vocals, sensual Farfisa drones, raw shrieks of viola, and wiry Krautrock guitar with deep-sea-drilling bottom end (think Sir Lord Baltimore, except faster). The band is nearly as omnivorous as King Crimson when it comes to genre, and just as good at making all the bits fit together: I think I'm picking up Deep Purple, the MC5, Sonic Youth, Soft Machine, and Devo, all sitting together on the same plate so that everybody's sauce leaks into everybody's meat. It's a heady and beautiful blend. See also Sunday at the Whistler when starring plays with A Tundra. —Monica Kendrick

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