THE EX | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader
comment

Much of the attention at Touch and Go's 25th anniversary celebration this fall went to bands that were reuniting, but I was more excited about the Ex, who've worked constantly for 27 years without ever growing soft or complacent. Never afraid to venture outside the postpunk comfort zone, the Amsterdam-based combo recently composed music for a Dutch stage production of A Clockwork Orange (in which they also played antihero Alex's droogs) and collaborated with 71-year-old Ethiopian saxophonist Getatchew Mekuria on the just released Moa Anbessa (Terp). Mekuria's mile-wide vibrato and gorgeously burred tone have earned comparisons to free-jazz icon Albert Ayler, and the band complements his ferocity with rumbling guitars and elemental drumbeats that push the tunes light years beyond typical world-music schlock. But tonight's set will consist of straight-up Ex music. After the departure of bassist Rozemarie Heggen last year the group decided to become a quartet, with Terrie Hessels and Andy Moor switching over to baritone guitars to fill up the low end with percussionist Katherina Bornefeld. The change has renewed the bracing physicality of their songs: with vocalist G.W. Sok barking sternly in front, they sound like an ultra-amplified drum brigade. DJ Rupture and Comorevi-Butter Fly open. a 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $12.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →