The Treatment | Essay | Chicago Reader
comment

Friday 21

ANGRY ANGLES My friends and I used to throw these garage-rock dance parties on weekends after the bars let out. Someone would play records while the rest of us were in another room, dancing and passing around bottles of Jim Beam with the lights out. One of us would have a flashlight, and whoever that person aimed it at had to throw down serious moves. The Angry Angles weren't around back then, but if they had been, I think cuts like "You Call It Love" and "You Fell In" would've made us all shake harder and wilder than drunks in a darkened room should. When a band can make a guitar part you've heard a hundred times sound like they just invented it two minutes ago, you tend to forget that you can actually hurt yourself dancing. Night of the Hunter, Digital Leather, and He Not In open. 10 PM, Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 773-281-4444 or 866-468-3401, 18+, $8. --Miles Raymer

DIRTY ON PURPOSE OK, so maybe any discussion of this Brooklyn quartet does have to start with shorthand terms like "shoegazer revival" or "dream pop." But I'm skeptical about the specific influences some claim to hear on the band's first full-length, Hallelujah Sirens (North Street). The layered guitar scrapes never veer toward the apocalyptic romanticism of My Bloody Valentine, and if their chime 'n' churn hints at Yo La Tengo--well, big news there, welcome to indie rock. These are just guys who think small and hurt big, and who seem to believe that even garden-variety lovelorn types deserve to be ravished by an exquisite sadness. But when you accept the challenge of rendering guitar cacophony beautiful, singing all pure and pretty like Joe Pernice seems like cheating. Say Hi to Your Mom headlines. 7 PM, Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 773-281-4444 or 866-468-3401, $10. All ages. --Keith Harris

NOW IT'S OVERHEAD Dark Light Daybreak, due in September on Saddle Creek, is the third album of complex, crystalline indie pop from Andy LeMaster, general mastermind of Now It's Overhead. Like his previous records, it's basically flawless. But that's the problem--LeMaster's music has about as much personality as a MIDI-to-USB interface. It reminds me of those jangly post-R.E.M. bands whose records I recall being absolutely perfect but can't for the life of me remember any songs from. Devotchka headlines, Now It's Overhead plays second, and Canasta opens. 10 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 or 800-594-8499, $10 in advance, $12 at the door. --Miles Raymer

Saturday 22

INDIAN Last year this local trio released their debut, The Unquiet Sky, on Seventh Rule, a local label that's quickly made a huge splash in the realm of distinctive heavy music with a roster of innovative and aggressive talent that includes Akimbo, Plague Bringer, Raise the Red Lantern, and Buried at Sea. I'm not sure I'd call Indian innovative--I'd go for "traditional," although "brutal" or "eloquently simple and skull-crushing" would work--but The Unquiet Sky is doom metal so flawless it may well deserve to be the standard-bearer. Like a gigantic military cargo plane, it's heavy, lumbering, and capable of liftoff even though it seems like there's no way it should be able to fly. Dead Meadow headlines, Indian plays second, and Sterling opens. 10 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 or 800-594-8499, $10 in advance, $12 at the door. --Monica Kendrick

YELLOWJACKETS This spring the Yellowjackets released a live CD/DVD set, Twenty Five (Heads Up), that features tunes from throughout their quarter-century career, and it neatly summarizes the twists and turns their music has taken. They started as a tight but uninteresting fusion trio, but with the arrival of saxist Bob Mintzer in 1991 they became the best of several bands mining the sound unearthed by Weather Report; from there they evolved into a satisfying postfusion outfit. At this point, with keyboardist (and prime composer) Russ Ferrante having all but abandoned synths, the Yellowjackets are simply a high-energy acoustic jazz band, and an excellent one at that. 8 and 10 PM, Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway, 773-878-5552, $20. --Neil Tesser

Sunday 23

BRIDGE 61 Yes, another Ken Vandermark project. This one's a cooperative, with all four members--Vandermark, his longtime associates bassist Nate McBride and drummer Tim Daisy, and bass clarinetist Jason Stein, a relative newcomer--contributing material and working it up together. The group's brand-new debut, Journal (Atavistic), nicely conveys the resulting broad range of approaches; consistently dynamic contrapuntal arrangements tie them all together. The punishing "Various Fires," with its fuzzed-out electric bass lines, is dedicated to This Heat and neatly appropriates that trio's rigorous sound-and-rhythm concept, while a piece like "Atlas" has a restrained swing feel, interspersing solo improvisations by the reedists with walking bass and lyrical duet passages. 10 PM, Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont, 773-935-2118, donation requested. --Peter Margasak

CHARLEMAGNE, NICK CASTRO & THE YOUNG ELDERS NICK CASTRO doesn't try to align himself with his more hirsute brethren in the psychedelic scene--sacrificing expansiveness and raw improvisation, he goes for a direct and polished style that's more Ren Faire than freak folk. On 2005's Further From Grace he got support from Espers and former Chicagoan Josephine Foster, and on his latest, Come Into Our House (Strange Attractors Audio House), he's backed by members of outfits like Current 93, Cul de Sac, and In Gowan Ring. Despite the musicians' pedigrees, though, the album has a bland, session-musician sound; the prominent use of various frame drums, Celtic harp, and tenor recorder lends it a world-music vibe, but the songs aren't global jams so much as sound tracks for skirt twirling. --Peter Margasak

The Madison-based candyfloss-country combo CHARLEMAGNE is on its second tour in support of last year's excellent Detour Allure (SideCho). This week front man Carl Johns is releasing a limited-edition disc, Exhile of Schley Pass (Keep Recordings), an enjoyable assortment of four-track home demos that includes previously unreleased Charlemagne material. They're playing as a trio at this show, and it may be their last Chicago gig for a while--Johns is moving to Philadelphia in September. --Bob Mehr

Charlemagne headlines, Nick Castro & the Young Elders play second, and Campo Bravo opens. 9 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $8.

Monday 24

BEAUTY PILL Maybe people can only handle one record of brainy, intricate, gentle rock at a time: that'd explain why Beauty Pill's debut full-length didn't make a splash when it dropped in 2004, the same year everyone picked up Sufjan Stevens's Seven Swans. Brimming with melodies that play coy without being cloying and arrangements that forcefully but politely ask you to put down your book or laptop and just listen, The Unsustainable Lifestyle (Dischord) does for me what I imagine Belle & Sebastian does for people who aren't seized by violent, irrational rage whenever they hear Belle & Sebastian. Maps & Atlases headline, Dogme 95 plays second, and Beauty Pill open. 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401. Free. --Miles Raymer

Wednesday 26

GERMS Reports from the road indicate that this 75 percent old version of the Germs is having a grand old time playing the trashy classics from the bad old days with young Darby Crash stand-in Shane West. West did his employee training on camera--he stars as Crash in the as-yet-unfinished Germs biopic What We Do Is Secret. Johnny Vomit opens. See also Thursday. 9 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-3160 or 312-559-1212, $15. --Monica Kendrick

JOE MORRIS-KEN VANDERMARK-LUTHER GRAY TRIO Joe Morris has been one of the most exciting and original guitarists in jazz since the late 70s, but since 2000 he's spent much of his time playing upright bass. The records he's performed on since then--particularly last year's Blue Yonder (Skycap) by pianist Steve Lantner (see Thursday's Critic's Choice)--prove he's more than just adept on the instrument. But though the switch was a respectable choice for such a rigorous and daring musician, I'm glad Morris has been turning up on guitar again. I haven't heard his brand-new album, Beautiful Existence (Clean Feed), but on last year's In a Heartbeat, a quintet session led by drummer Whit Dickey, his clean and brittle lines are as sharp and probing as ever. Morris plays guitar here with reedist Ken Vandermark and drummer Luther Gray; Vandermark spins before and after the set. 9:30 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433, $8. --Peter Margasak

TRES CHICAS Much has been made of this trio's connections to other bands: Caitlyn Cary was a member of Whiskeytown, Tonya Lamm was in Hazeldine, and Lynn Blakey was in Let's Active and Oh OK before joining Glory Fountain. But I think they might be trying to push this project further than anything they've done before. The North Carolina group traveled to England to record their newest, Bloom, Red & the Ordinary Girl (Yep Roc), where they studio-shined up their mountain-gospel melodies and dressed them in cabaret flourishes. They even enlisted Nick Lowe for a couple cameos. "My Love" begins with the lyrics "I'm not Jesus Christ / I'm just an ordinary girl," which suggests something rather at odds with the surface humility--is that a mistake the singer thinks someone's likely to make? Kristin Shout opens. 9 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $12. --Monica Kendrick

ZELIENOPLE It hardly seems fair to classify the new Loose Thread release of Zelienople's Ink as a reissue. The local quartet recorded it just last year, in two days, and then put it out as a CD-R on a tiny Finnish label, which promptly sold out its pressing of 100. It's as if the band wanted to test the chilly waters before letting this fragile soap bubble loose in a violent world. Compared to their three other full-lengths (including their most recent recording, Ghost Ship) Ink is a bit of a specialty item. Recorded live to CD with new instrumentation--artillery shells, tuned suspension cables, boxes filled with springs--and deemphasized guitar parts, it's a beautiful collection of echoes and whispers, drones and knockings, with a gently swelling sense of the sinister. Ink's greatest strength is its restraint: listening to it is like watching a martial artist psych out opponents with a gesture and a glance. Pumice and Matt De Gennaro & Scott Tuma open. 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $7. --Monica Kendrick

Thursday 27

GERMS See Wednesday. I Attack opens. 7 PM, Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 773-281-4444 or 866-468-3401, $15. All ages.

LIVING THINGS There's a place for the cheap political theater--Bush masks, lighting things on fire--that Living Things front man Lillian Berlin passes off as transgression. That place is a high school talent show. There's a place, too, for the busted-ass Rolling Stones corpse-fucking his band passes off as rock 'n' roll. That place is the Gap. 7 PM, the Gap, 555 N. Michigan, 312-494-8580. Free. All ages. --Miles Raymer

Add a comment