They Shoot Horses Don't They | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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They Shoot Horses Don't They


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It seems almost like conventional wisdom these days to suggest that, with Americans slacking or underperforming or just plain fucking things up in so many different ways, Canadians should really come down and take over. But if they wind up controlling our indie rock, I worry they'll set an impossibly high standard, establishing a Canadian Quality Control Board only a band like They Shoot Horses Don't They could win approval from. The Vancouver septet's full-length debut, Boo Hoo Hoo Boo (Kill Rock Stars), sounds like the sort of thing they would've submitted along with an application covered in nifty pictures drawn in crayon. They've taken rhythmic oddities, singsong hooks, and wholehearted romper-room banging, woven in the kind of dark, manic lyrics that're no less implausible on the stage than on the page, and slapped on a horn section just to push the whole contraption even further into the realm of the ridiculous. They might remind you of Captain Beefheart, the Talking Heads, Old Time Relijun, or They Might Be Giants, but whether you love them or hate them, you won't be able to remove their songs from your head without a screwdriver. Bird Names and Attic Ted open. Wed 8/16, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $8.

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