TRS-80, Cass McCombs, Vee Dee | Double Door | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

TRS-80, Cass McCombs, Vee Dee Soundboard

When: Fri., Aug. 21, 9 p.m. 2009

Listening to TRS-80 is like getting a back rub in the path of a tornado. Though the repetitive electronic beats and cleverly varying melodic patterns massage your brain, pretty much everything else about the music is chilling and sinister: the glossy and somewhat sterile surfaces are disrupted by sprays of dissonant chords, horror-movie interludes, erratic punches of bass, sampled dialogue that invariably touches on the slavish tedium of existence, and beeping noises that vaguely mimic medical monitors or sonar pings. The end product is often a ghastly sort of beauty. Though founding member Jay Rajeck, who moved to LA in 2006, has had to perservere through a couple recent lineup overhauls—filmmaker and fellow Chicago expat Eric Fensler is his most consistent collaborator these days—he’s released the live EP Connect Sets (One Cell) and a studio disc called The New You (Vinyl International) since 2008. TRS-80 also play a free all-ages show at 12:15 PM today in the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium of the Harold Washington Library. —Ann Sterzinger

Price: $10

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