Ty Segall, Human Eye, Mikal Cronin | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Ty Segall, Human Eye, Mikal Cronin Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended

When: Sat., Oct. 1, 10 p.m. 2011

I don't know what it is about the Bay Area garage-rock scene, but lately it's produced an awful lot of really interesting, ambitious, and prolific bands—bands that don't just have nasty sounds and nasty riffs but also write really strong, diverse songs. The Fresh & Onlys and Thee Oh Sees, for instance, pile on the kind of killer pop hooks that are often missing in garage's caveman stomp. Ty Segall started heading in a similar direction on last year's Melted (Goner), and his music reaches new heights on the recent Goodbye Bread (Drag City). His primal, cranking, reverb-drenched guitar still fires off plenty of sinister licks and snarling solos, but this time he's built many of the songs around acoustic guitar and bookended the album with tracks where he sings in a surprisingly effective Lennon-esque falsetto. As usual, he recorded all the instruments himself (for this tour he's sharing a backing band with opener Mikal Cronin), and the performances are appealingly ramshackle; on "I Can Feel It" the hand claps that puncture the chiming guitar on each downbeat feel uncertain in the best way. Segall seems to be pulling off what's historically been a difficult trick for primitive rockers—getting more sophisticated without sounding more grown-up—and that's a big part of what makes Goodbye Bread one of my favorite rock albums of the year. —Peter Margasak

It's a crime that Ty Segall isn't ten times more popular than he already is, and the fact that Mikal Cronin isn't even as popular as Ty Segall suggests even more strongly that something's out of whack with the universe. Cronin has earned what small popularity he has by making a collaborative album with Segall and fronting Charlie & the Moonhearts, so his recent self-titled solo debut for local label Trouble in Mind—his best work to date—ought to raise his profile at least a bit. The influences that seem to have gone into the album (Smile-era Beach Boys, maybe a little of Thee Oh Sees, the Beatles' DayGlo period filtered through Apples in Stereo) aren't terribly surprising, but the quality of Cronin's execution—particularly on "Get Along," which ought to be a smash—very much is. —Miles Raymer Ty Segall headlines; Human Eye and Cronin open. 10 PM. Human Eye and Cronin also play a free in-store at Permanent Records at 5 PM.

Price: $10, $8 in advance

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