Von Bondies, Lightning Love | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Von Bondies, Lightning Love Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Mon., March 30, 9 p.m. 2009

Garage rock seems to foster a curious secular fanaticism: kids who are incapable of believing in anything else will spend a decade banging on guitars and living in a van so that they might one day achieve the transcendent trashiness of, say, the Cramps. (Jason Stollsteimer and Marcie Bolen say they started the band that became the Von Bondies the same night as their first Cramps show.) Von Bondies drummer Don Blum, who occasionally bothers to write something on the group’s LiveJournal page, sideswipes sacred cows from civic pride to the family unit (“I honestly never knew my biological father . . . if I ever do meet him, I think I will punch him in the face”), but the way he throws himself into their music is more ritual celebrant than juvenile delinquent. On the Letterman show a few years back, during a performance of their ubiquitous “C’mon C’mon,” he thrashed in the vortex of his drums like a bacchic priest, hitting so hard he had his sticks up past his ears; live audiences get so much of the spirit, he says, that on their previous tour one guy ran up and tried to use his head to play a cymbal. Between their 2001 debut and last month’s Love, Hate, and Then There’s You (Shout Factory), the Von Bondies have shifted from guitar-centric garage to a power-pop sound that showcases Soll­steimer’s vocals, but the music’s pagan guts remain intact. —Ann Sterzinger

Price: $12

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