Ween/Basehead/Sloan | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Your alternative-music quota for the month can be had at Metro tonight, when an impressively programmed spectrum of new sounds hits town. (Note the 6:30 PM starting time, though.) Headliners Ween are a bit trying with their shtick, which roughly conveys what a pre-potty-training Paul McCartney might produce if left to his own devices in a studio. Starting with this fairly defensible aesthetic impulse, the two Ween boys then upend it by treating the vocals or this or that instrumental track with various electronic devices, or simply slowing down or speeding up the particular track. Lots of laffs, I'm telling ya, but trying, too. Basehead is Michael Ivey, a pothead rock-rapper who in a rather accidental way is pushing rap as far as anyone these days. His new Not in Kansas Anymore continues Play With Toys's lilting, laid-back, very groovy takes on things like exasperated horniness, the munchies, homework, and racism, all delivered in near-comatose-sounding raps. Ivey takes a real band on the road with him: after seeing the result last time through I can say that I've seen the future of rap-rock, and it almost works. As for Sloan, they're a more conventional alternative flavor-of-the-week outfit, the alleged precursors of a new wave of rock 'n' roll talent from Halifax, Nova Scotia. On record I find them almost impressive musically but overly arch spiritually. Live they may be an entirely different trip. Then again, they may not. (If you're a real Sloan junkie, the band is playing a Metro late show tonight as well, opening for Rocket From the Crypt and Claw Hammer.) Friday, 6:30 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 549-0203.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Tom Nichols, Alison Dyer.

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