Weird War | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Ian Svenonius, late of Nation of Ulysses and the Make-Up, is a man of many interests: one of the highlights of Weird War's labyrinthine Web site is an excerpt from his book in progress, "The Psychic Soviet," that connects Soviet cinema, Hitler's beloved Wagner, and Rocky to make an argument about the "invisible hand of art in determining the destiny of the nation." There's a lot of strange intelligence that Svenonius wants to get out into the world, and on the new Weird War album, Illuminated by the Light (Drag City), his band sounds like it's really straining to evacuate it. They're resisting the Borg by confusing it to death: the sound's swampy and organic, with pulsing and writhing synth swells and a cold, flat take on soul vocals ("Girls Like That" sounds a bit like George Clinton as a stiff-limbed zombie). Detholz! and Clyde Federal open. Sat 7/30, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $8.

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