White Mystery, Stranger Waves, Pelts, Poppets | Cobra Lounge | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

White Mystery, Stranger Waves, Pelts, Poppets Critic's Choice Free Recommended Soundboard

When: Thu., July 16, 10 p.m. 2009

Hard to believe it’s been almost seven years since a 17-year-old Miss Alex White announced her arrival on the Chicago garage-rock scene with a month of Fridays at the Hideout—backed by nothing but the primitive pounding of drummer Chris “Playboy” Saathoff, she stunned audiences with her skilled songwriting and soulful howl. Now 24, she has something of the wizened veteran about her, and functions as a sort of de facto elder to the thriving crop of young musicians emerging from her alma mater, Northside College Prep, which includes members of the Smith Westerns and the Stranger Waves. Her newest project, White Mystery, returns to the winning formula of her duo with Playboy and her previous two-piece, the Red Lights; this time her younger brother Francis plays drums, and his style is somewhere between Beat Happening’s Cro-Magnon rhythms and what you might hear from one of those kids at Guitar Center who always commandeers a display kit to see if he can sound like Keith Moon. They’ve been gigging a lot lately—last weekend they played at their mother’s photo exhibit, which commemorated the 30th anniversary of Comiskey Park’s Disco Demolition Night—and their debut seven-inch just came out on HoZac Records, perfectly capturing their gleeful (Billy) Childish-ness and swaggering Monks-y stomp. The Stranger Waves, the Pelts, and Poppets open. —Brian Costello

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