Wooden Shjips, Birds of Avalon, People's Temple | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Wooden Shjips, Birds of Avalon, People's Temple Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended

When: Sat., Nov. 5, 10 p.m. 2011

San Fran quartet Wooden Shjips call up such a chill, roaming-the-earth vibe on the new West (Thrill Jockey) that pretty much every track warrants a desert sunset and some sort of mid-60s convertible, cruising with the top down. Repetitive garage-fuzz guitar lines hold the music steady and front man Ripley Johnson blankets everything in his reverbed drawl, but the mood is colored by wistful, spacey accents and Krautrock-ish keyboards—there's plenty of Spacemen 3 trance in the mix to go with the better-half-of-the-Doors stuff. The band sometimes lays on lots of that classic-rock flavor, but the psychedelic tangents get so high and out there (figuratively speaking, of course) that songs like album opener "Black Smoke Rise" don't stay grounded for long. In keeping with the usual Wooden Shjips MO, the jams on West definitely get jammy (five of the seven songs roll past the five-minute mark), but the band's trips—like the swirling, hypnotic mass of sound that the standout "Flight" becomes for its instrumental second half—are always well worth taking. —Kevin Warwick Birds of Avalon and the People's Temple open

Price: $12, $10 in advance

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