Yeah Yeah Yeahs | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Yeah Yeah Yeahs

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Since being tagged one of ten new artists to watch by Rolling Stone in January, this motley two-year-old Gotham trio--singer Karen O, guitarist Nick Zinner, and drummer Brian Chase, who also plays in the Seconds--has been riding a wave of hype that's soon to rival the Strokes'. The uproar is largely based on the five songs that comprise the group's self-released eponymously titled debut, a weird, exhilarating mix of arty apathy and a deep and enthusiastic understanding of rock 'n' roll verities. Zinner's a distinctive player, unleashing indelible, grimy riffs that erupt in mangled-string dissonance, while O's thin broke-down sex kitten whine wavers between annoying and appealing. Her style seems to morph with each song; she does a convincing Eurobot on "Art Star," coolly announcing, "I've been working on a piece that speaks of sex and desperation / I've been screwing on the tracks of abandoned train stations," adopts a seductive sneer for the Cramps-y "Mystery Girl," and on "Our Time," by now the trio's de facto theme song, she tenderly warbles, "It's the year to be hated / So glad that we made it" to the tune of "Crimson and Clover." The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are first on a bill that also includes Girls Against Boys, We Ragazzi, and the Standard, but in a few months they'll be headlining shows like this. Tuesday, March 12, 8:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

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