Yuck, Unknown Mortal Orchestra | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Yuck, Unknown Mortal Orchestra 18+ Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Sun., July 17, 10:30 p.m. 2011

The Unknown Mortal Orchestra makes ridiculously accessible music that could easly find a mainstream audience; the group’s self-titled debut, recently released by Fat Possum, is loaded with hooks and benefits from the highly listenable falsetto of front man and mastermind Ruban Nielson (a native of New Zealand now based in Portland, Oregon) as well as a punchy rhythmic backbone that frequently nods to sunny-day hip-hop beats. But there’s something totally strange about the whole arrangement—it’s not at all clear what Nielson thinks he’s doing combining influences as disparate as Krautrock and lite AM radio pop, or how he makes them fit together so naturally, or whether he’s trying to tell us something by doing it. Whatever it is, the band is good—they’re one of those rare acts that makes a high degree of musical proficiency seem fun rather than stifling—and the fact that they aren’t doing anything remotely similar to anyone else is a real pleasure. You should definitely figure out a way to play their psychedelic sugar-funk jam “How Can U Luv Me” at every cookout you go to for the rest of the summer. —Miles Raymer

Price: $14, $7 with Pitchfork wristband

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