Zeitgeist/Wipers | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Just as independently produced regional music is starting to appear on endangered-species lists, two bands that deserve better have booked successive club dates. If Zeitgeist isn't the most famous export from Austin, Texas, it's because they're not slaves to a trademark sound. Too urbane for the roots crowd and too genial for the art crowd, they move from pretty folk melodies to minor-key guitar jangle to hard-edged anthemic pop like the college band of your dreams. I've seen them rock the house, but just in case things get too stuffy, don't miss Portland, Oregon's, Wipers, a veteran band guaranteed to clear your sinuses. Unlike droves of punk Neanderthals who whine about suicidal tendencies whenever Mom won't bring them a Pepsi, Wipers brain trust Greg Sage has a knack for gripping listeners with an eerie calm before bringing on a storm. With his barren, desolate cityscapes and his first-person narratives teetering between epistemology and psychodrama, Sage sounds like American pop culture's missing link between Edward Hopper and Dennis Hopper. Wednesday (Zeitgeist) and Thursday (Wipers), Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison; 327-1662.

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