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Smile! You’re in Chicago!

| November 8, 2011 | 0 Comments

Though our review of The Beach Boys’ The Smile Sessions (Capitol) won’t appear ’til December, since we’ve been listening to it so much we thought we’d use it to filter our previews of Pat Jordache, Joe Lally, and Skrillex.

In the shadow of the world’s greatest unfinished album, Pat Jordache sure don’t sound done neither. That’s part of Future Songs (Constellation) point, though. Jordache ambitiously aims to glean inspiration from his subconscious, which gives his kaleidoscopic lyrics a fuzzy lens. Musically, forms slip in and out with flippant regard for convention. His croon can waver from stony authority to lounge-act camp, while he taps his feet to whatever his iPod’s playing while he slumbers: TV On The Radio, Animal Collective, The Natural History, Orange Juice. Waiting pays off in lucid strikes like “Song For Arthur,” which you need to catch before slumber befalls him again. (Wednesday@Lincoln Hall with Tune-Yards.)

Brian Wilson wanted Smile to be distinctly American, something Joe Lally can appreciate. The former Fugazi bassist returns to the U.S. for a rare tour, and he still appreciates the basics of rock ‘n’ roll: voice, guitar, bass, drums. While his lifestyle doesn’t care for wasting gas on a destination-less automobile ride or leering at girls, Why Should I Get Used To It (Dischord) still has pent-up emotions waiting to jump out, ready to pounce in “Nothing To Lose” and explosive “Last Of The Civilized.” (Thursday@Schubas with I Kong Kult and Helen Money.)

Every time a politician refers to the U.S. and U.K.’s “special relationship,” you can practically hear the eyeballs rolling across the Atlantic. For as much as many Britons admire us, an outspoken segment does so only with the steepest of condescension. Consider Skrillex. The boy wonder of American dubstep gets ridiculed at every turn, some for his emo past and looks, but mostly for turning England’s first genuinely redeemable adaptation of hip-hop (via drumandbass) into a colossal blockbuster. Dubstep? No, that’s the aggressive, electronic mutant that sprang out of U.K. garage’s head. Skrillex’s rave-worthy, wobble-bass concoctions have earned the dumbed-down pejorative “bro-step.” Someone’s a little jealous that Burial and Pinch couldn’t fill an ice-cube tray on tour of the States. (Friday&Saturday@Congress on the MotherShip Tour.)

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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