Concord Music Hall
Metro Chicago
Lovers Lane

The Coast with the most

| July 24, 2012 | 0 Comments

Liking Best Coast doesn’t mean you have to like Spin‘s “power couple” cover story on Wavves’ Nathan Williams and BC’s Bethany Cosentino. You can still go to this weekend’s show, or see Black Box Revelation, Ponderosa, Supreme Cuts, Blues Control, and Louden Swain.

First, God rest Williams’ worried mind — Cosentino’s lyrics don’t paint her as the surest bet. Best Coast‘s sophomore outing, The Only Place (Mexican Summer), can be deceptively fey and charming, as its mixture of shimmering, summery chords and counter-punctual themes trace any number of sunny/cloudy guitar-pop templates. The hiring of Jon Brion as producer suggests that Cosentino and Bobb Bruno have their eyes on the indie-pop exits. Despite their modest LP output, the band are notoriously prolific, and may feel after this grand statement that it’s time to move on. (Friday@Vic Theatre with Those Darlins.)

Update: BBR have dropped off the bill. Having spent a year banging about with their third album, it’ll be interesting to see if Black Box Revelation find their current sound to be something worth keeping. Like many bands before them, the Belgians used My Perception to celebrate their love of the proto-punk and psychedelic garage rock of the late-’60s and early-’70s, knowing fully well that bands who dabbled in this music for too long — even back then — eventually got bored. It’s up to BBR to follow their heroes’ historical paths, or try to find the doors left unopened. (Thursday@Double Door with Girl In A Coma.)

A lot of people think the Grammys anoint certain artists because of backdoor industry meetings where a musical direction is settled on by the powers who be. It was a charge leveled when Norah Jones’ debut swept, and again (by me) when Arcade Fire surprised everyone in 2011. Dry The River and now Ponderosa would be the retroactive evidence for this. The latter’s Pool Party (New West) is chaos finessed into an opportunistic pastiche of My Morning Jacket, Sigur Ros, post-Bends Radiohead, and Arcade Fire. Will it sell? It’s catchy and moody enough. Get in on the ground floor. (Thursday@Beat Kitchen with Bullet Called Life and Shelby Pollard.)

We like to grouse about artists who get the blogs all hot-n-bothered with a lightning-in-a-bottle single, but when a certain 6-and-a-half-minute minimalist house-based funk came along, we were impressed. Supreme Cuts‘ “Silkk” answered the bell at a time when Chicago house music is starting to get a serious reexamination by electro fans weary of dubstep and bigtime Euro synths. The local duo’s track also isn’t such a fluke: not long after it had been circulated, news of a full album (they released an EP last fall) came to light and Whispers In The Dark (Dovecote) reveals its teaser track to be part of a larger fabric. Austin Kjeultes and Mike Perry don’t try to steer house into something more accessible, but attempt to diagram how it relates to closer cousins like juke, but also snap and ambient. A collaborative album with Haleek Maul is due late next month. (Friday@Bottom Lounge with Gold Panda and Mux Mool.)

Unlike, say, First Jason, Rob Benedict doesn’t have to worry about “Felicity” fans swarming his gigs and expecting some campy adherence to type. The Louden Swain frontman has kept his rock gig going for awhile, and on the L.A. band’s latest outing, Eskimo, maintains their rock-survey methodology. (Friday@Red Line Tap with Lurid Hues and Lou Shields.)

Blues Control are more Blue’s Clues than Blues Explosion: discuss. On Valley Tangents (Drag City), the former New Yorkers still struggle with lifting their classical-cum-prog-cum-postrock tendencies out of the realm of gimmickry, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a thrilling listen. Having never seen them live I can’t attest to their approach, but the hope is that albums are merely documents, and this set will be a shockingly coherent jam that drafts all of their enviable skills. (Friday@Hideout with Chandeliers.)

— Steve Forstneger

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