Chicago Drive-In
Pavement Entertainment

Infectious grooves

| June 22, 2011 | 0 Comments

By some kink in the “way things are supposed to be” schedule, members of Suicidal Tendencies ended up in a funk band called Infectious Grooves. We assure you there are no aging skaters in Junior Boys, Givers, 1,2,3, Pepper Rabbit, or Radical Dads.

Junior Boys were once just a shyguy electro duo, whispering “I want to do whatever you want to do” lines like, “Teach me how to fight.” Now? Shit. As we reported two years ago, they command some of the most hairy-thighed dance parties around. This year’s It’s All True (Domino) perfects the symbiosis of these two personalities, a see-saw act that veers from Mary Jane Girls hyperfunk to jams The Blue Nile might have refused for being too sullen. At least that’s how openers “Itchy Fingers” and “Playtime” feel, as if 2009’s Begone Dull Care ran smack into Last Exit. The unintended consequence might be that Junior Boys sound less forward-looking than they used to, maybe because they’re having too much fun right now. (Friday@Metro with Miracle Fortress.)

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s career went up in such a flash that the members didn’t have time to become divas. How else do you explain how Radical Dads, featuring Robbie Guertin, can end up the third band on a bill at Memories? At least it’s a Friday. It’s not a reflection on Radical Dads’ quality, however. While you could throw darts bent over backward and hit an indie-rock trend these days, Mega Rama (Uninhabitable) relies mostly on spiky energy and even spikier guitars to get across. Frontwoman Lindsay Baker gives the trio a slight Pretty Girls Make Graves feel, but sings to contribute to an overall, intimidating feel, instead of springboarding her own diva-like ways. (Friday@Memories with Black Jet Radio, Curio, and Brain Vacation.)

Youth has not been wasted on Givers. The Louisiana-based quintet pack their Glassnote debut, In Light, with enough fresh-faced exuberance to make you almost forget what kind of music you’re listening to. Even the slow cut has a title to go with this aesthetic (“Go Out All Night”) even if it symbolizes the burning of a candle’s two ends. Without sounding anything vaguely alike, a Flaming Lips spirit courses through the band, rendering sonic similarities to Vampire Weekend or Matt & Kim merely incidental. The genuine risk is that openers Pepper Rabbit and 1,2,3 will wear everyone out first. The latter’s obnoxious un-Googleability arrives in the form of a faux singer/songwriter guise for Nicolas Snyder, who desperately tries to sing his warbling songs while partner Joshua Sickels throws kitchen-sink sonics at him, like Tallest Man On Earth cornered by Four Tet in an alley. The former, neighbors of Givers, hurtle a dozen-odd instruments out of their psychedelic big-bang, Red Velvet Snow Ball (Kanine). (Friday@Schubas.)

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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