Lovers Lane
Rialto Square Theatre
Avondale Music Hall
ATT Internet 75

NATO! Run!

| May 18, 2012

Gridlock downtown! Restrictions on commuter trains! Riot gear! (Thanks to considerate Loop employers, less traffic on Foster this morning.) Only Jennifer Herrema, ex-Royal Trux, would do a show this weekend! Ane Brun waits a day or two.

Notice I didn’t mention the Cubs/Sox series in the list of bedlam, as absolutely no one cares anymore. After squeezing all she could out of Royal Trux and RTX, you could imagine Herrema wouldn’t care more for guitar music, but the new album by her RTX reboot, Black Bananas, pretty consistently debunks that notion. Rad Times Xpress IV orgiastically extols its love for six-strings, in a surprisingly danceable melange of saxy Bowie, T. Rex glitter, Ernie Isley space funk, and — on “Earthquake” at least — James T. Kirk. The name Black Bananas is clearly a metaphor: what looks like spoiled fruit is actually treasured by pastrymakers for its intense flavor (and easily mashable texture). (Sunday@Lincoln Hall with Kurt Vile & The Violators and True Widow.)

Ane Brun‘s missing an opportunity by playing here the day after the NATO convention ends, as the mantra-like repetition of her album’s title, It All Starts With One, on the same effort’s “The Light From One” would be a magically positive protest anthem. (It sure beats marching through Bridgeport chanting, “Fuck the police.”) Occasionally, Brun sounds too delicate to withstand the hot air that will be blowing from all sides this weekend, though the Norwegian has a backbone of dignity in her work that keeps it grounded as wispier elements threaten to take flight. (Tuesday@Lincoln Hall with Gemma Ray.)

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Featured, Stage Buzz, Weekly

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