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Right now!

| May 9, 2012

You have a big weekend: after Maps & Atlases finish their hometown release party at Metro, wake up, brush teeth, and get in line to be first for The Right Now’s. Also: Sheffield’s Water For Ale, Father John Misty, Chicha Libre, and Royal Canoe.

A problem with the soul-revue revival is the aggressively retro stance of its participants. Not limited to dress, a huge portion of the songs seize on peak-period Stax and Muscle Shoals-type arrangements complete with analog pops and snaps. Chicago-based The Right Now share complicity in some of these tropes, but at least the new Gets Over You doesn’t doll itself up like Dick Clark will come knocking any moment. With a name like Stefanie Berecz, the band’s frontwoman does well to keep from donning blackface and mimicking any of the era’s iconic vocalists. Her pipes’ Midwestern modesty is a microcosm for a band trying to find their own way with the genre’s well-worn templates — case in point is “Call Girl,” which loses the tie, undoes two or three buttons, and heads out under the disco ball. To the alternate future! (Saturday@Lincoln Hall with Derobert & The Half Truths.)

If you’ve watched the craft beer section of your local Jewel or Dominick’s explode from Leinenkugel’s and Honey Brown to bombers of Hop Stoopid and Flossmoor Station, you’re no doubt impressed. You might also be wondering, if there’s this much specialty brew to go around, where are we getting all the water? And how much longer until the Southwest is completely tapped out (giving teetotalers a new look at the term “going dry”)? Sheffield’s — long one of the only places in Wrigleyville that served decent beer — announces the first S.W.A.P. (Sheffield’s Water From Ale Project) for this weekend, during which it’ll donate a dime from every draft poured off its 50 taps to organizations including Friends Of The Chicago River, and Council Of The Great Lake Governors, and, while working with brewers to match what it gives. Admission is free for an all-you-can-eat fish fry, a Two Brothers “Tap Takeover,” and bluegrass! (Saturday@Sheffield’s with Chico & James.)

In 2007, Barbes Records released Roots Of Chicha: Psychedelic Cumbias From Peru, a stunning compilation of South American songs from the ’60s that collided with psychedelic rock. The astonishing and ostensibly sad thing about it, is that the musicians didn’t seem to be playing this great music for anyone but themselves and the chances of hearing it again were limited to this release. Not necessarily so: Chicha Libre arrive this week, and this year’s Canibalismo (on the same label no less), recreates the style with a modern flair. In place of dirt-floor, barrio charm comes a cleaner representation that has its own benefits: particularly bringing out elements poorly recorded in the past. (Saturday@Old Town School Of Folk Music.)

The harmonies on Fear Fun pull the curtain back on the fact that J. Tillman daylights in Fleet Foxes, a connection that no doubt encouraged Sub Pop to give a big-label shot to the wandering, shamanistic singer/songwriter. Its hunch pays off on his debut as Father John Misty, which updates the Devendra Banhart hippie mystique to fashionably include the PacNW, L.A. hotels, and a hint of Sweetheart-era Byrds. (Saturday@Schubas with Har Mar Superstar.)

Winnipeg’s Royal Canoe put disproportionate weight on point of view for their Extended Play EP, and that doesn’t include the Vampire Weekend-ish run through the motions of “Caught In A Loop.” From one side, they’re cavalier boundary crossers, melding psychedelic rock, hip-hop, and world pop with abandon, and making summery anthems at each turn. Or, you could say its engaging unpredictability conspicuously opens a pleasant new path, and that “Loop” is more of a signifier of boundaries than a way to fill five minutes. (Sunday@Township with The Mommies.)

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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