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Hospitality, Porches, Frankie Cosmos

Tue., Aug. 5, 9 p.m.

Brooklyn’s Hospitality are undeniably indie pop—tailor-made for the roster of mega-indie Merge Records—but their sparse, cozy songs are more than just pleasant background music for the Warby Parker-wearing NPR listener in all of us. Their newest album, Trouble (Merge), is breezy and playful, occasionally flirting with rock ’n’ roll, but remains introspective and aching lyrically. The airy, tender vocals of front woman Amber Papini glide over the jagged “I Miss Your Bones” and the brooding “Inauguration,” where she plays it bleak with lines such as “Is this my life? / Is this my fate? / Unrequited I remain.” The lyrics carry a kind of woe-is-me, twentysomething hopelessness, but the trio is so concise and efficient—and Papini so charming—that it’s never much of a distraction. —Kevin Warwick $12

Empty Bottle (map)
1035 N. Western Ave.
Ukrainian Village/East Village
phone 773-276-3600
Hospitality, Porches, Frankie Cosmos

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Chain & the Gang, Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Jimmy Whispers

Fri., Aug. 8, 9:30 p.m.

I’m convinced that Chain & the Gang front man Ian Svenonius is smart enough to have done almost anything with his life—build a better rocket for NASA, study marine life in deep-ocean trenches, lead the Cubs to a respectable third-place finish in the NL Central—but that’s not to say this D.C. punk lifer hasn’t improved the world in some small way by taking up rock music. Hell, I’m still trying to decipher everything Svenonius did in the early 90s as front man for Nation of Ulysses—a calamitous, cerebral posthardcore outfit that had its own “embassy” and talked about seceding from the U.S. (He’s hardly played it straight since then, playing in Cupid Car Club, the Make-Up, and Weird War, among others.) Since the late 2000s Svenonius has focused on “crime rock” band Chain & the Gang, whose raw, threadbare sound fits right in with the amateur-friendly aesthetic of K Records, the venerable indie label that put out their first three LPs. Chain & the Gang released this year’s Minimum Rock N Roll on Svenonius’s brand-new Radical Elite imprint; layered agitprop tunes such as the gnarly “Devitalize” probably won’t convince anyone to sabotage a new condo complex (“Yeah you do construction / And I’ll do destruction / I wanna devitalize the city”), but they might get you to think about inequality and gentrification while you move your feet. —Leor Galil $10

Empty Bottle (map)
1035 N. Western Ave.
Ukrainian Village/East Village
phone 773-276-3600
Chain & the Gang, Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Jimmy Whispers

Tools

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