Ballboy | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

What's in the water in Scotland? First we get collegiate mopes Belle & Sebastian, then the less melodic but even more depressed Arab Strap. And now Ballboy: on Club Anthems (Manifesto), these lads sulk like the former with fangs or the latter with tunes. Like the Auteurs, whom they also resemble, they make inviting music that showers disdain on the outside world. Compiling cuts from a handful of earlier UK-only EPs, Club Anthems sets its tone with a nasty little recitative titled "I Hate Scotland." Soon singer-guitarist Gordon McIntyre is declaring that "Sex Is Boring," and that so is house music--so much for that album title. "One Sailor Was Waving" kicks off, "I'm not the brightest hope / I'm not the shining light / Of my generation," before offering to "Get up in the afternoon and / Take a razor blade across my eyes and see / If it makes any difference to me." Yet McIntyre's negativity is actually compelling, thanks to his effortless melodies and the band's new-wavy arrangements. And as the graceful "Olympic Cyclist (Acoustic Version)," the windswept "Swim for Health," and the jangling "Essential Wear for Future Trips to Space" demonstrate, he can be just as sweet as he is bitter. Opening for Cinerama. Saturday, October 5, 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 773-549-0203.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Michaelangelo Matos

  • How the USA fell for EDM, chapter one

    How the USA fell for EDM, chapter one

    In these excerpts from his lively and meticulous new book, The Underground Is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America, longtime Reader contributor Michaelangelo Matos chronicles the three-decade ascent of EDM.
    • Apr 29, 2015
  • How Chicago house got its groove back

    How Chicago house got its groove back

    Chicago house music is the sound of global pop today. In the 90s, though, it was on life support—until a new wave of producers, including Cajmere and DJ Sneak, got the city doing the Percolator.
    • May 3, 2012
  • Mixed messages

    Mixed messages

    Fabric mixes from Craig Richards and Goldie and a DJ-Kicks mix from Motor City Drum Ensemble
    • Aug 11, 2011
  • More »

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Love and Information Trap Door Theatre
September 12
Performing Arts
Cabaret Chief O'Neill's
October 06

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories