Chain & the Gang, Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Jimmy Whispers | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Chain & the Gang, Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Jimmy Whispers Recommended Soundboard

When: Fri., Aug. 8, 9:30 p.m. 2014
Price: $10
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



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