David Thomas & Two Pale Boys | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

David Thomas & Two Pale Boys 

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DAVID THOMAS & TWO PALE BOYS

I once read an interview in which David Thomas good-humoredly acknowledged that he has to buy his clothes at big-and-tall specialty shops. But what the man's too modest to say is that his outsize talents also require a roomier framework. This is borne out by his track record with Pere Ubu, the rock band he's fronted for more than 20 years. On Ubu's essential early recordings (collected last year as part of the Geffen box set Datapanik in the Year Zero) chaotic noise and driving rhythms complemented Thomas's high-pitched bleat and fragmentary lyrics. But on more recent discs like Worlds in Collision and Story of My Life, his considerable lyrical gifts and expressive singing have been shoehorned into ill-fitting pop structures. On Erewhon (Tim/Kerr), the debut of his trio David Thomas & Two Pale Boys, guitarist Keith Moline and trumpeter Andy Diagram (who's also half the drum-horn-and-tape-loop duo Spaceheads) create a sparser and more spontaneous format that allows Thomas to do his thing; their improvised accompaniment encompasses elements of techno, garage rock, and sea chanteys. This is Thomas's first non-Ubu appearance here in 12 years. Friday, 10 PM, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 773-525-6620. BILL MEYER

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Bleddyn Butcher.

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