Dirty Beaches, Sisu, Ell V Gore | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc, Fall Arts | Chicago Reader
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Dirty Beaches, Sisu, Ell V Gore 

When: Thu., Sept. 12, 9 p.m. 2013
Price: $13
When I saw lo-fi experimental-rock outfit Dirty Beaches during the Empty Bottle’s Adventures in Modern Music festival a couple years ago, front man and founder Alex Hungtai seemed like a swaggering 50s rocker who’d been awakened from a cryogenic slumber by distorted guitars and overdriven synths. With his black hair slicked back and his guitar dangling from his neck, he slowly gyrated with deliberate cool and howled over a trippy, hazy tune that sounded like a poppy rockabilly band had recorded it on damaged gear in the middle of a sizzurp binge. This year’s double LP, Drifters/Love Is the Devil (Zoo Music), has plenty of slow-burning, fuzzed-out, doo-wop-flavored rock, but it works even better when Dirty Beaches sharpen up their sound or add contemporary flavors: trance banger “Mirage Hall,” for instance, is driven by the kind of up-front four-on-the-floor electronic drums you might hear at a warehouse rave. Hungtai recorded the second half of the album, Love Is the Devil, after breaking up with his girlfriend and moving to Berlin, and it consists of stark, weepy tunes made mostly with synth and guitar—but they still go straight for the gut. —Leor Galil Sisu and Ell V Gore open.


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