Eleventh Dream Day, Azita, She Speaks in Tongues | Hideout | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Eleventh Dream Day

Eleventh Dream Day

Sam Prekop

Eleventh Dream Day, Azita, She Speaks in Tongues Early Warnings (Music) Member Picks Recommended Soundboard

When: Fri., July 24, 9:30 p.m. 2015
Price: $15, $12 in advance
I can’t think of another Chicago band that has been as fruitful for as long as Eleventh Dream Day, arguably one of the two or three greatest rock bands this city has ever produced. Still, they’ve been missing something since the early 90s—namely, a second guitarist to play alongside and interact with front man Rick Rizzo. A few years back Brokeback’s Jim Elkington—who also plays utility for Tweedy, Steve Gunn, Jon Langford, and others—was tapped to translate Mark Greenberg’s keyboard parts to guitar when Greenberg missed a tour. Elkington has ended up sticking around, and on the group’s furious new album, Works for Tomorrow (Thrill Jockey), he settles in, building raucous guitar dialogues with Rizzo just like founding member Baird Figi and early-90s replacement Matthew “Wink” O’Bannon did before him. Elkington’s playing is more delicate and precise than that of Rizzo, who remains devoted to the punishing sound of the Velvet Underground and Neil Young’s Crazy Horse, and the blend proves irresistible. Eleventh Dream Day deliver moments of respite on the lovely existential ballad “Deep Lakes,” but rarely have they sounded so angry otherwise: on a cover of Judy Henske and Jerry Yester’s “Snowblind” drummer Janet Beveridge Bean snarls the lyrics; “Go Tell It,” a single-chord burner about a suicidal gentleman who decides not to jump from a train bridge only to find himself in the path of a steaming locomotive, features Greenberg hammering a single piano note a la the Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” Also, Rizzo in particular sounds fed up with the apathetic state of democracy and discourse in the U.S. Still, as good as the new record is, the prospect of the group’s digging into its vast repertoire and reviving tunes put on ice by the single-guitar lineup might be the best draw for tonight’s show. I’ve seen them play more than I’ve seen any other group, and I know I’m excited. —Peter Margasak

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