Evolution Control Committee | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Evolution Control Committee 

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In high school I had a creepy older pen pal who incessantly sent me mix tapes, and my favorite tracks were the fuzzy, slightly confusing contributions by the Evolution Control Committee, which combined slow, dumped-in-saggy-drawers beats, lewd lyrics, and grandma-candy melodic flourishes. ECC honcho Mark Gunderson--the O.G. of plunderphonics, plagiarhythm, mashups, what have you--has been a thorn in copyright puritans' sides since 1986, most famously for a 1993 college-radio hit that blended Herb Alpert's "Bittersweet Samba" and Public Enemy's "Rebel Without a Pause." Even CBS hates him: in 2000 Gunderson dug into Dan Rather's newscasts, chiseled out some hot-button words and phrases (desperation, shooting rampage, police brutality, funeral, cancer, death, cocaine), and worked them into a remix of AC/DC's "Back in Black," prompting the network to threaten a lawsuit. His peers generally try to make their tracks sound like cleaner, more bombastic remixes, but Gunderson's the Weird Al of this stuff, taking everybody down a notch; he'll turn the most rockingest Supertramp tune into a dusty, haunted, lo-fi piece of crap with all kinds of white noise and loud, inappropriate, fluttery rhythms. And you won't be watching him do it on some pristine silver Powerbook, either--Gunderson triggers samples with his own homebuilt contraptions, like a creepy-looking wired glove with thimble fingertips. Chromelodeon opens. Tue 1/4, 9 PM, Buddy, 1542 N. Milwaukee, 773-342-7332, $7. All ages.

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