Flaming Stars | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Flaming Stars 

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Britain's Flaming Stars have been pumping out elegant raunch-rock since 1995, when their debut seven-inch, Hospital, Heaven or Hell, landed them a recording session with Radio One's John Peel; since then they've released five albums of surf-lounge-psychobilly with a twist of early Jesus and Mary Chain and made five more appearances on the Peel show (collected on last year's Vinyl Japan double album The Six John Peel Sessions). But this month's weeklong swing through New York, Boston, Providence, and Chicago will be the band's first U.S. tour, in support of their stateside debut, Ginmill Perfume: The Story So Far 1995-2000 (Alternative Tentacles). The 15-song retrospective ranges from 1995's "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye," a resigned but ultimately exuberant breakup song featuring languid vocals by front man (and former Gallon Drunk drummer) Max Decharne, to last year's "Some Things You Don't Forget," another memorable song of love gone wrong that starts out slow and whispery, held together by Paul Dempsey's creeping bass, but ultimately gives way to a rough, jangly romp. The band's more brutal side is represented by the frantic Sam Peckinpah sendup "Bring Me the Rest of Alfredo Garcia," dominated by Mark Hosking's and Johnny Johnson's dueling guitars and Decharne's hissing chorus. The band's retro-noir act is no pose--the members are all around 40, and in addition to a handful of hard-to-find surrealist crime novels, Decharne has also published Straight From the Fridge, Dad: A Dictionary of Hipster Slang (Broadway Books), drawn from his encyclopedic knowledge of pulp fiction, film noir, and early blues, jazz, and country. Return of the Few and Viza-Noir open. Wednesday, November 7, 8 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace; 773-478-4408.

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