Gang Gang Dance | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Gang Gang Dance 

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The sky's always yellow around Gang Gang Dance--even when their vaguely mystical music veers dangerously close to hippie drum-circle nonsense, violence is brewing close at hand. The New York quartet's latest album, last year's Hillulah (Social Registry), could be the sound track to a momentous and dreadful trek, maybe to meet a holy recluse or get crucified. Liz Bougatsos processes her wounded, wondering vocals with distortion, turning them into a sort of exhausted, delirious sickbed wail. And the songs always seem to be taking a turn for the worse: plastic-bucket busker's drums accelerate into a bass-heavy flutter like a muffled death-metal blastbeat, or lonely sonar pings dilate into possessed warning sirens. Eventually all the little snatches of instrumental strangeness get funneled into a tornado of noise, with bits of keyboards or drums spilling out of it and smashing to the earth--and then out of nowhere the whole thing clicks over into a disco track. Of course, Hillulah is edited down from a heap of live material recorded in 2003 and 2004, so it doesn't give much clue as to what Gang Gang Dance will sound like here and now--they're consistently weird, though, so there's basically no risk you'll be bored. The band might also be selling advance copies of their artsy DVD, Retina Riddim, which is due early next year. Dogme 95 and Andor Destructor open. a 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10.

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