Home/August Sons | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Home/August Sons 

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This intriguing bill pairs two bands that understand the primary source of inspiration for indie rock: boredom. The Tampa foursome Home have whiled away their empty hours recording no less than eight cassette-only albums. Their ninth effort, IX (Relativity)--the first to be widely available and released on CD--is a maddeningly inconsistent battle of influences to which each band member brings a plethora of interests. Devo, Eno, Steely Dan, Sebadoh, Pavement, Frank Zappa, and scores more play themselves out in their songs. But on their best material this game of name-that-source dissolves into a deliriously tripped-out ball of hooky melodies, fuzzed-out guitars, low-tech keyboards, and quirky rhythms. They take the standard lo-fi approach to home recording, so hearing them live should make their songs sound a heck of a lot better. August Sons are a trio from a locale even more remote than Tampa: Gulfport, Mississippi. Further proof that cultural and geographic isolation can drive certain brains to create rather than calcify, their most recent outing, the loose concept album Plants, Planets, and Insects (El Recordo), makes Home's bedroom-guitar fantasies appear downright normal. They execute off-kilter pop tunes with economy, the netlike rhythm section of bassist Marc Lofland--who also plays spots of wiggy banjo--and drummer Steve Noto catching the detritus flying from the brittle guitar, loopy lyrics, and idiosyncratic vocals of Jerry Scruggs. Think of a boogie-free Wolverton Brothers. August Sons may look like inbred hicks, but there's a brainy spirit squirming beneath their songs. This gig marks the Chicago debut of both bands. Thursday, August 17, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 276-3600.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Mary Guidera, Jim Watson.

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