J Church | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

J Church 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Since the early 90s J Church has quietly been putting out smart, catchy pop-punk records at a breakneck pace. To date the band has released six albums, 18 split singles, and four full-length singles collections--the most recent being 2001's superbly titled Meaty, Beaty, Shitty Sounding (Honey Bear). That three-chords-no-waiting approach still has a spontaneous energy, but singer-guitarist Lance Hahn infuses familiar personal-political punk fodder with an unusual degree of subtlety: on the early tune "Bomb," it's hard to tell if he was calling pre-Internet punks to armed revolution, spoofing the Situationists' antibourgeois rhetoric, or just spinning a yarn about blowing up a department store. Hahn relocated from San Francisco to Austin before 2004's Society Is a Carnivorous Flower (No Idea), and though the band has a new lineup, the hooks, vitriol, and healthy ambivalence remain. The album takes its name from a line of graffiti spray painted in Paris during the 1968 riots, and on the 15-minute-long title track Hahn critiques current events through the angry rhetoric of that time ("Bombs are built like TV sets, cars, and stereos / Vietnam's the target audience you don't know"). But whether he means to rally the troops or just express his pessimism at how little things have changed is open to debate. The Methadones headline, Groovie Ghoulies play fourth, J Church plays third, Teenage Bottlerocket plays second, and Teenage Harlot opens. Sat 7/2, 8 PM, Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton, 773-975-0505 or 866-468-3401, $8 in advance, $10 at the door, 18+.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by J. Niimi

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
April 30 1
Performing Arts
March 21

Popular Stories