Man or Astro-Man?, Jacuzzi Boys, Big Smoke City | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Man or Astro-Man?, Jacuzzi Boys, Big Smoke City 

When: Fri., June 14, 9:30 p.m. 2013
Price: $15
Some people think these Alabama-based weirdos have made a 20-year career (give or take a long hiatus in the aughts) out of nothing but shtick—and I suppose their pulpy sci-fi iconography and B-movie costuming, as well as their Alpha and Gamma Clone tours (for which they sent other people out on the road as Man or Astro-Man?), might rub certain whimsy-impaired stick-in-the-muds the wrong way. But the extraterrestrial foolishness is part of a package deal with their music, which has always backed it up with substance—the wildness and ferocity of their space-age surf-rock rips ironic distance to shreds. Defcon 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1, released by the band as a joint venture with longtime supporters Chunklet magazine and recorded by honorary Astro-Man Steve Albini, features original members Star Crunch, Birdstuff, and Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard. It’s their first new album in 12 years, and it begins with a roar and never takes the pedal off the metal—except during the instrumental interludes, which beep at you ominously like a control panel telling you that something on your ship is going horribly wrong. They’ve always been a fantastic live act, and with this material to perform, they just might sound better than ever. —Monica Kendrick Jacuzzi Boys and Big Smoke City open.

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