Metric | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


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Every time I listen to Metric's 2003 debut, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? (Everloving), I have a vivid flashback: I'm standing around in a loud, crowded club, staring at the latest suicide bomb carnage in Iraq on the TV above the bar, which is being narrated by the thump-thump-thump from the DJ booth. Old World Underground captured the zeitgeist of the early days of Desert Storm II: Electric Boogaloo with its tableaux of war, Gen-X ennui, and hipster culture. Emily Haines's lyrics mapped out the intersections between the personal and the political, and then she charged into that landscape like it was no-man's-land--sometimes singing, sometimes speaking, often stuck exasperated between the two. But a strong dose of hope and vitality also radiated from the Canadian band's supercatchy power pop, keeping songs like "Combat Baby" from becoming too polemical or self-pitying ("I want to be wrong / But no one here wants to fight me like you do / Combat baby / Fight off the lethargy / Don't go quietly"). On their new album, Live It Out (Last Gang), the discontent is more inwardly directed, owing partially to the death of Haines's father during the recording of the album. The first line is "When there's no way out, the only way out is to give in," and later Haines laments, "I fought the war but the war won." Most Serene Republic opens the early show; Lovely Feathers opens the late show. Tue 10/18, 7:30 and 10:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

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