Octopus Project | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Octopus Project 

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Lots of indie bands with a couple of albums under their belts dream of playing Coachella, but hardly any actually get to. So you can imagine just how surprised the Octopus Project must have been when they learned they were tapped to play the fest this year, especially since they had no clue they were even in the running--the Austin electro-rockers were picked from a list of more than a thousand nominees in a contest on MySpace. On two full-lengths, 2002's Identification Parade and last year's One Ten Hundred Thousand Million (both on Peek-a-Boo), they meld choice elements of indie pop, post-rock, and electronica into humming, pulsing, organic instrumentals that are equally suitable for couch pilots and rug cutters. (They remind me a little of defunct DFA-produced cyber-popsters Zero Zero.) The latest album was recorded by the core trio--husband-and-wife multi-instrumentalists Josh and Yvonne Lambert and drummer Toto Miranda--along with a host of musicians helping out on guitar, brass, strings, and piano. They've also taken on a series of fourth members since Identification Parade; the latest is Brandon Durham, whose Chicago band, Palaxy Tracks, is now on hiatus as he moves to Texas. Even with all that help, it's remarkable that the band's able to cover so much ground--the new record encompasses crackling, quaking dance-floor China Syndromes, melodic but driving beatbox-and-drum-kit synth pop, and downshifted sojourns into IDM. Volcano! and the Show Is the Rainbow open. Fri 3/24, 9:30 PM, Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 773-281-4444 or 866-468-3401, $8, 18+.


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