Oneida, Ladyhawk | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Oneida, Ladyhawk 

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The best psychedelic rock has always wiggled around strict classification. Medieval ballads float into stretches of raga and choruses of pure pop--the strangest segues are sanctified by the sense that the players are unified in some acid-pattern glow on a higher plane of weirdness. The music becomes a hard-to-quantify quest with its own dream logic, where all the visuals are hypercolorful and intense. So far everything the New York collective ONEIDA has done has been just the stuff to send you off into that light fantastic. Their new album, Happy New Year (Jagjaguwar), is the last to be recorded at the group's Brooklyn studio, the Sunset Grill, which has fallen prey to citywide redevelopment and blandification. The disc is partially a lament and partially a drunken wake, with pulsating grooves and shimmering, impish, contrapuntal melodies that can alternately sound like grief over the passage of time or just a damn fine way of passing it. For this tour the band is joined by its newest member, Double Rainbow, aka guitarist Phil Manley of Trans Am and the Fucking Champs. --Monica Kendrick

The scene surrounding Vancouver boogie-goobers Black Mountain--including its offshoots, Pink Mountaintops and Blood Meridian, and brother band LADYHAWK--has become the west Canadian equivalent of the Elephant 6 collective, with Black Mountain front man Stephen McBean in the Jeff Mangum figurehead role. Each group is an unsweatable variation on the same winning theme: hirsute young men (and in the case of Black Mountain, one woman) making bedroom-fidelity jangle with shambling, fuzzed-out barroom riffs. The press materials for Ladyhawk's just-released self-titled debut on Jagjaguwar cite Neil Young's Tonight's the Night as a reference point, but the quartet actually comes on like Wire copping the night moves of the Silver Bullet Band. In other words, like Silkworm with better vocals. --Jessica Hopper

Oneida headlines, Ladyhawk plays second, and Arriver opens. Sat 7/15, 10 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $10.

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