Pearls and Brass, Plastic Crimewave Sound | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Pearls and Brass, Plastic Crimewave Sound 

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PEARLS AND BRASS make me think of a line from Leonard Cohen: "And we read from pleasant Bibles that are bound in blood and skin / That the wilderness is gathering all its children back again." The Nazareth (Pennsylvania, that is) trio takes that splendid heresy and captures the kind of noise and feeling it evokes: imagine the Ents destroying Isengard with Cream playing on the sound track. Their second album, The Indian Tower (Drag City), is a step forward in crispness and clarity from their self-titled bronto-blues debut, yet it's by far the hairier, freakier record, with its riffs coiled around eerie heathen tales of rebellion and mystic visions of doom. They don't sidestep stoner-rock cliches so much as blow through them: The Indian Tower realizes the potential that bands like Dead Meadow flirt with.

Local psychies PLASTIC CRIMEWAVE SOUND are an unpredictable lot driven by Steve Krakow's labyrinthine mental library of influences. Their follow-up to 2003's Flashing Open, the double-vinyl No Wonderland (Eclipse), features guest appearances by Devendra Banhart, Chris Connelly, and members of Spires That in the Sunset Rise, among others.

Pearls and Brass headline, Plastic Crimewave Sound plays second, and Mass Shivers opens; DJ Velcro Lewis spins between sets. Fri 3/3, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $8. --Monica Kendrick

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