Reigning Sound, Gris Gris, Final Solutions | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Reigning Sound, Gris Gris, Final Solutions 

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I've written about these bands one at a time (and not so very long ago, either), but now that they're all on the same bill I think it's my duty to repeat myself--it's not every night you get the chance to hear such a wild variety of great garage rock. Memphis's FINAL SOLUTIONS, whose lineup includes Jay Reatard of the Lost Sounds on drums, are an evil fun-house ride, combining new-wave keyboards, metal-worthy guitars, punk-rock speed, and postpunk neurosis. The Oakland-based heads in the GRIS GRIS are a relatively quiet bunch, but their fuzzed-out, spectral blend of 60s garage, blues, and pop psych--with lyrics about, say, weird girls living in cardboard boxes--is just as unnerving. And headlining is the mighty and melodious REIGNING SOUND, led by Greg Cartwright, formerly of the Oblivians--the crude, sweaty, unhinged Memphis trio whose inexhaustible creativity and exhausting live shows made them bona fide cult figures. The Reigning Sound swagger and stomp like mad, but their greasy, sexy, manfully poppy rawk is also nuanced and controlled--and believe me, that's sometimes a wonderful thing. This is the second night of Horizontal Action's Blackout festival; the Blank Its and M.O.T.O. open. Fri 5/20, 8 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 800-594-8499, $15. Advance tickets are sold out, but a limited number will be available at the door starting at 7 PM.

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