Spot Check 

NAKED & SHAMELESS 12/29, CHARYBDIS MULTI-ARTS COMPLEX; 12/31, GALLERY CABARET According to their bio, which is funnier than the little original material I've heard them do, this two-man talent-show act started out playing hotel bars in Indonesia as Simon & Pumpernickel. The sampler they sent me from their Step Da Fuck Back...It's Naked & Shameless contains a cover of Liz Phair's "Fuck and Run" that's startlingly earnest coming from such bearish-looking dudes, but their fart-joke aesthetic is better exemplified by their crass adaptation of the Violent Femmes' "Jesus Walking on the Water." CAVE IN 1/4, FIRESIDE BOWL This Massachusetts quartet's second full-length, Jupiter (Hydra Head), is startlingly accomplished: a rich, complex collision of emo, space rock, and metal that sounds like a grudge match between Pink Floyd and Voivod. Front man Stephen Brodsky, possibly under the influence of Radiohead, fearlessly sings the hell out of lyrics both grandiose ("And we continue to chase the sun / Only to burn up both our hands") and intimate ("Cleaning out your storage spaces all by yourself / Remembering the way it always was"). DETHOLZ 1/4, SCHUBAS The recent proliferation of bands with a goofy sci-fi back story is enough to make even Fox Mulder recoil, but the Detholz ("Death Holes" with a Chicago accent) shtick, which posits them as representatives of an intergalactic "hypnotainment" corporation bent on persuading the masses that "true spirituality does not exist outside of the trade relationship," is mildly witty. The music on the demo they sent me, while not exactly "Interstellar Overdrive," is passable quasi-psychedelic space pop--croony, lush, show-tuney, and occasionally rockin'.INTELLIGIBLES 1/4, EMPTY BOTTLE On Why I Write Such Good Books, his debut as the one-man band the Intelligibles, guitarist and singer Joe Cannon creates a spare and intimate room of his own in the tradition of solitary-sounding wordslingers from Cat Stevens to Peter Jeffries. His 17 songs never achieve much closure, nor do they aspire to, but the lyrics scan like short poetry on the page. For instance, from "Tree Waits for Lightning": "Because I can't seduce myself / Lord knows I've tried / Tree waits for lightning / On any old hillside." He shares the all-local bill with neo-new wavers the Entertainment, the Tortoise-inspired quartet Tekulvi, and the Distances, a trio with guitar, drums, and upright bass; this is a benefit for the Chicago Soup Kitchen.

--Monica Kendrick

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