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TIMEOUT DRAWER 11/28, EMPTY BOTTLE A Difficult Future (Someoddpilot), the beautiful 2001 album from this Chicago band, harks back to the glory days of lazy psychedelic Moog eruptions; its pulsing density makes it sound faster than it ever actually gets. The players seem fully aware of what year it is but uninterested in catering to shorter attention spans. This is a release party for the new limited-edition EP Presents Left for the Living Dead. TYRADES 11/28, FIRESIDE BOWL This supercharged female-fronted quartet evokes the west-coast sound of the late 70s with its first full-length, just out on San Francisco's Broken Rekids--it's the buzzing, debris-spewing reentry burn of the Avengers powered by 21st-century engines. Classic punk has resurfaced lately as party music, and songs like "Couples" and "Same Sex Killers" bring the kind of party where you pogo till your ankles are bloody stumps. This is a record-release show; each CD comes with a Tyrades graffiti stencil. BABY TEETH 11/29, EMPTY BOTTLE These locals' first single isn't even in stores yet, but they've all been around and around the block: Peter Andreadis of All City Affairs is the drummer, the bassist is Jim Cooper of sci-fi concept band the Detholz, and Pearly Sweets, ex-leader of the Platonics and now one of Bobby Conn's Glass Gypsies, plays the decadent keyboards. The recordings are good ("Celebrity Wedding" is glam disco; "Dream" is pop a la early Elton John, only campier), but I suspect the group's real strength is its showmanship. Clunky funksters King Kong (still working last year's The Big Bang, on Drag City) headline. HANG UPS, MELISMATICS 11/30, EMPTY BOTTLE The Hang Ups have been together since 1990 but are only now releasing their fourth album, The Hang Ups (Trampoline). These unreconstructed music geeks (they reunited the early-80s production team of Don Dixon and Mitch Easter for 1999's Second Story) play a lush, innocent-age pop--kind of like Big Star minus the driving bitterness--that captures the ecstasy found in the record store of paradise, where the vinyl is always Mint and every lost classic lives up to its zine-writing boosters' hype. It'll be funny to see how this candy-colored glow holds up against the stiff-legged guitar blare of their Minneapolis homies the Melismatics, whose subgenre can only be called cock pop. New Infection (Susstones) is their second album, and its rapid-fire dissemination of hooks (accompanied only occasionally by songs) is both charming and obnoxious. INGRAM HILL 11/30, SCHUBAS I'm not sure who to blame (but Eddie Vedder and Hootie are prime suspects) for the sinusy vocal style popular among heartland rock bands these days; it's kind of the honky equivalent of R & B's excessive melisma. The irritating oversinging of Justin Moore is just one more trait that fails to distinguish Ingram Hill's second album, June's Picture Show (Traveler), from albums by a raft of other competent and at times even energetic bands that sound as if they started out playing southern rock but have since set their sights on the chain-store strip mall that is modern rock radio. LIVING COLOUR 12/2, PARK WEST Some say this quartet was ahead of its time in the late 80s, but it seems to me that it belonged right where it was--a link between Bad Brains and Rage Against the Machine. The accusations of sloganeering that political bands often attract sure won't stop with Collideoscope (Sanctuary), Living Colour's first new album in ten years; however, one advantage of reductionist propaganda is that it's very adaptable, reusable for different generations and situations. Songs like "Operation Mind Control" and "Sacred Ground" are almost generic aggro protest music, but this band retains its graceful step, leader Vernon Reid's signature blistering guitar, and a wonkish wit (the nearly straight-faced cover of "Back in Black" is a nice touch). UNICORNS 12/4, SCHUBAS Brian Eno is still a popular enough name to drop, but I can count (probably without taking off my shoes) the number of artists to come along in the last few years who've displayed the kind of deep, unnerving commitment to whimsy found on Here Come the Warm Jets or Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy). At their worst, Montreal's Unicorns can come off as precious or preoccupied with making vintage synths sound like farting robots--as, indeed, could Eno--but at their best, as on the eerie "Sea Ghost" or the loopy, chanting "Jellybones" from their new, mortality-obsessed Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone? (Alien8), they achieve Eno-esque experimental pop in all its oxymoronic glory.

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