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BODEANS 8/26 & 27, RAVINIA I hope someday these roots rockers give us a thorough accounting of what they did for the eight years between their previous album, Blend, and the new Resolution (Zoe), because they certainly weren't losing any sleep retooling their music. The only fresh flavor on Resolution is the occasional organ or accordion part. Mostly this is bland and feel-goody, shifting with comforting regularity between lullaby mode and anthem mode, but distinctive details peek through here and there: the lyrical guitar solo in "Sleep" sounds like the work of an Allman Brother in a meditative mood, and the chiming opening riff of "Wild World" sure sticks to the proverbial wall. DR. KILLBOT 8/27, DOUBLE DOOR The sci-fi-influenced geek punk on these locals' Super Sonic Hellbeast has a roaring bratty energy, bristling with hyperarticulate rage at teachers, parents, society at large--basically anything that keeps them away from their late-night B movies and beer-fueled D & D sessions. They have stage names like Jonny Turbo, the Ruined, and Bilbo Badass, and they sound like the Dead Milkmen on a bender--the fuzzy guitar and dorky keyboards are augmented with accordion, harmonica, even didgeridoo. I've never had a band threaten to sell my organs on the black market before ("Universal Donor"), but my favorite cut is still "My Sister the Baptist," about a master necromancer's little sibling-rivalry problem. STIFF LITTLE FINGERS 8/27, METRO This Belfast-born punk band, formed in 1977 and disbanded in 1983, has actually been reunited for longer than it was broken up--Jake Burns and company started playing together again in 1988 and have been sporadically releasing new material since 1991. On last year's Guitar and Drum (which came out in July in the States on Kung Fu) Burns is the only original member, but the current lineup, which includes bassist Bruce Foxton from the Jam, has been together since '97. Though the music is still the humane, political pub punk Burns developed when Thatcher was in office, the headlong, off-balance excitement the group had when it was finding its feet has been replaced by a masterful confidence: there's no "Suspect Device" or "Alternative Ulster" here, but the boys have every right to take offense when people tell them they're too old to rock 'n' roll: on "Still Burning" Burns sings, "If I turn my back on all the honesty you lack / Would that make me more mature?" SUPER UBA 8/27, APOLLO'S 2000; 8/28, HOTHOUSE; 8/29, VIVA! CHICAGO LATIN MUSIC FESTIVAL Seems like all the great popular musics, at some point in their history, have been looked on with distaste by the upper crust for their links to the poor and dispossessed--blues, tango, and rembetika leap to mind. Bachata is the Dominican entry in that category. A guitar-dominated folk form based on the bolero rhythm, it's both bittersweet and light on its feet--and, like most street music, it's frank in its lyrics, whether the subject is sex, society, or politics. At least in part due to the influence of Dominican immigrants in New York--among them Ubaldo Cabrera, leader of Super Uba y Su Conjunto--bachata is finally getting a wide hearing in the States. Cabrera trained his rich voice singing without a mike in sidewalk jam sessions, but for my money the real star here is lead guitarist Edilio Paredes, whose fingers have the speed and grace of ten tiny Olympic gymnasts. RISE AGAINST 8/28, METRO This local hardcore band recently jumped from Fat Wreck Chords to Geffen and just spent the summer on the Warped Tour. I know what you're thinking, but honestly there wasn't much selling out left to do here. Their brand of crunchy, melodic punk, with its rousing choruses and fat guitar hooks, has been commercial for quite a while already, and this year even revolutionary rhetoric is relatively easy to market. I enjoyed Rise Against's new Siren Song of the Counter Culture without guilt for its big harmonies and quality drumming. I could complain about the overserious attitude and maudlin, adolescent radicalism, but I'd just sound like I was deliberately missing the point. CHIN CHIN 8/29, SCHUBAS This New York group was founded in 2001 by Torbitt Schwartz and Wilder Zoby, who intended to improvise behind singers and MCs at a monthly party in Brooklyn, but it soon snowballed into a party in its own right--a hairy, funky dance band, sometimes as small as a quartet and sometimes as big as a ten-piece, that sprawls like a Wookiee passed out on your couch. Its 2002 debut, Take Off Your Shoes and Dance Like a Monkey (T.R.I.N.O.), is a busy but laid-back drunken jumble of disco, fusion, Afrobeat (the band regularly borrows horn players from Antibalas), and the most shameless overuse of vocoder since the early 80s. Chin Chin is currently working on a follow-up, provisionally titled "Low Riders on the Storm." MONSTER MAGNET 8/31, DOUBLE DOOR Though only a single original member remains, this veteran band is one of a very few in its field that've lasted long enough to be pigeonholed in turn as grunge, alt-metal, and stoner rock. On Monolithic Baby (released in the States in May by SPV) these guys seem a tad hemmed in by their own stiff machismo--they don't execute rubbery twists like High on Fire or whip up the sheer fury of Fu Manchu--but when they let it rip, their dogged determination and simmering rage get the job done. One bonus track too many, though: I'm starting to think no one should ever, ever, ever try to cover "Venus in Furs." JOAN OF ARC 9/2-4, 3030 The brothers Kinsella are still devoted to indie rock so virulently arty it makes David Grubbs sound like Nick Lachey. Their melodies, riffs, and song structures are often so recondite that the band seems to be wandering, only barely directed, instead of playing a tune. Now working as a ten-piece, Joan of Arc has just released "Joan of Arc, Dick Cheney, Mark Twain..." (Polyvinyl), its seventh full-length. Though the record is marred by several mock-profound gestures--for the closer, "The Cash In and Price," five voices simultaneously recite the names of different famous people and institutions, then gradually converge till they're all saying "Clear Channel"--I'd strongly advise against pressing "eject" and pitching it the first time you feel like rolling your eyes. Too much of the music is too good: the dementedly Beatlesque "Queasy Lynn," for instance, or the alternately lilting and thunderous "A Half-Deaf Girl Named Echo." Grey Ghost and Chris Connelly open the first of these all-ages shows, By Lightning to the Womb and Sherri Diaz the second, and Marriage and Bird Show the third; tickets are only available through polyvinylrecords.com, and just 50 will be sold for each night. SIOUXSIE SIOUX 9/2, HOUSE OF BLUES When I first heard about "An Evening With...Siouxsie Sioux," I figured it meant she and percussionist partner Budgie--the core of the Creatures since 1981, when the band was still a Banshees side project--must have finally split. Fortunately I was wrong. Last year's Hai! (Instinct), based partly on improvisations Budgie recorded with former Kodo drummer Leonard Eto, is one of the best things the Creatures have ever done, huge and sensual, playful and hypnotic. Budgie and Eto will both be on this tour, and one of the evening's sets will be devoted to Creatures material. The other, of course, will be Banshees faves.

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