Thee Headcoats & Thee Headcotees | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Thee Headcoats & Thee Headcotees 


Art brut cottage industry Billy Childish has released roughly 80 albums in the last 22 years--which means he's now rewritten the Kinks' "All Day and All of the Night" several hundred times. Wearing his working-class English rasp like a medal, the singer-guitarist-painter-poet has gotten harsher and funnier in his middle age, but he's yet to stray from the corner of the garage he's staked out. Thee Headcoats, his main band, stick to the boldest, simplest gestures rock has devised: when they're not playing Childish's own misanthropic three-chord rants, they spike their long live sets with covers of Link Wray and the Clash. They're grim, crude, blisteringly loud, and a whole lot of fun, at least until they downshift into sluggish-blues mode. On this tour they're accompanied by their distaff pals Thee Headcoatees, a '62-style girl group warped into Childish's image: mature, bitter women growling cute little tunes about their boyfriends. Though two of them, Kyra LaRubia and Holly Golightly, have solo careers, the band is very much a Childish creation: he writes most of their repertoire, Thee Headcoats back them up, and he's extended some of his fixations (loathing, tweed) to their lyrics and look. Here Comes Cessation, imminent on Vinyl Japan, will be their sixth album and the first they've recorded as a trio ("Bongo" Debbie Green left late last year). A singles compilation, Sisters of Suave (Damaged Goods), should be out shortly too; with luck, it'll include 1992's deathlessly silly "My Boyfriend's Learning Karate." Saturday, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600. DOUGLAS WOLK

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Chris Anderson.

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