Why? | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Why? 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Why? is the nom de microphone of Yoni Wolf of the Oakland-based Anticon collective, a loose-knit group of sonic experimentalists weaned on hip-hop but transformed by lo-fi pop. The various projects and groups under the Anticon umbrella vary widely in their methods of reconciling DJ/cut-and-paste culture with folky underground rock. Their voraciousness can be as exhilarating as it is overreaching: Clouddead (Wolf's project with Doseone and Odd Nosdam), for instance, often suffers from overindulging both subcultures. But Why?'s sophomore album, Elephant Eyelash (Anticon), is a double whammy of the positive sort. He's a midwestern suburbanite who developed a highly personal style of rap not predicated on its value as a class or race signifier, but he also outpaves Pavement, managing to sound sincere even when his lyrics are at their most ponderous ("Rain is millions of tiny speech bubbles unused / The collected breaths of mutes / And all our silent exhalations / Where we should've put words"). On paper it sounds like a disaster, but dammit, Elephant Eyelash is funny, surprising, touching, and smart: I'm penciling it in as one of the best albums of the year. Locks and Jiggsaw open. Fri 10/14, 9 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-478-4408 or 866-468-3401, $8 in advance, $10 at the door, 18+.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by J. Niimi

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Tempel Lipizzans Tempel Farms
June 19
Performing Arts
20,000 Leagues Under the Seas Lookingglass Theatre Company
June 06

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories