Young People | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Young People 

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Katie Eastburn, vocalist for Brooklyn's Young People, doesn't write on guitar or piano: she comes up with melodies in her head and sings them for her bandmates, who then craft instrumental accompaniment around them. As heard on the trio's terrific second album, War Prayers (Dim Mak), it's an intuitive approach that works. Only on the final song, "Night of the Hunter" (based on "Pearl's Dream," a selection from the Night of the Hunter sound track that's been covered by Brokeback too), does the band play anything like a traditional arrangement, with a sequence of chords that explicitly follows the tune. Everywhere else, Eastburn's sweet but powerful singing--which often has a keening Appalachian quality--floats within a space loosely defined by textured guitar noise, minimal bass lines, and spare, speaker-wrecking beats. The band's secret weapon is guitarist Jeff Rosenberg (of the confrontational noise-rock duo Pink and Brown), who works from a palette of unusually viscous feedback squalls and chords that corrode as they linger in the air, while drummer Jarrett Silberman (who adds some guitar as well) prods and pulls the songs with a mixture of primal pounding and clangy accents. But your ears end up where the music began, with Eastburn's joyful, soulful melodies. Young People are the first of four bands on both these shows; the Gossip headlines. The Tyrades and the Ponys also play Thursday, which is all-ages, and the Hot Machines and Mahjongg play on Friday. Thursday, February 26, 6 PM, and Friday, February 27, 8 PM, Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton; 773-975-0505.

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