Upcoming Concert Reviews of Them Vs. Them, Ghostfinger and More...

More Concerts of Note

Jan 18, 2006 at 2:06 pm
M. Vorrasi

Say Hi to Your Mom

Them Vs. Them with The Stapletons and The Times

Saturday · The Mad Frog

Chicago trio oh my god (OMG) is on break working on new material, so dedicated local fans might be jonesin' for a little organ-grinding power and frenetic, don't-blink songwriting. Their fix comes Saturday, as Them Vs. Them (TvT ) makes their Queen City debut. TvT was formed last summer by OMG's raging singer/organist Ig and singer JAQ, a modern Renaissance man who has toured with Electro/Rock/Hip Hop trio The Grommits, written, produced, composed and acted for TV shows on HBO and MTV, MCed, beatboxed, DJed and released a CD under his guise, Foul Mouth Poet. The twosome enlisted OMG drummer Bish and fellow Chicagoan Casey Kannenberg for guitar duties to flesh out the band, which is as vigorous and versatile as OMG, making for what will no doubt be an equally captivating live show. The band's convulsive sound surfs on explosive beats more danceable than a million Franz Ferdinands and more pogo-inducing than a billion Fall Out Boys, Kannenberg's angular guitar eruptions and Ig's jaw-dropping organ work. There is certainly no more creative organist in Rock today than Ig. He coaxes a monstrous sound from the instrument, but it isn't all about brawn; on the TvT tune "Messed Up Love" he adds entrancing trills that sound like computer loops, while on "Look Around" he makes the watery, ethereal sound of rubbed glass. JAQ's vocal display is equally multifaceted; he has an actorly ability to rotate his voice from pub-rocking Elvis Costello-ish throatiness to spontaneous yelping to jerky rap posturing. The result of all of the players' oscillating talents is a keyed-up, rainbow-flavored brand of Power Pop that touches on classic Punk and Post Punk, non-obnoxious Rap Rock and Cheap Trick-style Melodo-Rock. (Mike Breen)


Saturday · The Comet

With all the radio stations adopting Jack FM formats, wasn't it inevitable that individual bands started doing the same thing?

Imagine a band that goes from Newgrass to Metal to Post Punk to Nuggets to ... aw, fuck labels. Ghostfinger rocks. This power trio doesn't just blend for an interesting sound or cop some influence by dipping their toes into one genre or another; rather they dive in the deep end, touch the bottom and swim a lap. They pull disparate elements together, but Ghostfinger spends little effort deconstructing and reassembling them, instead just sticking it out there in all its glory. The madness began in 2003 when singer/guitarist Richie Kirkpatrick and bassist/keyboardist Matt Rowland got together with some friends with a turntable and sampler. The next year, they picked up drummer Van Campbell and started kicking ass in earnest. Last year they cut their debut CD, These Colors Run. The title must be lampooning bumper sticker culture, because the "colors" on the disc don't run together much at all. Some songs mix it up, like the first track, "Aminal Eye," that goes from Postal Service smoothness to an explosive Pixies-like sound. Other songs are completely faithful to their source in every way, like the twang, Fender Rhodes and pedal steel of "Pretending to Die." Every way except vocals, that is. There is always Kirkpatrick's half-parody of Mick Jagger, a fitting stand-in for the over-the-top aspect of Rock to which the band gives the "ghost-finger." The Tennesee group tours frequently, dedicated to fulfilling their apparent mission to make the familiar seem absurd and the absurd seem familiar. (Ezra Waller)

Say Hi to Your Mom with Meadoe

Monday · Southgate House (Parlour)

At an age when most young people would be weighing options and earning potential in the post-college blitzkrieg of student loan responsibilities, Eric Elbogen (aka Say Hi to Your Mom) has turned his Brooklyn apartment into an indie version of Electric Ladyland and churned out three fascinating and varied Electro/Psych/Folk/Pop albums on his own Euphobia label. Elbogen's latest release, last year's Ferocious Mopes, has generated an impressive volume of positive notices and inspired comparisons to the tremulous expanse of Granddaddy and Radiohead, the lyrical pretzel logic of Weezer, the Emo melodicism and melancholia of Bright Eyes and Death Cab for Cutie and the spiky guitar mastery of Pavement, all of it recorded with the homemade sophistication of Guided by Voices and the tongue-in-cheek good nature of They Might Be Giants. Sonically, SHTYM veers crazily but not inexplicably between New Wave, Punk, Synth Pop and lo-fi basement Rock, as Elbogen ties it all together in the service of brilliantly puzzling songs; "Recurring Motifs in Historical Flirtings," "The Forest Scares the Hell Out of Me," "I Think I'll Be a Good Ghost," "The Death of Girl Number Two" and "Yeah, I'm in Love With an Android" are just a handful of Elbogen's quirky constructions detailing sex with robots, dance-offs with the new boyfriends of ex-girlfriends, the advantages of the afterlife, the unseen menace of the natural world and the dark side of inanimate objects gaining precognition. Perhaps Elbogen's most impressive feat is the organic warmth he wrings out of songs that are the result of so much DIY technology. The key to all of it is the balance between the humanity that Elbogen brings to his compositions and the distance he establishes from them in order to present them impartially, like Gary Numan fronting The Flaming Lips. (Brian Baker)