Ad: [ ? ]
TODAY

Friday, October 31

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Transmission
« Soul Providin'. Gild Your Idols »

Concert Sat Mar 22 2008

Slits, Old Time Relijun, and More: A Review

You know, I could start by discussing The Slits' recent headlining performance at the Subterranean, but supposedly it's spring, and it's a holiday weekend, and I'm determined to keep a positive attitude. In short, let's discuss what was great about the evening.

What was great was every other band that performed. For the first time in a couple of months, I came away from a show with a few new bands to excitedly research online. Kicking off the evening was the Chicago-based husband-wife duo, Post Honeymoon. Armed with only keyboards, bass, and a drum kit, the two pounded out catchy songs in the tune of early Kill Rock Stars fodder (think a more dancey Slant 6). While sometimes shaky on the delivery, it was forgivable and even more exciting to find out that the set was only their second show.

Another, even further stripped-down male/female duo, Shellshag played next. Low-fi punk rock thumped out via Shellhead on guitar and drummer Jen Shag. What the songs lacked in variety, the band made up for in crazy, infectious energy. Facing one another, trading back-and-forth vocals, it was like watching Iggy Pop and Captain Caveman go bananas onstage. Shag, in particular is fun to watch: Drumming standing up and wearing sleigh bells about her person, she plays while dancing and leaping about. They obviously love performing, and that excitement bled into the audience in no time.

The Shellshag performance also provided a perfect set-up for the Old Time Relijun set. It was easy to overlook singer Arrington de Dionyso as the band set up. Reserved and sporting thick black glasses, he seemed almost a mustachioed version of Artie, The Strongest Man in the World from "The Adventures of Pete & Pete." But, like another super strong man, de Dionyso stripped his glasses (and his pants), and channeled another persona, equal parts preacher and devil. Old Time Relijun, a quartet from Portland, Oregon, have got the Insane Rock 'n Roll genre covered, featuring squally, loping rockabilly beats. Backing up de Dionyso, the rest of the band (including an upright bass and a fella who can rock two saxaphones at once) was dead-on tight. It was sexy, it was a little scary, and it was a glorious mess. They're playing again on May 20 at the Abbey Pub, so make sure to check them out.

But then there's The Slits. The legendary 1970's punk/dub group has managed to stay together in some fashion or another for years, but whether this has proved a good thing or not remains to be seen as well as heard. To the crowd's delight, Slits singer Ari Up emerged, her ridiculously long dreads trussed up like a Hindu goddess. In her husky voice, she announced that half the band was sick, but promised to deliver a good time regardless. But as soon as the band started up, it fell apart. While yes, the lack of energy was probably due to illness, the lack of timing and rhythm was disappointing.

Crowd participation was heavily in use, but primarily as a crutch, and the crowd grew less and less into it. After asking a few excited gals from the audience to help sing the single "Typical Girls," Ari actually criticized them in front of everyone about on what beat they should have been singing the chorus. After a bit, she seemed to realize how she sounded, and eventually she shrugged her shoulders and laughed it off, saying "Oh well, it's punk, right?" Yes, Ari, it's punk, but "punk" doesn't mean "underwhelming trainwreck," nor does it mean you constantly halt all momentum throughout the show to redress your audience for not fully participating. Eventually, folks started to leave. I certainly did.

But let's keep this positive, right? Post Honeymoon, Shellshag, Old Time Relijun: They delivered. Check 'em out.

 

Add a Comment




Please enter the letter d in the field below:



Live Comment Preview


Notes & Tags

Items marked with a * are required fields. Please respect each other. We reserve the right to delete any comments borne out of douchebaggery or that deal in asshattery.

Permitted tags and how to use them:

To link: <a href="http://blahblahblah.com">Link text</a>
To italicize: <em>Your text</em>
To bold: <strong>Your text</strong>

Classical Thu Oct 09 2014

Pulling Strings: For classical music in Chicago, you got a guy - October 2014

By Elliot Mandel

"Classical music is dead. Long live classical music!" - The Internet. The lesson: Read less internet. See more music.

Read this feature »

Blogroll

  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
BackStage
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
ChicagoMusic.org
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
CHIRP
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
Daytrotter
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Do312
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
Gridface
The Hood Internet
Innerview
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pitchfork
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Songs:Illinois
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock

  Venues:

Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
B.L.U.E.S
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Constellation
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
FitzGerald's
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Martyrs'
Mayne Stage
Metro
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Rosa's
Schubas
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Smartbar
Subterranean
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Township
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Atavistic
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Hozac
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records


Events

Fri Oct 31 2014
Nocturna All Hallow's Eve Ball @ Metro

Fri Oct 31 2014
Rocky Horror Review @ Mayne Stage

Fri Oct 31 2014
Bloodiest, Outer Mind @ Empty Bottle

Sat Nov 1 2014
Pianos Become the Teeth @ Beat Kitchen

Sat Nov 1 2014
Freakeasy's Dead Celebrities @ Metro

Sat Nov 1 2014
Songs of Stephanie Morris @ Hideout

Sat Nov 1 2014
Hood Internet @ Double Door

Sat Nov 1 2014
Chicago Ukulele Cabaret @ Silvie's

Mon Nov 3 2014
Blonde Redhead @ Bottom Lounge

Tue Nov 4 2014
Mark Lanegan Band @ Bottom Lounge

Wed Nov 5 2014
Sound Opinions: The Beatles vs. The Stones @ Old Town School of Folk Music

Featured Series














 

Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.


About Transmission

Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Anne Holub, anne@gapersblock.com
Transmission staff inbox: transmission@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15