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The Best Little Secrets Are Shared

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on May 24, 2005 3:42PM

Chicagoist enjoys Louis XIV. We think they're the nazz. We don't expect anything out of their blatant T-Rex-isms other than that they exude sexy feelings and recall the fact that rock and/or roll can still be lewd, lascivious and fun. But that's not why we're looking forward to their headlining gig at Metro this Wednesday May 25.

Instead it's the local boys on the bill that excite us. Opening the 2005_05_24_glam.jpgshow is the Ladies & Gentlemen, a band born from the ashes of glam-poppers Box-O-Car and helmed by Box-O-Car's Skid Marks and Material Issue's Mike Zelenko. Tired of much of the local scene's overextended wankery and lack of stage presence the duo decided that their latest project had to push concise songwriting and energetic live shows to the forefront. So the band has been perfecting the art of the three-minute pop song musically infused with bouncy cheer, but Marks has also learned that the best pop often lyrically deals with
broken individuals looking for salvation.

Also opening is Caviar. It's an odd local pairing in that Caviar's songs are filled with layers of samples augmented by a live group while the Ladies & Gentlemen play a stripped down pop that sounds lush by virtue of its arrangements. Both groups strive for a visually engaging aesthetic but while Marks is all scissor kicks and gleeful guitar strangling, Caviar's Blake Smith tends to adopt the coolly disaffected approach of someone that has tasted the fringe of success only to have it yanked from his lips. It would almost be cartoonish if the man didn't also have a talent for writing his own excellent brand of 80's influenced rock and/or roll without merely being a slave to the retro trend.

So, to sum up; while Louis XIV build their music on sex, bravado and nods to their influences it could be said that Caviar takes the bravado and runs while The Ladies & Gentlemen take their own influences and sex them up. In the end you've got a night where all the bands compliment each other by playing off the contrasts and everyone in the audience walks away richly rewarded.

Thanks, Tankboy!