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Decent Days and Nights

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 13, 2006 6:02PM

Last week had us blind with excitement, but this week’s slate – aside from some sure things - has us cautiously optimistic.

After emptying out our wallet this weekend, we’re grateful for tonight’s free Mixel Pixel show at Empty Bottle. We’re still on the fence about the band’s album Music For Plants, which swirls industrial dance grooves around shoegazer-y vocals and Nintendo-inspired keyboards. But it’s the kind of music that gives white kids permission to dance so expect lots of Missed Connections tomorrow.
Tonight, 9:30 p.m., Empty Bottle, Free, 21+.

We’re convinced there is a factory somewhere in Brooklyn, in which you will find a mad scientist toiling away, combining minimalist guitar, Patridge Family keyboards and a lock of Lou Reed’s hair to create the newest indie rock bands. Takka Takka is the latest to come off the line, and this year’s model is sleeker than most. Get ‘em while they’re hot on a bill with locals David Singer and the Sweet Science.
Tonight, 9:00 p.m., Abbey Pub, $6-8, 21+.

After fellow Chicagoan Tim Kinsella wrote an op-ed piece in the October issue of Alternative Press that urged every band appearing in its pages to break up, the once and future Chicago punk band Rise Against made the cover the next month. Though the juxtaposition was coincidental, clearing the slate of imitators and anointing Tim McIlrath and Co. as the standard bearers seems appropriate, as they’ve managed to keep the honesty of their music intact while breaking wide on a major label. The band releases a live DVD, "Generation Lost" on December 5th.
Tuesday, 6:00 p.m., Congress Theatre, $20-23, 18+.

2006_11_sia.jpgSia’s work with mellowtronica outfit Zero 7 always left us in a warm, blissed-out state. It’s taken six years and an appearance on the Six Feet Under soundtrack to give her the notice to match her talents. Though there may still be some residual K-Fed mojo lingering over the House of Blues, you can hardly go wrong with a woman who confesses that the only two CDs she owned while growing up were a Jackson 5 anthology and Jeff Buckley’s Grace.
Wednesday, 9:00 p.m., House of Blues, $17.50-$20. 18+.

And speaking of Jeff Buckley, it’s November so it must be time for the annual tribute concert at Uncommon Ground. This year’s show is a pricey $50 though it includes dinner and some proceeds go to the Old Town School of Folk Music scholarship fund. For a cheaper alternative, you could always light a few candles, pour a glass of wine, cue up Grace and make a few ill-chosen calls to current or ex-lovers.
Wednesday and Thursday (see UG website for lineup), 7:00 p.m., Uncommon Ground, $50, All-ages.