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Decent Days and Nights

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 4, 2006 6:55PM

What a great week for indie-pop. We are seriously psyched to revisit some old favorites while experiencing some newer friends for the first time.

Robbers on High Street have garnered a lot of buzz, and while their latest digital-only EP is not an entirely convincing justification for their acclaim, it’s certainly strong enough to pique our curiosity. Expect Subterranean to be pretty crowded as everyone tries to discern whether these cats have the legs to outrun the blogger backlash that's sure to mount before year's end.
Subterranean, Monday, Dec. 4, 9:30 p.m., $10, 21+

2006_12_lemonheads.JPGA little over ten years ago we were at a bar with some buddies, brushing our shaggy grown-out college locks from our eyes, and discussing how great the new Lemonheads record was. Fast-forward to current times, and we found ourself at The Hideout a few weeks ago with those exact same friends, brushing our shaggy grown-out grown-up locks from our eyes, and discussing how great the new Lemonheads record was. Literally. Also, and this may be hard to believe given the man’s erratic history, Evan Dando does put on a solid live show. Vietnam opens with a frenetic and over-the-top rock whose theatricality should provide a lovely contrast to Dando’s tight pop.
Double Door, Thursday and Friday, Dec. 7 and 8, 9:00 p.m., $20, 21+

The Dears indulge in a bit of theatricality themselves, but in their case it’s less majestic and more Morrissey. Their last two albums were both solid doses of moody pop, and while neither one was exactly great, both contain tunes that are tremendous. Local orch-poppers Canasta continue their lucky streak of landing on great bills. We’ve listened to their We Were Set Up album a number of times, and while we do find it pleasant, we can’t for the life of us figure out why they keep snagging prime opening slots. For the most part, the album is built upon middle-of-the-road tunes that sound like a (slightly) ballsier Belle & Sebastian. However if they come back and write an album full of tunes as good or better than “Slow Down Chicago” from their debut, we’ll be happy to eat that whole Belle & Sebastian ref.
Metro, Friday, Dec. 8, 9:00 p.m., $16, 18+

2006_12_el_vez.jpgEl Vez’s holiday show is always filled with ribald latin-rock, borderline showtunes, and Elvettes with killer moves. We can honestly say we’ve never seen a bad El Vez show. IRONIC HIPSTER ALERT: If you’re not ready to have fun for fun’s sake, and insist on viewing everything through a PoMo lens under the assumption that humor must be built upon disingenuity and misdirection, this slap-happy, strangely sexy holiday romp is not for you.
Subterranean, Saturday, Dec. 9, 10:30 p.m., $15, 21+

The Von Ehrics play electrified country punk that is closer to Social Distortion than Uncle Tupelo. Robert Vandygriff’s vocals stink of whiskey and the rhythm section is tight, so all the ingredients to please an average Chicago insurgent country audience are there. The only thing the band has going against them is the fact that The Note isn’t exactly known for these types of shows, so hopefully folks will find their way over there from The Hideout, since these raucous boys certainly deserve a listen.
The Note, Sunday, Dec. 10, 9:00 p.m., $6, 21+