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Dancing in the Moat

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 18, 2008 5:27PM

Crystal CastlesCrystal Castles create dance music out of brittle 8-bit derived beats and high-pitched squeaks and squonks. It's dance music for the Nintendo generation, full of dancing Marios and Luigis grinding up against ambisexual Sonic the Hedgehogs. For the most part their music is heavy on the treble and way in your face, and we understand that's not for everyone.

When the band pulls its attack back a bit, it's pop side surfaces, as in the pleasantly shrooming "Black Panther," with its insistent beat driving multiple layers of beeping keys and slithering synths. In fact we wish they would pull back from the game console inspired dance a little more often. Another stand-out is the acoustic and breathily atmospheric closer "Tell Me What To Swallow," and it's stand as proof that when the band let's the good time fall by the wayside they can get downright both deep and creepy. We're hoping to see both sides of the band at their Double Door show tonight.

Chicago's Pretty Good Dance Moves opens, and they're firmly in the '80s influenced dance rock movement that's been riding strong in the city over the last few years. While not as weird as, say MarvelKind, or as hook-laden as Walter Meego, they do a dandy job of putting together tunes that are both sonically interesting and run an excellent chance of keeping the kids on the dance floor.

1572 N Milwaukee, 9 p.m., 21+, FREE. However they are asking for a suggested $10 donation since they are trying to raise money for Rock For Kids

Crystal Castles photo from the band's MySpace