Changing of the avant-garde
When it comes to avant-garde rock bands, there are usually two distinct routes: noisy cathartic (Sonic Youth, Dead C) and dissonant/drone-y ominous (Spiritualized, This Heat). Then there are the bands that go the other extreme, exuding a smug Gosh, arent we just so zany and quirky? attitude. Few bands seem to be willing to push the envelope with a sense of humor and a memorable melody. Thats why the latest platter by Grampall Jookabox, Ropechain, is so gratifyingit sounds bracingly original and oddly approachable simultaneously. The medium of Indianapolis dwellers David Moose Adamson and Aimee Brown, Grampall Jookabox dont lend themselves to glib descriptive phrases. A crickets-at-night beat and played-backward mantra-like female choir sounding like Madagascar or Bollywood pop drives Black Girls. Lets Go Mad Together is a send-up of Us vs. Them paranoia and synth-pop (with a killer old-style Black Sabbath riff), while Strike Me Down is hip-hop with T-Rex-style vocals for a Clint Eastwood spaghetti Western, complete with whistling and lonely twang. GJ possess a spirited sense of psychedelic wonder and possibility (with a smidgen of dub, too). -Mark Keresman
Mon., Nov. 10, 7 p.m., 2008
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