BOBBY CONN’s career doesn’t make much sense–except, perhaps, to Bobby Conn. Since the late 90s he’s routinely changed stage personas, transforming himself from an ex-con to a financial guru to a glammed-out conspiracy-obsessed Antichrist. When the world didn’t implode at the turn of the century like he predicted, he simply regrouped: now he’s an anti-Bush soul crusader in silver lame, and he’s dead serious. Conn and his band, the Glass Gypsies, decided to cut their new album, Live Classics Vol. 1 (Thrill Jockey), in front of an audience at Wall to Wall Recording–a smart move, as previous albums have always paled in comparison to the bombastic live shows. Conn’s description of the recording environment doubles as an explanation of the band’s aesthetic: “A big 1970s shag-carpeted split-level basement….You can hear echoes of suburban disco and blue-collar prog rock, and imagine silk, cognac, and fondue. It’s a giant rec room with the lingering funk of mildew, sweat, and lots of weed.” The disc also includes two videos, including one for the antiwar jeremiad “Home Sweet Home”: “Ironic distance isn’t very far / This rifle has a range of 2,000 yards / When I shot him I didn’t hear the bullet fly / Is it ironic his death is televised?” Conn performs this, of course, while strolling through the crowd, serenading the ladies like he’s Eric Carmen on American Bandstand. –J. Niimi

You can count me among those who thought that indie rockers’ reclaiming the sounds of 70s AM radio was a lousy idea; I never liked that crap in the first place. Yet the clunky white-boy soul, the sweet mellow electric piano, and the bold grabs at aching grandeur on BABY TEETH’s full-length debut, The Baby Teeth Album (Lujo), move me in a way that post-Elton John slickfests never do. Perhaps that’s because the members are people you could well have drunkenly jostled at the Empty Bottle–there’s real pop ambition on the record, but it has a human scale. (Not to mention that you’d never hear lines like “Now that we’re physically interactive / I hope you can tolerate my lactose” on the radio.) Front man Pearly Sweets also plays in the Glass Gypsies, as does bassist Jim Cooper (who also fronts the Detholz). –Monica Kendrick

This show is a release party for both new albums. Bobby Conn & the Glass Gypsies headline, the Apes play third, Baby Teeth play second, and the Life During Wartime DJs open. Fri 6/17, 9 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-3160 or 312-559-1212, $10.