If I invited you to see a two-guitar band prone to extended jamming, you might expect to hear sawdust-brained jock-rockers who turn their amps up to 11 and have a songwriter named Fido. And in the case of Chicago’s sensational Eleventh Dream Day, you’d be dead wrong. While the nostalgic cretins in rock’s mainstream have been busy peddling their past to car commercials, Eleventh Dream Day have transformed theirs into exhilarating sounds of the present. Opening up an unexpected common ground between Neil Young and Television, between Big Star and Bachman Turner Overdrive (I’m not joking and neither are they), the band builds its inspired riffing around singing guitarist Rick Rizzo’s taut narrative melodrama and singing drummer Janet Beveridge Bean’s rhythmic roller coaster. Three years in the making, Eleventh Dream Day’s recent debut (on Amoeba Records) is the strongest EP I’ve heard all year, and it just skims the surface of their live playlist. With an album’s worth of new material already on tape, this group is on a roll. Since I’m convinced that some adventurous major label will boost its credibility by signing them soon, you might as well see them now, before they become famous. Wednesday, 10 PM, Cabaret Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 549-0203. Next Saturday, October 31, Batteries Not Included, 2201 N. Clybourn; 348-9529.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Frank Loose.