Pere Ubu’s bizarre pop odyssey, now in progress for more than 15 years, continues on their new album Story of My Life. It’s been fascinating to watch this unsightly, off-kilter ensemble retain its art-rock street cred even as it has slowly learned to make radio- and listener-friendly records. At the same time the world itself has graciously sidled over to meet it: Pere Ubu doesn’t sound weird on the radio anymore. But the creations of the group–now reduced to a core of four, with David Thomas still functioning splendidly as front man–remain fresh, and novel as well. More than anything else, the band’s voice has changed, evolving from disturbing rants out of a twisted psyche to something a little bit more palatable: kvetchings from the interesting nut next door, perhaps. On the new record the band essays surf music (“Honey Moon”), stately pop (“Kathleen”), and, once or twice, a dramatic rock ‘n’ roll moment (“Wasted”) that knocks you off your feet. Orangutang and Bone Club open. Friday, 7 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 549-0203.

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