The Young Fresh Fellows play with a speedy garage-band ethos that lifts leader Scott McCaughey’s absurdist songs out of the realm of the novelty number up into pop ineffability. Their new LP, Totally Lost, isn’t the dreamy tour de force its predecessor was, but then that record, The Men Who Loved Music, is one of my favorite albums of the decade. On Totally one still gets McCaughey meditations on love (“I’d live my life inside her / Occasionally beside her”), success (“I don’t mind failure”), and the future (“Everything’s gonna turn out great”), all set to a melange of power-pop stylings. (The Fellows can play faux anything.) Live, they’re a wonder, driven by the otherworldly attack of drummer Tad Hutchison, who drums in a way that few have ever drummed before. “I really love his drumming,” confesses McCaughey. “Sometimes I wish I could just go down into the audience and watch Tad drum.” Saturday, 5 PM, Pravda Records, 3728 N. Clark, 549-3776; 10 PM, Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison, 327-1662.

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