Son of a Gun
  • Son of a Gun

Valentine’s Day is Friday, but even if hokey lovey-dovey cliches about romance aren’t your thing, there’s still fun to be had this week. Just take a look at the concert calendar.

Tonight there’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions at Beat Kitchen. Tomorrow night you can check out Pillars & Tongues at the Burlington. On Wednesday Joshua Bell & Sam Haywood perform at Symphony Center and Psalm One celebrates the release of her new Hologram Kizzie album, Hug Life, at the Hideout, where she’ll be joined by recent Artist on Artist interviewer ShowYouSuck.

There are plenty of other concerts worth seeing this week; dive into our Soundboard listings and keep reading for a couple picks from Reader critics.

Tue 2/11: Son of a Gun at Empty Bottle

“Garrett Luczak of Chicago band Son of a Gun seems to have figured out how to get around that eternal conundrum ‘Ars longa, vita brevis,'” writes Brian Costello. “It’s the same solution arrived at by your Reatards, Dwyers, and Segalls: get your songs recorded on that four-track now, don’t worry whether they’re ‘finished’ just yet, and then find the band to play them. Using this approach, Luczak has been admirably prolific—in just 18 months he’s amassed a Bandcamp treasure trove that includes five EPs, a couple cassette splits, worthwhile covers of the Count Five and Wire, and some other odds and sods. Overall the music provides what people tend to want from garage rock when they’re in the mood for garage rock—something raw and immediate that you can drink shitty beer to—but dig into the inspired maelstrom of frenzied four-chord stomping and well-timed cathartic howling, and you’ll find an upward trajectory to the quality of the songwriting over time.”

Wed 2/12: Reggie & the Full Effect at Subterranean

I’ve got all sorts of fond feelings about emo, which extends well beyond the fourth-wave I’ve written about extensively for the Reader to include even some third-wave acts. “When emo became synonymous with gothy fashion in the mid-aughts, it seemed inconceivable that the main players in the scene could have senses of humor—the music’s histrionics were easy to mock (and apparently still are, judging from the episode that South Park dedicated to black-clad ’emos’ last fall), but the people making it didn’t look like they were in on the joke. James Dewees of the Get Up Kids, who toured with My Chemical Romance as a keyboardist from 2007 till the band dissolved, has long been an exception. Even before he joined the Get Up Kids in 1999, he was releasing absurd, goofy, and occasionally poppy emo tunes as Reggie & the Full Effect. And his prankish silliness wasn’t confined to the music: the album art for 2000’s Promotional Copy looks so much like a promo CD that Best Buy and Sam Goody supposedly returned copies, thinking they’d received promos instead of finished CDs. Dewees likes to riff on pop culture in his lyrics, song titles, and skits (‘Robo Fonzie Meets Frank’), but he’s not just about the jokes; ‘Getting by With It’s’ and ‘Take Me Home Please’ are two of the catchiest and most earnest emo songs of the aughts.”