July 20, $6, 21+
Just when you think you’re done with ironic rock, a band comesalong that is so good you can’t help but let go, love it up anddance. Chromeo is that band. Imagine Debarge as an urbane, urbanCanadian with a degree in French lit singing jet-setting songsabout lost love and best friends. Now imagine that Canadian as thehardest thug north of Detroit. I have never in my life loved analbum so immediately and have never pushed a show with ferventdesperation. This is the best dance music of the summer and thiswill be the best dance party of year. The band’s bio describestheir live shows as “more fun than being forced to smoke crack atgunpoint by Rick James.” Can you imagine anything better? Do notsleep on this. If I don’t see you there, I’ll see you by the bikeracks for 3:00 punishment. Besides it’s only six bucks. That meansyou can actually afford to buy drinks at Berbati’s for once. Whoknows? Maybe you’ll get some play.
July 14, $10 advance, 21+
The Walkmen left quite an impression the last time they performedat Berbati’s. An impression in the stage floor. Lead singerHamilton Leithauser tumbled to the stage in the middle of theband’s performance of their latest single, “The Rat.” After a quickrecovery, the raspy vocalist said, “I haven’t actually fallen downin a long time,” then drank the entirety of a well-hidden Heineken.I’m still not sure if the lead singer falling to the floor is asign of greatness. But it certainly was memorable, certainly morememorable than the distracted but precise performance by the band.It was clear at the last show that most of the crowd was there tosee Weird War, the Stonesy funk band made up of former Make Upmembers. It seemed the band sensed the crowd’s lack of interest.Instead of kindling the burning twinkle and tense drive of theirrecent albums-they sounded more like an U.S. version of U2, and asThe Walkmen took the stage a crowd of assorted hipsters and dragqueens filed out of Berbati’s. No matter how good you are, and theWalkmen are good, you just don’t want to follow the Make Up. Thistime out, local workhorses the Swords Project will likely proveless a distraction, but I’m still going to hope for a tumble.
The Crystal Ballroom
July 15, $20 advance/$25 door
OK, so its kind of weird that all of the members of Sonic Youth areeasily old enough now to be my parents, but they still rock harderthat most bands half their age. The key here is synergy. After over20 years together, Sonic Youth seem to have telepathicallymind-melded into one giant quadra-brain, and watching the synapsesfire is just as amazing as it was ten years ago. As evidenced bytheir latest albums, Murray Street and Sonic Nurse, Sonic Youth hasvirtually perfected the art of gradually building complex, nuancedsoundscapes, packed with changes in key and tempo, only viciouslytear them apart right as they reach their beautiful peak, suddenlydisintegrating into swirling pools of explosive noise.
The only thing that sucks about this show: the $25 pricetag.