Appleseed Cast, Chin Up Chin Up, Rahim capture the Triple Crown. - Oh My Rockness

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Appleseed Cast, Chin Up Chin Up, Rahim capture the Triple Crown.

May 12, 2005
Northsix has accomplished a rare feat! This Thursday, they booked three bands on the same bill that I really, really like. Wow, what a line-up. There's no filler here, which is why it is necessary to write about all of them. Hot damn, this is gonna be a good one.

Headlining is The Appleseed Cast, a band that used to play mediocre emo high on the guilty-pleasure tip (in their early days, you could just picture the singer tearing off his shirt in torment as he sang out pages from his tear-stained diary). I knew when I was listening to, and singing along to, their first album, End of the Ring Wars, that I shouldn't be into this stuff unless I was in Driver's Ed and toting a JanSport. Yeah, I knew I shouldn't like it, but I did. After that first album, however, all guilt associated with The Appleseed Cast was laid to rest. They became a better band. Their subsequent releases, culminating in the most recent, Two Conversations, document the band's path to a sound less like Mineral and more like an experimental U2 (ok, not a great example to back up my "no guilt" claim... but damn it if the guitars don't sound JUST like The Edge's). This band must have realized that straight-up emo was done, so instead of packing it in, they decided to become awesome.

Also on the bill is Chicago's Chin Up Chin Up, a band I instantly liked the first moment I heard them. They are an incredibly catchy band, whose meticulously layered math-pop music sweeps you away to American Analog Set territory and beyond. Chin Up Chin Up create an inviting wall of sound by fusing warm, clean guitar melodies and subtle synths around the typical time/tempo changes of a Midwest indie band. The songs on their remarkable debut full-length, We Should Have Never Lived Like We Were Skyscrapers flow with unnatural grace, each track's transitions not only working, but also sounding as if the story couldn't unfold any other way. The musical talent coming out of The City of Broad Shoulders seems to have hit a lull in recent years, but if anyone is up to the task of reclaiming Chicago's indie glory, it's Chin Up Chin Up. After all, Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon can't do everything.

Opening the show is the criminally under-the-radar, Rahim. The latest addition to Frenchkiss' roster (Les Savy Fav, The Hold Steady), Rockin' Rahim sounds a bit like Talking Heads meets Afghan Whigs meets Fugazi. They play hard art-pop complete with a singer that yelps to handclaps and a drummer that blows a plastic whistle. What more do you need?

The Appleseed Cast, Chin Up Chin Up and Rahim play Northsix this Thursday, May 19th.


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