Smile Politely

No Joy: Power of expectation

In 2008, I dropped somewhere close to sixty dollars to see shoegaze legends My Bloody Valentine perform at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom. The awful opening act, terrible venue acoustics and complete lack of stage presence on the part of the headliner added up to a completely forgettable show that wound up souring me on shoegaze for quite some time (although I will admit that the noise holocaust section of “You Made Me Realize” was fucking awesome). I suppose it was to be expected considering the ridiculous amount of hype surrounding their reunion. But more on that later.

Headlining tonight’s show is Psychic Twin, a newish project featuring Headlights’ Erin Fein. Helping flesh out the solo act live will be fellow Headlights members Tristan Wraight and Brett Sanderson, along with Absinthe Blind frontman Adam Fein. Also on the bill are Village, a Chicago band who are the conceptual baby of Living Blue frontman Steve Ucherek. The group strays out of the Living Blue’s noisy garage rock into more mainstream indie territory (“Trash Palace”, currently streaming on their Facebook would fit right in on a Phoenix album). Also on the bill are Take Care, who have grown from being known as a fireflies spinoff into a force to be reckoned with on their own terms.

And then there is the question of No Joy, who are the oddball touring act on a bill otherwise filled with local acts (or formerly local acts, in the case of Village). The female-fronted group out of Montreal are currently streaming one track off of the forthcoming Ghost Blonde LP entitled “Heedless” on their Bandcamp. The song augments the standard wall of noise with mechanical percussion befitting an Autolux record and vaguely grungy, reverbed vocals that bring to mind early Dandy Warhols. While “Heedless” definitely contains some nods to the chillwave aesthetic that their label, Mexican Summer is known for, the track sounds markedly nineties for a group that shares a label with Best Coast, Black Moth Super Rainbow and Ariel Pink. My only hope is that they can come across better live than that My Bloody Valentine show — I’m guessing they will, considering that they’re about a million times more obscure.

No Joy, Psychic Twin, Village and Take Care perform tonight (November 12th) at Cowboy Monkey. The show begins at 9:30 p.m. and carries a $7 cover charge.

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