Thursday, April 22, 2004

Concert Recommendation: The Fall, Metro, Saturday, April 24

One of my favorite funny-because-it's-true music industry jokes is that the Fall can't sell any records because anyone who might buy one is already on a record company mailing list. On one hand, I can understand why they've never had more than a cult following. Mark E. Smith's dentist drill-like voice is one the greatest, most distinctive in rock but clearly an acquired taste. Yes, they've been very influential, but the bands that show their influence are ones like the Wedding Present and Sonic Youth, not exactly household names throughout America. And their live shows are erratic, not unlike the Replacements back in their drunken heyday: on a bad night, they can be terrible, but on a good night, they are the greatest live band in the world at that moment. When they hit their groove, what a groove they've got. Yes, they sing about shoulder pads and cabs and telephones, but few bands can match the thrilling sing-along of "Appreciated!" on "New Big Prinz."

The Fall play with Shesus and the Ponys at the Metro 3730 N. Clark, Chicago, 773.549.0203, on Saturday, April 24 at 11:30 p.m.

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