Steve Krakow (Plastic Crimewave) is an artist, illustrator, musician, purveyor, historian, and connoisseur of all things punk-psychedelia. He writes the “Secret History of Chicago Music”, a bi-weekly column in the Chicago Reader (also the title of the WGN 720AM Nick Digilio Show, which he also co-hosts), curates the Million Tongues festival, edits the Galactic Zoo Dossier, DJs at the Whistler, leads “guitarkestras”, and lives in a personal museum of “60-s freak-out” paraphernalia– so it’s no surprise that he also fronts an acid-space-punk band called Plastic Crimewave Sound. Underlying distorted guitars, in and out kraut musings, and deep vocals bellow out like that of a faceless ringleader in a celestial circus complete with motorcycles, tribal drum circles, and cool kids wearing sunglasses nodding their heads as they paint pictures of throbbing spirals and melting bodies. Please illustrate that Mr. Crimewave.
I’ve noticed that psychedelic kraut-inspired minimalist rock is back (if it ever left), especially ’round here in Chicago, and this local trio does it well. Sadhu Sadhu’s musical astral explosions, spun out guitar wah-wahs, and lo-fi riffs bring to mind incense-filled opium dens in exotic lands. Songs about aboriginal walkabouts only add to the fitting band name, definitions of the Hindi word “sadhu” include “mystic”, “ascetic”, and “wandering monk”– although the band does stray from the defined abstinence to overindulge in twenty-minute kaleidoscopes of improvised garage with enough distortion and reverb that rockstars in the sixties might overdose on. They’ve been compared to bands such as Acid Mother’s Temple, but I’m thinking they sound more like Brian Jonestown Massacre when Anton was way into heroin, but in a good way.
Both bands play the Hideout on Jan. 22 as part of the Chicago Metaphysical Circus with Vee Dee, The Great Society Mind Destroyers, Dark Fog, Black Wyrm Seed, and DJ Velcro Lewis.