Connie’s Ric Rac is back in biz, and they’ll be celebrating their official grand re-opening and good buddy Maxx Stoyanoff-Williams’ 40th birthday tonight so expect things to get rowdy in the heart of the Italian Market! Maxx and the funky fresh crew of Black Landlord will be headlining the event. The Tartaglio Brothers (Frank and Angelo), your hosts, will be taking the stage with their band The Discount Heroes (great name) and their groovy radio-friendly folk rock along with psychedelic garage rockers St. James & The Apostles. Spinning throughout the evening will be DJ Sean Smoove. BTW: Whispering in the door man’s ear the secret-but-not-so-secret password “tits” for guys and “swallows” for girls will get you $5 off the admission and hopefully not a stiffie on your leg. Free Fried Chicken!!! Door prizes (and it won’t be the stiffie)! Don’t forget that they have a liquor license now so NO BYOB! The comedy portion of the festivities will be tomorrow evening. Connie’s Ric Rac, 1132 S. 9th St., 8pm, $15, 21+ - H.M. Kauffman
For those who decide whether to come or go based on the first forty seconds of an album, Restorations’ LP2 is practically tailor-made for snap judgments. After a chiming, anthemic guitar opening, the band already known for fist-raising jams lets all hell break loose with “D,” their most unrestrained opener yet. The drum kit-mauling, earth-shaking bass lines and ascendant guitar riffs can only be described as complete sensory overload, and make it clear that the following eleven songs are going to be fueled by pure viscera. If your preferences run towards structure over huge sound, this release may leave you cold; LP2’s predominant means of exploring the band’s wealth of ideas are stadium-sized instrumentation and endless waves of atmospherics, as well as a dose of ennui.
This is a murkier, more inward-looking Restorations than we’re used to. Everything that was there before, musically, is blown sky-high this time around. They’ve managed to pack ideas into every iota of the song list, aided by Jon Low’s miles-deep production; the density of the music itself is offset by an album-long meditation on place, belonging, and the ramifications of leaving the familiar behind, which makes the outsized sound that much more of an interesting direction. Juxtaposing the existential discomfort with more sophisticated, complex forays into Restorations’ sonic wheelhouse.
The spiraling guitars, one of the album’s specially prominent features, are everywhere, serving various purposes in each song. “Kind of Comfort”’s jittery glam rock aspirations accompany lyrics of searching and wanderlust. Even the more downbeat cuts (“In Perpetuity Through The Universe,” “New Old”) are propelled beyond their subject matter by the songs’ barely-concealed restless energy. At its more pensive moments, like the folk-inflected “Civil Inattention,” there is a restless undercurrent of texture and volatility that never quite lets up.
Album closer “Adventure Tortoise” is all monster buildup laced with extraterrestrial effects, kicking off into a sort of requiem for the band’s neighborhood. “I’d really like to stay to help this place,” growls Jon Loudon through his teeth, but the allure of letting it all go is too strong to resist. The longing for a place “where nobody knows your name” isn’t quite all-consuming enough to inspire real action, but it is definitely the new paradigm Loudon means.
It takes guts to pull off a release that feels ten minutes long but contains more emotional and musical texture than most records. Restorations cover a whole lot of ground on LP2, and for the most part, pull off their ambitions. A bit too sanguine for shoegaze, and maybe too heady for punk, Restorations’ second full-length album brings an intriguing palette of aspirations to their open road-ready sound, prepared to try anything and everything. - Alyssa Greenberg