Tortoise and Make Believe Have Done Some Things. - Oh My Rockness

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Tortoise and Make Believe Have Done Some Things.

June 11, 2007
Chicago's Tortoise and Chicago's Make Believe play just for you, Chicago.

Millions now living will never die, and that includes Tortoise. For many years, this band's dubby synths have been stirring up dormant souls. Their seductive ambience have provoked many spirits to awaken, and their jazzy sways made many rise up like Lazarus to live and see another day.

Oh Tortoise, our Tortoise. Forming in the early 90's, this legendary Chicago crew (whose members were also in just about every Chicago/Louisville band ever formed) have been near-unanimously tagged as one of the few forefathers of the "post-rock" movement. We now accept that forever thrown around term automatically, because if we really thought about it, we would realize how silly it sounds. Whoever coined "post-rock" (no write-ins please, as I don't really care) probably had good intentions, but the genre has come to mean everything and nothing at the same time... it could mean Tortoise, MogwaiTV on the Radio, Boris and Broken Social Scene. Sadly, post-rock has also been linked with "boring." But if your post-rocker of choice (name any band) really knows how to bring it, boredom shouldn't factor into the equation.

I would say 8 times out of 10, Tortoise really know how to bring it (the other 2 times, well, we all have our things). This is especially apparent on their latest release, a box set called A Lazarus Taxon. I defy you to find a better instrumental song in the history of instrumental songs than the epic, "Gamera." I defy you! When these guys are on, they are ON.

Check out this show. It's not often you get to see a pioneer: even if they are pioneers of a genre that couldn't have possibly existed in the first place. Still, it's better than being dead on the divan.

Opening up is the mighty Make Believe. By now you know that Tim Kinsella, his little brother Mike, and their band of merry Midwest men have become a sexy choice to cite when talking about who invented emo. And they were just kids at the time, too. Well, I'm not going to get into Cap'n Jazz too much (one of my favorite bands ever) because we're here to talk about Make Believe.

Make Believe features Mike, Tim, and a bunch of other guys that were probably also in Joan of Arc and Owls. If you like any of the Kinsellas' projects, Make Believe might be your favorite of the bunch (ok, EXCEPT maybe for Cap'n Jazz). It's less experimental and more rockin' than we've been used to from these guys. They've got an exceptional album out on Flameshovel and you should buy it. It's good.

Tortoise and Make Believe play The Metro, on Sunday, July 1st


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