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Pit er Pat - Shakey

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Artist: Pit er Pat

Album: Shakey

Label: Thrill Jockey

Review date: Mar. 14, 2005

Handmade merch! Get your handmade merch! Produced for you by Art Institute of Chicago alumni Pit er Pat. Thank you, Art Institute of Chicago, you cradle of whimsy. Pit er Pat makes its own merch. Limited edition, kids.

Pit er Pat gets more than its share of coverage in the Chicago Reader. Thatís an alternative weekly. If your cityís got students and hipsters, your cityís probably got an alternative weekly, too. Theyíre all eerily similar. Most are funded by ads. When music venues buy ads, you get music coverage, designed to make the local scene look vibrant enough to draw patrons. The Reader actually charges a fee for access to its online archives. Not to say Chicagoís music scene ainít vibrant, but I canít imagine paying money to read puffery about Pit er Pat. Nevertheless, thanks largely to the praise itís garnered in the Reader, a few overamped club goers canít stop repeating the bandís name. (To be fair, itís a funny name.)

Pit er Pat plays keyboard-heavy indie-prog, a bit like Tortoise without the jazzbo predilections. Two of them (a guy and a gal) also sing. Their lyrics sputter along these lines: ďFalse face disappearing / False face cleansing ritual / Place currency under the mosses.Ē Creepy, eh? Itís hard to take them too seriously, though, as they sing like wee liíl Ďuns, and kids simply parrot what they hear from adults. When kids are creepy, theyíre reflecting creepy surroundings; thus, all kids are creepy. Theyíll grow out of it.

Pit er Patís music sounds complicated, but it isnít. It takes the pothole-ridden backroads to a rather simple point. Itís like a Hallmark card rendered in legalese. Pit er Patís coy flirtations with baroque dance rhythms donít change that. Sometimes, nibbling appetizers at a half-dozen different restaurants brings only nausea.

By Emerson Dameron

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