The California band Autolux released one fairly cool CD in 2004 called Future Perfect, and then… Well, to be honest, I assumed that Autolux was yet another one of the countless bands I’d simply lost track of. I figured they must have made other records that had escaped my attention. But, no, as it turns out, Future Perfect remains their one and only CD. For some reason, Autolux is touring, and the band came to Chicago’s Empty Bottle on Friday night (Aug. 4). Appropriately, during a lull between songs, someone in the crowd shouted out, “When you are going to make another record?” The sarcastic response from singer-bassist Eugene Goreshter was that the band was making a record at that very moment, communing with the crowd in the “original peer-to-peer network.” Uh, OK. But seriously, guys — when are you going to make another record?
In any case, it was a good show, thanks to Carla Azar’s energetic drumming, varied vocals by Goreshter and Azar, and solid guitar playing of Greg Edwards. At Autolux’s best moments, the band pulsed with strong, thumping sounds. The show did lag a bit at times, though. Maybe a better sense of pacing would have made it a little closer to perfect. It was sort of fun to see the band play one song twice in a row — following a broken guitar string on the first run-through. Some fans insisted on hearing the song again (I’m sorry — does anyone know which song it was? I forget) … and one guy even wanted to hear it a third time.
There were two opening acts, and the middle band on the bill, Mini Mansions, put on a pretty impressive set. The trio has an odd lineup on stage: one guy on keyboards, one guy on bass, and one guy switching back and forth between guitar and drums. Getting a full-time drummer would be a plus, but the quality of the songwriting came through. The unusual cover of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” was nice.
As for the first band of the night, Avagami — well, let’s just say I would have enjoyed the evening more if I’d shown up around the time Mini Mansions started playing. Avagami’s goofy shtick wore thin very quickly for me.