Music » Critics' Picks

I Love You

8 p.m. Thursday, September 4. Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, 3301 Lemp Avenue

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Like fellow locals Ad Astra Per Aspera, Kansas City's promising I Love You thrashes about in the secret playroom between punk and indie rock, where the kids dress in rags and are given chemistry sets at a dangerously early age. Drummer Jeff Schlette and guitarist, singer and effects-array manipulator Justin Randel met as music-composition majors in college. "We were the only people in Music Theory III who smoked," Schlette says. Now the two college dropouts channel their 20th-century music influences (chiefly Steve Reich) with their own freak desires, crafting paradoxically sloppy and intricate experimental pop. Randel's polyrhythmic guitar loops distract the listener while Schlette gradually builds a hip-jerking beat that climaxes in frantic, shouted vocals and disco-ball-slicing riffs. It's crazy danceable, but only if you're crazy.

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