Music » Critics' Picks

Lawrence Arms

8 p.m. Friday, July 21. Mississippi Nights (914 North First Street)

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While most bands understandably try to keep their shit-talking to a minimum, Chicago's Lawrence Arms actually take pride in it. (Their Web site proudly states, "Everyone from Dashboard Confessional to Joyce Carol Oates has fell [sic] victim to the band's drunken tirades.") Formed in 1999, the band finally hit its stride with its latest disc, Oh! Calcutta!, a brilliant collection of sloppy punk gems infused with pop sensibilities that's reminiscent of fellow Midwesterners Dillinger Four. Those in attendance can expect plenty of drinking and debauchery, in addition to hearing some of the best middle-American pop-punk around. Just don't be surprised if the joke ends up being on you.

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