Music » Critics' Picks

Maps & Atlases

8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12. The Firebird, 2706 Olive Street.

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Cross-promotion has become a form of survival for mid-level indie bands given shrinking record sales and dwindling returns on regional touring. So maybe it is not all that odd that Chicago's Maps & Atlases teamed with the local coffee magnate Intellegentsia for a band-approved coffee blend (fair-trade, of course). You can rest assured that the brew is not decaf — this foursome percolates joyful and kinetic tunes with hints of spindly prog-rock, restless Afro-pop and minute Krautrock. Don't let lead singer Dave Davison's hermit-length facial hair distract from his finger-tapping prowess or the honeyed and weathered quality of his voice, which carries the just-released Beware and Be Grateful.

The Best of Friends: Local opener So Many Dynamos shares a musical kinship and personal friendship with Maps & Atlases, so much so that SMD will open the band's hometown release show at Chicago's Metro the previous night.

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