Critic's Choice

Royal Trux, with Speedholes and the Foggy Mountain Fuckers, Saturday, October 30, at the 15th Street Tavern, has been through a lot since the now hubby-wife team of Jennifer Herrema and Neil Hagerty first came together more than ten years ago at the shared age of sixteen. The band has been through countless expendable players, seen musical trends explode and dissolve like seltzer tablets, and been courted -- and later dropped by -- Virgin Records after leaving its first family at Chicago's Drag City label. Raised on punk as much as Zeppelin, Herrema and Hagerty have also put their regal, raucous touch on nearly every limb of the rock monster, from backward-blues rock to psychedelic country and quasi-artsy sound collage. The band recently returned to Drag City to release the appropriately named Veterans of Disorder, which contains all of these elements plus a few forays into digital technology, a realm that's often maligned in rock. Royal Trux, though, has never been overly concerned with too-cool taboos, whether milking sounds of the past or plunging into something all-together new and unnamed. That's probably why the band has survived for more than a decade and -- more important -- why it still matters. -- Laura Bond

 
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