Music » Livewire

OK Go

With Kiddo and the A-10s. Monday, March 21, at the Grog Shop.

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After building an impressive buzz in their hometown of Chicago through enthusiastic word of mouth and an aggressively witty street-poster campaign a few years ago, these sly pop-rockers made a great self-titled debut on Capitol's dime in 2002 that went sorely underheard. Frontman Damian Kulash is an unapologetic populist, a guy who wonders why the modern-day equivalents of Queen and Cheap Trick are invariably critical-darling types, instead of mainstream powerhouses actually capable of selling large numbers of records. His band's debut delivered power-pop hooks with an arena-rock presentation -- righteous guitar solos, enormous drum sounds, dubbed-in vocal harmonies. But for all their trouble, all OK Go found was a small but loyal audience of NPR listeners and indie-scene heretics, though the experience hasn't dimmed their hunger for a breakthrough: To record their second album, due this summer, they decamped to Sweden to record with Tore Johansson, the producer who -- until he helmed Franz Ferdinand's debut -- was best known for his work with the Cardigans. Will OK Go follow those two acts into a genuine -- if brief -- dalliance with the mainstream? Catch them at the Grog Shop this Monday to begin finding out.

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