Jucifer with Big Whiskey Blackout and The Purple Church
9 p.m. Sunday
8911 N. Western
Much can be learned from the number of speaker cabinets a band lugs around. One look at the wall of amps lining the back of the stage, and it's obvious: Even as a duo, Jucifer's going to be louder than bands twice its size.
Guitarist Amber Valentine and drummer Ed Livengood have been cracking sternums and flaying brains for 15 years, turning over more asphalt than almost any other band, thanks to the RV the pair has called home for the past decade. The nomadic life suits their tastes, affording them the ability to stay on the road year-round. There are certain drawbacks, like the lack of a regular practice space, forcing compromises when it comes to rehearsing.
"I have a little 112 box amp that I set up so I can even play electric," Valentine said. "Edgar sets up a briefcase for a snare and little pieces of cardboard on the floor to resemble kick drum pedals, and then he uses his mouth to show me where cymbal parts are going to go."
Audiences are often privy to a trial by fire as Livengood performs many of his parts on a drum kit for the first time live. This is how the pair wrote many songs from its forthcoming album, "Throned in Blood," which offers listeners a peek into their process, and satisfying their recent desire to feature more tracks that fit in their live set. Jucifer's five albums range from the thundering psych-punk metal of their live shows to hooky indie rock and even baroque pop.
"Our shows are insane and superheavy," Valentine said. "We don't want to be onstage in a subtle manner."
No surprise then, that "L'Autrichienne" is about the French Revolution. The 21-song album not only traces the bloody course of events through the eyes of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. It's actually not Jucifer's first concept album, Valentine said " just its most overt.
"It's always been part of how we enjoy creating together," she said. "All of our albums have sort of had an accompanying film that we can watch in our own minds. We realized it was kind of cool if the audience could watch along a little bit more, so we're going to try to clue everybody in a little better in the future."
"Throned in Blood" follows a similar trajectory as "L'Autrichienne," explores mankind's innately destructive tendencies. Meanwhile, Jucifer continues to explore the outer reaches of hearing loss live, although Valentine said the duo has tempered the show a bit over the years.
"We had a period where we were a lot more slow with total disregard for whether drums and vocals were audible in anyway," she said. "Edgar went, 'Wow, I haven't heard myself play drums in about 10 years.' (Now) you're able to get the whole song and distinguish all the notes, which hasn't always been the case." "Chris Parker