Chicago's entry into the '00s-meet-the-'80s pop-rock gold rush, OK Go, is made up of four dandies with a taste for paisley and flowered patterns in their garb and hooky, feisty, near-hyperactivity in their songs. But behind their almost-too-eager-to-please energy, mix 'n' match sartorial flair and wacky dance moves (on shameless display in the "A Million Ways" video) is a surprising lyrical depth and range of social concerns. At first blush, their second CD, OH NO, plays like a Top of the Pops collection, yet close listening reveals a pre-apocalyptic landscape of doom, gloom, greed, power-mad politicos and - that old rock 'n' roll standby - faithless lovers. Singer Damian Kulash has penned a manifesto entitled "How Your Band Can Fire Bush," so perhaps the sugar-coating is an insidious trick to stir the consciousness of the sleeping masses. The band has certainly gained access, playing Times Square on New Year's Eve and hitting a number of the network TV late-night and morning shows. One imagines that when the current trend subsides and (hopefully) OK Go makes it into the long run and settles into a groove, it could be a band that really matters. Until then, just shake your thing or punch a fist of righteous resistance into the air to the beat of music. Or both.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.