National Geographic has defined light pollution as "ill-designed lighting [that] washes out the darkness of night and radically alters the light levels--and light rhythms--to which many forms of life, including ourselves, have adapted." Light pollution, the phenomenon, threatens migration, reproduction and feeding in the natural world. But Light Pollution, the band, is much more benign in its swirling, hypnotic and alternately sweetly melodic and unsettlingly disorienting washes of reverb, analog synthesizers, clattering percussion and lo-fi noise.
Originally formed by vocalist and bandleader Jim Cicero and his drummer-pal Matt Evertt [CQ] in DeKalb when Cicero was attending Northern Illinois University, the group, which expands to a quartet onstage, has become a much-buzzed fixture on the Chicago club scene, thanks to its mix of vintage '90s shoegazer psychedelia and more currently hip freak folk a la Grizzy Bear. What's more, it's beginning to garner attention throughout the Midwest as it tours to build anticipation for a forthcoming full-length album, following on the heels of last year's self-titled debut EP. Three enchanting tracks are streaming on the band's Web site--www.myspace.com/lightpollution--and after an impressive roster of far-flung gigs, it returns to its current home for a show at Schubas on Nov. 22.