It’s been a while since the Great Lispy One, Ian Svenonius, last came to town for music’s sake, with his last band, Weird War. It was a pleasure, then, to see him preach against the dollar with new act Chain and the Gang, a K Records group that shares its lineup with supporting band the Hive Dwellers (fronted by Calvin Johnson).

As the Hive Dwellers – don’t forget the “the,” says Calvin Johnson – the band looked a bit bored. See, Johnson suffers from Bill Murray Syndrome, though he wouldn’t call it “suffering,” and certainly Bill Murray wouldn’t do a free-movement dance alongside his dry crooning. He’s become in his latter days what Jonathan Richman’s become in his, witty with a delicate fingering on the guitar, though his refusal to use a microphone meant we had to struggle to find that punchline while the band battled the pounding beats of the bar next door and nearly gave up.

Chain and the Gang was a ball, though – Svenonius, still perhaps the best frontman around, donned a spiffy white suit and ’fro, and made conversation as though it weren’t being spoken the way it was recorded, turning out all sorts of leftist talk that rambled into nonsense territory and let us know that there was still humor behind the rhetoric. He’s consistent as both writer and performer, truthfully. And he still spends his stage time hovering back and forth between speaking against the hypocrisy of liberty and taking a moment to go-go.