Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

Tim Lee/Grant Lee-Buffalo Preview

| July 26, 2006

Grant Lee-Buffalo
Schubas, Chicago
Tuesday, August 1, 2006

As a member of college rock also-rans The Windbreakers, Tim Lee (7/28, Martyrs’) fought the good fight. Grant-Lee Phillips’ (8/1, Schubas) Grant Lee Buffalo had a modicum more of acceptance, but likewise couldn’t crack the mainstream. Those days long gone, the road never leaves them.

Like so many college bands inspired by punk but unable to withstand prevalent music industry obstacles, The Windbreakers had a long career pleasing an unfairly small audience in the ’80s. Well within the spirit of R.E.M., The Replacements, Big Star, and The dB’s, Lee’s third album after his 2001 comeback is a roots rocker’s dream. Concrete Dog (Fundamental) once again features Lee on guitar and vocals, his wife/bassist Susan Bauer Lee, and drummer Don Coffey Jr. on 13 tracks of four-on-the-floor beats and American dreams with cracked engine blocks.

Phillips disbanded Buffalo in 1999 and has since issued three solid studio albums without really changing musical streams. His latest, Nineteeneightees (Zoë), is a look back 20 years or so and filled with stripped covers of the Pixies (“Wave Of Mutilation”), The Smiths (“Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me”), Echo & The Bunnymen (“The Killing Moon”), and The Cure (“Boys Don’t Cry”). Shaking off a lot of the shyboy eccentricity of his mostly British heroes, Phillips delivers sobering, often moribund interpretations of songs many people used to dance to. Times have changed.

Tim Lee opens for Healthy White Baby and The Autumn Defense.

— Steve Forstneger

Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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