Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

Around Hear Page 3

| August 30, 2007

Sally‘s patiently spawned album Long Live The New Flesh (Paribus) is crammed with angular, clanging guitars and artfully damaged melodies. “Horrific Nightwear” is a joyously jagged wreck of crashing guitars and careening drums. Braided, blistering feedback splits “Ultimate Exposure” wide open. It takes tremendous skill to make such disjointed, spastic cacophony sound this beautiful and musical. (
– Patrick Conlan

Sones de Mexico, a Chicago ensemble of immigrant musicians, blends traditional Mexican folk music and instrumentation with a dash of modern politics and crossover risk-taking on the brilliantly recorded Esta Tierra Es Tuya (this land is your land). In addition to a cover of the Woody Guthrie protest song, a Bach concerto, and Led Zeppelin’s “Four Sticks,” the musicians employ 70 different classical and folk instruments to celebrate their musical culture in their new land. (
– Jason Scales

Though Spanish For 100 is officially based in Seattle, guitarist Aaron Starkey is a Chicago indie rock veteran. On Say What You Want To Say To Me his jarring guitars collide with fellow slinger and singer Corey Passons’, sending “Attack!” into a Modest Mouse-inspired direction and “Snakebite” towards Built To Spill’s ambitious artfulness (though in both cases, providing sharp melodies and punctuated phrasing all their own). (
– Andy Argyrakis

The Jason Steele Ensemble‘s debut full-length, Some Wonderful Moment, contains quite a few moments jazz fans will treasure. This recording is a perfect dinner party companion or a mood setter for an evening in with a significant other. Ron Miles’ cornet gently caresses on “No Words,” while Elliott Smith cover “Alphabet Town” glides, once again on the strength of Miles. This eight-piece collective centers around Steele’s guitar and original compositions, but no man is an island. (
– Janine Schaults

Trio Tenniscourts make their CD debut with a collection of 11 mostly power pop-ish tunes that reflect equal part ’60s invasion, ’70s garage/pop, and ’80s new wave/punk. If at times the influences (like a repetitive chorus of “Victoria” in one’s best Kinks voice or the echoing of Bowie’s “Heroes” on “Human Being”) become a bit sleeve worn, the excellent slower, original ballad “All Of The Tears” more than begins to make amends. (
– David C. Eldredge

On their self-titled EP, Twilight Revival channel such rock stalwarts as R.E.M., The Replacements, and Wilco. Yet while songs like “Intelligence Man” and “Drive-By” are performed with power and panache, taken as a whole the five cuts are at best passable. Though a full-length outing might reveal the band’s obvious talent, for the moment their efforts are merely run-of-the-mill. (
– Jeff Berkwits

After a 10-year stint in Brooklyn’s rock orchestrette Pinataland, David Weschsler returned home to Chicago and immediately recorded an introspective album entirely on his laptop. Unfortunately, Vacations doesn’t serve as great road-trip music nor joy-inspiring vacation anthems. The cheap production quality is more than evident, and his obvious attempts to capture the spirit of memorable singer-songwriters like Paul Simon and Sufjan Stevens fall sadly short. Just because today’s technology allows anyone to record an album, it doesn’t mean everyone should. (no contact given)
– Carter Moss

Mix pop punk with a little rockabilly and a tinge of new wave, and the result would sound something like We Will Eat Rats To Survive‘s Don’t Crochet On My Parade. Banjos offset guitars to great effect on the frenzied “Family Haircut,” while those same guitars turn melancholy on “Let’s Hug The World,” playing beautifully off of intense beats. (
– Dean Ramos


Venom Lords draw parallels between the zombies of George A. Romero and the atrocities of George W. Bush on Dead Hate You, a dozen tales of grounded, run-for-your-life punk. Singer/guitarist couple Dan and Gina Knapik play a kind of new-dawn proto emo without being sappy. “Waiting For The End” and “Another Hell” peek out the window, lock the door, say their goodbyes, but somehow stay fast and in love. “Zombie House” closes with whispered twee, proving fatalism can be kind of cute, too (if a bit silly). (
– Mike Meyer

Voodoo Pilot is an enduring blues/rock/soul band and has been consistently making good music for a few years now. Their latest CD, Good Luck Charm, continues on this path and adds more of a Dead influence to the mix than previous efforts, and the loose, jammy feel suits the band well. Check out “Ten Trains” and “Top Of The Hill” to join the party. (
– Mike O’Cull

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