Tuesday, January 17, 2017

One of my favorite Chicago artists resurfaces, just in time for these times.

Photo by Jim Newberry
Bobby Conn doesn't play live all that often any longer, which is truly a shame. I've been a longtime fan of the man, and just noticed he's doing a show at Hideout this weekend, um, spurred by recent political events.

I've written about his music for what seems like ever now, and remember buying his new releases from Quaker Goes Deaf back in the day when you had to hunt down indie records from store to store because you weren't sure who actually got any delivered from time to time. He's never gotten the respect I think he deserves, but maybe that's just in Chicago. I remember seeing him do a SXSW set in the early aughts where he played to a bigger crowd than I had ever seen assembled for one of his hometown shows. So obviously more than just me and a small midwestern cadre are fans.

Anyway, here's an oldie but a goodie from the man; a song that I think balances his talent at manipulating earwigs from past soul / glam / pop / avant sources to deliver a discomfiting message. This is an approach he developed and refined further over the years, but this is one of his earliest successful experiments at lacing a dire warning with a sugary center.

And yes, the song this is based on is obvious, but it's not a ripoff, it's a recasting of the familiar to deliver the disturbing.

Enjoy.

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