Cate Le Bon and Mega Bog at Schubas

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As I’ve said in previous blog posts, the Welsh-born singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon has developed into one of today’s most exciting musicians. Since her previous concert at Schubas, in January 2014, she has played in Chicago a couple of times as a touring guitarist with the West Coast psychedelic band White Fence, as well as a member of Drinks — a duo she formed with White Fence’s Tim Presley.

Now, she has an excellent new solo album called Crab Day, which finds her exploring deeper into her beguilingly strange blend of influences — British folk, European cabaret music, psychedelic flourishes, lurching rhythms with moments of Krautrock repetition and searing, jagged electric guitar riffs and solos. All of these elements were vividly on display when Le Bon and her top-notch band played on Monday, May 9, at Schubas. She played nearly every song from Crab Day, plus several from her previous album, 2013’s Mug Museum. (Nothing from her earlier recordings, however.)

The stage was dark, and she was dressed in black, with her hair frequently hanging over her face — until she shook it around during a guitar solo. That prompted one of her few onstage comments during the set: “Are there any hairdressers in the house? Well, then, see me immediately after the show.”

Le Bon’s vocals sometimes reminded me of Nico’s singing with the Velvet Underground, but Le Bon would rise above that chilly chanting style for emotional passages, revealing a wider range and more colorful palette. As with so many musicians, she also shows some Velvet Underground influence in the way she plays guitar, but that’s just one aspect of Le Bon’s wonderfully singular style.

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Mega Bog

I was unfamiliar with the opening act, Mega Bog, a Seattle group led by Erin Birgy, but I quickly found myself enchanted by the band’s jazzy folk rock. The vibe of these songs reminded me of Joni Mitchell, Bill Callahan and the Sea and Cake, and I’m eager to hear more.

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Drinks at the Empty Bottle

Welsh singer-songwriter-guitarist Cate Le Bon has moved way beyond her early acoustic songs. Her solo music got spikier and stranger — and then she turned up as an additional touring member of the California psychedelic band White Fence. Now, she’s taken that collaboration further, teaming up with White Fence’s Tim Presley in a side project called Drinks. (Or if we go with the all-caps style that the band seems to prefer, “DRINKS.”) The group  released a cool record in August called Hermits on Holiday, and it played Oct. 23 at the Empty Bottle. Drinks combines Le Bon’s recent electric guitar riffs with the psych sounds of White Fence, adding a good dose of krautrock’s hypnotic repetition, as Presley and Le Bon trade off lead vocals. It all sounded sharp on Friday night at the Bottle.

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Cate Le Bon at Schubas

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Welsh singer-songrwiter Cate Le Bon got stuck in a terrible traffic jam on her way to play on Thursday, Jan. 23, at the Schubas nightclub in Chicago. Forty or so trucks and cars crashed in a pileup on I-94 in Michigan that afternoon, and three people died. Le Bon and her touring bandmates weren’t injured, but they were among the many people who sat in their cars without moving for several hours. As audience members showed up for the concert, the Schubas staff said  Le Bon was late — but that she was on her way. The opening act, Kevin Morby, was traveling in the same vehicle, so he was late, too.

Morby was supposed to start playing at 9 p.m., but it wasn’t until sometime after 10:30 p.m. when all of the musicians finally showed up. The bands quickly set up and did a sound check. Morby (of Woods and The Babies) played just three songs, but they packed some punch. And then, just a few minutes later, Le Bon took the stage, apologizing for the delay. The audience members who’d stuck around for this belated gig greeted her warmly — and were rewarded with a stellar performance.

Le Bon’s 2013 album, Mug Museumsounds lovely, but her music was even better live — and not just because of her beautiful vocals. The riffs and lines Le Bon played on her electric guitar were sharp, almost spiky, intertwining in intricate patterns with the rest of the band. In the hardest-rocking songs, the riffs bounced back and forth between Le Bon and guitarist-keyboardist H. Hawkline, adding a stereo effect to the psychedelic folk-rock — and reminding me a bit of the great late ’70s band Television. (I thought I might be the only one to make that comparison, but then I noticed what the Chicago Reader’s Peter Margasak had written earlier: “The shapes of her angular guitar lines suggest Tom Verlaine at his most minimal…”)

In spite of the delays earlier in the evening, when it seemed uncertain whether this concert would even happened, it turned out to be an outstanding show.

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Kevin Morby
Kevin Morby
Kevin Morby
Kevin Morby

 

Cate Le Bon at Schubas

Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon’s really grown as an artist since I saw her playing some solo acoustic music at SXSW in 2008. That was nice, but her new record, Lexapro Online Pharmacy. 1mgPharmacy: 25mg, 50mg, 100mg, 120mg, 130mg, 150mg, 200mg Dosages. We offers exact generic equivalents of most popular pills, online see accutane buy online canada safe to buy accutane online should you buy accutane online accutane buy online cheap | Discounts🔥 |. Bonus Pills with every order! ☀☀☀ http://marcogallotta.net/?alo=Where-Can-I-Buy-Clomid-Online-In-Australia ☀☀☀,2018 is 9 Best Erection Pills That Work! 100%. Buy Now » [[Cialis 5mg Achat En Ligne]] Online Pill Shop, Guaranteed Shipping. Fast Secure & Anonymous Worldwide Shipping , Buy Viagra Online Using Paypal FDA go to link Lowest prices for Generic and Brand drugs. Bonus 10 free pills, discounts and FREE SHIPPING. Cheapest drugs online - buy and save ⭐️ | Best Buy | ☀☀☀ Celexa Prescription Assistance ☀☀☀. Free shipping, quality, privacy, secure Buy Viagra Online Using Paypal No side effects. Lexapro Canada Pharmacy Lowest prices for Generic and Brand drugs. Bonus 10 free pills, discounts and FREE SHIPPING. Cheapest drugs online | instock🔥 |. Available with free Delivery & overnight shipping! http://oldiesrising.com/?mapl=Buy-Apo-Prednisone&280=e7 ,Where to buy?. Check More » Buy Ayurslim India cialis 5 mg how soon does it work consiglio nazionale dottori commercialisti ed esperti contabili roma until that | Best Deals🔥 |. Online Drug Shop http://dayofthedeadoaxaca.com/?rdf=Topamax-Purchase&74f=37 ,Your health is important.. Check More » Cyrk, is simply great, going deeper into the folk melodies of the British Isles while turning up the electric guitar a bit. Le Bon was also pretty great when she played a set dominated by those new songs Tuesday (Feb. 14) at Schubas. Le Bon sometimes sang with a touch of Nico in her delivery, but Le Bon’s vocals aren’t quite as chilly or monotone as that. Her hair hung in front of her face as she sang, and she spent most of the show playing electric guitar, moving over to the keyboards for a couple of songs. The climax of the set was the terrific two-part suite that also ends Cyrk — “Ploughing Out 1 + 2.” The moment where part 1 shifts into part 2 is a brilliant example of a transition that enhances the music on either side of it, and it worked just as well live as it does on record.
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