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Wednesday, October 21

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Transmission
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Concert Sat Jul 28 2007

Joan Comes to Chicago

Joan Wasser relies on honesty as a form of protest. On the website of her band, Joan as Policewoman, she laments about the state of things--the "media lying to you," and the “sense of distrust in the air.” To counterattack this state of affairs, she offers her latest endeavor, the album Real Life (Cheap Lullaby, US release), on which she explores pain and heartache, with enough honesty to set the world on fire.

The album, released in the UK last year, is now being introduced across the country as Joan as Policewoman embarks on their first US Real Life tour. The music on the album is hauntingly gorgeous, but one would expect nothing less from the uber-talented Wasser, whose first gig in music was as a violinist for the Boston University Symphony Orchestra. Wassers takes on violin on the album, not to mention guitar, keyboard and lead vocals. Reinforcements come from Rainy Orteca on bass and backup vocals, and from Ben Perowsky on drums/percussion and vocals. The mood is mellow earthiness, and particularly poignant and poetic are the candid lyrics, crafted by Wasser. "I’ve been on the ride before / it never stops at all," she sings in the popular track, The Ride.

Wassers has described her music as American Soul, a mixup of soul and punk--Al Green, Nina Simone, and the Smiths combined. She used to be punk, don’t forget, when she performed with the Dambuilders in the 90s, not to mention her stints with other bands, including Hot Trix and Black Beetle. Yet there are other indie musicians that come to mind when hearing Wasser’s current sound--Rufus Wainwright and Beth Orton, in particular, as both are also talented in being "real" in their music. Wasser, the consummate indie music professional, has collaborated with Wainwright, as well as with numerous others, including Elton John, Lou Reed and Sheryl Crow.

“For me, the most subversive you can be these days is to be totally honest, and to really laud beauty,” Wasser has said. To be honest about one’s emotions in an era of half-truths is bold, and Joan as Policewoman has this type of music protest crafted to perfection.

Joan as Policewoman plays at Schuba’s on Tuesday. 9pm $10

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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