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Concert Wed Feb 23 2011

Canasta, REGO @ Old Town School of Folk Music

This Saturday the Old Town School of Folk Music hosts two of Chicago's finest, Canasta and REGO. While Canasta is still riding off of the success of its May, 2010 release The Fakeout, The Tease And The Breather, REGO is celebrating the upcoming March 1 release of its newest EP, All These Bones And Us.

pressalbum.jpgREGO's All These Bones And Us is an acoustic showcase of singer/songwriter Rebecca Rego. Despite the fragile and dreamlike moments common on ATBAU, this six-track EP is a decidedly dark offering of songs. However, that is not to say that the songs on ATBAU are not still stunning and highly listenable.

Lyrically, Rego gets intensely personal, inviting the listener into states of uncertainty and wonder. Vocally, she ranges between airy croons and chilling warbles. What's important to note about this EP is its impressive instrumentals. The acoustic singer/songwriter album too often results in strong vocals and insightful lyrics sung over simple guitar plucks. This is not the case on ATBAU. Tracks like the southern-twang-tinged "Light" and the poppy "I Don't Know Pt. 2" incorporate orchestral string arrangements giving these songs a "bigger" feel than one would expect.

REGO typically appears as an alt-country foursome, but All These Bones And Us shows brainchild, Rebecca Rego, in a different light. The stripped-down quality of this EP gives the songs a more vulnerable presentation than previous REGO tracks. Listeners will be wont to sense that these songs are genuinely passionate products of the songwriter's heart and mind.

1279119419_canasta-the-fakeout-the-tease-the-breather-2010.jpgHeadlining Saturday night's show are fellow locals Canasta. Canasta are self-described as orchestral-pop and, frankly I can't think of a better way to describe this band. The Fakeout, The Tease And The Breather is definitely pop, but it's certainly not limited to said genre either. What it is an amalgamation of clever and sometimes obscure instrumentation ("Reading The Map Upside Down"), radio-ready dance numbers ("Mexico City") and heartfelt lyrics via the powerful vocals of both Matt Priest and Elizabeth Lindau ("Becoming You").

Fakeout is robust in both song length (average song duration is between 4 and a half and 5 minutes) and variety. Brooding confessionals such as "Throwaway" are contrasted by quirky sing-a-longs like "Choosing Sides." By the time I reach the concluding track, it was hard to believe the journey Canasta has taken me on in just eleven song. Each one endears itself to a new set of the listener's emotions and each new instrument the band brings into the mix--be it trombone, synth, violin, what have you--is more refreshingly unexpected than the last.

Even traditional pop instruments take on several facets on Fakeout. The guitar and keys that create the sexy funk that appears on "Mountains Of Molehills" have turned to haunting overtones in the dramatic closer "Plan Your Escape" and that's after they've spanned a wide range of sounds and tones in between.

The Fakeout, The Teaser And The Breather is certainly not an album to be taken lightly. Enjoying this album might be effortless, but developing an appreciation for the craftsmanship behind the songs is an inevitable bi-product of doing so.

Tickets are still available for Saturday's show. They're $15, but Old Town School Members pay only $13. Sewing Pattern will also be playing. The show starts at 7:30pm and is all ages. The Old Town School of Folk Music is located at 4544 N Lincoln Ave.

 
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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.

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