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Friday, February 3

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Preview Wed Sep 19 2012

Your Preview for Brilliant Corners of Popular Amusements


John Cale

John Cale's resume can be overwhelming. The Welsh musician has been prolific in musical genres from experimental rock to classical composition since the mid-1960s. He also plays a wide range of instruments, including the harpsichord (which he notably played on Nick Drake's Bryter Layter) and celesta (which I had to look up). Oh, and he was in a pretty good band called the Velvet Underground. His legacy is safe, but that's no reason for him to stop playing music. Through his career, he has rarely taken a break and always pushed boundaries.


His upcoming Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood album is the result of home recordings and finds Cale working with Danger Mouse on the single "I Wanna Talk 2 U." At the Riverside on Friday at 8pm, with a full band in tow, expect a chunk of new songs with old favorites mixed in.

John Cale headlines Friday's presentation of Brilliant Corners of Popular Amusements. Wisconsin native Zola Jesus opens at 7pm. Following Cale's set is free comedy show hosted by You, Me, Them, Everybody's Brandon Wetherbee and featuring Seaton Smith, as well as locals James Fritz and the Puterbaugh Sisters.

Conor Oberst

Even a decade later, Conor Oberst still suffers the stigma of being associated with the emo resurgence of the early '00s (second or third wave emo, depending on who you talk to). To dismiss him would be a mistake. His work with Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos, Monsters of Folk, and his solo material far exceeds the label of whiny music for teenagers. After wrapping up the Bright Eyes reunion last year (including a stop at Lollapalooza 2011), Conor began touring with a reunited Desaparecidos last month, and is concluding his tour with a handful of solo dates — including Brilliant Corners. While Conor is typically known for playing folksy acoustic shows, these past few years he's also moved on to bombastic rock performances as well. It will be interesting to see what kind of set we'll be hearing Saturday night. While Brilliant Corners is going through a few changes this year, if the festival is anything like last year's event the chance to see Conor Oberst perform in this setting will be a real treat. Opening the night is 69-year-old singer-songwriter Van Dyke Parks, best known for his work with The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson.

Conor Oberst headlines Saturday evening with Van Dyke Parks opening at 7pm. A ticket to this show also includes a matinee performance of El Circo Cheapo at 5pm. (Otherwise, El Circo Cheapo runs $10.) Brian Babylon (Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, The Moth Story Slam) hosts the free comedy show with Jon Benjamin, Drew Michael and Megan Gailey after Conor Oberst.
- Stephanie Griffin

Bobby Womack

The music equivalent of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon could easily be Six Degrees of Bobby Womack. He has direct connections to Sam Cooke (as a member of his backing band), the Rolling Stones (as a songwriter) and Gorillaz (as a singer), among hundreds of other notable names. Over a storied career that covers gospel, R&B, soul, country, funk, and a bunch else, the 68-year old singer's had his fair share of ups and downs, but continues to move forward. In the course of recording his new album, The Bravest Man in the Universe, Womack was hit with pneumonia and colon cancer. Now healthy again, he's been back on the road delighting audiences with his signature baritone voice and a slew of hits from a career spanning over 50 years.

Bobby Womack headlines Sunday. Helado Negro, who's coming up big in experimental/electronic Latin music, will open at 7pm.


Brilliant Corners of Popular Amusements is at the Riverfront Theater at 650 W. Chicago Ave. all weekend. Tickets to each night's feature are $25 and available at the festival website.

Brilliant Corners of Popular Amusements Schedule

Friday, September 21, 2012
7pm - Zola Jesus
8pm - John Cale
10pm - Late Night Comedy Show (Seaton Smith, The Puterbaugh Sisters, James Fritz, Brandon Wetherbee) FREE

Saturday, September 22, 2012
5pm - El Circo Cheapo Cabaret (FREE for children under 12 and with purchase of marquee performances tickets)
7pm - Van Dyke Parks
8pm - Conor Oberst
10pm - Late Night Comedy Show (Jon Benjamin, Drew Michael, Megan Gailey, Brian Babylon) FREE

Sunday, September 23, 2012
7pm - Helado Negro
8pm - Bobby Womack

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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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