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Preview Wed Oct 24 2012

Post-Rocking with The Sea and Cake at City Winery

The Sea and Cake - photo by Jim Newberry.jpg
The Sea and Cake (photo by Jim Newberry)

"Post-rock" is the term that most often gets thrown around when discussing bands like The Sea and Cake, but while it suits their more experimental tendencies to a point it's certainly something of a misnomer. Where "post-rock" can easily be mistaken as an outright dismissal of the rock form itself ("rock is dead" tropes notwithstanding), it seems that what bands like The Sea and Cake are really doing is simply broadening the definition of "rock" and fashioning it within a more global context. Perhaps they continue to get stuck with the tag because they, along with Chicago peers Tortoise, were one of the first bands in the indie sphere of the '90s that sought to push beyond the confines and clich├ęs of Western punk- and guitar-based rock'n'roll in favor of more eclectic things like West African pop, dub grooves, and third-world funk. With ears craned more toward these types of sounds, bands like The Sea and Cake certainly seemed post-something. Interestingly enough, almost two decades in, they still do.

The Sea and Cake features a clutch of veteran Chicago musicians in Sam Prekop, Archer Prewitt, Eric Claridge and drummer John McEntire (also of Tortoise), each of whom has been synonymous with the more experimental and collaborative side of Chicago's independent music scene for well over 20 years. With a new album in this fall's Runner; to support, The Sea and Cake will be appearing this Monday, October 29, at the City Winery, the latest addition to the Randolph St. strip. Matthew Friedberger, an Oak Park native best known for his brother-sister duo Fiery Furnaces, will open with a set featuring tracks off his latest, the Parisian-inspired Matricidal Sons of Bitches.

It will be interesting to see what kind of energy these guys bring to the City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., a new venue transplanted from New York City that has been struggling with its role in the Chicago restaurant scene according to some recent dining reviews. But with its all-ages capabilities for shows, the place might just stick it out — especially if it can manage to bring a crowd of the Chicago indie scene's elder statesmen out for a Sea and Cake show.

Really, though, I'm tempted to use some Field of Dreams logic for this one: A band like The Sea and Cake should never have trouble bringing their faithful out to a show, no matter whether it's a museum space, a DIY warehouse, or a struggling new bar: If you bill them, people will come. As Pitchfork's Joe Tangari pointed out in his recent review of Runner: "Nothing reminds you that you've been taking The Sea and Cake for granted quicker than listening to a new Sea and Cake album." And he's right — these guys have been perennially under the national radar either by choice or by chance remaining one of Chicago's own brightest gems. Go see them shine for yourself.

The Sea and Cake play the City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., on Monday, October 29th. Doors open at 6pm, show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $20-25, all ages.

 
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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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