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Concert Fri Aug 01 2014

Darren Hayman is Coming to Town (and You're About to Miss It)

By Phil Huckelberry

In 1998, an English pop-rock band released their first album. You probably didn't hear about it. It came out on a very hip indie label, but remained mostly unknown on this side of the Atlantic. This was back in the day of listservs — run off of obscure university servers and beloved by the internet's earliest adopters. On one such listserv a guy named Spencer insisted that we all had to listen to this band Hefner.

Many years later, I rank Hefner's debut album, Breaking God's Heart, as one of my top ten albums of all time. It contains brilliant pop songs, mostly about relationships and their attendant failures. The subject matter seemed universally familiar even while totally off the wall. Nobody else was writing breathtaking love songs about witches and librarians, all while bemoaning the state of British politics. The tenderness in the first song, "The Sweetness Lies Within," slams against harried guitars, creating not a strange juxtaposition but instead the appropriate sonic context for how insane it is to be young and single and not single and single again. At times it was like finally hearing what everybody else had to have been thinking all along.

Darren Hayman was the singer, main songwriter, and guitarist for Hefner. His melodies were surpassed only by his Dickensian lyrics. The signature song off the first album was called "Love Will Destroy Us In The End," but to this day it's unclear whether that's ultimately meant as a good thing or not. As the era of irony was reaching its peak, Hayman — hardly a purveyor of irony himself — had become the most ironic figure of all in mind: a spokesman for the era, even though nobody else in the U.S. seemed to know he was there. His best known song is probably the scathingly jaunty "The Day That Thatcher Dies", which somehow pulls together class politics, a horn section, and a chorus extracted wholesale from no less than The Wizard of Oz.

After Hefner's demise, Hayman released one bizarre electronic album, Local Information, with new band The French. Only after some time did Hayman reemerge under his own name with solo albums Table For One and The Secondary Modern, which became the name of his new backing band. By this point Hayman had already developed quite an extensive website, releasing singles or EPs on a regular basis, and also offering numerous videos.

On Tuesday, August 5, at the Chopin Theatre (1543 W. Division St.), Darren Hayman will make an incredibly rare U.S. appearance. Tickets are $10 and are available online. Including a concert last weekend in New York, this will be only his second concert in the U.S. in the last 15 years. Coltrane Motion opens. 21+

 

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Classical Thu Oct 09 2014

Pulling Strings: For classical music in Chicago, you got a guy - October 2014

By Elliot Mandel

"Classical music is dead. Long live classical music!" - The Internet. The lesson: Read less internet. See more music.

Read this feature »

Blogroll

  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
BackStage
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
ChicagoMusic.org
Chicago Music Guide
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CHIRP
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
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Daytrotter
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Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
Gridface
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Resident Advisor
Songs:Illinois
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock

  Venues:

Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
B.L.U.E.S
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Constellation
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
FitzGerald's
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Martyrs'
Mayne Stage
Metro
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Rosa's
Schubas
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Smartbar
Subterranean
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Township
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Atavistic
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Hozac
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records


Events

Fri Oct 24 2014
Psychemagik @ Smart Bar

Fri Oct 24 2014
The Atlas Moth @ Beat Kitchen

Fri Oct 24 2014
Project Recall: HCL @ Mana Contemporary

Sat Oct 25 2014
Spektral Quartet @ Constellation

Sat Oct 25 2014
The Toasters @ Beat Kitchen

Sat Oct 25 2014
Red Scare 10th Anniversary @ Metro

Sun Oct 26 2014
The Adventures of Danny & Mike @ Lincoln Hall

Sun Oct 26 2014
Beat Swap Meet @ Empty Bottle

Mon Oct 27 2014
Oozing Wound @ Empty Bottle

Mon Oct 27 2014
Nude Beach @ Subterranean

Thu Oct 30 2014
Smoker @ Empty Bottle

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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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