Ashtray Boy, Colony Park Early Warnings (Music) Member Picks Soundboard

When: Tue., Oct. 11, 9:30 p.m. 2011

During the 90s Randall Lee, the peripatetic Aussie in charge of playfully eccentric indie-rock band Ashtray Boy, maintained a workaholic's schedule, touring the U.S. and Australia with indigenous rhythm sections, one from Sydney and one from Chicago. But in this century he's visited America much more sporadically; it's been four years since he and fellow singer and multi-instrumentalist Carla Bruce-Lee (who's also his wife) last played on these shores. The current stateside version of the band includes longtime drummer J. Niimi (a former Reader regular) and Scotland Yard Gospel Choir bassist Mark Yoshizumi. A couple weeks ago at Quenchers they brought such a winning swagger to both the new "Dalek Boogie" (written by the Lees' seven-year-old son, Rupert) and the Ashtray Boy oldie "Crusty Singers and Crapped Out Bands" that it was pretty clear the latter song wasn't at all autobiographical. They also turned the Kinks' prescient "Dead End Street" into a Velvety rumble. This week's shows are their last in Chicago for who knows how long—they're leaving to play a few gigs on the west coast, and then the Australians head back across the ocean. —Bill Meyer See also Monday.

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