Bitter Tears, Southeast Engine, Daniel Knox | Hideout | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Bitter Tears, Southeast Engine, Daniel Knox Soundboard

When: Sat., March 7, 9 p.m. 2009

The gentlemen in the Bitter Tears put on memorably distressing live shows that often involve sing-alongs, slide whistles, thrift-store costumes—well, dresses usually, with vaguely cadaverous makeup—improvised rants that might be about credit-card debt or long-haul trucking, and other assorted silliness that delights besotted crowds. This has the potential to get egregiously stale very quickly if the cleverness flags, so it’s fortunate for these locals that on their second album, Jam Tarts in the Jakehouse (Carrot Top), they’ve hit upon another way to bolster their music’s staying power: in songs that split the difference between sloppy country and deranged vaudeville, they display an all-consuming sense of tragedy that gives their comic turns a dark and powerful heart. The drunken-carnival arrangements simultaneously sharpen the air of dissolution and provide enough buoyancy to lift the tunes out of the mud they might otherwise just wallow in. This is a release party; Southeast Engine and Daniel Knox open. —Monica Kendrick

Price: $8

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