Chairlift, Class Actress, Polica, Wild Belle, Willis Earl Beal | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Chairlift, Class Actress, Polica, Wild Belle, Willis Earl Beal 18+ Early Warnings (Music) Sold Out (Music) Soundboard

When: Sat., Jan. 14, 9 p.m. 2012

It takes about zero effort to emulate the synth sounds on 80s electro-pop albums, but writing songs on par with the ones that have stuck around since then is a considerably taller order—as proved by the tiny percentage of current chillwave acts that are worthy of attention. Brooklyn's Class Actress appears to have figured it out. If someone tried to pawn off last year's Rapprocher (Carpark) as a rediscovered gem from 1984 by a forgotten would-be pop star who worshipped Madonna and Siouxsie in equal measure, I'd probably believe them, at least for as long as it took to Google it. —Miles Raymer

My first brush with Willis Earl Beal was last winter, when I found a flyer he'd posted looking for friends, but his music was what really got my attention. I searched the Web for the name on that flyer and dug up three home-recorded antifolk tunes that hypnotized me instantly. The songs are as vibrant and endearing as they are messy and chaotic, and Beal's warm, powerful voice—a soft, angelic croon on one track, a heart-stricken howl on the next—makes each melody shimmer and float. His music is personal and playful, and both traits come across even more clearly in his disarming, earnest live performances. Fortunately, Beal's new fans don't have to blindly crawl down the Internet rabbit hole to hear his songs: Found magazine released a collection of his music and artwork in the fall, and XL Recordings imprint Hot Charity will drop his debut, Acousmatic Sorcery, in March. Full disclosure: due in part to my Beal story in the Reader this summer, XL paid me to write the bio for his album release. —Leor Galil This show is part of Tomorrow Never Knows. Chairlift headlines; Class Actress, Polica, Wild Belle, and Willis Earl Beal open.

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