Dolorean | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Dolorean

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Indie singer-songwriters Richard Buckner and Damien Jurado are the marquee names at this two-night stand, but the opening act is the one to watch. Singer-guitarist Al James, a former poet (and current delivery driver for a wine distributor), founded Dolorean in 1999 as a vehicle for his drizzly, downbeat meditations. At first it was just James playing coffeehouses and restaurants, but soon he paired up with pianist Jay Clarke of Oregon art rockers the Standard; before long they had a full rhythm section, and in 2000 Dolorean made their first recording, a subdued and literate collection called Sudden Oak. The album existed only as a CD-R until the band released it on their own label this year, but nonetheless it reached enough of the right hands that in certain rarefied circles Dolorean was proclaimed kin to new-folk artists like Iron & Wine, Simon Joyner, and Jason Molina. The follow-up, Not Exotic, finally released by the North Carolina label Yep Roc late last year, still flew under the radar, but that fate's not likely to befall the band's spectacular forthcoming LP, Violence in the Snowy Fields (Yep Roc). A deft mingling of influences, it pays homage both to the music of Big Pink-period Band and to the writings of poet Robert Bly, whose first book, Silence in the Snowy Fields, inspired its title. Buckner headlines and Jurado plays second. Monday 4, 8 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $15. See also Tuesday.

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