Iron & Wine, Arthur & YU | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Iron & Wine, Arthur & YU


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Grizzly Adams look-alike Sam Beam has come a long way from the naked austerity of his early stuff. With IRON & WINE's 2005 EP, Woman King, he proved he could write hooks that'd give you goose bumps--as well as make eerie jug-band rock that's actually danceable, at least in a muddy-hippie way. Now he's leading an eclectic, porchy ensemble that calls to mind the rural roots of the jam-band movement--a lot of their set at Pitchfork had me thinking, "Wow, there really was a lot to love about the Grateful Dead." The Shepherd's Dog, Iron & Wine's third full-length (Sub Pop), adds a sprawling, organic, Califone-y feel--no surprise there, since Brian Deck produced it--with instrumental flourishes like old appliances artfully arranged in an overgrown yard. Beam's current seven-member touring band is the same group he brought to Pitchfork, and includes past and present Chicagoans Chad Taylor, Ben Masarella, Matt Lux, and LeRoy Bach. --Monica Kendrick

ARTHUR & YU's debut album, In Camera (on Sub Pop spin-off Hardly Art), is a breezy little trifle. But that is not a bad thing. Sometimes I don't want to be challenged by what's coming out of my stereo--not commanded to dance, not beseeched to engage the singer's feelings. All the tracks on In Camera have lyrics, but I don't have any idea what they're about. With Arthur & Yu, all I'm looking for is a gentle, Velvets-jangly guitar line, a sparse and reverbed-out backbeat, and a guy--and maybe also a girl--singing sort of pretty. It's a simple formula, but properly executed it inspires deep bliss-outs. --Miles Raymer

Iron & Wine headlines and Arthur & Yu open. a 7 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $26. A

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment