Land of Talk | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Land of Talk

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Montreal's Land of Talk showcases the fine songwriting of singer-guitarist Elizabeth Powell, a former violinist from the small town of Moonstone, Ontario. She studied music for a while at Concordia University in Quebec but dropped out to play in bands, culminating in her current trio, which has opened for Montreal nabobs like the Stills and the Dears. Land of Talk's recent debut, the seven-song EP Applause Cheer Boo Hiss (Dependent Music), is one of the most solid indie releases I've heard all year: Powell's voice is rough-edged but nimble and chirpy, suggesting a more naif Polly Jean Harvey, and fantastically catchy songs like "All My Friends" and "Sea Foam" are a bit reminiscent of Scrawl, with gritty guitar riffs and go-for-the-throat pop hooks. The EP hasn't left the CD player in my kitchen for weeks--now I find myself humming along with their songs while I'm doing the dishes, even when the player isn't on. The Stills headline. a 9:30 PM, Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $15. A

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