Matt Suggs | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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For much of the 90s Matt Suggs played raggedy, sleepy pop as half of the California duo Butterglory. The music they made stands as quintessential indie rock, even if it doesn't stand up as much else a few years later--masking Suggs's melodic gifts were shy, slack singing, lo-fi production, and negligible emotional investment. Butterglory broke up in '97, and this year he released a solo record, Golden Days Before They End (Merge), which is more musically direct than anything the band did. The record is dominated by piano--played by latter-day Butterglory collaborator Ranjit Arab--and it's clear that Suggs is trying hard to make his hooky melodies ring with the clarity of classic pop. There's more than a little Ray Davies in his slight, nasal faux-British accent, and his oddly shaped melodies have the ring of fey Kinks gems like "Misfits" or "Celluloid Heroes." As he did toward the end of Butterglory's career, Suggs also takes side trips into spaghetti western territory. Eyesinweasel, the new project of former Guided by Voices guitarist Tobin Sprout (see Spot Check), headlines. Saturday, October 14, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, Chicago. 773-276-3600.

--Peter Margasak

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