Midlake | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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I first heard these guys on a friend's soft-rock podcast, between tunes by Firefall and Al Stewart, and my initial thought was, Oh man, what Chris de Burgh song is this, and how have I never heard it in 25 years of exposure to light-FM radio? Regardless of your feelings about Chris de Burgh, that ought to persuade you that Midlake's take on "yacht rock" is as authentic as they come (nothing against Cheer-Accident or Bobby Conn, but their pop material is way too perverse to pass for the real thing). The song in question, "Head Home," is from their second album, The Trials of Van Occupanther (Bella Union, 2005), which, as an absolutely sincere fan of smooth music, I find irresistible. It always bugs me when people call stuff like this a "guilty pleasure." I mean, either you get off on easygoing, hermetically precise pop cheesecake or you don't--who's ever had an ironic orgasm? The members of Midlake are even bona fide musos: they formed the band while in the jazz program at the University of North Texas. I hope they get big enough to drag Supertramp back into the spotlight. St. Vincent opens. a 7 PM (18+) and 10 PM (21+), Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, both shows sold out.

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