Mother Falcon, Family Crest | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Mother Falcon, Family Crest Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Sat., June 7, 10 p.m. 2014

From Judy Collins to Sufjan Stevens, certain folk artists have long straddled the line between “authentic” genius and “sophisticated” genius, with one foot in the field and one foot in the orchestra pit. Mother Falcon extrapolates from that tradition to arrive at a conclusion both ludicrous and glorious; with 17 members, the band is a veritable orchestra in itself, including strings, horns, woodwinds, an accordion, multiple singers, and Lord knows what else. The result is a towering, sweeping display of arch feyness, perfectly encapsulated in the video for “Just to See Her Smile,” where the band acts as the musical accompaniment to a children’s theatrical performance of Flash Gordon. That demonstrates Mother Falcon’s virtues (ravishing cuteness, ample cleverness) as well as its weaknesses (again, ravishing cuteness and ample cleverness). The ensemble is never as weird or as rocking as unhinged British folkies Donovan and Comus, and it doesn’t have the spiritual urgency or odd imagination of Danielson Famile. As a result, across the length of an album the preciousness can wear fairly thin. But the instrumentation makes Mother Falcon a refreshing change from standard-issue indie pop, and its members clearly have a fine eye for drama and stagecraft. Watching them put together all the parts live looks to be exhilarating. —Noah Berlatsky

Price: $14, $12 in advance

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