When: Fri., Feb. 10, 10 p.m. 2012
Nearly two years ago, Netherfriends main man Shawn Rosenblatt set out to write and record a song in every U.S. state, and now that he's done, the nomadic former Chicagoan has collected 12 of them on the impressive new full-length Middle America (Kilo). Rosenblatt's dreamy psych-pop trip through the midwest covers a lot of territory—Hawaiian-sounding slide guitar, propulsive drum rolls, laid-back sax, funky fatback synth—but he wraps it all up in a warm, gauzy blanket that gives the album's soaring choral melodies and airy, reverb-soaked soundscapes a romantic tinge. Even when he sings about the banality of his road-ravaged lifestyle—playing to tiny crowds, living on food stamps—he keeps Netherfriends' ebullient spirit alive. His unwavering devotion to his lifelong dream to be a musician (another recurring theme in his lyrics) keeps him going through those rough patches, helping him turn them into songs that sound as beautiful as anything inspired by his brighter moments. —Leor Galil Secret Colours and Vamos open.