Paradise Island | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Many times when underground stars go solo, their experimental, self-indulgent wank-offs seem designed to test the loyalty of their fans. (Azita Youssefi and Kathleen Hanna, I'm lookin' at you.) That's not the way it has to be, though, as demonstrated by the innocent and sincere music of Paradise Island, aka Jenny Hoyston, who sings and plays trumpet in Erase Errata. Her first release, a seven-inch on Dim Mak, sounds like she decided to record three off-the-cuff songs on a boom box one lonely night. The swirly keyboard fuckery and delayed drum snap of "Deprogram" crackle as though they're passing through your eighth-grade crush's phone when your parents thought you were asleep. And who knew the hyperanxious, histrionic Hoyston was down with folk music? "Getup" is all echoing ukulele and edge-of-your-seat dramatic vocals. The singing turns moony and off-key when Hoyston is buried beneath the metal guitar solos of "Monster Boogie." Don't ask me how these songs belong on the same record: supposedly this project is based on a private universe consisting of unicorn fantasies and sweet leaf. Damned if that means anything to me yet, but at least she's put out the welcome mat. Thursday, May 22, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Mark Chavron.

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