Paul Cebar & the Milwaukeeans | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Paul Cebar & the Milwaukeeans

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At first hearing it's obvious that the Milwaukeeans can rock any dance floor with ease. Yet their curious hybrid style might cause one to stop and ponder: are these cats hip or are they dorks? Actually, their coolness quotient becomes easier to calculate once you realize the range of cool is not a straight line but a circle, and that the shrewd Milwaukeeans stand precisely at the point where coolness and corn meet. Leader/songwriter Paul Cebar expertly steers a course through darkling seas of half-remembered, half-mangled 1940s hipster swing, straight toward an explosive revision of neoclassic 50s/60s soul (periodically stepping aside to let gorgeous-voiced sidekick Robyn Pluer do her thing). And we certainly mustn't forget the rhythm section--especially Al Anderson, who uses his upright bass viol to get those nice broken Stax/Volt patterns one normally expects only from electric players. Throw in some enthusiastic horns and a generous selection of impeccably obscure R&B covers, and you've got yourself a funky good time. Saturday, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 525-6620.

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

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