Psychic Temple, Furr, Tuff Slang, Eamon Fogarty, Trippers & Askers | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Psychic Temple, Furr, Tuff Slang, Eamon Fogarty, Trippers & Askers Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Thu., Aug. 18, 8 p.m. 2016

Guitarist and singer Chris Schlarb is an inveterate studio rat: he not only runs his own recording studio (Big Ego) but loves creating music in collaboration with a wide cast of musicians, presenting himself as a kind of nonbloated indie equivalent to Steely Dan. But as heard on the gorgeous new III (Asthmatic Kitty), the latest album from his primary outlet, Psychic Temple, he retains imperfections, almost savoring the grain formed by quiet mistakes. In the end what makes Schlarb stand out is his good taste and writing skills—not to mention that he’s a strong jazz player, evinced by his old duo I Heart Lung and his contributions to the Invisible Astro Healing Rhythm Quartet’s 2015 album 2 (Trouble in Mind). Psychic Temple’s new record opens and closes with some atmospheric, jazz-flavored instrumentals that would be perfect accompanying credits to a narrative film, but in between Schlarb serves a rich variety of pop-rock songs marked by gorgeous playing from the likes of bassist Mike Watt, guitarist Aaron Roche, Memphis keyboard great Spooner Oldham, Chicago baritone saxophonist Elliot Bergman, singer Nedelle Torrisi, and modern pedal-steel whiz Dave Easley. Again, the caliber of his help matters: his playing helps enable the leader to reach remarkably seamless stylistic depths, whether it’s the sun-parched twang of “Getting Home” or the 70s-AM-radio beauty of “Feral Children of the Canyon.” For this tour Schlarb travels light, aided by his own acoustic guitar and New York singers and guitarists Eamon Fogarty and Jay Hammond. He promises a selection of old and new Psychic Temple songs (including some from the next record), as well as covers of tunes from Randy Newman, Bobby Charles, and the Louvin Brothers.

Peter Margasak

Price: $12, $10 in advance

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