Randy Newman | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Randy Newman

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Call him the Sixth Wilbury: like a whole bunch of graying rockers, Randy Newman has had a career revivification courtesy of former Electric Light Orchestra leader Jeff Lynne, whose sprightly production gave much of Newman's latest album, Land of Dreams, its oomph. But it must have been hard for Newman, who ten years ago reamed Lynne and ELO nicely in the song "Story of a Rock and Roll Band." Still, Land of Dreams is a major work--side one has the beginnings of a lovely autobiography; you want it to continue. On side two he gets sidetracked in a dumb rap number, but recovers (with the help of Mark Knopfler) on the improbably infectious "It's Money That Matters," then brings it on home with the sick and brilliant "I Want You to Hurt Like I Do." Live he's a solo act, a funny performer with no qualms about illustrating his past; he's one of the all-time great rock songwriters, and members of the pantheon are seldom seen this intimately. Saturday, 7:30 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield; 472-0449.

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