Richard Buckner, Dawn Landes | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Richard Buckner, Dawn Landes Critic's Choice Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Thu., April 9, 9 p.m. 2009

Merge’s reissues of Richard Buckner’s The Hill and Impasse (products of a midcareer hot streak in the early aughts) and his 1994 debut, Bloomed, have given me occasion to think again about something a friend and I used to discuss—that Buckner is the actual embodiment of the bill of goods we were sold about Springsteen, the myth of Bruce made real, an irascible middle-class troubadour, ripe with longing, singing the songs of real America’s dreams and disappointments (sans the Magic Rat, mind you). As the Boss has aged into banal sentimentality and megastardom, Buckner has gone through a couple of divorces and developed a deep disgust with the music business. His albums are usually about one of two things—bitter breakup memories (Bloomed) or a tentative recovery into tattered lust (Impasse)—though The Hill, a setting of Edgar Lee Masters’s Spoon River Anthology, stands as a notable exception. But the records, great gifts that they are, still pale next to his live show: Buckner sings like an undone man made feral by hurt, in a voice that will resonate in every old wound in your heart. Dawn Landes opens. —Jessica Hopper

Price: $15

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