Siderunners | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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After earning a word-of-mouth rep for no-holds-barred honky-tonk rock 'n' roll with nearly five years of regular shows and one fine studio record, the Siderunners have reinvented themselves--at least temporarily. Their new Sabbath Country Sabbath (Failed Experiment), recorded in five hours in an empty apartment, is more or less a live acoustic album, with a quavery backwoods sound their electrified sets don't have--in fact the Siderunners were so keen on getting a high-lonesome feel on this disc that they made it without an audience. The MO is crowd tested, though--for last November's residency at the Hideout, they played not only with acoustic instruments but without microphones or amplification of any kind. It's so traditional it's avant-garde. Though the Siderunners are certainly quieter than usual on Sabbath Country Sabbath, I wouldn't call this their gentle side--they're as caustic and poignant as ever, a regular hootenanny of loss and despair and eloquent violence. The Mayflies open this record-release show; a new Siderunners studio disc is due in the fall. Fri 6/30, 6 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433, $5.

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