Sloan | Bottom Lounge | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Sloan 17+ Agenda Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Sun., Nov. 23, 9 p.m. 2014

Late this summer Halifax four-piece Sloan commemorated their 23 years together with Commonwealth (Yep Roc), a double album with a twist: Each of the band’s four members has filled one LP side, giving listeners an even clearer picture of how Sloan’s witty, precisely calibrated power pop comes to fruition. Jay Ferguson indulges the subgenre’s Beatles fascination with the fussy “We’ve Come This Far” and the languorous “Three Sisters”; Chris Murphy writes taut, straightforward rock tunes, including the crunchy “You Don’t Need Excuses to Be Good”; Patrick Pentland hides classic-rock Easter eggs in his tracks, among them the swaggering “13 (Under a Bad Sign)” and the fever-dreamy “What’s Inside”; and Andrew Scott put together an expansive 18-minute suite called “Forty-Eight Portraits,” which is bracketed by a dog barking through a gnarly psychedelic lullaby. Despite the stylistic shifts, the end result coheres thanks to everyone’s exacting attention to detail—not to mention their well-documented ability to write sticky hooks in their sleep. Like the album, the tour supporting Commonwealth is a celebration of Sloan’s lengthy career, with sets reaching all the way back to their bubblegrunge major-label debut, 1992’s Smeared (the band played the verbally and sexually frustrated “Underwhelmed” in Seattle last month), and lasting long enough to warrant an intermission. —Maura Johnston

Price: $15

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