Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3 | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3

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The consensus among fans of Steve Wynn, founder of the Dream Syndicate and a central figure in LA's 80s paisley underground scene, is that he's been on a serious roll for the better part of a decade. With the new . . . Tick . . . Tick . . . Tick (released on his own Down There label), his creative upswing gets a hydrogen-rocket boost. Wynn and his band, the Miracle 3, have recorded three albums in a row at the same Arizona studio with the same coproducer, and they've made the most of that stability: the new disc is the strongest, most live-sounding, most vigorous recording he's made in years, surpassing even 2003's remarkable Static Transmission. (Wynn says in the press bio it's "louder, harder, sicker, freakier, more hopped up on goofballs"--which I'll grant him is also true.) His steady bandmates in the Miracle 3--guitarist Jason Victor, bassist Dave DeCastro, and drummer Linda Pitmon, formerly of Zuzu's Petals--have chemistry and energy to spare, and they play a more active role in songwriting and recording than Wynn has normally allowed in the past. The band establishes its jamming, blown-out, Lou Reed-influenced intensity with the opener, "Wired," which is followed by the gritty, noirish "Cindy, It Was Always You" (with lyrics written by a pal of Wynn's, crime writer George Pelecanos), and sustains its vigor and focus throughout, even on ghostly, pensive tunes like "Freak Star." Wynn's now doing work nearly as powerful and iconic as the Dream Syndicate's The Days of Wine and Roses. Rick Rizzo and the Great Crusades open. Tue 3/21, 9 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-3160 or 312-559-1212, $10.

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