The Bevis Frond | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The Bevis Frond


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Those who have witnessed the Bevis Frond in concert--or heard their 1999 CD Live at the Great American Music Hall, San Francisco (Flydaddy)--know that psychedelic relic Nick Saloman can be counted on to deliver the kind of orgasmic guitar jams that once raised the rafters at the Fillmore West. But for this show he and bassist Adrian Shaw will play as an acoustic duo, minus drummer Andy Ward, and while the format may not provide that full-on Technicolor head rush, it should highlight Saloman's equally impressive talents as a craftsman of lovely folk-rock tunes and a chronicler of the 60s generation. The new Valedictory Songs (Rubric) is his 17th album since 1986, when he emerged like Rip Van Winkle from a home studio in London, and while its songs are filled with references to the long-gone days of flower power and acid revelry, Saloman seems acutely conscious that as youth passes into middle age the only things worth hanging onto are other people. In "Artillery Row" he tells the mother of his child, "The sun has left the sky and there are stars outside the diner / Shining like the candles in your room / And I can almost feel the plush of that old velveteen recliner / From where we watched them landing on the moon / Even though, you know, it's far too long ago to show / Still I can't forget the way I let you let me go." The record is haunted by relationships strained and broken by the pull of time, and with nothing to focus on but a handful of chords and Saloman's intensely intimate lyrics, listeners may be in for a darker trip than usual. Friday, May 11, 9 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.


Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Charles Peterson.

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