The Sea and Cake, Luke Roberts, Brokeback | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

The Sea and Cake, Luke Roberts, Brokeback Early Warnings (Music) Member Picks Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., Dec. 17, 10 p.m. 2011

Nashville native Luke Roberts sounds like an old soul on his impressive debut album, Big Bells and Dime Songs (released by Ecstatic Peace! last year and recently reissued by Thrill Jockey). His rustic folk-rock songs ruminate obliquely on dissatisfaction and desire—emotional, romantic, philosophical—and take their greatest poignancy and power from his hobbled but appealing voice, a cracked drawl that suggests Neil Young imitating Townes Van Zandt. His solid fingerstyle guitar accompaniment heightens the music's lost and rambling feel, and occasional piano accents seem to wipe the sleep from the eyes of the arrangements; Harvey Milk's Kyle Spence, who recorded the album, adds lean but weighty drum parts. "Just Do It Blues" is twice interrupted by writhing, acidic electric guitar, but Roberts can cast his spell with nothing but his singing and the rolling arpeggios from his guitar. For this show Roberts he'll be joined by two locals, bassist Nick Macri and drummer Charles Rumback. —Peter Margasak The Sea & Cake headlines; Luke Roberts and Brokeback open. $20, $18 in advance

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