Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Thinking Fellers Union Local 282


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Plunder is the last refuge of many musical scoundrels; bereft of good ideas, they lift someone else's to pump new blood into tired careers. Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, on the other hand, gives eclecticism a good name. The San Francisco-based quintet blends folk and rock, improvisation and structured songcraft, acoustic and electric instruments, and high- and low-tech recording methods into a pastiche that embraces the sublime and the ridiculous with equal fervor. The group reconcile their myriad sources by opening themselves to the random; typically songs aren't written but come from hours of uninhibited rehearsal-room jams that evolve into wiggy, multifaceted tunes. Their lyrics conjure a dream state of illogic that handily complements the pleasant disorientation evoked by the music. But the Thinking Fellers aren't slothful dabblers; years of heavy touring have combined with their sheer joy of playing together to produce an amazingly tight band. It's been well over a year since the last Thinking Fellers album, but they've just released a splendid new single that features caffeinated selections from Ennio Morricone's sound track to A Fistful of Dollars. Blonde Redhead and Stratotanker open. Sunday, 9 PM, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 525-6620.

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