When: Sat., Jan. 8, 9 p.m. 2011
I've never heard of another band that operates like the Vulgar Boatmen. Formed in Florida in 1982 by Walter Salas-Humara (now with the Silos), the group evolved into two semi-independent units with the same name. The Boatmen ended up with guitarist Dale Lawrence in Indiana and guitarist Robert Ray in Florida; they wrote songs together by exchanging tapes, and each led his own local version of the band. Over the years Ray's combo, responsible for the Vulgar Boatmen's recordings, has become less and less active—the most recent album of new material came out in 1995, and never got a formal release in the States. But Lawrence's Indiana branch, more oriented toward gigging, has become a bona fide midwestern cult band, and can usually be relied upon to roll out its engaging folk rock and indie-pop, built on a foundation of Buddy Holly and deepened with a layer of melancholy, for at least one local show a year. Since 2008 filmmaker Fred Uhter has been shadowing the group to produce the hour-long documentary Drive Somewhere: The Saga of the Vulgar Boatmen, which premiered at the Naperville Independent Film Festival this September. Named after one of the VB's prettiest and most wistful tunes, it purports to follow the band to its last gig (which of course wasn't) and offer a eulogy to something beautiful, rare, and not quite dead. VB fans Alejandro Escovedo, Greg Kot, and Richard Buckner also add their insights to Drive Somewhere, which will be screened before the show. The Injured Parties open.
Price: $12, $10 in advance