Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Expo 70 returns to Chicago on Friday

Posted By on 01.18.12 at 10:00 AM

Justin Wright of Expo 70
  • Justin Wright of Expo 70
When Expo 70 last played in Chicago in the fall of 2010, multi-instrumentalist and sole constant member Justin Wright sat cross-legged in the audience. Together they faced his amp while he unspooled long, spacey guitar lines and satisfyingly bulbous synth blasts over the percolating syncopations of an antique drum machine.

The music had the levitational qualities of a magic carpet ride, and Wright probably wished he had a real magic carpet—he was in the midst of a 40-date U.S. tour, during which he drove himself across the country twice. It must have put him off road work for a while; though Expo 70 released a steady stream of tapes and records in 2011, Wright only left his Kansas City home for a handful of gigs in Saint Louis and at SXSW.

Wright is finally coming back to Chicago this Friday for a one-off appearance at the Burlington with local duo Cleared. They'll share a record-release show celebrating their respective albums for local label Immune Recordings. Journey Through Astral Projection is a high point in Expo 70's massive discography, but there's no guarantee that Wright will play any of its propulsive, open-ended jams. He's breaking in an expanded lineup with drummer Mike Vera (of Sounding the Deep) and bassist Aaron Osborne (Monta at Odds). After the concert they'll return to Missouri to begin work on their side of a four-way split double LP that Immune plans to release on Record Store Day and a CD for Brazil's Essence Music.

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