Carla Bozulich | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Carla Bozulich 

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Carla Bozulich has yet to be granted her rightful place in the pantheon of brilliant rock 'n' roll women, and I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's because she's too happy straddling the line between accessibility and its antithesis to ever produce the unconflicted anthem that's strongly suggested for those seeking admission. Nothing demonstrates this better than the droning, wailing, indulgent requiem that opens her new album, Evangelista (Constellation). I can hear a little pissed-off Meredith Monk in there, a little free-rangin' Patty Waters, a little Patti Smith growling in tongues--but it mostly makes me think of what The Marble Index might've sounded like if Nico had been less of an icy fatalist and more of a brawling wildcat. If you've been hoping Bozulich would further explore the gift for dark country balladry that made her 2003 do-over of Willie Nelson's The Red-Headed Stranger such an oddball masterpiece, you'll have to keep hoping (though glimmers can be heard in dirges like "Steal Away"). Some might credit (or blame) her long partnership with Nels Cline for the ascendance of her experimental side, but I'm not having it: this album--recorded in Montreal with many members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor--sounds like nothing so much as the bleeding, shipwrecked remains of Bozulich's old band the Geraldine Fibbers. Dead Science and Anni Rossi open. Fri 7/21, 10 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $12.

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