Carol Bui | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Carol Bui 

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Carol Bui's full-length debut, This Is How I Recover (released on her Drunken Butterfly label), stands up to and often surpasses the work of her avowed influences--Jeff Buckley, Throwing Muses, Mary Timony--and its angular guitars call to mind Bellini and Victory at Sea, two more of her favorites. The 25-year-old D.C. native plays introspective songs that are leavened by her wide-ranging and tuneful voice; on the title track her singing and her roiling guitar work make for a contrast as piquant as wasabi ice cream. I'm looking forward to her follow-up, which she recorded last summer with T.J. Lipple of Aloha and Chad Clark of Beauty Pill. Though she hasn't settled on a label, Bui is shooting for an early-2007 release, and if the rest of the album's songs are as good as the ones on her three-song demo, I'll release the damn thing myself: "Quan Am" boasts soaring vocals reminiscent of Corin Tucker, sublime guitar-vox interplay like Polly Jean Harvey's, and Lipple's rock-solid drumming. Decibully headlines and Elanors play second. a 9 PM, the Note, 1565 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-0011 or 866-468-3401, $8 in advance, $10 on the day of the show.

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