Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band, Mind Over Mirrors, Douglas McCombs | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band, Mind Over Mirrors, Douglas McCombs 

When: Sun., Feb. 23, 7 p.m. 2014
Price: $8
When people say “classic rock,” they’re usually referring to the radio format that’s stuck on a few legacy bands from the 70s and 80s. But if you take “classic” to mean “archetypal,” I don’t mind saying that Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band are currently the acme of classic rock. You don’t have to listen to the Philadelphia-based guitarist’s solo records for long to figure out that he’s absorbed Jimmy Page’s arrangement acumen, Neil Young’s extravagant passion, and Keith Richards’s rhythmic savagery—but he’s also internalized the distinctive improvisational methodologies of the Grateful Dead, the Dream Syndicate, and especially Television. Last year Forsyth put together a four-piece band—guitarist Paul Sukeena, bassist Peter Kerlin, and drummer Steven Urgo—to play the open-ended instrumentals on his excellent album, Solar Motel (Paradise of Bachelors), thus dropping into place the final piece necessary to let him stand alongside his inspirations. After a residency at Ortlieb’s Lounge and a few short east-coast tours, the Solar Motel Band had stoked an incendiary chemistry that makes its live Soundcloud recordings flare with the same wild incandescence as Television’s The Blow-Up. Opening this early concert are Douglas McCombs of Tortoise and Brokeback (playing a rare solo set on six-string bass) and Mind Over Mirrors, the hypnotic drone project of harmonium and electronics player Jaime Fennelly, an old bandmate of Forsyth’s from Peeesseye. —Bill Meyer



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