Cotton Jones, Lightning Dust, Dan Smart Field Auxiliary | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Cotton Jones, Lightning Dust, Dan Smart Field Auxiliary 

When: Sat., May 23, 10 p.m. 2009
Price: $10
Led by Michael Nau and Whitney McGraw from Page France, Cotton Jones seem to be going for a restrained kind of cool on their recent debut, Paranoid Cocoon (Suicide Squeeze), injecting their modest, rustic pop tunes with the suave, mannered sophistication of a 60s nightclub act. Nau adopts a low croon that alternately sounds like Jim Morrison at his creepiest and Chris Isaak at his most saccharine—without the strength and range of either—and McGraw often adds gentle vocal harmonies, which help dilute the impression that he’s just imitating those guys. Unfortunately her detached, barely inflected drawl—I hear the influence of Mazzy Star—doesn’t bring too much else to the table. The melodies on Paranoid Cocoon are pleasant enough, and so is the overall vibe, but when I listen to the album I don’t get drawn into it—I end up trying to decide what it reminds me of. Lightning Dust and the Dan Smart Field Auxiliary open. —Peter Margasak

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