Dinosaur Jr., Steve Gunn, Thalia Zedek Band | Metro | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Thalia Zedek Band

Thalia Zedek Band

Ben Stas

Dinosaur Jr., Steve Gunn, Thalia Zedek Band 

When: Sat., Oct. 8, 9 p.m. 2016
Price: $31
Unlike wine, most rock musicians don’t improve with age, and of those who don’t flame out, very few with decades-long careers manage to keep generating excitement and fresh ideas. Boston’s Thalia Zedek proves to be a thrilling anomaly. As the focal point of Dangerous Birds, Uzi, Live Skull, and Come, she’s steadily evolved, transforming a brooding, sometimes nihilistic ennui into a wounded, often tender humanism with no place for bromides or shallow optimism. Last month the 55-year-old Zedek dropped one of her strongest records with Eve (Thrill Jockey), a collection of bittersweet ballads and midtempo rockers marked by dark, bruised melodies delivered in her weary voice. She’s always been a dynamic vocalist, but she’s become a genuinely brilliant singer, masterfully controlling her mahoganied wail to balance stark beauty and devastating vulnerability. Her band deserves a lot of credit, especially the way violist Michael David Curry and pianist Mel Lederman meld with Zedek’s guitar, toggling between vintage Stones at their most frayed and Patti Smith when she’s flexing her poetic muscle. Zedek’s lyrics convey wisdom through elliptical narratives, empathic entreaties, and frustrated scoldings, addressing loneliness in “Afloat” and embracing a fighting spirit in “Try Again.”
— Peter Margasak



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