G. Love & Special Sauce | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

G. Love & Special Sauce 

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"I'm your garbage man," mumbles G. Love, demonstrating how he has managed to broaden his curious mush-mouthed delivery into an original and effective rap-influenced sprechgesang--all of which serves to underline the old saw that often it's not what you mumble, but how you mumble it. Meanwhile the Special Sauce rhythm section follows him up with one- and two-chord vamps that betray a much deeper spiritual understanding of the funk pulse than one usually hears from young white bands like this. G. Love's strangely assertive staccato drawl defines the fresh sound and attitude of the group: they can get away with occasionally seasoning the funk with blues guitar riffs, jazzy walking bass lines, and Little Walter-style harmonica without ever sounding arch, dated, or lame. I must confess I have a tough time concentrating on exactly what in heck G. Love is ranting about--except to note that it's fairly strong on free association, leaning toward variations on the rakishly sexual. On some cosmic level it all just sounds like he's hittin' on some gal, though with far more imagination than your average barroom cad. What Captain Beefheart once said about himself and his Magic Band--"We're men, playing men's music to women"--could certainly apply here, too, with G. Love exclaiming "I'm a swordfish!" as his cohorts go skittering across the room on a welter of broken bass patterns. Wednesday, 8 and 10 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport; 525- 2508. Thursday, 9 PM, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 525-6620. Next Friday, July 15, 11 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 549-0203. Next Saturday, July 16, 10:30 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee; 489-3160.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Karim Ek.

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