Jack Logan/Simon Bonney | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Jack Logan/Simon Bonney 

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Jack Logan's sprawling 1994 debut, Bulk (Medium Cool), spreads 42 songs over two CDs lasting more than two hours. Culled from some 600 tunes he recorded with a variety of musically inclined drinking buddies between 1985 and 1993, this inordinately high-quality collection portrays Logan as an unconscious style hopper who can switch among pop, country, folk, and blues rock without hesitation. Though it's difficult to put a tag on the music, it bristles with an unassuming urgency, and its relatively lo-fi charm is magnified by the fact that Logan and longtime partner Kelly Keneipp never intended to release this stuff: it started off as Logan's hobby. Australian native Simon Bonney, best known for his melodramatic caterwauling in Crime and the City Solution, has developed an obsession for Americana similar to that of his spiritual kinsman Nick Cave. Thankfully, as his fine new album Everyman (Mute) attests, Bonney's vocals are lighter and he cops a less self-righteous 'tude about his cultural pillaging. When Bonney appropriates American white-trash lore, he

doesn't romanticize it: "Well, I heard it in a Shoney's outside of Michigan City." Blustery, almost exuberant hooks dot the collection, and his country borrowings add rusti-

city to his elegant, baroque pop constructions. The concept suggested by the title is a bit pompous, but between Bonney's expressive singing and the daring full-blown production the album succeeds. Bonney will perform with a spare acoustic combo. Logan's show is his Chicago debut. Saturday, 10 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport; 525-2508.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photos/Jay Smiley, Peter Milne.

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