Mike Donovan, Funs, Party Bat | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Mike Donovan, Funs, Party Bat 

When: Wed., Oct. 30, 9 p.m. 2013
Price: $10
Earlier this year shambling San Francisco garage band Sic Alps closed out its decade-long career with its most straightforward record, a concise three-song 12-inch of creeping psychedelia called She’s on Top. Over the past couple of years the ordinarily obscurantist band’s releases had made it increasingly obvious that front man Mike Donovan wanted to play music that was more intimate and direct, if not exactly polished. True to that implulse, his first postbreakup effort, Wot (Drag City), is a stripped-down folk-rock duo with Eric Park that uses guitar, vocals, percussion, and harmonica to sketch out songs whose air of instability evokes the spirit of loner classics such as Skip Spence’s Oar and Syd Barrett’s two solo albums (and whose occasional touches of swagger evoke the Stones). Donovan continues to evolve as a songwriter—the opener, “New Fieldhand Bop,” is a candid and relatively lucid song lamenting the toll technology is taking on our lives, and “Fly Them Yourself” layers subtle vocal harmonies over a gentle, bittersweet melody and rustic acoustic-guitar strumming. —Peter Margasak The Funs and Party Bat open.

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