Pan-American/Stars of the Lid | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Pan-American/Stars of the Lid 

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PAN-AMERICAN/STARS OF THE LID

If the recent onslaught of laptop-toting Teutonic sound artists has left you yearning for something a little more organic, this pairing of performers associated with the local Kranky label is your ticket. The Austin duo Stars of the Lid make their lush, glacially paced music the old-fashioned way. On their latest album, The Ballasted Orchestra, Adam Wiltzie and Brian McBride use a four-track recorder to compress electric guitars, cellos, and field recordings into tranquil, richly layered drones. In concert, effects pedals and tape loops do the tricks while films projected onto the players give a little extra focus to their drifting sounds. Pan-American is the solo project of Labradford guitarist Mark Nelson. On his debut CD he layers brooding keyboard melodies over dryly whispered vocals and pulsing, dubby rhythms. In concert, Nelson will use only an electric piano and a sampler to realize music composed specially for this show as well as a few of the album tracks. Charles Kim of Pinetop Seven and Fred Lonberg-Holm will open the concert with a series of pastoral steel-guitar and cello duets. Friday, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600. Bill Meyer

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Pan American and Stars of the Lid uncredited photos.

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