Syd Straw | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Syd Straw 

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Syd Straw is the honeyed, railing voice on most of the more distinctive tracks laid down by the New York artdemimonde supergroup the Golden Palominos. On her solo debut, Surprise, nearly three years old at this point, she showed herself to be both a discriminating producer and dedicated risk taker; there are a couple of easy shots (a cover of the dB's "Think Too Hard" and a soaring duet with Michael Stipe), sure, but what you get from the album is an appreciation of how deftly she takes on some difficult melodies ("Heart of Darkness") and odd ensembles ("Golden Dreams," with instrumentation by computer 'n' guitar weirdos Roger Eno and Daniel Lanois) and makes them work. That's what a chanteuse is supposed to do; she's one for the rest of us. Straw will be doing several short sets in this month's Milly's Orchid Show, the performance-art-and-music variety show orchestrated by Brigid Murphy. Also on the bill: monologuist Cheryl Trykv; a special video made by New York's Blue Man Group; performance artist Matthew Owens; the Shams; and lots more. It's worth seeing. Saturday, 7:30 PM, Park West, 322 W. Armitage; 929-5959.

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

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