Thalia Zedek, Wrekmeister Harmonies, Good Willsmith | Township | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Thalia Zedek, Wrekmeister Harmonies, Good Willsmith 

When: Fri., Feb. 7, 9 p.m. 2014
Price: $10
Now in her fourth decade as a musician, Thalia Zedek has entered an exceptionally fruitful period. Last year she reunited with the original members of her blues-smeared postpunk group Come to support a reissue of its 1993 debut, Eleven: Eleven, but she’s also been making new music, and it’s some of the best of her career. On Via, released in March 2013 by Zedek and her four-piece band, her voice sounds better than ever, its smoky, slightly serrated edges buffed by a mahogany sweetness. The lineup balances firepower against melancholy beauty, with Mel Lederman’s dark piano and David Michael Curry’s viscous viola providing counterpoint to Zedek’s crude but effective electric guitar strumming. Last fall the quintet returned to the studio to cut the forthcoming EP Six (due February 25 on Thrill Jockey), a bleaker, stormier record, with Zedek’s singing, as wounded as it sounds, working like a salve for the bruising rhythms of bassist Winston Braman and drummer Jonathan Ulman (the only new member since Via). “Midst” is a brief, moody instrumental, and the six-track EP includes a cover of Freakwater’s “Flathand” that Zedek recorded for Thrill Jockey’s seven-inch box set Plum in 2007. The four new songs—among them “Afloat,” which is seven simmering minutes of just the singer and her guitar—sure make it sound like Zedek is peaking in her 50s. This is her first Chicago gig with her own band since 2008. —Peter Margasak Wrekmeister Harmonies and Good Willsmith open.

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