Victor Villarreal, Julia Steiner, Rich Salamander | Subterranean | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Victor Villareal

Victor Villareal

Courtesy the artist

Victor Villarreal, Julia Steiner, Rich Salamander 

When: Sat., Feb. 27, 7 p.m. 2016
Price: $8
Guitarist Victor Villarreal’s solo compositions are no less freakish in construction—and no less mind-boggling in their rapid-fire chill—than his crystalline work with indie-emo powerhouses Cap ’N Jazz, Owls, and Joan of Arc, and even though you’ve long heard his unique cascading style of picking for decades now, it never fails to hypnotize. On his latest full-length for Joyful Noise, last year’s Sleep Talk, Villarreal flirts with being discordant as he flutters around the neck of his guitar, but you come to realize he’s toying with melody, hopping along the edge of it on one leg because he can. Tracks like “Dirtbike Girls” and the awesome seven-minute-long journey “A Mad Dad Dash” are held together more by Villarreal’s frenetic improvisational-like playing than his off-kilter vocals, which are often paper thin enough to blow by in the breeze left by his guitar. At the core of it all, as with the majority of his projects, is a kind of indescribable beauty and awe, bolstered by the realization that Chicago gets to claim him as its son.
— Kevin Warwick

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