Windsor for the Derby | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Windsor for the Derby 

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When Mick Jagger sang "I'll come to your emotional rescue," it sounded like he was already on his way. But on Windsor for the Derby's brand-new album, The Emotional Rescue LP (Aesthetics), it's the singer who sounds like he needs help. Guitarist, keyboardist, and vocalist Dan Matz seems contented enough at the start of the record--on "The Same" he says that when he hears his lover call his name, "Every other love is put to shame"--but during the tracks that follow he slides into a deep pit of regret and disconnection. Fortunately Matz has a dry, restrained delivery, and the band's care and elegance mirror his reserve; the songs are never in danger of suffocating in pathos. Though the tunes are dense with information--fingerpicked acoustic and twanging electric guitars are underpinned by subtle keyboard lines and crisp drum patterns--each one fits together with the simple, unobtrusive logic of a folk song. Earlier this year Windsor for the Derby released Earnest Powers + (Emperor Jones), a grab bag of B sides and live tracks recorded mainly in the mid-90s, during the band's tenure in its original home of Austin, Texas (Matz now lives in upstate New York; the combo's other permanent member, guitarist and keyboardist Jason McNeely, is still in the Lone Star State). With its open-ended guitar excursions, pulsing synth workouts, and metronomic beats, the primarily instrumental collection almost sounds like the work of another band. Windsor for the Derby plan to play material from both releases on this tour; Aesthetics labelmates L'Altra open the Bottle show. Monday, July 1, 8 PM, Reckless Records, 1532 N. Milwaukee; 773-235-3727. Tuesday, July 2, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

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Performing Arts
The Great Leap Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Upstairs Theatre
September 05

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