Simon Joyner / John Bellows / Circuit des Yeux
Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 9:00 PM CST
Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL
21 years and over
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Often called the godfather of the Omaha scene, and a major influence on CONOR OBERST of BRIGHT EYES, SIMON JOYNER has released one challenging song-cycle after another on indie labels since the early 90s. Combining compelling, lyric-driven, story songs, JOYNER has invited comparisons to such songwriting legends as LEONARD COHEN, BOB DYLAN, TOWNES VAN ZANDT and NICK DRAKE. The folk troubadour is celebrating 20 years with an album MTVHive hails for tweaking “The alt-folk recipe by tossing some tart, twisted post-punk influences into the mix, sort of like wrapping a delicately handcrafted gift in razor wire.” JOHN BELLOWS returns and kicks off tonight’s eclectic bill with his unhinged folk primitivist approach to acoustic songwriting. Whether he’s playing from the stage or unplugged on the floor, BELLOWS’ whirlwind performances constantly keep us guessing and his approachably maniacal charm is sure to win over any crowd. CIRCUIT DES YEUX is HALEY FOHR, a young lady barely old enough to order a beer, from Lafayette, IN. 2011 saw the release of her third long player on De Stijl Records,Portrait, a “stunning and utterly singular record, glued together (or thoroughly unglued) with bent electronics, delayed vocals, drifting percussion, piano and acoustic guitar,” in the words of Other Music. The effort is full of imagination, murky, decaying soundscapes and FOHR’s fallen-angelic vocals and translates in interesting ways live.