Freakers Ball: A Tribute To Shel Silverstein

Chicago Reader presents Tomorrow Never Knows

Freakers Ball: A Tribute To Shel Silverstein

with Jon Langford, Sally Timms, Martin Billheimer, AZITA, Mark Bazer, Rick Sherry, Nora O'Connor, Alison Cuddy, Tawny Newsome, Elysabeth Alfano, Cheryl Trykv, Elia Einhorn, Mia Park, Gnat Ward, Cynthia Plaster Caster, Marc Guarino, & more special guests!

Sun, January 15, 2012

8:00 pm

The Hideout

Chicago, IL

$20.00

Sold Out

Freakers Ball: A Tribute To Shel Silverstein
Freakers Ball: A Tribute To Shel Silverstein
Shel Silverstein was one of Chicago's most adored, prolific, and multifaceted writers. How many other folks could write and illustrate children's books, contribute to songs from the Nashville hit factory, and author serious poetry? Tonight's Freakers Ball bypasses the children's books and instead is going to focus on Silverstein's decidedly more adult books, poetry, and songwriting.

It will be an evening full of readings & music by special guests and band leader Jon Langford!
AZITA
AZITA
Local pianist and singer Azita wrote the songs on her terrific new album,Year (Drag City), for a 2006 musical of the same name by Brian Torrey Scott, who'd also enlisted her to create music for his 2005 play Detail From the Mountain Side. In the theatrical version of Year, Azita and guitarist Emmett Kelly occupied a corner of the stage, alternately functioning as a kind of Greek chorus and as the voices of certain characters. Her lyrics (Scott also wrote a few) confront their themes—in this case loss, change, and time—much less directly than is typical in musicals, which tend to spell things out clearly. For the recording Azita is joined by an excellent band—guitarist Sam Wagster, bassist Toby Summerfield, and drummer Adam Vida—that makes the exquisite melodic density of her music easier to parse than it was on her 2011 solo album,Disturbing the Air. The songs are supercatchy and elegantly constructed, filled with harmonic complexities and unexpected twists that put her in the company of classic pop songwriters such as Laura Nyro and Burt Bacharach, who also set rock melodies amid jazz-grade harmonies and chord changes. Stylistically she's never covered such a broad range: "Something That Happened" is reggae (with an extended dub interlude by Tortoise's Dan Bitney), "Out and Around" is a delicate piano ballad, and "Ice" is rollicking pop. It's never possible to get too comfortable in any of the genres she visits, though—her reedy voice and willfully disruptive phrasing keep you on edge in the best possible way. For tonight's show Azita is joined by Wagster, Vida, and bassist Nick Macri (Summerfield moved to Virginia earlier this year). —Peter Margasak
Nora O'Connor
Nora O'Connor
Nora O’Connor is a Chicago-based musician whose vocal talents are the secret weapon behind some of the city’s best performances and recordings. For much of 2013, O'Connor toured internationally as a singer in Iron and Wine, and she continues to record and perform with longtime collaborator, Andrew Bird. Nora also plays bass and sings back-up for Kelly Hogan (she recorded and toured with Hogan for her release I Like To Keep Myself In Pain on ANTI- Records) and in 2010, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy enlisted her and Hogan as primary vocalists on gospel legend Mavis Staples’ Grammy Award-winning album You Are Not Alone.

In the studio and on the stage, Nora has backed (among others) Neko Case, Jakob Dylan, The New Pornographers, Archer Prewitt, Chris Mills, The Aluminum Group, Otis Clay, Justin Roberts and Robbie Fulks. Though she may be primarily known for her signature honey-sweet vocals, Nora is also revered among her musician peers for her chops and versatility. She's a solid sender on guitar and bass, an enthusiastic and inspired collaborator, and always ninja-nimble and professional to a T -- just a few of the reasons why this lady's phone never stops ringing.

Nora first came to our attention as guitarist/vocalist for the late, great glam-country outfit The Blacks. All these talents must know something about the dulcet tones of Ms. O'Connor, and you should too.

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Venue Information:
The Hideout
1354 W. Wabansia Ave
Chicago, IL, 60642
http://www.hideoutchicago.com