SHELLAC at the Crofoot Ballroom

doors at 8PM
tickets: $10


SHELLAC: First area appearance in over six years. All Music nails the uniqueness of this show by starting their Shellac entry with: "More likely to play Reykjavik than Detroit." Why don't you take it away, Andy? "... and more likely to release songs on flexi-discs in Dutch comic books than provide MP3s on their website, Shellac (or Shellac of North America) operates completely outside the typical machinations of the music industry -- their press sheets typically exclaim "no free lunch," referring to promo copies -- and the trio has carved out a sizable niche as a minimalist rock band. Started in an informal setting between infamous engineer and guitarist Steve Albini (ex-Just Ducky, Big Black, Rapeman) and drummer Todd Trainer (ex-Rifle Sport, Brick Layer Cake) in 1992, Shellac came into full formation after Albini invited bassist Bob Weston (ex-Sorry, Volcano Suns, currently also of Mission of Burma) to move to Chicago, employing him as an engineer at his studio. A clutch of singles soon appeared in 1993 and 1994 on Touch and Go and Drag City, somewhat following in the footsteps of Albini's Big Black and Rapeman, if only due to his trebly, cutting guitar work and deadpan vocals. As with Big Black, Shellac provides a forum for Albini to air his thoughts on the uglier side of humanity, though lowering the perversity and upping the humor a notch. (An early claim was that all Shellac songs concerned either baseball or Canada, sometimes both in the same song.) The odd rhythms of Trainer and rumbling bass of Weston, however, clearly remove Shellac from any of the members' previous involvements. Though each of the members has regular jobs to tend to (Albini and Weston kept busy enough working with other bands), Shellac tours at a sporadic pace ... Between-song banter is more likely to consist of question-and-answer sessions with the crowd than proclamations of how much the band likes the city they're in. Sharing a skewed sense of humor that is fully apparent in their recordings and excellent packaging, it's possible that a concertgoer can walk away from a Shellac show with anything ranging from an autographed baseball to visions of Weston in a bunny outfit." CHRIS BROKAW opens. Tickets are now available at the Crofoot box office, and at ROCK-A-BILLY'S, STORMY RECORDS, and WAZOO.


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