Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's been something of a wild ride lately. Let me tell you, I didn't think things were going to work out for a few weeks there. Life was sticky. Now it's the beginning of May and I'm sitting on a couch in Chicago listening to one of my favorite band's run rehearsal for their album release tomorrow. And life, well, it's okay. It's better than okay, really.

Band rehearsals really make me appreciate the beauty of live music. You can't witness the passion flowing out of people on an album, you can't really hear it unless you've got ears that are really trained on picking up such things or unless the band is tuned into something bigger than just creating aesthetics.  I'm not saying you cannot be moved by an album; I'm saying, for me, that I am always moved so much more by live performance, when I see the band light up the stage. When they catch fire. When that fire spreads to the audience.

So, tomorrow, if you're in Chicago and you want an experience, you want to be moved, you want to feel something other than life boggin' you down, you're going to be standing by me in the Hideout listening to The Damn Choir as they light up the stage for their album release. It's been a long road for this six-piece band. Theirs is a tale that has been laced with hardships and joys, but what is most important about these cats is that they don't quit. It is that perseverance that is going to get them somewhere, mark my words.

Take singer Gordon Robertson for instance. Give his lyrics a real good listen. They're drenched in heartache and pain, but man, are they good. They'll touch some part of you that's been where he's been and you'll feel for him. Each of us has been there, but have we been brave enough to battle our demons with our art? Have we faced the things that hurt us and transformed them into catalysts for something beautiful? Maybe not, but this man definitely has and his passion for his art is unquestionable. You can't help but be moved when you hear the words he's delivering.

The band's got an explosive sound that's going to grasp your attention regardless of how true the lyrics ring with your heart's condition. From the tambourine flourishes and solid setwork, straight up to the warm harmonies traded between the bass, guitar and cello, you're going to find something that speaks to you. You're going to be tapping your foot and you'll be rooting for these guys.

So, like I said, if you're in Chicago, I better see you at the Hideout. If you won't be there to welcome The Damn Choir's new album, You're My Secret Called Fire, into the world officially, you can head over to and get your copy.

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