“Lost Episodes” press release

PT08 – Chris Connelly – Lost Episodes
Cassette Limited to 100 on white tape!!!!

Format: C45

There is a core group of musicians – most now in their 30s and 40s – focused on the West side of Chicago that have been maturing together as musicians since the early-90s underground music boom.  Its an unnamed and criminally underappreciated scene that owes as much to the Art Ensemble of Chicago as it does U.S. Maple in the shaping of its eclectic sound: overnight recording sessions that adjoin purveyors of experimental rock and 21st century jazz, steeped in respect for its aging pioneers, and with an earnest disinterest of bloated fandom.  And they like to play – a lot – which is why Chicago has become such a fertile soil for their cultivation.  The area is sprinkled with residence-friendly clubs, supportive record stores, art spaces, lofts, handcrafted studios and music appreciators who always pay the suggested donation with a smile. The borders of modern music are being nudged most evenings in the candle-lit crevices of Chicago; you just have to keep your ears open.

Chris Connelly’s 2007 album The Episodes is an excellent example of the capabilities of this avant-garde scene.  It is a mature album, thoroughly conceived and patiently recorded – a portion of which was done-so one night outside in a chilly Wisconsin forest.  With the help of Ben Vida and Tim Kinsella, Connelly creates a fragile persona lost in a dense acoustic fog.  The sound is influenced – hints of Scott Walker’s menacing 20th Century operas, Van Morrison’s shambling Irish folk, Town & Country’s minimalist acoustic drones, Leonard Cohen’s enigmatic songwriting, and even the rhythmic undertones of the late-80s Industrial scene that gave Connelly his start – but never replicated.  It’s patient, poetic and a product of musicians instinctively in tune with each other.

Plustapes is proud to present an addendum to this excellent album.  Lost Episodes features three unreleased renditions of songs from the field-recorded session in the Wisconsin woods.  In addition, the tape culminates with two incredible live performances of “Mirror Lips” and “Henry vs Miller,” which feature Connelly in top form as he is joined by Ben and Adam Vida, Tim and Nate Kinsella, Josh Abrams and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz – all talented products of the aforementioned scene.  They interact with a free jazz state of mind, where improvisation is encouraged, the cacophony is intricate and the energy is palpable. It is the music of Chicago: caringly developed, often disheveled, and always distinct.