Monday, September 21, 2009

Skybox at Mojo’s, 9/22/09

Late notice alert! Reserve your Skybox today. Don’t spend your Tuesday night stuck at home in the bleachers… come, come to Mojo’s to check out Skybox. You'll have the best seat in the house for these indie popsters from Chicago. I guarantee you they will get the party started right—at least, if they are anywhere near as fun as in their video for “Various Kitchen Utensils."

So what do we know about these up-and-comers? Skybox are a Chicago quartet from Arizona with even older roots in Missouri (lead vocalist Tim Ellis still divides his time between Kansas City and Chicago). They’ve been compared to everyone from the cabaret-inspired Dresden Dolls to the psychedelic Flaming Lips to the glamtastic Of Montreal—and everything in between. In 2006, they self-released their album Arco Iris on iTunes and stirred things up with the hit “Various Kitchen Utensils" (see above). Almost immediately hungry fans wanted more from that freak-folk kitchen. And so Skybox served up “In a Dream"—a much more electro-infused synth track, which generated a lot of buzz after being featured in an iPod commercial.

Try to avoid the swell from that New Wave. I dare you.

The band's latest release, Morning After Cuts, is due out in January 2010. After checking out Arco Iris, I’m definitely anticipating the morning after. Judging from the difference in sound between "Various Kitchen Utensils" and "In a Dream," the band has taken a turn to the 80s dark side in the most brilliant way. Singer Tim Ellis, who lapses into a Devendra Banhart vibrato from time to time, rides the sweet, sweet melodies of pianist/guitarist Christian Fields, who spills out some truly gorgeous piano ballads above the catchy rhythm section powered by Mike Holtz and Dan Ingenthron.

Again, I apologize for the late notice on this one. This band is a very recent discovery of mine (thanks to a lovely tip on Monday), and I only wish I had caught them a year ago at any of Chicago’s fine music venues. From what I hear, they are very fun, very high-energy, and very eccentric on stage. I’m not exactly sure what the “eccentricity” involves, but there’s a song called “Disco Duck” on their first album, and that can never, ever be a bad thing, right? Find out for yourself what really happens in the Skybox Tuesday night at Mojo’s.

Skybox opens for The Rural Alberta Advantage and Love Language at 8:00 at Mojo’s, Tuesday, September 22.

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