OK, what's happening to me? I like rock. I like punk. I like indie. I like harmonies. And maybe a little folk. But when I got word of Aurora's Kevin Presbrey's new album and gave it a listen, I was intrigued. But confused.
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It sounds like country, that's why!
I didn't know much about his breakout band Painkiller Hotel, the Chicago-based alternative quartet that jumped from the local scene to the national with appearances on "Real World Sydney" and "The Hills" and a 2008 slot at South By Southwest.
Presbrey carries that Southern rock feel he lent to the Painkiller Hotel vocals to the songs on his solo album "Dust Unto Dust." The melodies have a simplicity reminiscent of some of the best alternative rock from the late '90s. But simplicity doesn't mean no soul. Not at all.
Presbrey's songs have a depth that belies the two years of jotted lyrics, thoughts and pondering that went into this labor of love, a soul that's bound to translate to his live shows. So much so that I might even be converted.
And to say he's doing something right onstage seems to be an understatement. Catch Kevin Presbrey as he visits a series of suburban bars over the next few weeks. And check him out at soundcloud.com/kevinpresbrey or kevinpresbrey.com.
8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at EvenFlow, 302 W. State St., Geneva, (331) 248-0269 or evenflowmusic.com. No cover, 21-and-over show.
10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at Ballydoyle, 28 W. New York St., Aurora, (630) 844-0400 or ballydoylepub.com. No cover, 21-and-over show.
9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Rebounds, 1901 Bridge St., Yorkville, (630) 553-5900. No cover, 21-and-over show.
For years, Bonnie Koloc was a queen at the Earl of Old Town, presiding over crowds who would stand in line to hear her take on folk and jazz and the blues. Over the next 40-odd years she would proceed to put out 14 albums and receive numerous awards for her musical achievements.
Koloc also dabbled in the theatrical and print arts, culminating in her 1996 one-woman show, "A Bestiary," a collection of linocuts of farm animals, each with a corresponding poem and song. Since then, her grasp of the arts has grown, as she's written a musical and illustrated several books, all while continuing to further her musical career.
On Sunday, Aug. 11, Koloc will spend the afternoon at Long Grove's annual summer outdoor concert series. Since her folk concert will be outdoors, bring a blanket or some lawn chairs, maybe a picnic (or snag something from a local vendor), and sit back and enjoy the free show.
• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald copy editor who now knows the value of turning it down a little bit. He writes about the summer music scene every Friday.