Someone Else's Deja Vu
Author: J. Niimi
07/10/2008 | Chicago Reader | www.chicagoreader.com | Live Show Preview
Joe Knapp, the singer-songwriter behind Son Ambulance, has long been an associate of Conor Oberst—he's a former member of Bright Eyes, and his band's records have all been released by Saddle Creek—but his subdued, dreamy sound is pretty much the polar opposite of Bright Eyes' itchy emo. Unlike previous efforts, the act's newest full-length, Someone Else's Deja Vu, is mainly Knapp solo, with help from regular confederate Jeff Koster plus members of the Faint and Tilly & the Wall. The main reference point here is mellow, late-60s/early-70s folk rock like Simon & Garfunkel and early Bee Gees, with sundry detours into samba-inflected pop ("A Girl in New York City"), blue-eyed soul ("Wild Roses"), and Elliott Smith-like DIY folk ("Horizons"). Knapp never strays for long, though, from his cardinal mood, which is introspective melancholia; this is no album for a horny summer night, but it's perfect for a rainy afternoon. Jennifer O'Connor and Fair Herald open. Arrow 9 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $10, $8 in advance.