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By Andy Argyrakis
Bloc Party Weekend Report: Seal gets soulful, Bloc Party is back
Friday, March 27, 2009

With every album released, Bloc Party continues to distance itself from 2005's pulsating breakthrough Silent Alarm. Its sophomore CD A Weekend In the City wasn't nearly as catchy, while the new Intimacy (Atlantic) falls somewhere in the middle of the two but never finds traction, if only due to its somewhat sparse and uninspired arrangements. Even if the set list is a one in three toss up, front man Kele Okereke is endlessly energetic and should be able to entertain. (Worth a shot - Saturday at Aragon Ballroom- Chicago, IL: www.jamusa.com).

Perpetual road warrior Vince Gill continues his endless trek in support of his box set of all original material These Days (MCA Nashville). The 2008 Grammy Award winner for "Best Country Album" actually possesses a much wider stylistic scope that includes bluegrass, Sealpop and blue-eyed soul, a combination sure to account for over 22 million albums sold. But Gill is far from a commercial cash-in, instead focusing on the musicality in concert and also allowing requests to come straight out of the crowd. (Bet Your Life - Saturday at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino- Hammond, IN: www.thevenue-chicago.com).

When Seal toured in support of his club CD System last year, he was absolutely astounding at reinventing himself as an artist and plugging into present tense. Though the singer's latest CD Soul (Warner Brothers) finds him flashing back to the past to cover several soul classics, it's not a regression like one might expect. Instead, the project finds Seal putting his personal stamp on familiar favorites from Al Green, Sam Cooke and Curtis Mayfield, which are sure to come out in concert, alongside past hits. (Bet Your Life - Wednesday at Civic Opera House- Chicago, IL: www.ticketmaster.com)
The Decemberists Street Week: The Decemberists return, Pearl Jam unearthed
Monday, March 23, 2009

Indie heroes The Decemberists return with The Hazards Of Love (Capitol), the group's first project since the national breakthrough album The Crane Wife. Even with the three year gap, the band hasn't been on break for a single second, touring tirelessly throughout the club and festival circuit and also finding front man Colin Meloy stepping aside for a brief solo run. Nonetheless, this British-folk themed album finds the band in top form and giving fans plenty to sink their teeth into across 17 tracks.

Jazz /rock fusion pioneers Return To Forever may be best known for its 1970s outpouring, but a recent reunion found the all-star band picking right back up where members left off. The aptly titled double disc concert collection Returns (Eagle Records) once again features keyboardist Chick Corea, bassist Stanley Clarke,Pearl Jam guitarist Al Di Meola and drummer Lenny White as chronicled on their first tour in 25 years. Several solos abound on the project, but the band's at its best when collaborating across classic tracks like "No Mystery," "Romantic Warrior" and "Dual of the Jester and the Tyrant."

Outside of Nirvana, competitors Pearl Jam were probably the most influential act in the grunge rock movement of the early 1990s. And nearly 20 years later, its debut disc Ten is still being celebrated, this time with a triple disc deluxe edition on Sony Legacy. Besides the original collection remastered, a bonus disc is filled with remixes and B-sides, while a DVD features the band's "MTV Unplugged" performance that promoted the album.

The Dish Archives 2009

Mar. 16 - 20
Mar. 9 - 13
Mar. 2 - 6
Feb. 23 - 27
Feb. 16 - 20
Feb. 9 - 13
Feb. 2 - 6
Jan. 26 - 30
Jan. 19 - 23
Jan. 12 - 16
Jan. 5 - 9
Dec. 29 - Jan. 2
The Dish Archives - 2008
The Dish Archives - 2007

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