Reviews, profiles and news about music in Chicago

Review: Red Red Meat

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 Before Tim Rutili launched Califone and before Brian Deck was the mastermind engineer behind the recent Iron & Wine and Modest Mouse records, the two were in Red Red Meat, an unsung hero of Chicago nineties indie rock that made its name on the Perishable and Sub Pop labels. Blues-influenced and experimental whenever it could be (I seem to recall pots and pans in the drum kit), Red Red Meat wasn’t completely unlike Califone, save for a bit more rock ‘n’ roll. While the band’s self-titled debut (1992) and follow-up “Jimmywine Majestic” (1994) were notable for their oddness and musical freak-outs, 1995’s “Bunny Gets Paid” was the group’s highest achievement, featuring several affecting songs, like sprawling opener “Carpet of Horses,” alt-rock gravel-road track “Chain Chain Chain” and, my personal favorite, the melancholic, slow-building dream that is “Gauze.” (The group disbanded in the late nineties.) “Bunny Gets Paid” closes with an inspired, bizarre and bittersweet cover of “There’s Always Tomorrow,” originally from the “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” film. “There’s always tomorrow/For dreams to come true/Tomorrow is not far away,” Rutili sings, and his sincerity, in the moment he utters these lines, could make your heart skip a beat. (Tom Lynch)

 Red Red Meat plays July 10 at Hideout, 1354 West Wabansia, (773)227-4433, at 9pm. $12.

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