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Chris Mills 

When: Mon., June 20, 9 p.m. 2011
Price: $5
Mills is the proverbial songwriter’s songwriter — an evocative artist whose acclaim has never matched his talent. His baritone swaggers with aching desperation through arrangements that have crossed from lumbering alt-country into sensuous chamber pop over the last 15 years. Its melancholy air recalls the Old 97s’ Rhett Miller, as does Mills’ very hooky roots approach. The country twang’s a consistent thread, even though at times he explores an orchestral mien and dusty rock swerve — particularly on 2008’s Living in the Aftermath. Both approaches work thanks to Mills’ well-crafted songs, which feel lived-in and crumpled around the edges, as if they spent time shoved into an overcrowded drawer. His latest release, Heavy Years: 2000-2010, collects tracks from four full-length releases and a pair of new tracks, including the gently rocking lament “All Our Days and Nights.”
— Chris Parker


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