Tierra del Fuego: Queen of the Rendezvous

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Artist: Tierra del Fuego Title: Queen of the Rendezvous Release date: December 11 Label: Scapular Winging

Through pure happenstance, I witnessed this local band, Tierra del Fuego, on Saturday night play as they played to a small but appreciative crowd at Trunk Space. It just happened to be the band's CD release gig, and the price of admission came with the band's new CD. It was the best $7 I spent all weekend.

The show was real good, and the CD is outstanding -- a good-natured and warm celebration of Western swing, old-school country, modern alt-country, Southwestern eclecticism, and even some Blasters-inspired roots-abilly. Bloodshot Records, sign these guys already.

The quartet is the complete package -- top-notch musicianship that eschews flashiness and never strays beyond being totally tasteful, confident two- and three-part harmonies, and a solid collection of songs that aren't afraid to flirt around the edges of their genre. When I saw these guys Saturday, they even played a straight-faced country take on the ridiculous punk chestnut "I Love Livin' in the City" by Fear. It was the perfect statement for another under-attended night on sad ol' Grand Avenue.

I've been playing this record a ton since Saturday night. And this is one of the best local bands I've seen this year -- and I've seen a ton. Check out their website to hear some music and find out when they're playing next.

Best song: Upbeat: "Bounded Glory." Downbeat: "In the Garden, On the Vine" Rotation: Heavy Deja Vu: Back when I lived in Chicago, a decade ago, this band would've packed the Hideout. I'd rather listen to: I've since found out that Tierra del Fuego shares ace guitarist James Pyper with Man About a Dog, whose 2010 record, Viva!, is pretty awesome too. Grade: A

December 10 -- Odds 'n' Sods: Helmet, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Ron Wood, and more December 9 -- Mini Mansions: Mini Mansions (B+) December 8 -- Sun City Mariachi: Funeral Mariachi (B+) December 7 -- Daft Punk: Tron Legacy (C) December 6 -- The Parting Gifts: Strychnine Dandelions (B)

December 3 -- Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (D+) December 2 -- Sharon Van Etten: Epic (B) December 1 -- OFF!: First Four EPs (A-) November 30 -- Robyn: Body Talk (B+) November 29 -- Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3: Northern Aggression (A-)

November 16 -- Stereolab: Not Music (B-)
November 15 -- The Fresh & Onlys: Play It Strange (C+)

November 12 -- Podcast #10

November 4 -- Salem: King Night (B+)
November 3 -- Matt & Kim: Sidewalks (C-)

October 27 -- The 88: The 88 (B)

October 26 -- Warpaint: The Fool (B+)

September 28 -- No Age: Everything in Between (A-)

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