Friday, March 17, 2006

Concert Recommendation: Billy Bragg and Jill Sobule, Double Door, March 20

Especially after hearing that Jill Sobule is opening, I was crushed that I won't be able to attend this show. For those who have somehow missed him over the years, Billy Bragg is the world's leading punk-inspired romantic, socialist folkie. While his music and his shows are filled with leftist opinion, his humor, approachability, genuine concern for others and self-deprecation make him palatable whatever one's political leanings. I've never come across another artist who makes a habit of emerging after his shows just to chat with fans. Billy is touring in support of a new box set that collects much of his early work.

Casual observers might dismiss Jill Sobule as a one-hit novelty act for "I Kissed a Girl," but she is a wry songwriter with a gift for catchy melodies and an eye for unexpected subject matter. For example, her last album, Underdog Victorious, offered a sympathetic ode to '60s sex symbol Joey Heatherton.

Billy Bragg and Jill Sobule play the Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, 773.489.3160, at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, March 20.

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