Chicago XX


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“We’ve made it to XX!! Yes, it took longer than it took Chicago to make it here, but that didn’t prevent us from calling it “Chicago XX,” did it? It’s a potent little sucker, too. Maybe we shouldn’t still be rocking out this much at “our advanced age,” but... well, we are! Harmony and dissonance, love and hate, oboes and drums… they all help to form this delicious and strange bedfellowship.
Maybe this is going out on a limb, but it’s possible that (in addition to the bevy of instruments on this album) this just might be our most gripping full-length to date on the vocal front: Carmen Armillas and Greg Beemster and Thymme all turn in some poignant and varied performances. And let’s face it, Shelby Donnelly’s artwork is something you’re gonna want to stare at…” – Cheer-Ax

Another really great, indefinable C-A album that stylistically veers everywhere and because of that maybe reminds me a little bit of ‘No Ifs, Ands Or Dogs’.

“Cheer-Accident have just released their 20th album, Chicago XX, whose cover pays terry-cloth tribute to the band once known as the Chicago Transit Authority. In terrible times, it’s important to treasure reassuring things, including brilliant but underappreciated local musicians who just don’t give up...not too many artists can make a chant of “life rings hollow” (on the Chicago XX song of the same name) sound so inspiring.
Founded in 1981, with the new Chicago XX, their third full-length in three years, these indefatigable weirdos have hit a hot streak late in the fourth decade of their career. Jones tells me he was delighted by a comment from a fan at a recent show who insisted that the band combine Chicago with the Art Ensemble of Chicago. It’s as accurate an elevator pitch as anything I could come up with, honestly, except that Cheer-Accident are far funnier than either.” – Monica Kendrick / Chicago Reader


released February 28, 2020

1. Intimacy (Jones-Rutledge) 2:10
Thymme Jones- guitar, drums, 3% vocals
Carmen Armillas- 97% vocals
Amelie Morgan- many oboes

2. Like Something To Resemble (Libersher-Rutledge) 4:39
Carmen Armillas- vocals
Jeff Libersher- guitar, bass, synthesizer
Thymme Jones- drums, trumpet, b-vox

3. Diatoms (Jones-Morgan) 2:57
Dante Kester- bass, keyboards
Thymme Jones- vocals, drums, synthesizer
Jeff Libersher- guitar

4. Life Rings Hollow (Libersher-Rutledge) 5:38
Greg Beemster- vocals
Jeff Libersher- guitar, keyboards, b-vox
Thymme Jones- drums, b-vox
Dante Kester- bass
Amelie Morgan- b-vox
Todd Rittmann- ersatz mellotron

5. I Don't Believe (Libersher-Rutledge) 7:37
Jeff Libersher- guitar, keyboards, b-vox
Carmen Armillas- vocals
Thymme Jones- drums, b-vox, trumpet
Dante Kester- bass
Sophia Uddin- viola
Mike Hagedorn- trombone

6. Plea Bargain (Jones-Kester-Libersher-Morgan-Rutledge) 4:09
Amelie Morgan- electric piano bass
Dante Kester- bass
Jeff Libersher- guitar
Thymme Jones- vocals, drums, keyboards, trumpet

7. Things (Libersher-Morgan) 5:50
Carmen Armillas- vocals
Thymme Jones- drums, trumpet, piano
Dante Kester- bass
Jeff Libersher- guitar, keyboards, bass, ersatz cello

8. Slowly For Awhile (Jones-Rutledge) 4:22
Maxx Katz- a million and a half flutes
Thymme Jones- autoharp, drums, moog, glockenspiel, vocals, found sound

Recorded and mixed at the Cheer-Ax Haus in Humboldt Park (Chicago, IL),
except "Life Rings Hollow," recorded at Todd's

Mastered by Todd Rittmann
Cover by Shelby Donnelly


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Cuneiform Records Washington, D.C.

Cuneiform Records is an independent record label releasing adventurous, boundary-bursting music by artists from around the world.

Founded in 1984.
Based in Washington D.C.

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Track Name: Intimacy
with a sledgehammer
and a pair of tweezers
obviously delicate
emergency procedures

at the bottom of this life
after all that occurs
has occurred impossibly
without combinations

existence becomes awareness
probably returns
obviously delegates
emergency procedures
Track Name: Like Something To Resemble
walk through the world of loss
all the way to save a place
from everything that ever will be gone

that's when the crowds arise
with their faces brightly shining
through the meaningless hidden behind

there you are
like something to resemble

bye-bye, baby
Track Name: Diatoms
I wait for ways
to wear you down
so then you know what way I am
what weight I have
why swim at all?

I won
I want to
right onto
thigh bone
I'm underground

I wake from mud
so wait
for what? some diatoms?
what way I am?
Track Name: Life Rings Hollow
life began with dreams of you
but, baby, what have you done
with the perfect sky so blue?

sight and sound soon cease to be
so I took a little ride on the side
of the I won't be there

I believe in concealing the feeling
took a little ride on the side
of the I won't be there

life rings hollow

took a little ride...

life rings hollow
Track Name: I Don't Believe
life out of time
too late to be unborn
how has the lie
found a place to belong
out of time
when there's no time for now
and be unafraid
of what it means to die
it's over
it's over and over
the never ending
will never end
it's over
it's over and over
I don't believe it's true
Track Name: Plea Bargain
I, I wanted nothing
filet my skin
sauté my love from within
outside of time
I come true

find, find a way to step inside this time of life
I found a way to get around time
Track Name: Things
why outside
of a room with no door?
camera obscured
left in the hall
in the sediment of evening
I killed you while you watched

risk averse
to a shrouded sunburn
ethernet smile
while I dissolved
in the ashes of the evening
I killed you while you watched

choke me with mesh to smile on
restrain and embrace
lie down the stairs
blades of glasses
we never go outside anymore
porch light is smoldering
your spite fence crumbling
I'm teething

rope me into the quiet
lights off, I'm bleeding
rinse out my mouth
burned out and yet
not smoking family fire anymore
where do the sleepers lie?
lacerated goodbye
I'm leaving
Track Name: Slowly For Awhile
solitary finds a corner
where the face can hide its features
from the innocence of those in love

rubbing off on broken glances
shattered into icon fragments
blind as the price of one on one

imitation loses reference
preying on the frightened senseless
now that memory has been undone

only after clouds have settled
in the place of what could matter
will there be another after all

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