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The Vision, the Equation, and the Moving Parts: Canasta, March 25 at the River Music Experience
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2011-03-11 16:40:50

Canasta. Photo by Sarah Hadley.

(Editor’s note: This article was originally published in advance of Canasta’s February 3 River Music Experience show, which was canceled. It has been re-scheduled for Friday, March 25. Show information has been updated in the article.)

The six-piece Chicago orchestral-pop band Canasta began writing songs for its second album shortly after the release of its first – We Were Set Up – in 2005.

It took five years for The Fakeout, the Tease, & the Breather to get finished and released. That’s a lifetime in the music business, and probably two or three lifetimes for a band that’s still trying to break through – with all the members holding down “real” jobs in addition to their band duties.

Canasta will be performing an all-ages show March 25 in the River Music Experience’s performance hall, and it should be evident that the labor that went into The Fakeout, the Tease, & the Breather was fruitful. Both the Huffington Post and Metromix named it one of the best Chicago albums of 2010. The Chicago Reader called it “so perfect – every note falling into place with deeply satisfying craftsmanship – that you’ll swear you’ve heard it before.” And The Onion’s AV Club said: “You can almost feel storm clouds parting for the 11 sunny, rollicking songs that lay ahead. For nearly a decade, the local chamber-pop group has managed to retain its ambition and melodic optimism, without ever coming across as winking.”

But in truth, the half-a-decade story of the album is less about nailing the nuances over time than an unusually liquid lineup.

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