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In Your Living Room

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Album Review

For their second release, In Your Living Room, Chicago's indie/post-rock supergroup Chestnut Station transform themselves into the city's hardest-working party band. Recorded live at the Hideout and other local venues, Rian Murphy, Rick Rizzo, Mark Greenberg, and the rest of the group cut loose on 11 energetic renditions of '60s and '70s pop and soul sides originally performed by Fun & Games, the Rascals, Don Covay, and Mitch Ryder, who Murphy does a convincing impersonation of on the opening track, "Breakout!" At its best, In Your Living Room conveys the energy of a party as well as the group's love for these songs; the cover of the Bugaloos' "For a Friend" is treated just as reverently, and performed as vibrantly as Allen Toussaint's "What Do You Want the Girl to Do" and the Kinks' "Sitting on My Sofa." However, the album's weak points come from the same source as its strengths: The solos and breakdowns on "Right On" are somewhat tedious on record, but were probably more enjoyable live, and while the cover of Hoyt Axton's "Snowblind Friend" is worthy, it slows down In Your Living Room's middle section. Overall though, upbeat tracks like "Elephant Candy" and "The Boomerang" make this album a lot of fun for fans of classic soul, bubblegum, and pop, and for anyone curious as to how these usually restrained musicians would treat such exuberant music.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The sunny pop combo Chestnut Station features a host of Chicago-scene veterans, including singer/songwriter/guitarist/Drag City fixture Rian Murphy, his younger brother and drummer Brendan Murphy, Eleventh Dream Day's Rick Rizzo, the Coctails' Mark Greenberg, bassist Paul Caporino, and guitarist John Whitney. The group debuted in 1998 with a self-titled EP; though each of the members' other commitments took priority over Chestnut Station, the group's occasional gigs made them live favorites in Chicago....
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In Your Living Room, Chestnut Station
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