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Kot Anoints The Redwalls

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 13, 2005 4:04PM

Please forgive us if we have mixed feelings about Greg Kot’s piece featuring the Redwalls 2005_06_13_redwalls.jpgin yesterday’s Tribune Arts and Entertainment section.

On Saturday night, Chicagoist was at Schuba’s for the Marah/Nick Hornby show. It was a unique event with Hornby reading unpublished essays about the bands that informed his musical youth (Rory Gallagher, The Clash, The Faces) interspersed with semi-obscure covers of songs by those same bands, courtesy of Marah. In the final essay, Hornby crafted an ode to Marah that also described the hypocrisy of the archetypical music snob: wishing your favorite bands were the ones topping the charts while silently cursing any newfound fame they acquire.

Which brings us to the Redwalls article.

Kot places the Redwalls within the context of Chicago’s past (and present) as a haven for melodic power pop. Having given birth to artists like Shadows of Knight (ask your Dad), Material Issue and um...Richard Marx, the city’s fourth wave of buzzworthy hyphenate bands like Fall Out Boy, the Ponys, and Scotland Yard Gospel Choir have brought coastal A&R reps back to the city, for better or worse.

It is both a blessing and a curse to be dubbed “the next big thing” in a music industry where waves of hype are quickly followed by undertows of backlash. In particular, Chicago’s music scene has too often resembled a Mean Girls-clique where any band that grows too big too fast will be torn down by whispering Iagos even as their national profile grows. As the Redwalls are still becoming what they are, we’re hoping this doesn’t happen to them anytime soon.