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Rethinking Our Assumptions One Baby Step at a Time

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 23, 2006 7:58PM

2006_08_katietodd.JPGWe here at Chicagoist Towers confess that we are occasionally music snobs, and that this rampant snobbery can allow the occasional gem to slip undiscovered under our very noses. For years we have avoided The Katie Todd Band for a number of reasons. She was often paired with bands we considered only fit for the Cubby Bear circuit or (even worse, shudder) the suburbs. In our defense, we do remember being pretty drunk at Double Door a few years ago, and she was dishing out a rather generic, and pretty lousy, dose of chick-frat rock. Come to think of it, we’ve never really had anything nice to say about her.

Imagine our surprise when, for some unfathomable reason, we got her CD in the mail a few weeks back.

Imagine our even greater surprise when it didn’t suck!

Apparently, Chicago via Minneapolis’s little girl is all growns up now, and has successfully ditched most of the predictable trappings that soured us on her in the first place. Her songs aren’t exactly cutting edge, or even all that original, but she does a fair job of infusing them with enough personality to make listening to them a pleasure.

Todd’s real strength is her voice, an instrument with a strong range that retains integrity and avoids melodrama. The major fault we have with most female-fronted Alternative Adult Contemporary bands, and let’s be fair and admit this is ultimately Todd’s audience, is that their singers too readily fall into a certain stereotype. The result is a sea of similar sounding bands with interchangeable songs utterly devoid of and distinguishing character. The genetic make-up of Todd’s songs is similar to these faceless tunes, but her dose of charisma keeps her from drowning underneath the waves.

We’re a bit sad that it took us this long to catch on, though (again to be fair) we could say that it has taken her this long to mature into something more distinctive. Whatever the case may be, her guitarist has decided to move to Portland to open a coffee shop (we’re not even going to touch this one since the jokes are just too easy) and the band is going on a hiatus while Todd regroups and rethinks her approach. Luckily, we have one last chance to catch them, tonight, at Double Door opening up for (Chicagoist fave) Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s.