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Expanding The Lesson Plan

By Tankboy on Apr 4, 2008 7:07PM

2008_04_textbook.gifTextbook has been kicking around Chicago with various line-ups for about a decade. The current crew, headed by Dave Lysien, has been the most static version of Textbook, and it shows. The band's early albums were fueled by Lysien's uncanny knack at writing catchy hooks, but felt more like compilations than proper albums.

That changed with Textbook's last disc, The Great Salt Creek, which saw the band making a giant leap forward with a solid collection of punk-inflected pop songs. The follow-up to that disc, Boxing Day Massacre, has taken three years to arrive, but it was worth the wait. The opening track "Outside" sets the tone for the remainder of the disc, equal parts All, Uncle Tupelo, and Cheap Trick. "Desperation Free" is the sort of song that lyrically appeals to the eternal 15-year-old in us, while sporting a a musical envelope that would fit equally well on Fuse or in the back room of Hideout. And later on, the raging "Called my Bluff" seethes and grinds as its protagonist laments his inability to make a connection.

Textbook is one of those weird beats that we could see both the kids going gonzo over, while the older crowd tips perspiring bottles of PBR the band's way in admiration. Most folks will have to wait until June to hear the album, when it's released nationally, but the band will have copies available at their local CD release show tomorrow night at The Note. We suggest you snap one up.

Textbook plays The Note tomorrow with The Midnight Shows, Kiss Catastrophe, and Highball. 1565 N Milwaukee, April 5, 9 p.m., $8, 21+