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Building The Bishop

By Lizz Kannenberg in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 17, 2008 5:25PM

2008_11_bishop.jpgBishop Allen spent 2006 working out the kinks of being a pop band by releasing a EP of new material every month, and while none was perfect, all were better than average and several certifiable gems can be mined from that 12-month project.

That was kind of the idea behind 2007's The Broken String – a “best of” retrospect of the 2006 windfall. Fortunately it didn't suffer from the typical trappings of a greatest-hits type affair though – The Broken String would stand on its own as a follow-up to the band’s well-crafted 2003 debut, Charm School. Full of quirky instrumentation and stuck-in-you-head-for-days hooks, Bishop Allen's pop sensibilities have kept the band constantly working and at the forefront of indie radio and hip advertising agency front offices (see The Broken String's single "Click, Click, Click, Click" in a Kodak commercial).

Bottom line is that with The Broken String, Bishop Allen finally established itself as a band capable of the kind of universally appealing songwriting that transcends labels like "indie." Your mom would like it, you could send it to your little sister for Christmas, and you can play it loud and proud as a you cruise the snobbish streets of Chicago’s hip ‘hoods.

Bishop Allen plays tonight with with The Republic Tigers and Electric Owls at Subterranean, 2011 W North, 8:30 p.m., $12, 17+