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JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound/We the People 

When: Thu., May 16, 10:30 p.m. 2013
Price: $10
For their new album Howl, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound worked with producer Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, Godspeed You! Black Emperor), and he set about refining the raw soul sound the band displayed on its previous two albums. Not that Bilerman has tampered with things too much. He still gives singer Brooks plenty of space to breathe. On the beautiful ballad “Rouse Yourself,” Brooks evokes old school soul icons such as Otis Redding and Sam Cooke and often adopts a falsetto for the song’s softer parts. The undulating “Security” offers the best of both worlds. It features muted alt-rock guitars and whispered vocals and sounds cool as hell. And “Imagination” has overtones of David Bowie. The eclectic nature of the disc suggests these guys have the crossover potential of a band like Fitz and the Tantrums. (Jeff Niesel)

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