Album Review

Palace Live - "For the Mekons et al." b/w "Stable Will"

Palace Live - "For the Mekons et al." b/w "Stable Will"

Those present at the Lounge Ax in Chicago on November 17, 1994, got a real treat when Will Oldham put on a benefit show for the venue. Lounge Ax, in jeopardy because of a joykill neighbor, has been in a world of litigational hell since '94. Seems they were lacking a certain "Place of Public Amusement" license, which eventually forced them to look for a new, more hospitable location. With suburban values of conservatism and blandness ever encroaching, this seems a familiar scenario. Will Oldham proves on this 7" that he is not only an emperor of lo-fi; on account of his support for a local political cause, he also seems able to assume the shape of an American Billy Bragg. And with Pooh Johnston wailing on the organ between Oldham's dramatic recitations, the swelling of the verses creates a rousing morale booster for Chicago music aficionados resisting the blanding of America.