Preview: Sloan—One Of The Greatest Rock Bands In The World, Tonight!

Sloan is coming through Chicago to play Bottom Lounge tonight. I’ve put together this point-by-point presentation to pique your interest and then convince you to attend this evening’s concert.

  • Sloan has had the same four members since its inception in 1991.
  • The band features four songwriters, who more or less share songwriting duties equally, and have distinct melodic personalities that still blend seamlessly into their signature “single band sound.”
    • The four songwriters’ personalities could be boiled down to simple descriptors like:*
      • Jay Ferguson – the sensitive one
      • Chris Murphy – the poppy one who wants everyone to have A REAL GOOD TIME
      • Patrick Pentland – the punky one who can’t resist a hook
      • Andrew Scott – the artsy one
  • They are all “the cute one,” by the way.
  • The band’s sound has slightly varied over the years—beginning as an indie almost shoegaze noisy smear with a strong melodic center, then eventually steering more towards the vibe of ’60s clubs and ’70s arenas with a power-pop focus, but without every really being a power-pop band. It’s just goddamned catchy rock and/or roll. It’s the beat of life. It’s essential. I am not exaggerating this point.

  • They are currently touring behind the deluxe reissue of 1998’s Navy Blues—arguably the band’s best album in a catalog of amazing albums. And yes, the deluxe reissue of a 1998 album from a Canadian band that most current music fans are woefully unfamiliar with was absolutely warranted. I pre-ordered the second it was available and don’t regret one cent I spent for it.
  • Sloan shows are more fun than should be allowed, and the band is just as energetic and boisterous as they were when I first saw them on their One Chord To Another tour. This was the tour that caused me to fall in love with the band, even though I admit I didn’t expect them to still be putting out albums 20 years later. Or that I’d still be trying to drag every living soul I know to see their shows and listen to their records.

  • I’ve kept track and not one single person I have introduced to Sloan’s music has been able to resist the band.

If you are not already, and you go to the show, you too will become a Sloan fan. And you too will join me in my mission to expose others to one of the genuinely great things in life. Sloan.

Thank you for attending my tankTALK.

Sloan plays tonight, November 20, at Bottom Lounge (1375 W. Lake St.). 

*These descriptions are overly simplistic, and meant to align more with the fanzine depiction of the group through the eyes of a teenage fan. It should be noted that this is a band you can still view through the eyes of your inner teenage fan, even if you are, in reality, an old fart.

**I maybe listened to Superchunk’s What A Time To Be Alive more, but I can’t be sure. It was neck-to-neck.

[A version of this post originally appeared here.]

Jim Kopeny / Tankboy
Jim Kopeny / Tankboy

Tankboy resides in the body of Jim Kopeny and lives in Mayfair with Pickle the Kitten and a beagle named Betty (RIP) who may actually be slightly more famous than most of the musicians slogging through the local scene. He's written about music for much longer than most bands you hear on the radio have even existed.