Music » Livewire

Chris Mills

With Bishop Allen and Nicholas Megalis. Sunday, August 20, at the Beachland Tavern.

by

comment
58235.0.jpeg
Even Chris Mills knows it: 2005's The Wall to Wall Sessions -- recorded over two and a half days during a blizzard with 17 of Chicago's best session musicians, from Wilco cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm to the Sea and Cake hornman Dave "Max" Crawford -- is Mills' masterpiece.

The songs brim with irascible, indefatigable flair, brass, strings and percussion springing from every corner, rendering a Phil Spector-sized wallop in an indie-rock-sized room. Mills' self-effacing analogies about Richard Pryor burning, the sky crying, or dangerous lovers reuniting match ounces of pounce with quarts of endearment. It was one of last year's best.

But you have to believe that Mills has more in him, especially since he's been doing work almost as good as Wall for half a decade. Just listen to "Signal/Noise" (from 2000's Kiss It Goodbye), a gray-eyed pop creeper that casts its protagonist as a man poisoned by love. Relationships made him sick -- but like the nocturnally blurred sound of a radio transmitter, morphing sweet sha-la-las into seductive siren calls -- he's convinced that he's more in love the farther away he gets. Brilliant.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.