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Preview: Netherfriends

Noah Bonaparte Pais on the band making its way to the Circle Bar



Musicians can play at the Circle Bar only so many times before the bar gives them their own night. Shawn Rosenblatt, aka Chicago's Netherfriends, gigs in New Orleans more frequently than some local bands, so he picked up a pied-a-terre: On Tuesday nights in January, his restless solo road trip puts down roots on Lee Circle. The one man in Netherfriends' one-man band has spent much of the last two years couch-surfing his way across the USA, writing, recording and performing a song in every state — a "selfish personal project," he told the Chicago Tribune in May, but one that has gleaned a tiny piece of inspiration from every corner of the country, forming a more perfect union than any of its lonely parts. Middle America, his 2012 psych/pop mosaic, embarks from St. Louis, Mo., flips sides in Chicago and runs out of gas in Lawrence, Kan. In between, the impressionable journey gathers new friends for a good time in music-rich "Bloomington, IN" and questions an itinerant existence in "Omaha, NE"; metropolises yield intimate moments ("Minneapolis, MN") and nowheresvilles tower like skyscrapers ("Kalamazoo, MI"). At these shows, Rosenblatt enlisted audiences and guest musicians to populate his loopy head voices and flighty world jams. The guy made a funk album out of Harry Nilsson samples. Give him Louisiana and see what he can do. Admission $5. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

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