Phil Rockrohr and the Lifters - Popcycle Phil Rockrohr and the Lifters

The Starís own Phil Rockrohr has been making a signature mark on the Chicago music scene for a decade now. Heís played under a variety of names and released a handful of original song demo collections, but through it all, his Lou Reed delivery and Tom Petty guitar simplicity have remained intact.

Rockrohrís latest outfit is Phil Rockrohr and The Lifters whoíve released a five-song CD called Popcycle, which has been getting some play on WXRT-FMís "Local Anesthetic" program. Itís a sharp sounding recording of jangle-pop guitar songs with nods to Reed, Petty, Bob Dylan and The Byrds that may be Rockrohrís most solid effort yet.

The leadoff track, "Rebel Without A Cause" is a litany or rock Ďní roll wishes where Rockrohr talks of rocking with the New York Jets and joining the Lemonheads, and even lifts a quote from REOSpeedwagon. "She Kissed Me"follows, driven by a nicely funky bassline. It ends with a re-recording of "Thinking of You," a Byrds-jangly track Rockrohr previously released on a 1992 demo tape with The Beat Writers.

If you like Lou Reed and jangly rock, you should definitely seek out Rockohr. For more info check his web site at or stop by the Double Door in Chicago (1572 N. Milwaukee) tomorrow night, Jan. 21, where his band will be opening for Nick Tremulus and Ellen Roesner.


Lisa Brandt - I'll Send An Angel Lisa Brandt
I'll Send An Angel
(AEMMP Records)

Itís a crime that Chicagoís Lisa Brandt didnít get on the Lilith Fair tour last summer. The former G-Men singerís solo debut on Columbia Collegeís AEMMP label offers seven songs of often ethereal beauty that should hold great appeal for the Sarah McLachlan set.

Brandt sings in a light, soothing upper register thatís supported by a smart mix of synthesizers and guitars. Itís a pro-sounding release that offers a gorgeous opening track in "Iíll Send An Angel" and a danceable reworking of Phil Collinsí "In The Air Tonight."

There are also pensive piano moments and string orchestrations in "Little Monsters" and a k.d. lang twang feel to the sensual "Strange Feeling."

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