Music » Critics' Picks

The Autumn Defense

9 p.m Thursday, February 8. Blueberry Hill's Duck Room (6504 Delmar Boulevard, University City).

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Olivia Newton John once asked, "Have you ever been mellow?" The Autumn Defense's answer? "24/7." Led by Wilco bassist John Stirratt and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone, the band raises a glass of Laurel Canyon chablis to smooth '70s moves such as a vibraphone, fretless bass, lounge piano, flute, guiro, bongos and lots of "ooo-woo-ooo" harmonies. To say that its just-released, self-titled album could use some uptempo numbers is to miss this very fine point: The Autumn Defense creates alluring melodies and convincing evocations of endlessly chill-outed Indian summers. It has no illusions of genre-bending (unless "freak-soft-rock" or "yacht-folk" count as genres) and no shame about silly love songs and breezy, Bee Gees-style pop — and neither should you.

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