March 24, 2005

Soon May Be ‘No Cities Left’ for The Dears to Conquer

By Randy J. Klodz

It’s not common that a music “scene” develops north of the border, in the cold confines of Canada, but much is being written about the buzz surrounding the great city of Montreal. One of the main juggernauts behind this Canadian scene is the Dears, an eclectic rock band that will be warming the stage of Chicago’s Metro on March 28 in support of Soundtrack of Our Lives.

Murray Lightburn the Dears’ frontman is enjoying the attention that he and his bandmates--as well as that of fellow Montreal-natives Arcade Fire--are receiving, but he takes the media buzz in stride.

“I view it as a bit of rock and roll Olympics,” said Lightburn. “The torch gets passed around and the torch is gone, you know, it’s really that simple.” He doesn’t even really have much of a take on the positive press received in popular music magazines around North America. “Sometimes I have to slap myself in the face and say, ‘Hey, this is great.’”

In fact, Lightburn’s overall goal at the beginning of this tour with Soundtrack of Our Lives is to mellow things out, keeping things much like the band’s laid-back rock style on the acclaimed 2004 album “No Cities Left.”

“I just want to maintain a certain level of chilledout-ness. I just want to be really mellow. I don’t want to get stressed at all…I just want to be the Zen master,” Lightburn said with a laugh.
The low-key “Lost in the Plot” is a fan-favorite of “No Cities Left” with its laid-back guitar and spacey background making full use of the superior musicianship of each player of this 6-piece. Other “No Cities Left” tracks “Expect the Worst/Cos She’s a Tourist,” “22: The Death of All the Romance” and “The Second Part” display Lightburn’s emotional lyrics with the sound of musical perfection.

Metro is at 3730 N. Clark St. in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood. Tickets for this 18+ show are listed for $17.50 each in advance or $19 the day of the show with a start time slated for 8 p.m. American Minor is also scheduled to perform. For more information on the Dears log on to

The Dears Photo: c/o Big Hassle