Nick Lowe

As a singer, songwriter and producer, Nick Lowe was one of the key figures in the rise of the pub-rock, punk and new-wave scenes in the U.K. during the `70s. With a hard-edged blend of rock `n¿ roll, soul and country, he led Brinsley Schwarz and later Rockpile, and collaborated with kindred spirits such as Graham Parker and Elvis Costello, who covered Lowe¿s "(What's so Funny About) Peace, Love and Understanding." In the last 15 years, he¿s transformed himself into a wry purveyor of roots music and standards, a silver-haired troubadour with a wicked wit and an allegiance to the art of the song, as evidenced by his latest album, ¿The Old Magic¿ (Yep Roc). It includes ¿Checkout Time,¿ in which Lowe sounds like he¿s ruminating on mortality: ¿I¿m 61-years-old now/Lord, I never thought I¿d see 30¿ and later wonders, "Will I be beloved and celebrated for my masterly climb/Or just another bum when it comes to checkout time?" Nick Lowe opens for Wilco, 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr., $36, $48, $60; the full Nick Lowe interview
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