Smile Politely

Five questions with Dheeru Pennepalli of A Light Sleeper

Dheeru Pennepalli spent the late nineties and early aughts playing guitar for the dynamic, post-construction rock outfit, Bargos Steeler. In their prime, the Bargos left many an Urbana partygoer flummoxed, beaten down and rock ‘n rolled. They were good.

Like many before him, Pennepalli left C-U in 2001 for the macro-urban lifestyle of Chicago. After plying his trade with the spazz rock of Re:Rec (RIP), he has spent the last couple of years focusing in on his ever-expanding bedroom project A Light Sleeper. A Light Sleeper maintains Pennapali’s unique guitar style, but eases off the noise and replaces it with delay effects, understated keyboard, brushed drums and undulating saxophone. The sound is not quite rock, not quite jazz, not quite worth labeling, but most certainly worth hearing.

In advance of a house show early this evening, Pennepalli reminisced about his old C-U stomping grounds.

Favorite C-U band past or present
As far as the past (specifically while I was still living in C-U): Yes, these guys were/are my friends, but nevertheless I gotta go with DMS — especially as a duo. As far as present: Admittedly, I’m not as familiar with the C-U music scene these days since leaving, but I do like what I’ve heard from You & Yourn.

Favorite C-U venue
I loved the upstairs room at Mike ‘n Molly’s. Small, cozy room and no stage. Bands always sounded great there. (Editor’s interesting fact: The White Stripes once opened up for Bargos Steeler at M ‘n M’s.)

Favorite C-U entree, dessert or drink
Probably Papa Dell’s stuffed pizza. As good or better than any I’ve had in Chicago.

Favorite album of all time (does not have to be from C-U)
Pony Express Record by Shudder to Think.

Why readers should come see your show tonight
It’s a party at Steinbaby’s house. Why would anyone in their right mind not come?

Check out A Light Sleeper tonight at 7 p.m. at the “Steinbaby House” for free. (If you want to know where Steinbaby House is, email [email protected].)

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