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5ive Style is a four-piece band from Chicago, and yes, it's spelled that way and pronounced "five style." It's a four-piece comprising long-time Chicago scenesters, the most famous of whom is probably drummer John Herndon of Tortoise (and once upon a time of the neglected, still great Poster Children). Bassist LeRoy Bach has played with Liz Phair and toured with Wilco, and keyboardist Jeremy Jacobsen went on to become The Lonesome Organist. But the heart of 5ive Style is guitarist Bill Dolan. 5ive Style's releases are very sporadic these days, if they're still together at all, so fans should check Dolan's spinoff "math funk" group, Heroic Doses.

5ive Style does indeed play funk - wonderful, inventive, sunny backyard barbecue funk, with a huge planet of post-rock intelligence at its back (thanks in part to production work by John McEntire of Tortoise, and Tortoise live sound guy/Liz Phair impresario Casey Rice). That's the first album, anyway - the second, Miniature Portraits, didn't hit until four years later and was considerably more baroque and (detractors say) pretentious - definitely less funk and more post-rock, or even vaguely bluegrass in spots. It's still interesting and worth owning, but the self-titled original is the one I always put on to soundtrack my high-energy chill afternoons and party evenings.

As complete a discography as I can muster right now (thanks to flamingweasel for the science on that other 7"):

1994:
"Waiting On The Eclipse"/"Summer Salt" 7" (cover art by the incomparable Chris Ware of Acme Novelty Library fame)

1995:
"Kiki's Cookout"/"Hot Box" 7"
5ive Style LP/CD

1997:
"She's Humanoid"/"Burning Airlines Give You So Much More" 7"

1999:
Miniature Portraits LP/CD

All released on the Sub Pop label.

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