It takes a brave band to hop into a Dodge Durango in the middle of winter and navigate the Midwest tour circuit with a one-ton trailer attached to its rear. But Chicago's Brave Ulysses exhibits that kind of reverence for the old-school D.I.Y. approach: demoing albums before actually recording them and earning fans one handshake at a time. The group began as the one-man recording project of songwriter Ian Johnson but has since amplified to a rocking four-piece modeled after paragons like Superdrag and Elliott Smith. Its debut EP, Senators and Sinners, predated the Rod Blagojevich controversy — here's betting Brave Ulysses will keep its hands clean of any pay-to-play scandals en route to its righteous place in indie-rock's genealogy.