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Oh, Dear

| October 13, 2010

Rock fans groan each time one of their “own” defects to the electronic side of the die (Radiohead, Linkin Park), then put up a Red Rover front when the other side sends one back.

To say Matthew Dear has grown his hair out and signed an endorsement deal with B.C. Rich would be inaccurate, though his days as a funk/house trollop certainly seem long ago. His latest album, Black City (Ghostly International), might have floral synth smears decorating the hallways, but it comes from a place Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, and David Byrne were in around 1980. Dear’s lower-register croon paints him as a camp Bryan Ferry clone vamping around David Bowie’s Berlin and, appropriately, the Kraut touches of Kraftwerk filter through as well. Sometimes the album spends so long in this time warp it turns more into digression than extension, and needs modern production tweaks and effects to snap out of the turgid funk. (Thursday@Metro with Four Tet and Jon Hopkins).

Also, it’s get-intimate night in a sort of four-months-to-Valentine’s fashion. Former Afghan Whig and occasional Twilight Singer Greg Dulli will set up for a show that theoretically will get underway before midnight – a first in maybe 20 years. That fits, because it’s also his first solo tour, though along with songs spanning his career he’ll also workshop tunes from the next Twilight Singers record, due in spring. (@Double Door with Craig Wedren.) . . . Now that Damien Rice has fallen off the face of the Earth, referring to Bell X1 as his ex-Junip bandmates becomes asinine. The Irish rock band took their time coming to America – setting up a goofy release schedule where a new album would come out in Europe while it’s predecessor was just dropping here – but now have everything worked out. So many times have they passed through that they’re now on an acoustic tour, which ought to settle those fans who tire of drunken Irish ex-pats dancing through entire sets. (@Schubas with James Vincent McMorrow.)

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Featured, Stage Buzz, Weekly

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