Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

Speer’s head

| May 19, 2011

The big tell on D. Charles Speer & The Helix‘s Leaving The Commonwealth (Thrill Jockey) is its combination of rusticity and variety. The music’s not necessarily indicative of New York, but they sure don’t do this in the South anymore.

Unlike a lot of the alt-country overgrowth, Speer and his cohorts aren’t completely obsessed with Southern music (well, no more so than Nick Cave was), tempering their honky tonk and odes to Freddie King with a clear-cut post-modernism. Like Cave, there’s room for a rumbled “mothafucka,” though, eschewing the hypermythology of “Tupelo” or “Stagger Lee” you get day-in-the-life tales “Razorbacked” and “Cumberland.” Whatever Speer’s origins are (no wave, angular post-pop), Leaving bears none of the hallmarks of a cultural tourist. (Thursday@Empty Bottle with Zachary Cale, Blink, and Helen Money.)

— Steve Forstneger


Category: Featured, Stage Buzz, Weekly

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