I'm hoping that Billy Bragg's latest, an EP called The Internationale, is a detour. I know that everyone complains about Bragg's "political stuff"; he's like Woody Allen in that people will never let him forget the components of his earliest successes, in Bragg's case a knack for luminous and complex (and often, truth be told, quite political) love songs. In point of fact, his political stuff is almost always shot through with humor and Bragg's incandescent humanity. But the seven songs on The Internationale range from a deadpan rendition of the title song to a humorless reading of Blake's "Jerusalem"; both have been done before, the former by untold hapless communists, the latter by Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Still, a Bragg show is part revival and part punk, acidly good-humored and sometimes touching; it'll do till the next record comes out. Thursday, 7:30 PM, Cabaret Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 549-0203.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Adrian Boot.