John Darnielle, singer and songwriter with the Extra Glenns, is a man in love with language. Flush with vividly evocative phrases and economically rendered narratives, his songs may seem a bit out of sync with the times: in an age when the self-conscious deployment of obscenity is a viable marketing tool, he makes old-fashioned phrases like "You strike me as mean-spirited" as chilling as a thousand contemporary vulgarities. Darnielle's local performances with his other group, the Mountain Goats, have revealed him to be a rousing performer with a knack for captivating audiences even when he's playing a succession of unfamiliar new songs. In the Extra Glenns he's joined by multiinstrumentalist and Nothing Painted Blue leader Franklin Bruno, who fleshes out Darnielle's utilitarian acoustic guitar with arrangements that magnify the songs' emotional content. This is a rare chance to see the Extra Glenns in person; Darnielle recently moved here from California, where Bruno still resides. Opening are Chicago garage rockers the New Rob Robbies and Columbus-based pop singer Jenny Mae Leffel, who last year split a single with this year's saviors of rock, Guided by Voices. Thursday, September 21, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 276-3600.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Marty Perez.