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Fifteen years ago, Jeff Lescher was just another kid in my Boy Scout troop. These days, the raspy, crafty singer-guitarist leads Green, an aggressive pop trio whose recent debut album ranks among the western suburbs' finer cultural achievements. Part primal squawker, part brooding balladeer, Lescher writes songs with a casual flair that spares his wit from pretension. While the band darts through decades of pop history as impatiently as the Spiral Scratch-era Buzzcocks, Lescher projects the nervous urgency of a hormone-crazed kid testing out his new voice. The voice ranges from Princely falsetto to gravel-tinged field holler, but most often sounds as if someone stepped on Paul McCartney's toes in 1965. Pick hits include "For You," a rubber-souled tribute to the woman he'd rob a bank for, and "Big in Japan," which is what he wants to be if the U.S. market says no. Green is good enough to make me forgive Oak Park for inflicting Styx on the rest of the world. Wednesday, Cabaret Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 549-0203.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Monica Dee.

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