When: Wed., Nov. 30, 9 p.m. 2011
This wild woman from Columbus, Ohio, traverses familiar country-punk terrain on her recent Bloodshot debut, Indestructible Machine, but Lydia Loveless has the kind of knock-down voice that makes a stale idiom sound fresh—she howls like a young Neko Case, sans Case's subtlety and stylistic range. Loveless wails her petulant, chiding lyrics over tomahawk beats, high-velocity banjo licks, piercing pedal steel, and distorted, chugging guitar, and it's all just as intense during a honky-tonk ballad as it is on a rockabilly stomper. Sometimes she acknowledges that her bravado is a mask for insecurity, but more often than not she's so supremely confident that she sounds either amused or disgusted as she toys with a string of suitors. On the hilarious "Steve Earle," she imagines the grizzled country singer as her stalker ("I keep asking, 'Steve, would you please introduce me to your son?'"), while on "Can't Change Me" she brags about strength that sounds a lot more like stubbornness. Loveless's talent still feels a bit raw, but it seems too huge to remain that way. —Peter Margasak Tim Larson & the Owner/Operators open.