When: Thu., May 17, 9 p.m. 2012
When I describe the Mark Lanegan Band's newest album, Blues Funeral (4AD), as one of the the breeziest and most upbeat additions to the singer's extensive oeuvre, you need to keep in mind that I'm talking about one of the most thoroughly bummed-out catalogs in rock history. Lanegan has recently begun infusing his solo work with sounds and structures borrowed from electronic dance music, so while Blues Funeral delivers the themes fans have come to expect from a Lanegan release—depression, drinking as a tactic for managing depression, suicidal ideation—the accompanying arrangements are punchier and sexier than they've ever been. In Lanegan terms, the sprightly midtempo beat of "Gray Goes Black" is downright hyperactive; you wouldn't be out of line to call its postpunk-inflected bass line "funky." And "St. Louis Elegy" (representative lyric: "If tears were liquor / I'd have drunk myself sick") is a good argument that Geoff Barrow of Portishead should think about Lanegan the next time he puts together a side project, which he's been doing a lot of recently. —Miles Raymer Sean Wheeler & Zander Schloss and Apteka open.
Price: $21, $19 in advance