Marshall Crenshaw, Bottle Rockets All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Fri., Sept. 23, 7 & 10 p.m. 2011

In the liner notes of their recent Not So Loud: An Acoustic Evening With . . . (Bloodshot), the Bottle Rockets write that the unplugged format "requires the songs to sink or swim on their own." That may be true, but it's not as though the quartet has been using its usual electric stomp to cover for a lack of craftsmanship and substance in their writing. Bandleader Brian Henneman is a blue-collar poet, using direct, plainspoken language to channel working-class resentment (scoring workman's comp is his "Lucky Break," and he laments that his "1000 Dollar Car" has turned into a money pit) and talk about the familiar travails of relationships (in "Gravity Falls" he's always saying the wrong thing). No roots-rock combo has done it better in the past two decades. Tonight they'll toss a few acoustic numbers into their usual shit-kicking set, then serve as the backing band for headliner Marshall Crenshaw. —Peter Margasak

Price: $26-$30

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