The Polyphonic Spree
Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell
(at Polk), S.F.
With Knife and Fork and Patrick Park
Thursday, April 24, at 9 p.m.
Tickets are $15
The band also appears with Citizens Here and Abroad and Patrick Park on Friday, April 25, at 9 p.m. at Slim's, 333 11th St. (at Folsom), S.F. Tickets are $15; call 522-0333 or visit www.slims-sf.com.
Absent individual song titles or a lyric sheet, the ensemble's enigmatic CD debut, The Beginning Stages of ..., plays like an extended group hug from a band of melodic mourners who mean to cheer your blues away. Colorful strings, keys, horns, and percussion buoy the vocalists' spirited sing-alongs with triumphant harmonies and dynamic crescendos (think thunderous timpani and splashy cymbals). Winged melodies inspire, with maxims like "Hey, it's the sun and it makes me shine!" and, on another track, "Follow the day and reach for the sun!" As DeLaughter testifies toward the end of the disc, "A love like this keeps us warm." And music routs the darkness.