Dawn Oberg: Show Preview

Doug Norris

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Dawn Oberg with Ira Marlowe. 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, 2013, at 50 Mason Social House; $10 donation to Ourshelves suggested.

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Behold the pleasures of literate songwriting: In case it wasn't clear from the first song — entitled "The Girl Who Sleeps With Books"— S.F. raconteur Dawn Oberg's latest album, Rye, is full of the kind of telling details and rich character sketches you usually only get in good fiction. With a smoky voice that seems to waft over her jazzy piano work, Oberg is at her best cataloging loneliness and longing. But she's also funny — "He's probably read Euripides as well/ But he's really not the type to read and tell," she notes wryly in "Gentleman and a Scholar." Even when her subject matter is downbeat, Oberg's nimble wordplay and eye for color make the songs on Rye transcend your typical morose singer-songwriter fare. She's too clever for that — so it's only fitting that her show this week is a benefit for Ourshelves, a nonprofit that works to put books into shelters for battered women, seniors, and the homeless.

 
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