Set Frazer to Stun

People (okay, Pitchfork) say the same dumb shit about Paula Frazer as they say about Penelope Houston — essentially, “she used to be punk and now her music is easy-listening since it's not punk anymore.” People, duh. Frazer is a great singer (even “people” are forced to concede this) and an unstoppable indie lady bandleader whose music is like Emmylou Harris ignoring the Cowboy Junkies. In her songs, fury usually gets drowned in a few inches of ditchwater by all-powerful misery. Then fury just looks at you from under shallow water, its eyes open but totally lifeless. “Game of Broken Hearts” is a perfect example, plus it has a bitchen Peggy Lee reference. And Frazer's upper registers are the stuff of legend, fluttering and sparkling like sun through a chandelier. This is the kind of fouled beauty that blows our skirts right over our fool heads with joy.

Hot Lunch, Casual Fog, and Jeff Ramuno share the stage.
Tue., July 21, 9 p.m., 2009

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