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Brother Danielson plays quirky spirituals, and dresses as a tree; the Supersuckers blow through town with three nights of country-fried rawk

Wednesday, Sep 15 2004
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Championing old-school values like fast cars and loose girls, hard drinkin' and harder drugs, in-your-face violence and blues-punk chord progressions (easy to hear through the fog of a 12-pack of beer), Tucson expats the Supersuckers bum-rushed the early '90s Seattle grunge scene with a hell-yeah rock 'n' roll attitude indebted to none other than Lord Satan. A few years later, the group showed its true horns on Must've Been High, a bona fide country album featuring the stamp of approval by "Gotta Get Drunk" godfather Willie Nelson. No band since the Rolling Stones (and one could argue that Jagger's blokes were sometimes frontin') has so convincingly merged the twang of country with the raucousness of rock. The Supersuckers' mash is as red, white, and blue as PBR and the Stars and Stripes. So, in the patriotic fervor of an election year, expect capacity crowds in an all-American city like San Francisco, where the band performs three styles on three consecutive nights at Café Du Nord: country-style on Wednesday, Sept. 15; loud rock on Thursday, Sept. 16; and a chicken-fried combo platter of the two on Friday, Sept. 17. Call 861-5016 or go to www.cafedunord.com.
-- Sam Prestianni

While New Jersey's Daniel Smith -- aka Brother Danielson -- has a tendency to dress as a giant fruit tree and sing his cryptic, angular folk-rock tunes in a jarring, high-pitched squawk, he's far more than a novelty act. Rather, Smith is one of those oddball visionaries whose muse takes some getting used to. But get past the initial absurdity of his work and you'll find some rewardingly complex, strangely beautiful soul-searching songs informed by his Christian beliefs. That said, Smith and his musical cohorts invariably bring a weird sense of fun to the usually moribund concept of spiritual minstrelsy. Listening to the current Brother Danielson CD, Brother as to Son, can be a gratifying experience, but seeing it performed live is really the way to go -- if only for that crazy tree costume. Brother Danielson (with his fruit tree) plays two sets with Deerhoof, at 5 and 10 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 18, at the Bottom of the Hill; call 621-4455 or go to www.bottomofthehill.com.
-- Mike Rowell

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Sam Prestianni

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