Transgender singer, songwriter, and performance artist Baby Dee
landed on the radar of most indie-rock fans with 2008s Safe Inside the Day
. Released on Drag City and produced by Will Oldham and Chavez Matt Sweeney, the album garnered backing from members of Antony and the Johnsons and found an unlikely bassist in Andrew W.K. Although 2010s A Book of Songs for Anne Marie
is technically the follow-up to Safe Inside, its a bit more complicated than that. It was actually released in 2004 as a limited-run book with a bonus album. Revisiting the material, Baby Dee collaborated with arranger and producer Maxim Moston and a small ensemble of cellos and violins. She takes to the piano, inhabiting a ruffled, searching warble to convey the most fragile of song cycles. The winking wit of Safe Inside the Day gives way to the more classical ballads of A Book of Songs
. The frequent burrs of Baby Dees expressive voice take some getting used to, but the sheer beauty of entries like Unheard of Hope and Black But Comely is enough to quiet any reservation.
Karl Blau and Jeffery Manson open.
Fri., April 30, 9 p.m., 2010