Married couple Brett and Rennie Sparks are a slightly creepy, slightly country duo
from New Mexico who sing about ghosts in convenience stores, bottomless holes in Ohio farmlands, and Nikola Tesla
. She writes the lyrics, he writes the music, and their songs (played on banjo, saw, trombone, guitar, etc.) are sepia-toned but never hokey. The Handsome Family is sweet, eerie, and sad—nostalgia incarnate
: "Come with me to the forgotten lake, where covered wagons and the wings of missing planes
float between blind fish beneath the velvet waves." (Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave NW, 789-3599. 8:30 pm, $10 adv/$12 DOS, 21+.