Looking for a good cry? Check out the self-titled debut album from A Girl Called Eddy (on Epitaph imprint Anti Records). Raised in New Jersey, but now based in England, singer-songwriter Erin Moran--no relation to the pesky actress from Happy Days--serves up melancholy dream-pop gems like "Girls Can Really Tear You Up Inside," and "Somebody Hurt You."

Working with producer Richard Hawley (Pulp), Eddy swathes intimate sentiments in cinematic, string-laden arrangements, and sings in a deep, husky timbre that recalls Dusty Springfield crossed with Karen Carpenter, two of her primary inspirations. "What you hear is definitely me," she insists, "but with, for better or worse, all the relatively obvious influences."

Eddy has been composing originals for over a decade, but admits she had a difficult time finding her own songwriting voice. "One week I wanted to be Sheryl Crow, the next it was Oasis or Elastica, so I wrote like all of those people," she confesses. "But as much as I was trying to sound like the flavor of the week, I kept going back to things like Scott Walker, [the Beach Boys'] Pet Sounds, Prefab Sprout, and the Blue Nile." Hear for yourself how the sum of her influences transcends mere imitation when she plays the Tractor Tavern this Monday, February 28, (with equally captivating chanteuse Keren Ann supporting her).

Department of corrections: Contrary to previously published reports, the forthcoming album by Chicago roots-rock maverick Robbie Fulks is not entitled Reality Country, but rather Georgia Hard. Fulks previewed several new songs, including the stellar title tune, during his two Valentine's Day sets at the Sunset Tavern (which, by the way, should have a license to sell hard liquor any day now--that is, if there's any sort of justice in this miserable world).

Egg on the face or no, Border Radio forgives Robbie for feeding the press misinformation, because his show was so dang fantastic, right down to rip-roaring covers of Cher's "Believe" and Michael Jackson's "Black or White," plus a hilarious power-pop pastiche called "Fountains of Wayne Hotline," which Robbie says he plans to record soon. Fulks also took time out during his brief Pacific Northwest visit to go into the studio with local bluegrass dynamo Danny Barnes, though what--if any--fruits that union will yield remains to be seen.

In other news: Speaking of the Tractor, keep your eyes peeled for a scruffy new face lurking in the shadowy corners of the Ballard Avenue venue. Ryan Ellis--who instantly won Border Radio's affection when he expressed his undying devotion to local singer-songwriter-crackpot Paul Kimble of Pistol Star--has taken over promotion and publicity chores for the club. Ryan steps into the role occupied these past four years by Sara Green, who moves on to oversee PR for One Reel. Best of luck to both, particularly Sara, who will undoubtedly do a crackerjack job… just as soon as she gets the hang of having to wake up before noon.

kurt@thestranger.com

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