I grew up on country music 70's shit—less Ernest Tubb, more Ronnie Milsap. Every so often, a DJ would sneak in something amazing, e.g. the Byrds' version of "Pretty Polly." (Lyrics: "I stabbed her in her heart/Till her heart's blood did flow.") I never once thought the singer had stabbed anyone. It was a morality tale that completely grabbed my attention.First-person storytelling is well suited to lyricism; it's compact and compelling. It also holds the danger of children and poor listeners who might assume the singer may actually be a bad person. "Il Duce" is my favorite Big Black song—a simple, effective critique of dictatorial childishness. Twenty-five years on, Steve Albini still gets questions about supporting fascism. recommended

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Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer: Jan 13-Feb 14 at Bagley Wright Theatre
Part theater, part revival, and all power, this one-woman show will have your head nodding and hands clapping!