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Richard Thompson 

When: Wed., Oct. 26, 8 p.m. 2011
Price: $29.50
If I had to pick a favorite Richard Thompson song, out of 50 treetop-tall contenders … OK, it would have to be “Wall of Death,” his driving anthem in fearsome thrall to the deadliest curves life and love present. No, wait — I forgot “I Feel So Good,” an ebulliently black-hearted ode to rejoining society that Malcolm McDowell might’ve sung at the end of A Clockwork Orange. Or “Waltzing’s for Dreamers,” a lilting heartbreaker from 1988’s characteristically superb Amnesia. Or “Withered and Died.” Or “Walking on a Wire.” Or, hell, anything else off 1982’s Shoot Out the Lights, a record that does for matrimony what The Texas Chainsaw Massacre does for family. As a songwriter matched by only a few in quality-to-quantity ratio, Thompson has proved a master of rock ‘n’ roll rave-ups (“Valerie,” “Cooksferry Queen”), zydeco romps (“Tear-Stained Letter”), death ballads (“1952 Vincent Black Lightning,” anyone?) and character portraits so wounding we carry their regrets always (ah, “Beeswing”). Not to mention some of the funniest throwaways ever drafted — our favorite being the record collector’s vaudevillian tale of woe “Don’t Sit on My Jimmy Shands.” Either with a band or solo (as tonight), he shouldn’t be missed. Don’t quote us on this, but we hear he also plays guitar.
— Jim Ridley

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