Blues-shaded roots rockers the Darrin James Band have spent the past several years playing Brooklyn. Not that youd guess that from Jamess friendly Midwestern accenthe grew up in Michigan. But he did take advantage of the local scene for the bands new album The Lovely Ugly Truth, stacking the horn section with players who have regular gigs with Antibalas, Beirut, Arcade Fire and TV On the Radio. Lovely Ugly is their second full-length, and James admiration of Tom Waits is slightly subtler now than it was on 2006s Thrones of Gold. A few songwriting concepts on the new album dont entirely pan out, like Shallow Gravea murder ballad that offers a little too much explanationand Love So Sexywhich alternates between rock-bottom apology and come-on. But the new albums best song is actually its most Waitsian: Baby Dont Bitch, a shadowed, swaying tune that narrates the relational aftermath of a bungled robbery.
Sat., Oct. 17, 7 p.m., 2009