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Todd Snider

Saturday, June 18; Mississippi Nights (914 North First Street)

If you Google "Todd Snider song lyrics," you'll be hard-pressed to realize that he's written anything since his early-'90s classic, "Talkin' Seattle Grunge Rock Blues." Really, that song deserves to be remembered, as it so neatly parodied the old Woody Guthrie/early Bob Dylan style of talking blues narratives while savagely slashing at the supposed authenticity of the flannel-clad, long-haired rockers of the time.

But the guy writes songs faster than he can record them, and they're almost all wickedly clever, emotionally sharp, politically astute and/or howlingly funny. Take "Conservative Christian Right Wing Republican Straight White American Males," one of many gems from his latest record, East Nashville Skyline (the guy just can't ignore the influence of Dylan, can he?). Set to a catchy if generic waltz, Snider's lyrics leapfrog past the Byrds' "Drug Store Truck Driving Man" on the all-time chart of cultural stereotype songs. The trick is that he spends just as much time making fun of the liberal stereotypes in opposition to the folks skewed in the title.

Snider can perform with a band, or he can perform solo. Either way, he's so personable onstage, so aw-shucks happy to be there, playing music for a living, for gosh sakes, that you just can't help but be enthralled. He'll entertain the heck out of anybody.

Doors open at 9:30 p.m. (concert starts at 10:30 p.m.) Tickets are $15; call 314-421-5946 for more information.

 
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