Mark Pickerel

8 p.m. Sunday, April 6. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $10. 314-773-3363

If you're the original drummer for the Screaming Trees, you either resign yourself to being the answer to a trivia question, or you do what umpteen ex-punks and alt-rockers have done (ex-Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan included): You get some twang — because alt-country is so (cough) hot right now. That's a cynical and unjust version of what's happened to Mark Pickerel, who's left grunge behind in favor of fractured, Mekonesque agit-Americana that sounds convincing whether he's painting pastoral scenes of copping a feel at a funeral or tracking down outlaws on the lost highway. On his 2008 Bloodshot release, Cody's Dream, the dazzling steel guitar, boozy harmonies and clip-clop rhythms sometimes suggest a creepier Chris Isaak, sometimes hint at a more tuneful Johnny Dowd with dystopian visions fully intact — and, more often than not, smartly focus Pickerel's dark visions.

 
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