After grunge and before prefab pop, there was a brief interlude of something historians refer to as trip-hop. The ancient among you may remember its dank, loungey atmosphere and the emaciated chanteuses who moaned about unfinished sympathies. Rack your brain for the genre's personalities and, chances are, Tricky
pops up first. A mysterious mongrel with a voice that recalled Satan after a carton of Winstons, he transcended the Portisheads and Sneaker Pimps of the time. Though he started out in Massive Attack, he quickly transcended their dub-based blueprint. A maverick like Prince or Tom Waits, he's arguably the one artist who's managed to combine elements of rap and rock without sounding like a Rage Against the Machine clone.Trip-hop has seen its own sour times, and if Tricky has fared better than his cohorts (i.e., he's made music in the last few years), he's still had his own problems: health crises, label disputes and the end of his partnership with unbearably sultry co-vocalist Martina. He's also put out his most divisive album yet, the star-studded Blowback
. Some praise Tricky's attempts to branch out into poppier fare, whereas others question his taste in, and possible overreliance on, collaborators such as Alanis Morissette and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But Blowback
is hardly the point. The real lure to this show is that Tricky will delve into his rich back catalog -- and the chance to hear classics of smoldering lust and anger such as "Overcome" and "Christiansands" live shouldn't be missed.