Amy Rigby

Thursday, Nov. 16; Off Broadway

Amy Rigby knows about kissing: a dizzying kiss, stolen in public, the kind that makes you ache to get your lover home; the hypothetical killer kiss for a guy who won't hang around long enough to know what he's missing; all that dysfunctional lip action that leads only to a bliss that's sure to bottom out; and, of course, the kiss of death. Rigby's been getting frenched by critics since 1996's Diary of a Mod Housewife, one of the decade's most delightful and memorable singer/songwriter albums. She's a rock writer's dream girl: witty, literate, aggressive and incontestably foxy. Her latest recording, The Sugar Tree, has her tightest rock & roll sound, not to mention the energy and honesty of a woman mature enough to declare her desires while recognizing how they keep her teetering between hilarity and destruction. With lines like "You come around maybe once a week/Like some guys go out to bowl," you'd think she was through with men. But as a sexual politician, Rigby's a diehard pragmatist. If she'll never get what she wants, she's not about to stop wanting what life, sex and even, sometimes, love send her way. That's as rock & roll as it gets.

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