Elizabeth McQueen and the Firebrands

Wednesday, June 29; Frederick's Music Lounge (4454 Chippewa Street)

In case you're still wondering what alternative country means, Elizabeth McQueen and the Firebrands have an answer: Pub rock. And what's that? It's the roller-rink organs, the Anglo-fied Motown backbeats and twang-tweaked guitars of London and Essex rockers like Rockpile, Squeeze, Graham Parker, early Elvis Costello -- and, now, Austin country-popster McQueen. On her new covers collection, Happy Doing What We're Doing, she knots up her pigtails and raises a flaming shot to the above icons. An appealing -- if hardly overpowering -- singer, McQueen finally leads the Firebrands by getting out of the band's way. It sounds like what it always was: a fleet, lithe, somewhat pissed-off pub-rock band, playing hard and loud and free enough to clear its astronomical bar tab. But by hitting the keys and revving the roots, its members boppity-bounce like they won't ever stagger back to their flats. Then, they start all over again.

Show starts at 9 p.m.; call 314-351-5711 for ticket prices and more information.

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