Mike Doughty

Saturday, Feb. 23; Blueberry Hill's Duck Room

One of the most creative bands of the last decade, Soul Coughing made brainy percussive rock -- imagine a '50s hipster version of Beck with Beat poetry and bebop flashes substituted for folksy authenticity and turntablist pastiche. The fact that the music so rarely seemed gimmicky can be attributed to frontman Mike "M" Doughty, a songwriter who brought generous portions of passion and absurd humor to his band's arch music. Hidden under the ironic titles were heartfelt songs about ex-girlfriends and panic attacks, driven by Doughty's knowing nasal rap, as propulsive as it was dorky.

Since his band dissolved in 2000, Doughty has kept a low profile, quietly touring and covering music for the New York Press; recently, however, he's been preparing for a re-emergence. He recently collaborated with They Might Be Giants and will soon release Slanky, his first poetry collection. And before Doughty's official solo debut arrives later this year, Soul Coughing will be remembered with Lust in Phaze, a best-of/rarities sampler due for release this spring. Saturday's acoustic show will touch on both Doughty's past and his future, interspersing stripped-down takes on Soul Coughing favorites with previews of his newer, more introspective material.

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