The Handsome Family

Last Days of Wonder | Carrot Top
By KEN MICALLEF  |  July 11, 2006
3.0 3.0 Stars

DARK, ABSURDIST: The Handsome Family
Attentive indiephiles and alt-country fans will soon realize that lyrics about tying a captain to a tree and trying hard not to hear his screams, or finding a human skull inside a limestone cave, could only be the observations of Albuquerque’s husband-and-wife team the Handsome Family. Over sweetly plucked harpsichords, friendly steel and acoustic guitars, and ghostly echoes of the Carter Family, Brett and Rennie Sparks have made a career off such things, concocting what they term “love songs” about “airports, garbage dumps, drive-thru windows and shark-infested waters.” If the lyrics weren’t so surreal, you could imagine yourself dining with George and Tammy before a Grand Ole Opry performance. Dark, often absurdist imagery derails such pleasant thoughts. Yet through it all, Brett’s deep baritone remains as soothing as ever.

THE HANDSOME FAMILY + CURT KIRKWOOD + AARON SINCLAIR & BRETT SAIIA OF FRANK SMITH | July 18 | T.T. the Bear’s Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge | 617.492.BEAR

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