The Broken String, is crystalline and clear, full of cleverly detailed stanzas (a slew of debutantes named Jennifer, the "snippy snap of wild dogs") and wonderfully full arrangements (replete with trumpet, ukulele, and hand claps). Rice's voice is equally surefooted, whether shouting in his best Ira Kaplan howl or crooning in a cigarette-strained Will Oldham-y tone. And then there's "The News from Your Bed," a cheery, Sufjan Stevensesque charmer that's as anti-isolation as you can get. Compared to their mumblecore performances, the boys of Bishop Allen are practically Up with People, offering a declarative, feel-good record worth shouting about.
Bishop Allen plays with John Vanderslice.
Sat., Oct. 20, 9 p.m., 2007