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Wednesday, Oct 9 1996
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The Gun & Doll Show
Consider that most baneful (yet dishwater-common) of the curses invoked by feisty pop critics to gulag objects of their disaffection: "pretentious." God forbid an artist, or for that matter some retarded-ass rock band, should make false claims of grandeur or accomplishment; then the hex is fitting. But the term is far more often used to reprimand phenomena that the critics themselves might have a wee problem understanding or accepting, according to their taste: silliness, staginess, or wit. The Gun & Doll Show are indeed silly, stagy, and even witty, but they are not pretentious. There's humor, not hubris, at the heart of their act. Think of one of those local, insufferable "cabaret" evenings, full of artful delusion, presented instead with who-gives-a-flying-fuck impertinence, and you might have an inkling of what to expect. Silly humor notwithstanding, the Gun & Doll Show's music -- dual-guitar-driven art-rock, with more "rock" than "art" -- is often understated. In passing moments, it becomes genuinely creepy -- downright horripilating -- if only by accident. What could be less pretentious than that? (Michael Batty)

The Gun & Doll Show open for Van Gogh's Daughter, and Heavy Into Jeff on Friday, Oct. 11 at Transmission Theater, 1501 Folsom (at 11th St.). Tickets are $7; call 861-6906.

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Michael Batty

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