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Critic's Choice

Todd Rundgren

Todd Rundgren, Monday, June 5, at the Gothic Theatre, and Tuesday, June 6, at the Fox Theatre, is an artist who can rightfully claim the Renaissance Man title. A successful pop craftsman with the Nazz in the ’60s and occasional solo hit-maker in the ’70s, Rundgren took a turn for the weird just when his commercial success hit its apex. With Utopia, the multi-instrumentalist and technically adventurous Rundgren focused on more interactive, conceptual, sometimes difficult sounds -- an approach that earned him a designation as a leader of the prog-rock movement. For the better part of the past decade, he’s kept busy with film and video projects and with putting out material by TR-i, a name he attaches to work that displays his penchant for computers and multimedia. Though uneven, the TR-i offerings encompass everything from guitar rock to hip-hop, electronica and R&B, furthering Rundgren’s reputation as an artist who’s clearly not afraid to wander into uncertain musical territory. On the contrary, he is that rare eclecticist who is capable of both silly and serious work; after all, how many artists could list production work for intellectual artists like Patti Smith and XTC alongside songwriting contributions to Pee-wee’s Playhouse?

 
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