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The Dresden Dolls

Tuesday, April 4, Bluebird Theater, 1-866-468-7621.

Jacques Brel and Morrissey walk into a bar. As Kurt Weill pours the Maker's and glasses are raised, Marlene Dietrich pulls up a bar stool. The liquor flows and the conversation percolates. Dietrich is considering a sex change, Brel can't stop talking about abortions and the Holocaust, and Morrissey keeps bringing the conversation back to masturbation. At a dark table in the corner, Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione -- the Dresden Dolls -- eavesdrop and feverishly scribble notes. Later that night, with just a piano and a drum kit, Palmer and Viglione do their best to recount the scene by twisting D.C. hardcore, Weimar cabaret, metal, torch songs, jazz and children's music into intriguing and apocalyptic musical shapes. Palmer pummels and caresses the keys, crooning and wailing like a woman possessed by her art, while Viglione accomplishes astonishing feats of polyrhythmic beauty behind the kit. They call the resulting catharsis Yes, Virginia. And then they take it on the road.

 
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