Critic's Choice

Elephant Sixers of the southern latitudes, the Olivia Tremor Control will be stuffing the Fox Theatre on Monday, November 29, with summer-of-love harmonies and finely wrought psychedelia. While their 1996 debut, Dusk at Cubist Castle, was an ambitious, epic doodlefest, the players hadn't yet learned to ride the mythical beasts they'd conjured. Since polishing off the similarly fanciful Black Foliage last year, the ensemble has proved itself capable of creating an album of layers and puzzles that doesn't feel like a flea market. Live shows, too, bear testimony to a certain refinement one would think nearly impossible of such an inclusive circus of sounds. The Tremor Control are mad-scientist types, after all: Some serious math went in to the crafting of Black Foliage, which was conceived almost as a song cycle. Each cut was derived from the twisted bit of another, like Eve sprung from Adam's rib -- a subtle auditory pleasure reserved, perhaps, for the languid Sunday-morning futon-sprawler who listens while picking through copious liner notes. Don't be fooled by the complexity, though: Olivia bestows generous blessings on those who clamor for the mother's milk of pure pop. -- Amy Kiser


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