Critic's Choice

Mike Doughty, Saturday June 30, at the Fox Theatre, is a hardworking man. Since the breakup of Soul Coughing in early 2000, Doughty has toured twice, recorded vocals on BT's song "Never Gonna Come Back Down" for the soundtrack to Gone in 60 Seconds and prepared Slanky, a book of poetry for publication (with Skull Press) this fall. He's also been running and participating in a Web site forum for fans ( Doughty is currently in the midst of his third solo tour -- and he means solo: It's just him and a rental car. Besides musician duties, he's the tour manager, merchandising agent and driver for the 21-date tour. ("I hear a rumbling/I hear transmission grind.") Doughty will be performing Soul Coughing material as well as songs he has written since the band's breakup. But he'll also be playing songs from his new/old CD Skittish, most of which was recorded in 1995 and 1996 but not officially released until now. Though unpolished in places, this archive nicely illustrates the development of the scattershot street-poet, stream-of-consciousness, rhyming growl that Doughty has created. Some thought it might have disappeared with Soul Coughing, but it's back, as smooth as sugar-free jazz.


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