Critic's Choice

Annie Quick, who appears Thursday, December 19, at Ziggie's Saloon, has a way of both blending into and stepping out of her environment. Her band, Stickman Jones, shed its hippie upbringing when it moved from Santa Cruz to New York City in 1997. Surging with the flash and urban energy of the new locale, the band laid down its acoustic guitars and went electric. Last year, Quick shed her band, as well -- or, at least, stepped into the spotlight as the outfit's clear star and leader. Playing with a ballsiness and bravado that belie her greener days with Stickman, Quick released the solo album, Orange Juice, earlier this year. Spare but rock-centric, the CD is a showcase for Quick's guitar playing and poetic musings, as well as a kind of spirit quest: Some of the songs are written from the perspective of God, and Christian themes are sprinkled throughout. Still, Quick is plucky, polished and wholehearted enough to draw even non-believers to the temple.


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