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His Name Is Alive

Conceived while insanely prolific Warren Defever played guitar for shockabilly outfit Elvis Hitler circa 1989, His Name Is Alive embodies ambitious experimental dream pop infused with acoustic folk, dub-deranged gospel and funkified electro-jazz. "Like dating a star-crossed werewolf behind your parents' back," the Livonia, Michigan-based outfit's website declares -- though such colorfulness hints at something merely ethereal and forbidden. No, Defever and crew's atmospheric, dance-happy sound ups the ante on gypsy superstition with half the weirdness of Deerhoof, three-fourths the hip-swaying of Prince and all the sad hope of extreme vegetarianism. Highlighted by sweet-breath harmonies (credit a rotating chanteuse crew that includes founding vocalist Karin Oliver and "reincarnations" Andrea, Lovetta Pippen and Erika Hoffmann), His Name presents its first headlining American tour in over a decade. Still conjuring the Brothers Quay, still giving Tom Cruise nightmares, still touring in support of last year's Detrola, Defever and his band of minstrels present a rare and magical evening of freak-steady beats and social disorder. Costumes strongly encouraged.