Music News

Critic's Choice

Jacques Higelin, Thursday, April 27, at the Gothic Theatre, is not exactly a household name in this country, but in his native France, he's among a handful of contemporary live performers who can both sell millions of records and entertain coliseum-sized crowds. A former stage and film actor and practitioner of the French chanson vocal tradition, Higelin's more contemporary work -- including his latest CD, Paradis Païen -- finds him more likely to embrace Afro-beat percussion and impressionistic string arrangements than traditional Parisian balladry. Higelin is sometimes regarded as Europe's equivalent to Tom Waits, perhaps because both performers enjoy artfully distorting the French accordion and wearing silly hats on stage. Musically, though, Higelin has more in common with the worldly tendencies of Peter Gabriel and the goofy, melodic poeticism of Robyn Hitchcock. Though Higelin's live performances often include elaborate sets and a revolving cast of musical characters, he's traveling with only a guitar and a sole percussionist, Dominique Mahut, on his current American tour. Francophiles -- and music fans -- needn't worry, though, as Higelin is engaging and eccentric enough to capture even American attention spans for one evening. Tickets for the performance are available only through the Alliance FranÇaise de Denver, which is sponsoring the show. Phone 303-831-0304 for information.
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Laura Bond
Contact: Laura Bond