Music » Critics' Picks

Amelia White

8 p.m. Monday, September 4. Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue).


A musical history of 2006 could track the year by songs too good for the anti-war tag: Graham Parker's "2000 Funerals," Michael Franti's "Time to Go Home," Josh Ritter's "Girl in the War," the Mammals' "Alone on the Homestead" and moments on Neil Young's diatribe Living with War. But the most elegiac and wrenching may well be "Black Doves" by Amelia White, a Nashville-based, well-traveled songwriter who combines durable, twangy rock with vulnerable glimpses of truth (and who recently found her song of war-as-unbearable-loss streaming from Neil Young's Web site). It's a nightmare of peace symbols turned to pitch, resolving in a simple, excruciating question: "What are we fighting for?" What White is singing for is just to cut through the official lies — and where she sings from is always just the heart.