Music » Critics' Picks

Betty Dylan

Thursday, December 9; Off Broadway

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There's no Betty and no Dylan in this Nashville-based duo, and there's really no explaining the name. Straight-up, parodic alt-country like they never got over Southern Culture on the Skids outgrowing the trailer park, the husband-and-wife team of Dan and Vickie Dubelman has been banned from the Bluebird Café for celebrating fellatio, regime change and joking about the staff. Though the Dubelmans have played Farm Aid, they've been kicked out of New York coffeehouses, as if their blend of folk-rock and twisted lyrics were some bizzaro taboo. If there's little original about the duo's country folk sound, its approach comes off fresh and fun as a night at the improv. On the latest album, Abdicate the Thrown, husband and wife pose as John and Yoko in bed below declarations of hippie and redneck solidarity, quote John Adams circa 1797, get their revenge on the Bluebird, and take a few potshots at Sheryl Crow (in their twisted fantasies, she is riding hogs in a mini-skirt), bemoan Wall Street Journal conspiracies and trudge through "Masters of War" like a burned-out cover band. No, not every track is a masterpiece, but Betty Dylan isn't seeking perfection. They're out for a good time, militancy and all.

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