Music » Critics' Picks

CJ Boyd

8 p.m. Tuesday, June 7. Cranky Yellow, 2847 Cherokee Street.

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As countless episodes of VH1 Storytellers have proven, the standard format for an intimate performance is one musician playing one instrument on one stage. CJ Boyd takes this template to the sparsest of extremes. His tool of choice is the bass guitar, rarely heard outside of a supporting role, looped to the infinite proportion of minimalism, and his treatment of vocal melodies is similarly disconnected from convention. Eliminating an obvious focal point, CJ Boyd's music is a study in nuance, with intersecting bass lines and the incidental textures of the human voice in place of hooks. Boyd's forced subtlety has been known to split a room; the curious listeners are engaged, the casual are often disoriented. Either way, an experience so intimate is difficult to forget.