Music » Critics' Picks

David Dondero

9 p.m. Saturday, August 14. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue.

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In the Jonathan Richman school of rock & roll amateurism, David Dondero sits in the back of the class playing Boggle, sketching caricatures of all the chicks who've ground his secret dreams into the Austin dust and muttering about the radio stations (charming that he still believes in them) that ignore his untutored warble. He's knocked out at least one masterpiece, "Rothko Chapel," a five-minute-and-forty-five-second meditation on the God delusion and the numinous power of music and nature. Nothing on this year's # Zero With a Bullet measures up, even as his band rocks like the Modern Lovers with the AM radio on — and even as he finds a delicately imprecise balance between spit-edged satire and troubadour-tinged hymns to love.

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