Music » Critics' Picks

Eef Barzelay

Tuesday, April 18, at 9 p.m. Blueberry Hill's Duck Room (6504 Delmar Boulevard, University City)

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To be clear, "A Special Acoustic Show by Clem Snide" just means Eef Barzelay with a guitar. Publicity strategies aside, the Israel-born, Nashville-based songwriter has been blurring irony and sincerity since his band's 1998 debut, You Were a Diamond. Bitter Honey, Barzelay's new solo album, is exactly that: Acoustic guitar and bird chirps accompany his high, quizzical croon and tragicomedies of hip-hop booty-shakers, alkie girlfriends and other loved ones — all of whom he wishes would die, just to know how it feels. When he whispers, "Nothing means anything anymore," he gives the Prozac generation a Zen koan. When he sneers, "The thing you claim to hate, you do it very well," he gives critics and fans alike a put-down they weren't expecting, even as they can't help but sing along.

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