Music » Critics' Picks

Johnette Napolitano

9 p.m. Thursday, May 31. Blueberry Hill's Duck Room, (6504 Delmar Boulevard, University City)

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Casual Concrete Blonde fans know two things about the band: It was named by R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe and it had a surprise hit song with "Joey," a bittersweet ode to an addict. Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blonde's main singer and songwriter) has remained prolific both with and without the band. She's contributed songs to movies, friends' albums and, most impressively, was even accepted as the lead singer (read: David Byrne's replacement) for a Talking Heads project. These opportunities likely arrive due to the strength of her voice, a set of powerful pipes that sounds like a glorious combination of Patti Smith and Heart's Ann Wilson. Napolitano is touring in support of her new solo album Scarred, on which she even makes a cover of Coldplay's tedious ballad "The Scientist" sound soulful and authentic. Now that's talent.

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