Music » Critics' Picks

Les Claypool

Tuesday, October 11; Mississippi Nights (914 North First Street)

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Regardless of what one thinks of Les Claypool and his circus sideshow of a band, it's impossible not to respect Les Claypool the musician. He's easily among the most gifted electric-bass players of this nascent century, invoking Frank Zappa and Syd Barrett with his theatrical weirdness, penchant for bizarre lyrics and unsettling, mad-art antics. But like Zappa, behind Claypool's absurdist veneer is a musician of profound mastery and inimitable craft. From Primus to Oysterhead to his most recent collaboration, Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains, it's his bass-thrashing funky shock-rock virtuosity that stands out -- startling and sometimes sickening, but always engrossing, even as he leads his circus safari into jam-based improvisation.

Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $17.50 to $20; call 314-421-3853 for more information.

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