Music » Critics' Picks

Puerto Muerto

9 p.m. Friday, October 27. Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue).

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Puerto Muerto's name translates as "dead port," but every translation is a lie. The wife-and-husband-team of Christa Meyer and Tim Kelley teems with life: randy cabaret singers, tipsy minstrels, secretariats to arcane municipalities and indigent hit men on phantasmal streets. These may or may not be their characters — just as last year's Songs of Muerto County may or may not pertain to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre — but the contradictions of their sound contain multitudes. With the lunatic yet lucid decadence of a gypsy ancien régime, the duo (formerly of St. Louis, now of Chicago) combines palatial noise, heavy twang, hieratic harmonies, Spanish guitars and warped violins into exquisite, unsettling mood music for absinthe-tripping and Ouija-board journeys.

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