Music » Critics' Picks

Richard Thompson

8 p.m. Monday, February 11. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard

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Unless you're a Boeing shareholder or a John McCain strategist, you'll agree that the Iraq War hasn't been good for shit. Still, that five-year nightmare has sired some lyrical greatness (including Tom Waits' "Day After Tomorrow" and Steve Earle's "Rich Man's War" for starters). Add Richard Thompson's "Dad's Gonna Kill Me" to that playlist, as it's a vicious triple entendre ("Dad" could refer to a higher power, a grunt's father or just ol' Death himself) that matches a breathless delivery with the post-folk-rock guitar spray that Thompson alone has mastered. With the exceptions of Dylan and Young, no rock & roll child of the '60s has remained as vital, productive and demanding as King Richard. After all, few other musicians alive would venture "1000 Years of Popular Music" — as Thompson is billing the show — and triumph over the absurd concept.

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