Boulder Acoustic Society

Friday

SXSW Records

Boulder Acoustic Society

Punchline (Nine Mile)

The rest of Colorado calls Boulder "25 square miles surrounded by reality." That bubble makes it the perfect breeding ground for this acoustic quartet, which makes good contemporary use of banjo, upright bass, accordion, and top-notch fiddle. Punchline, the group's fifth release and first for Austin's Nine Mile Records, delivers tightly controlled eclecticism that in less careful musicians' hands would have devolved into incoherence or chaos. As it is, there's the stylistic mishmash of Tom Waits-inflected bourbon slop-rock ("I Feel Like I've Seen You Before"), Devotchka-style multiculturalism ("The Addressee"), and a lovely, reflective ballad ("Until Then"). Punchline modernizes old-timey roots music, but the CD packaging, which is a ridiculously wasteful and unassembled 3-D "stereoscope," belies Boulder's green ethos. (Fri., 10pm, Amsterdam Cafe.)

***

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