The Endtables

Friday

SXSW Records

The Endtables

(Drag City)

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of any country that will accept me," sang husky, cross-dressing Endtables vocalist Steve Rigot some 32 years ago. Years before hardcore conventions were set in stone, the Louisville, Ky., quartet bear-hugged the mantle of outsiderdom to create a fleeting firestorm that still sounds singular today. This reissue collects all seven of the band's studio recordings along with six previously unreleased live cuts. "Process of Elimination," lead-off on the Endtables' long-sought-after 1979 7-inch single, groans to life with the band already playing at full volume. This ham-fisted attempt to excise the intro would've been rejected by a million other bands, but it's a spot-on stroke of genius here. Between Rigot's anxious, monotone vocals; Steven Jan Humphrey's perfectly sloppy drum fills; and guitarist Alex Durig's failed attempt to emulate Ted Nugent (he got James Williamson instead), everything coalesces into one big happy accident that's a force unto itself. (Fri., 11pm, Barbarella)

***

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