My generation: While Cracker’s David Lowery wastes everyone’s radio time every day hating it, Chicago’s Handsome Family try like hell to ignore it, exploring instead the deep, dark poetics of America’s folk and country past. They draw on a legacy of liquor, madness, and death, writing songs about people like crazy Aunt Barbara, who “wrote poems to Jimmy Carter but forgot to feed her kids.” Their new album Milk and Scissors is wonderfully depressing, sounding just about perfect right after Homicide with the lights turned off. Plan on dropping by their record-release party this weekend. Just feed the kids first. Saturday, 10 PM, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 525-6620. SARAH VOWELL

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Brad Miller.