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When last we left Trip Shakespeare, these four gentle moon children from Minneapolis had defied expectations by recording a minor pop masterpiece, Across the Universe. Their fourth album, it was all Beatlesy harmonies, talkative guitars, and irresistible charm, whether they were singing about the joys of a car wreck or how drummers get no respect. Lulu, their new one, does similar things with the gently ironic, thoroughly rockin’ “Bachelorette” (a love note to the fans) and a “Wake Up Little Susie” rewrite called “Bonneville.” Trip does a lot of things I really object to–they’re entirely, almost inhumanly angstless, and sometimes it seems like lyricist Matt Wilson learned to write through an Edward A. Guest correspondence course. But the immensely articulate way he and his brother Dan have with guitars and the pair’s facility with a melody or ten somehow make up for these tendencies. They’re fun live, too–Matt Wilson cuts quite a figure onstage, and keep an eye on how the ban’s remarkable drummer, Elaine Harris, anchors the show. Thursday through next Saturday, November 23, Cubby Bear, 1069 W. Addison; 327-1662.

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