Saturday, May 1; Burt's Tiki Lounge (21 and over, 9 p.m.): Something special happens when bands fuse two seemingly nonrelated styles of music. Not only does it create a new direction in which music can head, but it also makes you stop and realize that some people are still thinking outside the box, and that's kind of comforting.
Dusty 45s are one such band, creating "loungacana" by blending lounge and Americana. The silky, slick curves of laid-back lounge have taken away the sharp edges from traditional honky-tonk, leaving behind a feathering of upbeat yet softened roots—at least some of the time. At other times, Dusty 45s wear their rockabilly-jump blues-country hats with pride. They give you the best of both worlds: The hard and the soft, the nice and the mean, the black and the white, God and the devil.
And it's the devil who takes center stage in the band's new CD, Devil Takes His Turn. Singer/guitarist/trumpet player Billy Joe Huels couldn't get more swanky on the semi-romantic song "New Romance" if he tried. Honestly, his vocals are so purdy they'd make Elvis proud. Then there's the sophisticated surf of the instrumental "Blistering Sky," and, at the spectrum's other end, the CD's title track, which takes off where Jello Biafra and Mojo Nixon's Prairie Home Invasion left off.
Just listening to those three songs gives me goose bumps. Feel the chills yourself tonight at this free show at Burt's.