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Delicate Steve performs March 14 at Siberia

The guitarist and songwriter's latest is This Is Steve

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The title of Delicate Steve's third album is This Is Steve (Anti-), but that isn't entirely accurate. This Steve is a brand new Steve: tonally similar but stylistically different, like his electric-guitar-powered spaceship got the wrong coordinates and crash-landed on a jungle planet inhabited by 7-foot-tall blue people. It's apparent right away, on opener "Animals," which revs up in full-on funk mode before kaleidoscoping around the one-minute mark. Given the close proximity of Wondervisions (2011) and Positive Force (2012) and the five-year vacuum since, an evolution isn't unexpected, and it's hard not to be somewhat taken aback by the frankness of instrumental frontman Steve Marion's directive — where before he backpacked through a genre wilderness of buoyant Afropop, All Things Must Pass solo gymnastics and '70s/'80s TV-theme surfing (snap-shot perfectly by 2014's Bandcamp souvenir EP Multiple Moods Sampler), here he's boiled it all down to an inoculated culture that's both easier to stomach and an acquired taste. (I prefer the globe-spinning, childlike spaz, but to each their own.) His chops, as always, are unimpeachable. Like John Fahey bingeing All in the Family reruns or William Tyler tangled up in a Hypercolor jumpsuit, Marion's Whammy-pedaled guitar leads do things with strings that would make Mariah Carey melisma in the corner. It takes until penultimate track "Together" to feel the rush of emotions that made his last two records such chest-clutched treasures, but that only makes it hit harder. Muuy Biien, Bleach Party and Sun Year open. Tickets $10.

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