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Kyle Craft, beyond the valley of the Dolls

The Louisiana-raised Sub Pop werewolf performs Nov. 20 at Gasa Gasa

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Kyle Craft's pithy description of his debut album, April's Dolls of Highland (Sub Pop), doubles as a stuporous status update for at least 48 percent of the country this week: "a spiderweb of what the f—k?" Craft, a Shreveport native who used Portland, Oregon, as his creative Cape Canaveral, offers up two ways to snap out of it, one viscerally distractive, the other redoubling a majority opinion that, through the logic of our Electoral College, somehow got marginalized. Dolls of Highland is the first, and it's unlike anything else released this year. It's a piano-pummeled barroom stage dive by a wild-haired werewolf of Louisiana, licking the wounds inflicted by an expired relationship via a dozen exasperated howls at the elusive, illusory women in the moon ("Gloom Girl," "Lady of the Ark," "Black Mary," "Jane Beat the Reaper"). The second option is "Before the Wall," an addendum single issued in August that opens with the first six notes of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and echoes Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are a-Changin'" in presaging the mess to come: "If the wall, it goes up, and your Jesus comes back / And he knocks on the door, will you stand to attack? / If he don't have his papers, and he don't have much cash / Would you take him in, jail him or just send him back?" Tickets $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

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