Defend Its Existence: Crash Test Dummies

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No one has much patience for you when you’re not “winning.” For those huMMMing Canucks Crash Test Dummies, the brief ubiquity offered by their ’93 hit was soon greeted like Rick Springfield’s county fair appearances—with momentary incredulity and overwhelming indifference. It’s a shame because the backlash obscured some decent music. While frontman Brad Roberts’ booming bass gets all the attention, but keyboardist Ellen Reid offers sweet harmonies and occasional leads are just as great. Known for the supple acoustic sound of their breakout God Shuffled His Feet, subsequent albums vary widely from atmospheric electronica to orchestral swells, soul-based shimmy, and stripped-down trio. The quirky lyrics are unjustly singled out for self-conscious idiosyncrasy when they should be credited for preferring existential pondering to dime-a-dozen romantic pandering. They’re not Neil Young, but their smart, often adventurous music deserves a better fate than Deep Blue Something. (Chris Parker)

Sun., May 15, 7:30pm. $24-$34. With Rob Morsberger. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. worldcafelive.com

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