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Noam Weinstein
PROBABLY HUMAN
(ENOAM.COM)

Singer-songwriter Noam Weinstein relocated from Boston to New York City in 1999, but he still plays here enough to call area clubs like Passim and Johnny Dís home. Heís been compared, fairly, with Randy Newman for his dark sense of whimsy, which is on display here in the strained relationship tune "Big Babies." But when heís not squeezing his lyrics out of the top end of his voice, Weinstein can muster a bravura growl to match the distorted electric guitars that he sometimes uses to put grit into his arrangements. He may be most affecting, however, when heís sincere, or at least sounds it. The discís sweetest tune is "Donít Want It To Rain," a delicate, poetic apology accompanied only by his acoustic guitar. Heís perversely confessional, too, in numbers like "I Can Hurt People" ("I never could whistle/I never could sing. . . . But I can hurt people pretty bad sometimes/And make them lose their minds and act like maniacs"). Spare flashes of bluesy Fender six-string, horns, banjo, organ, and accordion all keep his sonic palette outside the realm of folk cliché, and so does "Alien," where he falls head-over-heels for an interplanetary visitor, pushes his point, and gets the Earth destroyed in retaliation for his impetuousness. More proof that he can hurt people.

(Noam Weinstein appears at 6 p.m. this Sunday, August 15, at Zeitgeist Gallery 1353 Cambridge Street in Inman Square; call 617-876-6060.)

BY TED DROZDOWSKI


Issue Date: August 13 - 19, 2004
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