June 29-July 5, 2006
Music : PicksPanic! at the Disco/Dresden Dolls
With their whiteface and derbies, Boston's Dresden Dolls could be a Fosse-esque version of A Clockwork Orange for the kiddie-winks. That is, if it wasn't for the roar of greasy garage rock that singer/pianist Amanda Palmer and percussionist Brian Viglione insinuate into those elegant cabaret ballads and ferocious fox-trots. But, like Fosse's best films, their new Yes, Virginia (Roadrunner Records) is a vivid, confessional thingwhether they're at their softest and saddest ("First Orgasm") or at their most sprightly and spiteful ("Backstabber"). It's as intimate as Nina Simone, as rip-snorting as R.L. Burnside.
Panic! at the Disco like it oily tooand loquacious, what from the brash and brilliant Rapture-like crackle of "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" and "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage." But methinksno, meknows!this Las Vegas-born band (and who the hell actually comes from Vegas!?) digs their rockist drama on the flipside of the garage. They love the lurid when it's in the rec room, atop the old linoleum-tiled floor or battered pull-out couch. That's how the dance-o-phonic A Fever You Can't Sweat Out (Decaydance) hits my ear.