Poe -- Anyone waiting for a follow-up to the DNA's acid-house remix of Suzanne Vega's quirky ditty "Tom's Diner" should cheer the arrival of Poe, whose major-label debut, Hello, features several beat-heavy, synth-laden tunes with vocals delivered in a manner similar to Vega's stream-of-consciousness babble on that 1990 hit. On Hello, Poe ricochets off a slew of topics. Whether musing over carjackings, surfing the Internet or saying good-bye to a loved one, her life-in-the-'90s lyrics spill naturally over jazzy loops and trippy, hip-hop grooves. Born Annie Danielewski, Poe chose her current moniker at age eight, taking it from the name of her then-favorite author, Edgar Allen Poe. Poe, though, isn't as mysterious as her name might suggest. And while she might denounce the image of chilly alt-rock diva, she hasn't exactly mounted an aggressive campaign to bury it. Call her what you like; Poe's here to stay. At the Buzz Fest Saturday, April 20, at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Show starts at 1 p.m. Tickets are $10.75 and $15.75. 968-1000. (Greg Barr)

Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick -- Three decades back, when they first plied their revamped versions of traditional standards in English folk clubs, Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick helped plant the seeds of a movement that would revolutionize Anglo roots music. Carthy's impeccable, syncopated finger-picked guitar and melodious vocals and Swarbrick's playful fiddle brought an electric jolt to the ancient forms. A few years later, Swarbrick plugged himself in with Fairport Convention, the landmark folk-rock band that launched the careers of Richard Thompson and Sandy Denny. Carthy maintained his premier position on the acoustic circuit but added his own electric feathers, first with the Watersons, then with Steeleye Span. Neither has ever stopped innovating. In recent years, Carthy pieced together Brass Monkey, a truly oddball horns- and guitar-based band, while Swarbrick countered with Whippersnapper, an acousto-electric combo specializing in originals with that old-time heart. Now they're playing together again, something they've done periodically over the years. Neither musician has lost a chop, and their technical brilliance never fails to overwhelm. Carthy's rendering of those staple tragic English ballads brings out their Everyman qualities as if sung by the skeletons of the deceased, while Swarbrick always jump-starts a crowd with his deft slashing. Many master musicians have followed Carthy and Swarbrick down the modernizer path, but the two add a dimension that's almost impossible to top: an ability to banter with the audience and spar with each other between songs. And seeing as they've been everywhere, and done all that, they have more stories to tell than the Brothers Grimm. At McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23. Tickets are $10. 529-5999. (Bob Burtman

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