Songs of Sorrow

American Analog Set rocks lightly

American Analog Set puts on a wicked rock show rife with paradox. The songs come out of the gate chugging on an easy groove, the low-decibel meander seemingly going nowhere until it builds and yawns into a big raw sound. These arching, brokenhearted songs of woe are the Fort Worth band's bread and butter -- and oh, how well these guys spread it on. With a whispery delivery, compliments of mellow-voiced Andrew Kenny, the band's ultratight tunes unfold like an intimate heart-to-heart conversation before deteriorating into gorgeous, shimmering jams made up of electric piano twinkles and filigree guitar work. AmAnSet members have achieved success by constantly touring and making records, staying at the top of their game in terms of clean, deliberate musicianship, and being true to their fans. The band experiments more on its latest long-player, Promise of Love, and one suspects that this time around, they're even more jaded about romance. If your heart needs mending, these guys are strumming your songs. 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 20. The Proletariat, 903 Richmond. For information, call 713-523-1199 or visit theproletariathouston.com. $8. -- Wendy Gilmartin

Mess with Taxes

Take one look at Willie Nelson's finances or the way Justin Timberlake got Punk'd last season, and you know not to mess with the IRS. But you can vent away with ComedySportz, the spastic improv group that pits teams of comics against each other while taking cues from the audience. The April 16 "Red Tape Match" pokes fun at bureaucracy, the IRS and, of course, taxes. "Nobody likes doing taxes. Not even people who make a living doing taxes like taxes," says ComedySportz founder and head coach Dianah Dulany. Dueling teams will go through numerous improvisational scenarios, including "What Are You Doing?" -- a game in which respondents' answers have to begin with the letters of a governmental acronym, like, say, "Impersonating Richard Simmons." You'd have to start a militia to have more fun at Uncle Sam's expense. 8 p.m. Friday, April 16. Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights. For information, call 713-868-1444. $12. -- Steven Devadanam

Make Room for Flanders

Even though a playwright might not appreciate his work being compared to a sitcom, Paul Osborn's Mornings at Seven somewhat resembles one of TV's finest. There's a dad named Homer, a senile grandfather who goes off on indecipherable rants and even an annoying neighbor. Set in two backyards in a small Midwestern town (Springfield, anyone?), the show is dee-diddly-lightful. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Through May 1. Theatre Southwest, 8944 Clarkcrest. For information, call 713-661-9505. $12 to $15. -- Steven Devadanam

Show Peace

Exclamation Dance Company's latest offering is called "Peace Out," but you'd better shake those visions of bouncing hippies out of your head right now. At this performance, you'll see top-notch jazz steps, not a bunch of dirty feet flopping about. "We're trying to generate a feeling of peace through our dancing," says Kenneth Epting, the company's founder. "I want people to feel peace and love amongst each other." Hmm...maybe we spoke too soon about that hippie stuff. 8 p.m. Saturday, April 17, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 18. Kaplan Theatre at the Jewish Community Center, 5601 South Braeswood. For information, call 713-729-3200 or visit www.exclamationdancecompany.org. $10 to $15. -- Keith Plocek

 
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