Kevin Devine, the Jealous Girlfriends


Kevin Devine and the Jealous Girlfriends perform 9 p.m. Thursday, February 7, at Walter's on Washington, 4215 Washington, 713-862-2513.

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Perhaps the only thing more damning than being hailed as the next Dylan is being perpetually stuck in the shadow of Conor Oberst. Such has been the fate of Kevin Devine, a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter who deftly balances personal and political sentiments through largely acoustic, emotive ballads. The former Miracle of '86 frontman penned perhaps the most poignant depiction of post-9/11 paranoia in "Noose Dressed like a Necklace" on 2003's Make the Clocks Move, and he perfectly summarized the political indifference felt by millions at the 2004 ballot box on Split the Country, Split the Streets' "No Time Flat." Devine's 2006 Capitol Records debut, Put Your Ghost to Rest, produced by Rob Schnapf (Elliot Smith, Beck), was a haunting and sparse album of growing pains and punch-drunk love that unfortunately fell on deaf ears. Having now parted from major labels, Devine is picking up the pieces of his career on tour, which should yield plenty of good material for his next album. Led by the sedating, Cat Power-esque purr of guitarist/vocalist Holly Miranda, Brooklyn's the Jealous Girlfriends open with eclectic indie pop tunes made for, and previously heard on, Grey's Anatomy.

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