With Two Star Symphony and sIngs, 9 p.m. Saturday, December 4, at the Backroom at the Mink, 3718 Main, 713-522-9985 or www.minkonmain.com.
On listenlisten's newest, dog, the band goes for the throat, attaching an even grimmer sheen to their already forbidding sound. Last year's Hymns from Rhodesia was beloved by Rolling Stone, and even got a quick mention on the magazine's music blog as an album to watch out for. This time around, singer Ben Godfrey's funereal David Gilmour-like howl gets an extra country lilt, most evident on the "I Will Be Mean." The real juice here is the second track, "Ghost," that sounds like a lost Philip Glass/Brian Eno collaboration, with bittersweet opening piano plinks. It's hard for us to describe a band that manages to mix the sway of Townes Van Zandt and two of the most revered avant-garde musicians of the past 50 years, but somehow listenlisten gets it right. Things don't get more biting or sweeping than dog's closer, "Nothing," either. The first 50 paid attendees will get a free LP copy of dog with admission.