Back in the '90s, when the gathering forces of insurgent country went after pop-happy Nashville with all the passion and potency their punk ancestors had set on the bloated corporate-rock beast a generation earlier, nobody was more insurgent than Robbie Fulks. Blessed with the righteous populist indignation of Woody Guthrie, the barbed lyrical acuity of Billy Bragg and an offbeat, almost absurdist sense of humor, the Chicago-based Fulks adequately summed up his feelings toward the country-music establishment with one song from his 1997 album South Mouth: "Fuck This Town." That and several other songs — "Took a Lot of Pills and Died," "Let's Kill Saturday Night," "I Told Her Lies," "Parallel Bars" — formed a lasting cornerstone of alternative country and endeared Fulks to No Depression magazine and anyone else who doesn't mind a little sarcasm (or a lot) with their twang. As gifted a blogger and raconteur as he is a songwriter, Fulks hasn't been in Houston since 2006, so he and his local fans will have a lot of catching up to do Friday.
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