Mayer Hawthorne & The County, The Stepkids

When: Sat., May 12 2012

MAYER HAWTHORNE & THE COUNTY On paper, this sounds like a smug, too-hip-for-the-room fiasco. Hip-hop DJ and voracious crate digger Drew Cohen sings brand-new retro-soul compositions, using the pick-your-porn-name party game — middle name Mayer, home street Hawthorne — to christen his crooning alter ego. Oddly, his Motown-by-way-of-slick- ’70s-session-pop actually works. Smoothly sung with punchy Hitsville horns and uncluttered arrangements, Hawthorne’s songs are neither hipster goof nor slavish pastiche. Hawthorne knows soul is all about hurting so good, so when he drops the F-bomb it’s a natural progression and not the least bit mannered. Wicked humor emerges, particularly on the bitter breakup ditty “The Walk,” which comes complete with a trigger happy Tarantino-inspired video. (Pat Moran)

Price: $18-$33

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