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Titus Andronicus at the Hi-Tone Cafe

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Like fellow transplanted Brooklynites the Hold Steady, the Jersey-bred Titus Andronicus play bar-band rock filtered through punk aggression, topped by an agitated, word-drunk frontman in Patrick Stickles, whose verbal lacerations are more rooted in politics and self-loathing than those of Hold Steady's Craig Finn. Where the band's thrilling second album, The Monitor, revisited Stickles' own advance and retreat into Southern territory in the language of the Civil War, the new Local Business is a little more modest. On the single "In a Big City," Stickles looks back ruefully on his "ascent," singing, "I grew up on one side of the river/I was a disturbed, dangerous drifter/Moved over to the other side of the river/Now I'm a drop in a deluge of hipsters." But this is a band that sounds just as much at home yelling "Food Fight" over boogie-metal riffs as they do referencing William Lloyd Garrison and Albert Camus. And live, they're often a blast, with Stickles' bandmates growing to rival him, songs smashing together, and unexpected covers. (Of the three shows I've seen, they've done Chuck Berry, Little Richard, the Misfits, and Bruce Springsteen.) Titus Andronicus return to the Hi-Tone Café on Friday, November 2nd. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $14. The California art-punk band Ceremony makes for a particularly strong opener.

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