Though emo existed before Enigk's old band, Sunny Day Real Estate, released their 1994 landmark, Diary, it seems that the much-maligned genre didn't have a name until just then. Emo has since become a watered-down commodity with very few constant elements, aside from the now-target audience of tween girls with silly wardrobes and ill-advised haircuts, but at the time nobody knew what to do with it, and it existed almost in a vacuum. Enigk sang like Yes's Jon Anderson, and instead of burying his feelings in super-hip metaphors like many of his Seattle contemporaries were doing, he wrote lyrics that were more straightforward and made the listener want to cry at nearly every turn. SDRE was an unstable union, however (possibly due to Enigk's abrupt rebirth as a devout Christian and the release of his first solo album, Return of the Frog Queen), and after a couple of short-lived reunions (and an equally short-lived band, the Fire Theft, with some of his SDRE mates) Enigk is firmly on his own, his third album in roughly three years on the way. He is one of those rare artists who holds fans' attention, keeping them equally curious about what's next as well as what he's doing in the present. With Wishbook. 18+. $15. 7 p.m.1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222.
Sun., Nov. 30, 7 p.m., 2008