Three bands, four musicians. The same four musicians, in fact, incestuously switching gears and playing together in three different formats. Actually, it shouldn't be surprising, because this quartet has more varied projects going than could be sorted out in a family tree, which fits since Steve Wynn and Linda Pitmon are married, and besides an appearance on Letterman, the only previous time the quartet played together in public was their wedding. Anyway, the lineup is: Peter Buck, R.E.M. guitarist; Scott McCaughey of the Young Fresh Fellows and unofficial R.E.M. member; Wynn, founder of the Dream Syndicate; and drummer Pitmon, who used to play around these parts with Zuzu's Petals and Golden Smog. The newest release from any of the trio (of bands) is the 5's Killingsworth, a strong country-folk-pop collection with a decided twang and members of the Decemberists joining core members McCaughey and Buck. Last year Wynn put out Crossing Dragon Bridge, a collection of unusually introspective songs written and recorded during an extended stay in Slovenia. Also released last year was the first volume of The Baseball Project, a great collection of tunes reflecting McCaughey's and Wynn's deep obsession and love for the national pastime, complete with astute references to the likes of Harvey Haddix, Satchel Paige, Minnie Minoso, and, most memorably, "Ted Fucking Williams." 21+.
Thu., Sept. 10, 8 p.m., 2009