Call it spiritual or psychological, the current running through most of singer-songwriter David Wilcox's songs is one in which he tries to make sense of life's endless dimensions, both in the psyche's inner workings and the world at large we all must negotiate for better or worse. In a career stretching over 15 albums, Wilcox has seemingly written a song for nearly every condition, which he has helpfully categorized on his website, from heartbreak to depression, addiction, "the adventure of faith," and "appreciating good sex." It might be tempting to be cynical (not a category) about what could be construed as a laundry list of neuroses if it weren't for Wilcox's adept handling of it all. Not to be confused with Dr. Phil, Wilcox writes poetically elegant treatises on simply living well. On the title track of Wilcox's latest, Open Hand, for instance, a metaphoric bird on an open palm suggests life's unfettered possibilities. Elsewhere he talks about keeping dreams alive, refusing to be trapped by your own fears, and the hypocrisy of intolerant religious orthodoxy. Wilcox's pleasant baritone and interesting but muted guitar work are usually quiet and earnest, their power emanating from within. He loosens up on the whimsical "Modern World," about the spectacularly inaccurate predictions of 1950s futurists, and "Captain Wanker," named for an inept blunderer whose identity may be betrayed by the "W" on his chest. All ages.
Thu., Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m., 2009