Part train wreck, part artistic genius, Patches & Gretchen is a performative force that must be seen to be believed. Whether she's haphazardly digging through a suitcase of outrageous hats, swaggering her way through a line of forgotten lyrics, or singing deeply and passionately with a throaty moan, singer Gretchen Seichrist seemsalmost accidentallyto channel the spirit and irreverence of so many late '60s and early '70s rock icons. Her sophomore album, Sugar Head Pie, is further proof that Seichrist is a talented and prolific songwriter, teetering expertly between mayhem and poignancy without an ounce of irony or pretentiousness. At a time when rock 'n' roll is trying to laugh its way back to something serious, Patches & Gretchen is the real deal, a welcome whiskey-breath of fresh air in a crowd of cheap knock-offs. With Ryan Paul & the Ardent.
Thu., April 29, 9 p.m., 2010